OH THE ARTIFICIAL PRODUCTION OF STUPIDITY IN SCHOOLS.
IT is related of a learned judge, that he once praised a retiring witness in the following words : “You are entitled to great credit, sir. You must have taken infinite pains with yourself. No man could naturally be so stupid.” We cite this well-worn anecdote because it contains, probably, the earliest public recognition of the principle which the title of our article is intended to convey.
SHALL the Eye of the Universe suffer from ophthalmia? Shall the orb of celestial fire in the incorruptible heavens—type of purity and perfection—noblest symbol of God—be stained and blackened with impurities? Such were the questions indignantly asked when it began to be whispered about that there are spots of darkness on the face of the sun.
ALMOST every autumn may be heard the remark that a hard winter is coming, for that the hips and haws are abundant: the implied belief being that God, intending to send much frost and snow, has provided a large supply of food for the birds. Interpretations of this kind, tacit or avowed, prevail widely.
WHEN I arrived in England about eighteen months ago, little thinking that a short vacation tour would end in my permanent residence here, I at once paid a visit to the National Gallery. I was anxious to see Turner’s pictures, which on the Continent I had had no opportunity of doing.
WE are going through that change in regard to Mr. Darwin’s speculations which has occurred so often in regard to scientific theories. When first propounded, divines regarded them with horror, and declared them to be radically opposed not only to the book of Genesis, but to all the religious beliefs which elevate us above the brutes.
WE now enter upon another inquiry. We have to learn definitely what is the meaning of solar light and solar heat ; in what way they make themselves known to our senses ; by what means they get from the sun to the earth, and how, when there, they produce the clouds of our atmosphere, and thus originate our rivers and our glaciers.
GENTLEMEN : I shall to-day continue the Natural History of Man, which I have undertaken to give you entire. Those of you who were present at our first lecture know that it was devoted to the examination of a fundamental question. We inquired if all the men living upon earth, however they may differ among themselves, are of one and the same species ; that is, if they are to be regarded as descended from a single primitive pair.
WHEN, the other day, a juror in one of the Westfield suits refused to award damages against the steamboat company, on the ground that the disaster could have happened only by the direct will of God, and was simply an inscrutable Providence, the community heard him with a suppressed titter, which, if it implied tolerance for his convictions, implied equal contempt for his understanding.
IN whatever mode alcohol may be passed into the living body to produce modification of physical action, the changes it excites are remarkably uniform, and, other things being equal, the amount required to induce the changes is also uniform.
GEOGRAPHERS say there are some two hundred volcanoes on the surface of the earth ; of these one is situated on the continent of Europe—Vesuvius. This mountain has had a remarkable history, and is now an object of renewed interest, as it has been again in profound convulsion.
SIR CHARLES LYELL is now seventy-five years old. He took his degree in Oxford, in 1821, and commenced the study of law, but, influenced by Dr. Buckland, he soon left it for that of geology. His first original papers on this subject were published in 1826, and the first volume of his great work, the “Principles of Geology,” was issued in 1830.
IN’ explaining what we understand by science, in the first number of this monthly, it was stated to consist in accurate as contrasted with lax and careless thinking. We had not then space to show how a great deal of the knowledge that is truly recognized as scientific may be still so loose and imperfect as to be misleading.
THIS book will be widely welcomed, not only for the interest of its matter and the elegance of its form, but because of the gratifying assurance it will afford to the numerous friends of its accomplished author that, although in shattered health, he still retains that wonderful power of versatile labor by which he has been distinguished in the world of science for the last 25 years.
DR. S. D. TILLMAN publishes in the American Chemist an able paper on “Atoms and Molecules,” in which he reviews the present state of the question, and gives the reasons why we should still hold by the atom, notwithstanding the attempts made to get rid of it.
A REMARKABLE case of reproduction of the elbow-joint after resection is given by the British Medical Journal. The subject was a weakly girl, aged 13, whose elbow had become fixed in a faulty position, after inflammation. On account of this, and of disease of the bone, resection or removal of the joint was performed.