NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE. IX. THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN AND PREHISTORIC ARCHÆOLOGY.
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
WHILE the view of chronology based upon the literal acceptance of Scripture texts was thus shaken by researches in Egypt, another line of observation and thought was slowly developed, even more fatal to the theological view. From a very early period there had been dug from the earth, in various parts of the world, strangely shaped masses of stone, some rudely chipped, some polished; in ancient times these were generally considered as thunderbolts, and known as “thunderstones.”
TILL recently Hooker, Payer, and others supposed that the interior of Greenland presented vast spaces free of ice, grassy valleys where herds of reindeer grazed, and popular legends were appealed to in support of this view. Nordenskjöld also suggested that the phenomenon might be explained by the action of the winds, which after crossing the inland ranges descended in warm currents like the föhn of Switzerland, and thus melted the snows of the valleys.
NO one with, good eyes and brains behind them has ever looked forth on the varied life of the world—on forest or field or brook or sea—without at least once asking himself this question: “What is the cause of nature’s endless variety?” We see many kinds of beasts and birds and trees and flowers and insects and blades of grass, yet when we look closely we find not one grass-blade in the meadow quite like another blade.
IF ten Americans desire to engage in ten distinct business enterprises, it is conceivable that they will incorporate ten joint-stock companies, and each belong to all of them. While other countries have granted the privilege of existence to private corporations with extreme caution, if not reluctance, the many Legislatures of the United States have vied with one another in making it easy for them to be born.
THE various insects which infest the dwelling have been from time immemorial a trial to careful housekeepers. Just as out of doors the gardener is constantly employed in protecting plants of all kinds from the ravages of insects, so in the house there is a perpetual warfare carried on against these indoor pests.
BY way of further illustrating the truth of what Prof. Woodhull says in his article, Home-made Apparatus, in the August, 1889, number of The Popular Science Monthly, allow me to present some work that has been done here in that direction.
RELIGION is now recognized, as never before, to be a universal factor in race development. “Whether we descend into the lowest roots of our intellectual growth, or ascend to the loftiest heights of modern speculation, everywhere we find religion a power that conquers even those who think they have conquered it.”
THE author, having argued at length that the development of the musical sense is not a result of sexual selection; that it is not a faculty essential to the preservation of the race; and that, as it exists naturally in individuals previous to being cultivated, it is not a faculty that grows with the growth of the race—seeks an explanation of its existence in regarding it as simply a by-product of our organs of hearing.
IN common speech we use the term heredity as signifying simply that principle by which the qualities of parents are transmitted to their children. We give the term a meaning broad enough to cover facts which come within our ordinary notice.
METEORITES are particularly interesting because they comprise the only material coming to us from outer space. In consequence of the striking phenomena resulting from their rapid passage through our atmosphere, making them appear like balls of fire visible at great distances, sometimes exploding with such violence as to be taken for earthquakes, their falls have been noticed and recorded since the earliest times.
FUNCTIONALLY a flower is for the production of offspring, and in structure it may be considered as a transformed stem with its metamorphosed leaves. In a typical flower—that is, one having all the parts present and in an easily recognized form— there are four sets of organs.
A VAST field of application which electricity is only just entering upon is the transportation of freight and passengers. The use of electric motors for propelling passenger-cars on street railways may be said to have passed through the experimental stage into the domain of commerce.
THIS, the smaller half of the New World, has at least four fifths of its area within the tropics, and hence yields chiefly tropical products; but here as elsewhere the temperate area, relatively to its extent, furnishes a greater abundance of commercial commodities, and it is in this part of the continent that the rate of increase in the production of such commodities, and the development of means of distribution for them, are now most rapid, and European immigration is most constant.
MRS. CORBIN, Lieutenant Maury’s daughter and biographer, invokes for her father the reverence of the whole civilized world; for, she says in her Life, “the best part of his life was devoted to the performance of services which conferred benefits on the seafaring class of all countries, while the ideas to which he first gave birth have since borne fruit, and are likely to be useful to the whole human race.”
SIR: The letter of E. P. Meredith, in the April Monthly, reviewing the article by Benjamin Reece on “Public Schools as affecting Crime and Vice ” in your January number, does not seem to go to the root of the evils deprecated. It is true that high mental culture is not always accompanied by a correspondingly high ethical standard, but often the reverse, and that, as a general rule, our public-school teachers “bear an exceptionally good moral character, and a majority of them are members of good standing in the various churches,” and that “the Sunday school, where moral training is especially attended to, is now considered an indispensable adjunct of every church; yet, with all this, vice and crime are on the ascending scale, and in a most astonishing degree.”
TO many of our friends, as we learn from letters that reach us from time to time, the position that The Popular Science Monthly takes up on political and economical questions appears more or less “one sided.” They would wish us, if we can not throw our influence on the side of paternal and protective government, at least to hold the scales even between that system and the anti-paternal, anti-protective system, to which manifestly our preference is given.
IN this little volume plain and practical advice is given in regard to taking care of the health of children, from about two and a half years of age to the completion of puberty. Among the subjects here treated which are liable to be carelessly regarded by parents are sleep, regularity of the bowels, care of the skin, and school hygiene.
Geological Survey-Work In Minnesota. —The law of 1872, under which the Geological Survey of Minnesota was instituted, was intended, according to Prof. N. H. Winchell, to place the survey in close connection with the State University ; and the professorship of Geology and Mineralogy in the university was maintained for six years at the expense of the survey fund.
PROF. SAMUEL CUSHMAN, Apiarist of the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station, maintains, as the result of personal observation, that bees do no damage to growing or fair fruit. The juice of fruit is, in fact, injurious to them; and they do not attack sound fruit, but only bruised fruit, or that which has been previously injured by other insects.