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Civilisation and Eyesight


THE statistics of eyesight given by Mr. H. B. Guppy in NATURE (p. 503) relating to the inhabitants of the Solomon Islands as tested by the Army test-dots, bring us nearer, I think, to the solution of the question of the relative acuteness of vision of civilised and savage races than any previous communication which has appeared in your columns, as we are able to compare them with statistics obtained under similar conditions in this country. The Anthropometric Committee of the British Association gave a series of tables in their Report for 1881 showing the results of their inquiries into the sight of different classes of the community, carried out by means of the Army test-dots; and for the purpose of comparison with Mr. Guppy's figures I have extracted the returns relating to men employed in agriculture and other out-door occupations as most nearly agreeing with the conditions of life of savage people, and have embodied them, together with Mr. Guppy's, in the following table:—

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ROBERTS, C. Civilisation and Eyesight. Nature 31, 552–553 (1885).

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