IN an attempt to explain clearly some of the phenomena which have led to the consideration of what astronomers call the “ personal equation,” it will, perhaps, be most advantageous to consider the subject somewhat in an historical manner.
IVING organisms, microscopical in size, of the simplest, most elementary nature, and moving freely in different liquids, have been known to observers for nearly two hundred years. Scientific classification and description were long impossible, on account of the meagre facilities furnished by the microscopes of the last century; but, during the last fifty years, the means of observation have been so much improved, and the number of observers has been so great, that the advance in our knowledge of microscopical bodies compares favorably with that in other branches of science.
THE doctrine of necessity has been ably advocated by many acute philosophers, and is to-day, in various forms, including fatalism, the accepted creed of a large portion of mankind. A doctrine thus supported, and so immediately bearing upon our actions and our powers, cannot but be worthy of serious attention.
MONG the most significant advances in chemical theory are those relating to the action of heat on bodies. If we define chemistry, as I have been tempted to do, as that science which treats of the relations to one another of the different forms of mineral (i. e., unorganized) matter, and their transformations under the physical agencies of heat, light, and electricity, we shall see how difficult it is, in a sketch like this, to draw the line between physics and chemistry.
I TAKE advantage of a pause in the issue of this Address, to add a few prefatory words to those already printed. The world has been frequently informed of late that I have raised up against myself a host of enemies ; and considering, with few exceptions, the deliverances of the press, and more particularly of the religious press, I am forced sadly to admit that the statement is only too true.
ON islands of considerable size and height, composed of rocks and various earthy beds, springs of fresh water in the valleys are not uncommon, and their presence excites no remark. The rainfall of the island itself is laid up in its strata exactly as in the hills of the mainland, and the small size of the reservoir is made up for by the frequent rains and fogs to which islands are subject.
THE publication of Marey’s “Animal Mechanism” in the “International Scientific Series ” has put the general reader in possession of one of the most interesting works ever published on experimental physiology. The simplicity and precision of the author’s experimental methods, his conscientiousness in being sure of one step before he takes the next, and the skill displayed in interpreting and combining his experimental results—all these admirable characteristics have rendered his book instructive and entertaining to those who merely follow from afar the progress of science, while, at the same time, he has furnished a model of precise research and clear exposition to the professed scientist.
THE RELATIONS OF WOMEN TO THE PROFESSIONS AND SKILLED LABOR.
ELY VAN DE WARKER, M.D.
THERE are fields of labor in which women have been immemorially active. In all matters relating to the cares of the house and children among the civilized, and, among the barbarous and the lowest strata of life in Europe and elsewhere, field-labor, the care of animals, and the lighter manufactures, are the tasks imposed upon women.
I GRAMMAR.—Can the exercises of the university and of our lyceums give to pupils the advantages they ought to expect in linguistic study? No, a hundred times no! There is little in these exercises that addresses the judgment, or that will be useful in the course of life.
HAVING had many opportunities of examining the nests of those birds habitually breeding throughout Central New Jersey, during the past fifteen years, and so, familiar with the construction and location of such nests, I have, since the publication of Mr. Wallace’s essays on “Natural Selection,” in 1870,1 endeavored to determine if the theory there expressed was applicable to the birds that are common to the locality we have mentioned.
FRANCIS HUBER was born in Geneva, July 2,1750. His father, John Huber, was a man of many and varied gifts; he was considered one of the wits of the day, and was an accomplished musician, poet, painter, and sculptor. The art of cutting landscapes and silhouettes from paper may almost be called his creation.
DR. JOHN W. DRAPER’S “History of the Conflict between Science and Religion” should be read by every searcher after truth. But Dr. Martineau’s address in London, last fall, on "Religion as affected by Modern Materialism,” considered in connection with Dr. Draper’s book, portends danger to the dogmatic assertion of mere hypotheses, or guesses, as scientific facts.
WE print in full the masterly reply of Prof. Tyndall to the attacks of his critics, which is prefixed as a preface to a new edition of the Belfast discourse. It was not to he expected that he would remain passive under the unscrupulous assaults to which he has been subjected; nor that, when he did speak, he would make any half-way work with his assailants.
THE NATIVE RACES OF THE PACIFIC STATES OF NORTH AMERICA. By HUBERT HOWE BANCROFT. Vol. I. Wild Tribes. 797 pages. Price, $5. D. Appleton & Co. IF it be true that "the proper study of mankind is man,” it is equally true that mankind has shamefully neglected its lessons.
Observations of the Transit.—So far as heard from, the numerous expeditions which went out to observe the recent transit of Venus met with a fair measure of success. By the wise liberality of the various governments, the contingencies of fair or foul weather were provided against, and the view, which at one point was obstructed by clouds, was more successfully had at some other station in the same latitude, where the skies were more propitious.
PROF. MARSH reached his home in New Haven, December 12th, after an absence of about two months in the West. The results of his "scientific raid" to the Bad Lands, near the Black Hills, were very satisfactory. Nearly two tons of fossil bones were collected, most of them iare specimens, and many unknown to science.