ANY history of the victory of astronomical science over theology would be incomplete without some account of the retreat made by the Church from all its former positions in the Galileo case. The retreat of the Protestant theologians was not difficult.
AFTER observing for thirty years the questions of the curious on the subject of battle-field experiences, I should say that nine times out of ten the one first asked by a layman, old or young, relates to the sensations of a soldier when wounded.
THE common belief, based upon the theological assumption that all things upon this terrestrial sphere are for man’s especial benefit, was, and perhaps yet is, that flowers were endowed with beauty and fragrance for our particular pleasure.
IS modern civilization advancing along satisfactory lines toward a higher development? We hope and believe so, but there are not a few who consider such a question an open one. Both the pessimist and optimist can have much to say on either side of this problem.
WHEN the white man landed on these shores he found them covered with a dense forest, the home of the bear, the elk, the lynx, and the other wild animals indigenous to this country. The only human inhabitants were the red Indians, who roved the forest, “the children of the shade”—the chase their occupation, and their amusement war.
SINCE the microscope has become so familiar in our homes and ordinary places of resort, many terms are frequently heard which have an unfamiliar sound. For example, a lady asked the other day, with a laugh over the open confession of ignorance: “What are diatoms?
IN the preface to his recently published volume on Justice, Mr. Herbert Spencer newly emphasizes his conviction of the importance of the bearing of biological laws upon the study of sociological phenomena. Comparing the method of his present work with that of Social Statics, which covered a similar field of discussion, he asserts that “whereas, a biological origin for ethics was, in Social Statics,only indicated,such origin has now been definitely set forth; and the elaboration of its consequences has become a cardinal trait.”
WHILE the debates in Congress which resulted in the passage of the act to regulate interstate commerce were in progress, and during the first few months of the enforcement and interpretation of that act, I contributed to The Popular Science Monthly a series of criticisms of that act and of its policy.
SOME plants, naturally, are better fitted to subserve the wants of man than others, and for the growth of these he puts forth special effort; in short, the whole underlying foundation of modern agriculture rests upon methods of favoring these plants and thereby enlarging and multiplying those qualities in them that led to their being chosen by man as objects of cultural attention.
AS delineated on a Korean map of the country, the White Head Mountain seems to consist of a circle of jagged peaks inclosing a moderate-sized lake. The description of it in Chinese, in the letterpress department of the Atlas, recites that “Peik-tu San, or White Head Mountain, lies seven or eight days’ journey to the west of Hoiryeng (a town on the Korean border), in Manchu territory.
EXCEPT in the case of museums, few serious attempts have been made to exclude dust from rooms, closets, cupboards, and drawers, to the contents of which, not infrequently, dust is simply ruinous. We allow dust to run riot among our things of value, and then go to considerable expense to render them clean again, only to start them on a fresh career of defilement.
"GRANDPA,” asked my two grandchildren, as if with one voice, “shall we pass over the blue lake when we go to Geneva?” Our residence at Salvan, a charming village of the canton Wallis, about a thousand metres above the level of the sea, was nearing its end.
ONE of the most curious and unconsciously paradoxical claims ever advanced for man in his relation to animals, is that by which M. Georges Leroy, philosopher, encyclopedist, and lieutenant des chasses of the Park of Versailles, the vindicator of Buffon and Montesquieu against the criticisms of Voltaire, explains in his Lettres sur les Animaux the intellectual debt which the carnivorous animals owe to human persecution.
DOCTOR HUGGINS is one of the leaders in the modern methods of astronomical research, and his name is associated with a considerable proportion of the discoveries that have been made respecting the constitution of the sun, stars,and nebulæ, and with the results in general of the application of physical investigations and of spectroscopic observation in particular to the heavenly bodies.
STATE Superintendent of Education Andrew S. Draper lately delivered an address on education before certain teachers’ associations. He also lately made a report on the same subject to the Legislature of New York. In the address he spoke of the “stern logic of the American experiment”having forced free schools upon the countries of Europe.
SCIENCE has been many times accused of having no tendency toward morality, and, in fact, of exerting an opposite influence by releasing men from some restraints that formerly held them to the path of virtue. It is true that the adherents of science have not yet been able to construct a complete system of ethics, based on the evolution philosophy, but their position has been that of a builder who is jeered at because his house has no roof before he has had time to raise its walls in the face of the hindrances thrown in his way by his critics.
Possibilities of Wheat-raising.—Within twenty years, according to a bulletin of the State Agricultural Experiment Station, the area annually sown to wheat in Ohio has increased from an average of 1,800,000 acres during the eighth to 2,500,000 acres during the ninth decade.
THE Japanese observe very exact proportions between leaves and flowers in the arrangement of irises. With three leaves they use one flower, with seven leaves two flowers, with eleven leaves five flowers, with thirteen leaves only three flowers, and with fifteen leaves only two flowers again.