OF all the objections and difficulties that sprang into life the moment that the doctrine of evolution was propounded for our acceptance, very few indeed (exclusive of the purely scientific ones) now give evidence of persistent vitality.
VIII.—PRUSSIAN GYMNASIUM EDUCATION IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE PROGRESS OF AMERICANIZATION.
PROFESSOR EMIL DU BOIS-REYMOND
HOW are we to guard our youth against this debasing influence ? The answer appears to be easy, and has often been given before. Let us set up the palladium of humanism against that natural science which would subject to dissection our ideals, which contemptuously rejects whatever it cannot bring into the cold light of reason, which would divest history of its profound interest, and would even tear away the veil which adds to the charms of Nature.
ONE day, not long ago, the jewelers of Paris were in a high state of excitement, and justly so, for the news had reached them from the Academy of Sciences that two chemists, MM.E.Frémy and Feil, had discovered a process for the manufacture by the pound of certain kinds of precious stones ranking in value next to the diamond, and frequently commanding still larger prices than the latter—namely, the ruby, the sapphire, and the most precious of all, the Oriental emerald.
CONTRARY to the opinion of Sellius, who regarded the teredos as hermaphrodites, Quatrefages has taught us that they are of both sexes and that the ratio of males to females is about one to twenty. The females are oviparous. The eggs are expelled by the branchial siphon: Quatrefages found them in that siphon and in the branchial canal itself.
THE rejection of Sir John Lubbock’s motion for the addition of elementary science, or, rather, as the matter was more happily put by Dr.Lyon Playfair in the course of the debate, of elementary knowledge of common things, to the subjects for which grants are given under the education code, although an inevitable and foregone conclusion, is not on that account the less to be deplored.
LET US suppose that we have before us a living spherule of the uniform viscid material of so-called protoplasm. It is seen slowly to push forth, at some part of its circumference, a conical process; and, after a while, it is seen still more slowly to retract the same.
THE information which geologists derive from the evidences of organic remains does not wholly satisfy the keen appetite of educated minds for a knowledge of the mysteries of Nature and the revolutions of past times. The relics disentombed from our globe give no clew to its origin; and they throw but little light on the great physical events which transpired before life appeared on its surface.
THERE can be no doubt that, as each person now living has had a father and mother, grandfathers and grandmothers, and so on, every one really comes of as old a family as every one else. Moreover, every living eldest son is the heir male of either the senior or a junior branch, not only of the family of the man who first bore his name, but of progenitors hidden still deeper in the mists of antiquity.
THE following notes were made in humble following of Mr. Darwin’s and M. Taine’s example, at first for my own amusement and without any distinct purpose of letting them go further. I found, however, that they grew under my hands, and that the editor of Mind thought further contributions on the subject of children’s mental growth would be desirable.
IN the whole museum of Nature the eye of the artist can find nothing lovelier than flowers; but the second rank in beauty may be fairly claimed on behalf of fruits. Whether we look at the golden oranges, the pink-cheeked mangoes, the purple star-apples, and the scarlet capsicums of the south, or at our own crimson cherries, blushing grapes, bright holly-berries, and rosy apples, we are equally struck with the delicacy of their melting tints and the graceful curves of their rounded form.
AMONG the younger workers in science in America, no name stands higher than that of Prof. O. C. Marsh. Enthusiastic, energetic, and capable of an unlimited amount of work, he has already contributed more than any one else to our knowledge of the ancient life of this continent.
THE report of the English commission on the general subject of copyright is now complete and before the public. It shows that there has been a searching investigation into the existing condition and working of copyright-laws in that country, with an honest view to such amendments as are necessary to more thorough protection of the right to literary property.
Two things closely connected are much and justly complained of in this country— the everlasting multiplication of new cookbooks and the general badness of cookery. Publications of every form and variety abound upon this subject, with no corresponding improvement in the art by which food is prepared.
The Recent Solar Eclipse.—The telegraphic reports from the various stations for observing the solar eclipse of July 29th are of necessity meagre and confused. The atmospheric conditions were eminently favorable along the line of totality, indeed in the whole region west of the Mississippi, while throughout the East clouds generally concealed the phenomenon from view.
IN consequence of the growing interest in Industrial drawing and of the few facilities in the State for instruction in this subject, the Faculty of Cornell University have consented to receive teachers as special students, and to afford them all the advantage which the university offers in the various departments of drawing.