Francis Galton once said in his Natural Inheritance, 1890:

It is difficult to understand why statisticians commonly limit their inquiries to Averages and do not revel in more comprehensive views. Their souls seem as dull to the charm of variety as that of a native of one of our flat English counties, whose retrospect of Switzerland was that, if the mountains could be thrown into its lakes, two nuisances would be got rid of at once.

Even though I have looked up and understood every single word, I still cannot get the meaning of the bolded part. Any ideas?

  • But could you write what you think it means?
    – user3169
    Jul 31, 2016 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


A person who was born in one of our flat English counties, offering an opinion of Switzerland after he had visited the place, said that two nuisances would be eliminated there in one stroke if Switzerland's mountains could be cast down into its lakes.

retrospect can mean "an opinion offered afterwards"

could be got rid of at once could be eliminated in one step, simultaneously

P.S. High cancels out low. Averaging.

  • Thank you! But how can these words be related to the guys who are dull to variety? Jul 31, 2016 at 14:05
  • Please see the P.S.
    – TimR
    Jul 31, 2016 at 14:06
  • 3
    You mean to say "Got it!" or "I get it!" :)
    – TimR
    Jul 31, 2016 at 14:09

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