THIS is the faculty that most of all concerns us in the work of education. On it rests the possibility of mental growths or capabilities not given by Nature. Every impression made upon us, if sufficient to awaken consciousness at the time, has a certain permanence; it can persist after the original ceases to work; and it can be restored afterward as an idea or remembered impression.
WHEN the particles of water or ice which constitute a cloud or fog are all of the same size, and the air in which they are sustained is at rest or is moving uniformly in one direction, then these particles can have no motion relatively to each other.
IT is my duty to-night to speak about the study of biology, and while it may be that there are many among you who are quite familiar with that study, yet, as a lecturer of some standing, it would, I know by experience, be very bad policy on my part to suppose such to be extensively the case.
WE are too apt in these times of popular education, and the cheap diffusion of knowledge, to forget the cost of scientific truth. We formulate a fact or principle, and administer it in the school-room, with but little regard to the circumstance that it may have cost thousands of years of toil to discover and establish it.
FROM the mode of regarding the earth entertained in old times, let us now pass to the modern method, and what has been accomplished by geographical investigation in a single year. No better illustration can be found of the great change which science has wrought in the mental habits of man than the contrast between the empty speculations of the olden time, and the immense and positive results of observation and exploration by which our geographical knowledge has been augmented, in even a single year.
IT is not a little curious that the great body which for ages has been proverbial for its changeableness should have at last come to be looked upon as the most unchangeable of bodies. When the earth was regarded as constituting the universe, and the heavenly bodies as mere exhalations from it, the moon was, of course, believed to be nothing but a meteor—a great lantern hung in the sky to illuminate and rule the terrestrial night; but, when modern astronomy had established the idea that the earth is but a moving planet, and the planets themselves great orbs like our own globe, speculation inevitably arose in regard to their condition.
IN Les Mondes, January 20, 1876, appeared a list of the principal telescopes of the world, with their apertures and focal lengths. It was defective in regard to its enumeration of American telescopes, and in other respects, as all such lists must be.
IN his recent elaborate work on the “Geographical Distribution of Animals,” Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace gives much attention to the subject of migrations as among the means of dispersion, and from his copious treatment of the subject, and various other sources, we glean the following brief particulars upon this subject:
A CHILD is not fully formed in body or developed in mind when it is born. It behaves at first without experience. That is the reason we do not always understand baby when it “acts so.” Our own behavior is the result of our experience. Baby moves its hands and twists its legs without knowing why.
MANY of our readers, as their attention is arrested by the portrait we furnish this month, will glance at the name beneath it, and musingly ask themselves whether they have ever seen or heard it before. They will say, perhaps: “There were several Edwards, who were Kings of England, and there was Edwards, who made a book upon the will; and there is Milne-Edwards, the great naturalist of the French Academy; but—Thomas Edward—Tom Edward—who is he? and what business has his portrait in THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, where we expect to find likenesses of only eminent scientific men?”
SPENCER’S CLASSIFICATION OF THE ABSTRACT SCIENCES.
INSECTS AND FLOWERS IN COLORADO.
EFFECTS OF THE WAR ON THE INCREASE OF POPULATION IN THE LAST DECADE.
I AM a great admirer of Herbert Spencer, and especially of his wonderful “Answers to Criticisms” in your journal. When he seems entirely caught and inwoven by his adversaries, with one blow of his trenchant blade he cuts the net, and is free.
WE call attention to the important paper sent to us by Prof. Huxley, on the study of biology. Science, as the highest expression, and the most accurate and methodical form of knowledge, is pressing its educational claims; and Prof. Huxley here offers us some very important considerations on the nature of biological science, and why and how it should be taken up in institutions devoted to mental culture.
PROF. TYNDALL’S position in the world of thought, at the present time, is one of very marked individuality, and there go several strong factors into the composition of that wide and powerful influence as a thinker which he has exerted upon the mind of the period.
Antarctic Icebergs.—Sir C. Wyville Thomson, in a lecture reported in Nature for November 30th and December 7th, presents facts of interest obtained during the cruise of the Challenger, concerning the antarctic regions visited. The expedition met with its first ice five days’ sail southward of the desolate, rocky group known as the Heard Islands.
MR. SETH GREEN, of Rochester, Fisheries Commissioner, announces that he is ready to supply brook and salmon trout to persons who desire the same for the purpose of restocking the waters of the State of New York. Applicants must remit to Mr. Green money to pay the traveling expenses of a messenger, and full directions as to the route to be taken.