ANOTHER common cause of very serious perversion of evidence is the unconscious confounding of observation with inference. Everywhere, a fertile source of error is the putting down as something perceived what is really a conclusion drawn from something perceived; and this is a more than usually fertile source of error in Sociology.
OUR subject to-night links itself in such a very decided manner to the subject in which we were engaged last week, and the illustrations which I shall give you are so satisfactorily explained on the scientific principle which I endeavored then to expound to you, that I would spend a very few minutes in just going over some of the points to which I then particularly directed your attention.
IN prosperous times those engaged in manufactures are too busy earning and saving money to attend to a reorganization of their plant; in bad times they are too dispirited and too little inclined to spend the money, that in better times they have saved, in replacing old and wasteful appliances by new and economical ones, and one feels that there is a very considerable amount of seeming justification for their conduct in both instances, and that it requires a really comprehensive and large intelligence and a belief in the future, possessed by only a few out of the bulk of mankind, to cause the manufacturer to pursue that which would be the true policy, as well for his own interests as for those of the community.
THE development of dress presents a strong analogy to that of organisms, as explained by the modern theories of evolution; and in this article I propose to illustrate some of the features which they have in common. We shall see that the truth expressed by the proverb, “Natura non facit saltum,” is applicable in the one case as in the other; the law of progress holds good in dress, and forms blend into one another with almost complete continuity.
THERE are many ways in which men have looked at life, the higher kind of life, that ideal which each of us forms in his own mind, to which we each hope that we are always tending. But all these various ideas may for the most part be grouped under two heads: the Ideal of Rest and the Ideal of Work.
IT is very often the case that one bird falls to the right barrel, and “the rest unhurt” go on their way, rejoicing no doubt at having escaped a deadly volley from the left barrel. There is, however, a reason for their having got off scot-free, well known to all sportsmen; i. e., the smoke from the first barrel obscured the birds from the sportsman's second aim, until they were out of range. Science, however, has discovered a panacea for this oft-recurring disappointment, in Schultze's wood-powder, a smokeless explosive which we wish to introduce to those of our readers who are not already conversant with its merits.
THE first task of physiology was to localize the functions of life in the various organs of the body which serve as their instruments. Thus digestion was assigned to the stomach, circulation to the heart, respiration to the lungs; thus, too, the seat of intelligence and thought was placed in the brain.
THE substantial unity of the celestial objects distinguished in common language by the names shooting or falling stars, fireballs, and meteorites, and further, the coincidence in many important respects of these with comets, and possibly with the zodiacal light, were suggestions made by Humboldt in the “Cosmos,” which have received much confirmation from the subsequent advance of science.
THE editor of the Contemporary Review is liberal enough to grant me space for a few brief reflections on a subject, a former reference to which in these pages has, I believe, brought down upon him and me a considerable amount of animadversion.
THE appearance of the long-promised work of Dr. Bastian on the "Beginnings of Life"1 will be welcomed by the students of natural history as an important step forward in the progress of an old and interesting controversy. Whether all the life of the earth came from some primordial spark in the dim beginning, that has spread in multitudinous diversity through earth, sea, and air; or whether all forms of living things sprang into perfect existence after their distinctive kinds by a supernatural fiat; or whether the origination of living things is still within the compass of natural operations, are questions equally fascinating to pursue and difficult to determine.
IT may have occurred (and very naturally, too, to such as have had the curiostity to read the title of this lecture) that it must necessarily be a very dry and difficult subject; interesting to very few, intelligible to still fewer, and, above all, utterly incapable of adequate treatment within the limits of a discourse like this.
THE Tyndall or Tyndale family emerged into history about the same time as the American Continent. The first of whom we hear was William Tyndale, a contemporary of Columbus, and who was just of age when this country was discovered. It was the epoch of intellectual awakening in Europe, and the impulse was felt equally in geographical exploration and in religious reform.
THE editor of Scribner's Magazine, in a leading article in the October number, attempts to bring THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY into reproach for its obnoxious opinions. There is a certain doctrine lately much talked about that is known to be odious among a great number of magazine-buying people.
THE following able notice of Dr. Schellen's book is abridged from an article in Nature: It is not difficult to deliver interesting lectures or to write an instructive book on spectrum analysis. The rapid succession of brilliant discoveries in this new branch of science, the amount of fundamental facts added by it to human knowledge, especially in the field of the cosmical world, assure the lecturer or writer, appealing to the intelligent but not scientific public, of useful and legitimate success.
The Ground Connection of Lightning-Rods.—It is asserted, by all the later authorities on the subject of lightning-rods, that a proper ground termination of the rod is of the very first importance to its efficiency as a protection against accidents by lightning.
THE Spectator, in its notice of M. Touchet's work, “The Universe,” says: “Man generally flatters himself that his anatomy is about the highest effort of Divine skill; yet that of the insect is far more complicated. No portion of our organism can compare with the proboscis of the common fly.