UNDER the title of “Evolution and Theology,” Dr. Lyman Abbott, in the December number of the “ Andover Review,” undertakes to indicate certain doctrines to which the philosophy of evolution will have to adapt itself, under penalty of being brought to naught.
OCCUPATIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO. Agriculture.—Although the main business of the country is agriculture, this branch of industry is carried on under exceptionally disadvantageous circumstances. One of its greatest drawbacks is, that the whole country is divided up into immense haciendas, or landed estates ; small farms being rarely known ; and out of a population of ten million or more, the title to the soil is said to vest in not more than six thousand persons.
HERE exists in animals,” says Malebranche, “neither mind nor soul as we commonly understand the terms. They eat without pleasure, they cry out without pain, they grow without knowing it, they desire nothing, they know nothing, and, if they behave in a manner betokening intelligence, it is because God, who made them, has, to preserve them, formed their bodies in such a way that they avoid mechanically and without fear everything that is capable of destroying them.”
THE story is that King Alfred had no better way to tell the time than by burning twelve candles, each of which lasted two hours ; and, when all the twelve were gone, another day had passed. Long before the time of Alfred, and long before the time of Christ, the shadow of the sun told the hour of the day, by means of a sun-dial.
LIMITED, as thus far drawn, to a certain common trait of those minute organisms which are mostly below the reach of unaided vision, the foregoing conclusion appears trivial enough. But it ceases to appear trivial on passing beyond these limits, and observing the implications, direct and indirect, as they concern plants and animals of sensible sizes.
THE tribes composing the Blackfoot Confederacy, as it is commonly styled, are in some respects the most important and interesting Indian communities of the Northwest ; but they have been until recently less known than any others in that region.
IT is now nearly seventy years since the first student of our fishes crossed the Falls of the Ohio and stood on Indiana soil. He came on foot, with a note-book in one hand and a hickory stick in the other, and his capacious pockets were full of wild flowers, shells, and toads.
AT first sight the superscription, “counting unconsciously,” seems to contain a contradiction. For, whoever counts from one to one hundred, realizes at each number, that he is counting ; yet, in truth, there are so many instances where an educated person counts without realizing it, that he would feel utterly lost in this world should this faculty be suddenly taken from him.
IN a recent number of “The Popular Science Monthly” Professor McElroy’s brilliant essay on the cause and cure of feudalism was prefaced by a question which has, indeed, been but rarely investigated from a scientific point of view. The debasement of the noblest Caucasian nations during the thousand years following the day when the power of Rome collapsed under the blows of the freedom-loving Goths seems certainly the most striking anomaly in the history of mankind.
THE PRINCIPLES OF DOMESTIC FIREPLACE CONSTRUCTION.
T. PRIDGIN TEALE
IF there be a place in the kingdom in which a lecture on the subject selected for to-night could appropriately be given, surely it is the theatre in which we are assembled. Some of my hearers may be aware of the mutual fitness of subject and place.
FOR nearly two weeks, one midwinter, my studies were pleasantly interrupted by a nightly visit of that funny arachnidan, Phalangium dorsatum, Say. We often hear it called Daddy-long-legs, which name in England is given only to the long-legged dipteran, the Tipula, or crane-fly.
IT is a well-known fact that food undergoing decomposition—spoiling, as it is termed—is unwholesome. Cases of poisoning that have occurred on the partaking of meat, fish, sausage, and cheese, that is, food of animal origin, will be readily recalled, for on such occasions the daily press has rarely failed to sound notes of warning.
EELS are among the mysteries of this world. In spite of the way in which Dame Science has persistently poked her nose into most things, and has harried them and laid them bare, she has succeeded in finding out but little about eels and their mode of life.
THE United States has had many botanists who, making the best use of the immense resources of fresh material which our large and virgin country afforded, have made extensive and important additions to the scope of their science. None among them, perhaps—unless we make a single exception—has done better work in this line and made more valuable contributions than Dr. George Engelmann.
WHATEVER we may fail to see nowadays when we take up a newspaper, there is one thing certain to meet our eyes on the first page, with a continuation probably on other pages. We refer, of course, to the perpetually recurring accounts of strikes and other labor troubles.
THIS is in many ways a remarkable book. For some years, not many to be sure, a certain number of critics have been urging the necessity of applying to the study of literature the principles of scientific treatment which has brought forth rich fruit from many seemingly arid sources.
How the Oyster makes his Shell.—Professor Samuel Lockwood, in a recent lecture before the New York Microscopic Society, answered the question which is asked by the fool in “King Lear”— “Canst thou tell how an oyster makes his shell?” He starts with the hinge-end, at the spot known to conchologists as the umbo.
A COMMITTEE of the American Society for Psychical Research, of which Josiah Royce, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is chairman, wishes to collect accounts from trustworthy sources, respecting supposed cases of apparitions of absent or deceased persons, and the communication by them of facts unknown to the person visited by them, or belonging to the future, which are afterward verified.