THE great intellectual issue of the present day, however some may try to disguise it, is that between dogma on the one hand and the free spirit of scientific inquiry on the other. In using the word dogma, we have no wish to employ the argument ad invidiam—to take advantage, that is to say, of the popular prejudice no doubt attaching to recognized dogmatism.
MEN OF Science.—Instances of astounding precocity do not fail us when we leave the more romantic walks of art and letters for the austere region of science. Mathematical genius and original power in physical research have alike been frequently heralded by exceptional boyish endowment.
AT the close of my former article I described the conditions which are favorable to the growth of the fungi on woods. In this article I present a few examples under similar conditions, to show what takes place as the result of such growth. Fig. 10 is a representation of a typical example of decay at and below the ground-line of railway-signal and telegraph poles, sign and fence posts.
THE majority of people have possessed pets of some description or other, but few are able to say that they have owned a couple of tame lions, for tame they were when I owned Leo and Juno, and I can vouch that more interesting pets were never the property of any individual.
IT is noticeable that, upon the subjects of education and religion, almost every one believes he has something to say. It is noticeable also that this belief is often quite apart from knowledge or special preparation. In mathematics, we wait for the judgment of the mathematician, in chemistry, for the judgment of the chemist, while in education we wait for no one, but bring forth our opinions loudly and dogmatically.
TO any one who will scan the human race, from the time when Greece and Rome were in their zeniths, down to the present day, it will be apparent that men have degenerated physically. We may have high examples, here and there, of some specialized feats of strength or skill, but, taking the races man for man, we are vastly inferior physically to the Greeks.
THE disciple of Darwin labors under one disadvantage. The periods necessary for maturing the changes which he investigates being so immeasurably superior to those relating to ordinary mundane affairs, he can not verify the sequence of the events by the independent testimony of contemporary history.
THOUGH it speaks little for modern civilization, the masses of the people are wont to esteem the savage as preternaturally wise in the secrets of Nature, more especially in the prevention and elimination of disease, accrediting him with knowledge botanical, pharmacal, and therapeutical, that if possessed of but a shadow of reality would be little less than divine.
THE Antarctic Ocean occupies a position around the south pole similar to that of the Arctic Ocean at the opposite end of the earth. It fills all the space to the south of the Antarctic Circle. It differs vastly, however, from its northern homologue, for, instead of having land at its outer circumference, it has water.
AMONG the views of living Nature, and indeed of the inorganic universe as well, which receive tacit acceptance and sanction from ordinary thinkers, there are certain phases deemed incontrovertible in their plain, every-day demonstration.
PLATO and Aristotle have well said that neither pure pleasure nor unqualified displeasure exists in man. Both feelings are mixed in unequal proportions by the subtile art of Nature, and the definite impression on our consciousness is a resultant in which one or the other of the elements predominates.
OF the long series of living American scientists, probably no one is more generally and favorably known than FREDERICK WARD PUTNAM, Curator of the Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Permanent Secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
THE reason most frequently given for the introduction of more or less of theological doctrine into public school-teaching is that, without this, there can be no effective teaching of morality. The Roman Catholic Church has always urged this point very strongly ; and other communions, if less definite in their claims, have in general shown a disposition to give the teaching of morals in the public schools a distinctly theological basis.
THE ELEMENTS OF ECONOMICS. By H. D. MACLEOD. Vol II, Part I. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1886. Pp. 376. Price, $1.75. THIS is a work that departs widely from current economic doctrine. It is an attempt to reconstitute the science solely upon the basis of the law of supply and demand; and, while this may not at first sight seem a very novel proceeding, the results arrived at certainly differ greatly from those commonly taught.
Advantages of the Lick Observatory.— Mr. David P. Todd, in a pamphlet descriptive of the Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, California, mentions as among the advantages of its peculiar situation that the steadiness of the atmosphere at that height permits the regular employment of telescopic eyepieces which magnify two or three times as much as the instruments in ordinary use.
THE fifth volume of the “ History of California,” in the series of Bancroft’s Works, now just published, brings the record up to the discovery of gold in 1849. The publishers announce that they have been busily engaged in remanufacturing the stock that was consumed in the fire of April 30th, of which the edition of the present volume was a part, and that the delay and inconvenience caused by that disaster were only temporary.