Reversion to the Mean: the Progeny of Queen Victoria

I have had some vague health problems this week, and so blogging has not been my priority, but I have tried to write a few pithy posts.

‘Reversion to the Mean’ seems to apply to every aspect of human endeavour. (Be warned, this post is somewhat surreal)

Queen Victoria had nine children. Who knows what happened to those children and where their progeny are now? The first part of that question is answered here (SCROLL DOWN TO ‘ISSUE’):

Nine children spread over Europe by marriage and all those couples produced masses of further issue. No doubt the further issue produced masses of even more issue.

But where and what are they now? How many of their progeny are are on the streets or in hostels? The probability is that most will be comfortably off, if only to shut them up, but some will be rogues.

The Wikipedia article refers only to the immediate progeny. It says nothing about subsequent history.

I doubt that ‘researchers’ will volunteer to find out what happened to the progeny of Queen V and their progeny, and their grand progeny. They might be filthy rich by virtue of ancestral stock holdings, and sunning themselves on the shores of Spain, or they might be bin men, for all we know.



‘Reversion to the Mean’ means that the children of a Genius will almost certainly be found to be just ordinarily intelligent. It also means that children of the most stupid people will also gravitate to the median intelligence. From time to time, a Genius will appear from nowhere, as was Michael Faraday. I am not talking about his progeny since he had none. I’m talking about where he came from.



I suspect that the same applies to IDEAS. At any particular point in time, there appears an IDEA. For example, the IDEA that smoking causes the death of individuals ten years prematurely, or, as they prefer to say, ‘50% of the time’. No one has to prove, even with the most elastic definition of ‘proof’, that the claims are true.


Anyway, enough for tonight.



5 Responses to “Reversion to the Mean: the Progeny of Queen Victoria”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    Hope you get well quick, this is a terrible time of the year to be sick!

    Not certain that IQ ‘Reverts to the Mean’.

    IQ, for the most part, is not random and;

    Reversion to the Mean
    Reversion to the mean, also called regression to the mean, is the statistical phenomenon stating that the greater the deviation of a random variate from its mean, the greater the probability that the next measured variate will deviate less far.

    You know that a good golfer will have ‘bad’ days and bad golfers will have ‘good’ days; but, they will never have the ‘same’ average days.

    As for progeny over time, we all are related if you go back far enough.

    You and I are possibly related thru some English King. 🙂

    Or, some criminal. 😦

    • junican Says:

      I used the term ‘reversion to the mean’ loosely, Gary. Both of us know that some professional golfers will rise above the rest, even though the skill levels are more or less identical. Some, like Gary Player, Jack Nicholson, Tom Watson, will win tournaments again and again, and back to back. But rarely have their forebears achieved anything in golf, and rarely do their progeny achieve anything.
      But that was not my main point.
      Doll et al blamed smoking for lung cancer. It is easy to see how his statistical stuff from the Doctors Study ‘proves’ that to be true. But, as we know, that proof is only AN IDEA. It is only a correlation and not a proof. Doll’s IDEA continues to stand only because no one can refute it. To do so would require proof of the negative. But evidence is piling up which is showing that lung cancer is not confined to smokers especially.
      Occasionally, a person will stand out and achieve great things, such as Newton. But what did his children do (if he had any), and what did his parents do?

  2. RJButterfield Says:

    thankyou for your dedication to this site it really is apreciated hope your health gets better and you have extremely goog christmas and new year richard

    • junican Says:

      Thanks a lot. The health thing was not important. It was just a fear. It has sorted itself out.
      And all the best to you.

  3. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Feel better Junican! 🙂 Re reversion to the mean: Yes, there will always tend to be some when we’re speaking of someone on the extreme ends of any particular characteristic, due both to pure chance and also due to genetic dilution in partnerships. Still, a son/daughter of someone exceptionally smart/talented in some way likely has a far better chance of showing some degree of a similar characteristic and a random son/daughter of two “unexceptional” people. It’s certainly not a “sure thing” though!

    – MJM

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