NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE. XIX.—FROM CREATION TO EVOLUTION.
THE FINAL EFFORT OF THEOLOGY.
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
THE Origin of Species had come into the theological world like a plow into an ant-hill. Everywhere those who were thus rudely awakened from their old comfort and repose had swarmed forth angry and confused. Reviews, sermons, books light and heavy, came flying at the new thinker from all sides.
EVERY once in a while something happens to rouse Americans out of that complaisant frame of mind which has become habitual, and in which they have come to regard their imperial domain, bounded by the Great Lakes and the Rio Grande to the North and South, and the broad ocean to the East and West, as a sort of little world all to themselves, whence they could look out upon the doings beyond with a patronizing half-humorous indifference, as upon things in which they had no possible concern.
NEARLY three years ago, and before the appearance of the second volume of Weismann’s Essays,* in a Critique of Weismann,† based entirely on statements contained in the first volume, I intimated that in my judgment he had already admitted enough to invalidate his doctrine of the non-transmissibility of acquired characters where these are of a functional nature.
PROFESSOR OF THE HARMONY OF SCIENCE AND REVELATION IN OBERLIN COLLEGE.
G. FREDERICK WRIGHT
IN many respects the Ohio is one of the most remarkable rivers in the world. Its drainage basin comprises about two hundred thousand square miles on the northwestern slope of the Alleghany Mountains. Its eastern tributaries rise at an elevation of something over two thousand feet above the sea, and hence are so situated as to carry the rainfall and the melting snows with great rapidity into the main channel, which at Pittsburg is seven hundred feet above the sea, and at Cairo, where it unites with the Mississippi, about three hundred feet; the descent from Pittsburg to Cairo being about four hundred feet in a distance, as the river runs, of nearly a thousand miles.
I HAVE often wondered whether the statement, occasionally made by physicists, that the human eye is not a perfect optical instrument, is an expression of human vanity or of an imperfect knowledge of the anatomy of the eye and the physiology of vision; and I have come to the conclusion that the latter is the more reasonable theory.
THE kindergarten is a natural system of education, because it recognizes the natural laws of human growth, and supplies the necessary conditions to stimulate the special powers of each individual child. It recognizes the fact that each child has an individuality peculiarly its own, and that the greatest evil of school life in the past has been the dwarfing of individual power.
IF the pure and elevated pleasure to be derived from the possession and use of a good telescope of three, four, five, or six inches aperture were generally known, I am certain that no instrument of science would be more commonly found in the homes of intelligent people.
MR. APPLETON MORGAN, in the March number of The Popular Science Monthly, affirms that all prohibitory liquor laws should be abolished. Naturally, the reader inquires for what reasons and upon what evidence, and expects to find a grouping of facts that will at least give some support to these claims.
THERE is really only one alternative theory to that of ice erosion for the origin of the class of lakes we have been discussing, viz., that they were formed before the Glacial epoch, by earth movements of the same nature as those which are concerned in mountain formation, that is, by lateral pressure causing folds or flexures of the surface; and where such flexures occurred across a valley a lake would be the result.
GERARD TROOST, one of the founders and first President of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, was born at Bois-le-Duc, Holland, March 5, 1776, and died in Nashville, Tenn., August 14, 1850. He attended the Universities of Leyden and Amsterdam, devoting special attention to chemistry, geology, and natural history; received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Leyden, and that of Master in Pharmacy, in 1801, from the University of Amsterdam.
IN late numbers of this journal public attention has been called to errors in the statement of facts or of scientific points, by men who should have known better. But errors of the kind you name are not confined to a few, but are found everywhere—even among poets and artists, as well as among men of science.
THE article from the pen of Prof. C. Hanford Henderson, which appeared in our last number under the title of Cause and Effect in Education, is one deserving of more than passing attention. The point he sought to make was that education as an art can hardly be said as yet to have entered on its scientific stage, seeing that it is still haunted by so many unverified a priori conceptions, and that the true limits and conditions of successful working are still far from being generally understood.
FEW men of this generation in America have better deserved an enduring monument to their memory than the late Prof. Edward L. Youmans. Such a monument, we may trust, is supplied by the ably written biography by Prof. Fiske. The author was intimately acquainted with him for many years, and has produced a most interesting and pleasing sketch of his character and career, one marked, as might have been expected, by ardent and enthusiastic sympathy with his subject, yet equally characterized by moderation and good taste.
Studies of Lakes.—Lakes, says Mr. Albert P. Brigham, belong within the domain of what is sometimes called geographical geology. Their geographical interest is not small. Their variety in size, from the smallest natural ponds up to inland seas, their diversity in shape, depth, and altitude, and their great numbers, are facts which strike the attention and suggest inquiry.
THE rare instance of the coming of age of a whole trio of triplets was celebrated recently at Whitenast, near Leamington, England. Generally, in case of triplets, the children die soon after birth, but occasionally they survive and reach maturity.