EVERY one is familiar with the main facts connected with the development of an egg. We all know that it begins as a microscopic germ-cell, then grows into an egg, then organizes into a chick, and finally grows into a cock; and that the whole process follows some general, well-recognized law.
THUS far we have left untouched, as nearly as possible, one vital question relating to specialties—namely: How shall they be allotted? What task shall each of us take, and to whom shall we leave this, that, and the other task which, if we do confine ourselves to one, we must leave to others?
WE sailed out from the little port of Alleghero, on the northwest coast of Sardinia, on a clear morning, with a bright sun, light breeze, and a moderate flow of tide, to the nearest coral banks. Our fishing-apparatus consisted of a large wooden cross-drag weighted with lead, to which ropes and nets were attached, which was to be painfully hauled over the bottom of the sea at a depth of from one hundred to two hundred metres, to gather what it could catch of the life abiding in those regions.
QUICKLY—by far too quickly for the sake of the student and the archæologist—is the wave of foreign influence over-sweeping Japan, ruthlessly effacing all the most marked characteristics of native manners and customs, and substituting the commonplaces of every-day European life.
DEPRESSION of prices has, to a large extent, been accepted as a prime cause of the “economic disturbance” which has prevailed since 1873. Indeed, Mr. Robert Giffen, the well-known English economist and officer of the British Board of Trade, in an article contributed to the “Contemporary Review,” June, 1885, does not hesitate to express the opinion that “it is clearly unnecessary to assign any other cause for the gloom of the last year or two;” and continuing, he further says:
THE conflict between the officers and the employés of the Reading Railroad, with its forty-two thousand employés on three thousand miles of track, which has occupied recently the attention of the public, and has threatened to produce a suspension of work on that road, has reopened the question of color-blindness among railroad employés, and led to a full demonstration of its existence among those engaged even as engine-men, where the defect might lead to serious accidents, with loss of property and life.
THE following train of reflection was suggested to me by reading, among a number of compositions by my pupils, this blood-curdling narrative : “Hot long ago, when one of the boys went up to bed, he was standing close to the window, undressing himself, and a little bird came fluttering around the window" on the outside.
WHILE I was living, in 1884, on the shore of the Kuilu-Niadi River, a fetich-tree was shown me during a walk on the left bank of the stream. It was a Hyphæne-palm, the trunk of which was bent down from a height of about sixteen feet till it touched the ground.
WHAT AMERICAN ZOOLOGISTS HAVE DONE FOR EVOLUTION.*
PROFESSOR EDWARD S. MORSE
ELEVEN years ago I had the honor of reading before this Association an address in which an attempt was made to show what American zoologists had done for evolution. (See “Popular Science Monthly,” Vol. X, pages 1 and 181.) My reasons for selecting this subject were, first, that no general review of this nature had been made; and, second, that many of the oft-repeated examples in support of the derivative theory were from European sources and did not carry the weight of equally important facts, the records of which were concealed in our own scientific journals.
WITH the words “Every gesture is a metaphor,” Diderot exactly characterized that translation of the feelings into corresponding movements which we call their expression. But, though the natural language of the physiognomy and of gestures is metaphorical, it need not be inferred that it is composed of symbols in any degree arbitrary.
THE last theory of tittlebats of which I remember to have heard anything was that broached by Mr. Pickwick in connection with his profound and celebrated researches into the origin of the Hampstead Ponds. The suggestion of a causal connection between organism and environment, thus implied by the very title of Mr. Pickwick’s paper, might lead one to suppose that the philosopher of the Fleet may have beep really an early evolutionist, a Darwinian before Darwin, and an unconscious precursor of the now fashionable biologists, who account for everything on the Topsy principle of supposing that it “ growed so."
THE life of Scheele affords a most conspicuous example in the history of science of a worker who has accomplished great things with the most limited resources. “We stand astonished,” said Professor Clève, in his oration at the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the chemist’s death—from which we have derived most of the materials for this sketch—“ that a man who only reached his forty-third year should have been able, during his short life, always tormented by material wants, to have arrived, by means restricted and inconvenient, at results which have had so mighty an influence oil chemistry.
Editor Popular Science Monthly : SIR: President White, in “New Battles of Science,” shows up the reactionary influence of the Christian writers in the middle ages on the knowledge of Nature, beginning with Cosmas Indicopleustes and ending with Albertus Magnus—their denial of the earth’s spherical shape, their bringing rain from beyond the firmament, etc., all on the strength of Scripture.
THE article by Dr. Shaw, in a recent number of the “Contemporary Review,” on “ The American State and the American Man,” has started inquiry as to the extent to which individual liberty is being encroached upon in this country by the extension of State functions.
THIS work consists of a lecture delivered before the Central Labor Lyceum of Boston, in May last, together with a reply made at the time by Mr. E. M. Chamberlin, and Mr. Atkinson’s rejoinder. The object of the lecture was to show that the capitalist is the friend and not the enemy of the laborer, whatever disagreement there may at times be between them.
Economy of Food.—In his American Association paper on “ Economy of Food,” Professor L. O. Atwater laid down the principle that “ the cheapest food is that which furnishes the actually nutritive materials at least cost.” The nutriments of vegetable food are, he said, in general much less costly than the animal foods.
PERTINENTLY to an expression of doubt by Mr. David A. Wells in one of his articles on Mexico, as to the Aztecs having knowledge or making use of metal tools, Mr. W. W. Blake, in the “ American Antiquarian,” mentions as being on exhibition in the Archæological Rooms of the National Museum of Mexico, idols, beads, and engraved clasps of gold; lip-ornaments and other articles of silver; numerous tools, weapons, and ornaments of copper; and “chopping-knives” of copper, which are supposed to have been used as money.
Probably no scientist in the United States is of higher authority in the field covered by this volume than Professor Cope, whose paleontological discoveries have made him famous in scientific circles in Europe as well as in America. The twenty-one essays which constitute the work present the doctrine of evolution from a more modern standpoint than that of Mr. Darwin, and one which is at the same time more ancient, namely, that of Lamarck.