THE general law, that like units exposed to like forces tend to integrate, was in the last chapter exemplified by the formation of social groups. The clustering of men who are similar in kind, when similarly subject to hostile actions from without, and similarly reacting against them, we saw to be the first step in social evolution.
THOUGH much has been written on that great engine of civilization, the plow, yet the whole line of evidence as to its development from the simplest and earliest agricultural implements seems never to have been put together, so that I venture to lay before the Anthropological Institute the present notes.
BUT, under all circumstances, make a firm stand against the POISONHABIT. It is best to call things by their right names. The effect upon the animal economy of every stimulant is strictly that of a poison, and every poison may become a stimulant.
IF we say that of all brute animals none is more valuable to man than the horse, and that the neglect of any means which may promote and insure his welfare and efficiency is a blunder not easily distinguishable from crime, we may fairly be charged with uttering truisms.
THE gas-engine differs from both the steam and hot-air engine in the character of the expansion of the elastic fluid employed and in the mode of applying the heat. In the one the fire is used to convert water placed in a vessel exterior to the engine into steam, which, let into the cylinder, moves the piston by its expansive force ; and in the other it is used to expand a volume of air contained in the cylinder or adjacent chamber.
SEVERAL years ago, Dr. Bellows delivered an able address at an annual meeting of the Mercantile Library Association of New York, in which he claimed that literary culture had increased the business capacity of the clerks who used the library.
SINCE the time of Linnæus, men have wondered and speculated about what are known as the spontaneous movements of plants, and in recent years the causes of these movements have been carefully investigated by botanists. The subject in its various bearings now forms a large part of the science of vegetable physiology.
FROM the earliest periods the flash of lightning and the peal of thunder have excited curiosity, stimulated awe, and inspired fear in man; and according to his mythological, religious, or poetic habit of mind has he regarded the latter as the bolt of Jove, the voice of God, or the conscious utterance of the heavens.
THERE are frequent occasions of conflict between the receptive faculties of the senses and the reflective faculties of the intellect, occasions on which the mind, prejudging of the sensation received, assigns it to a non-existent cause.
MUCH may be said in favor of the hypothesis of the progressive development of all the stable forms of matter by a true process of evolution from antecedent states. Indeed, in the higher forms of matter, in those which we know to be of composite constitution, this process is more or less thoroughly understood.
THE world’s life is one long day, in which events strike the hours. The hours strike, time moves on, till another stroke marks an advance which could only be that of the present moment, and to which all the minutes of the past have contributed.
WHEN the coincidence between the orbits of the November meteors and the comet of 1866 was first clearly established a few years since, it was supposed by astronomers that the so-called Leonids formed a single cluster, diffused through an arc of such length as to require three or four years to make its perihelion passage.
TO the uninitiated an "International Congress of Prehistoric Anthropology and Archæology" may seem a formidable affair, where no more cheerful entertainment than a feast of dry bones could be allowed, and where a member indulging in a joke would be instantly called to order.
BY the death of this able naturalist, in the full maturity of his powers, American science has sustained a great and irreparable loss. We give a likeness of him from the only photograph we could find, and, as no biography of him, that we are aware of, has been written, we are indebted for the materials of this statement to such fragmentary notices as have been furnished to the press since his death.
THE interesting volume of Mr. Henry George, on "Progress and Poverty," was discussed in the “Monthly” upon its first appearance, though rather for the purpose of making it known than of criticising it. But, as it has now become a success, and passed to a fourth and cheaper edition, it becomes desirable to look more closely into some of its positions.
SCOTCH SERMONS, 1880. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 345. Price, $1.25. THIS book is a surprise, and as gratifying as it is unexpected. Its title is anything but inviting. Of all branches of literature sermons are generally and justly pronounced the dullest, and of the class of sermons, everybody would expect to find the Scotch the driest.
The Age of the Trenton Gravels.—The age of the gravel in which flint implements have been found at Trenton, New Jersey, is carefully discussed by Mr. Henry Carvill Lewis, in a paper read by him before the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
THE next meeting of the French Association for the Advancement of the Sciences is to be held in the city of Algiers, on the 14th of April. The people and authorities of the city are busily making preparations to give the Association a worthy reception and welcome.