XX.—FROM THE DIVINE ORACLES TO THE HIGHER CRITICISM.
II. BEGINNINGS OF SCIENTIFIC INTERPRETATION.
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
AT the base of the vast structure of the older scriptural interpretation were certain ideas regarding the first five books of the Old Testament. It was taken for granted that they had been dictated by the Almighty to Moses about fifteen hundred years before our era; that some parts of them, indeed, had been written by the corporeal finger of Jehovah; and that all parts gave not merely his thoughts but his exact phraseology.
WHITHER man can not go his imagination the more fondly travels. Thus a most striking difference between man and the apes lies in the vast and boundless range of man’s curiosity. Curiosity indeed becomes the mother of Science, while the collection of curiosities grows into the scientific museum.
IN the divisions of land and water, the situations of the continents, the seas, and the islands in the seas; the mountain ranges and the rivers which have their sources in them; the elevations and depressions of the more even surfaces, together with procession of the seasons and the earth’s diurnal revolutions, we have some of the conditions for a great variety of climates.
IN early stages of progress gods, conceived as man-like in so many other respects, are conceived as man-like in their credulity : deceptions being consequently practiced upon them. Sometimes in place of a human being an animal dressed up as a human being is immolated.
IN my last article I gave a general account of children’s fears. In this account I purposely reserved for special discussion two varieties of this fear—namely, dread of animals and of the dark. As the former certainly manifests itself before the latter, I will take it first.
THOSE who have seen the armadillo only in pictures, or stuffed specimens in museums, can form but a slight idea how odd and interesting the animal is in life. With an ardent love of natural history, and with exceptional opportunities for indulging my tastes in this direction, I have been the possessor of many pet animals; but none, I can truly affirm, have interested me more by their odd forms and curious habits than a pair of armadillos.
THE offer of Captain Donnell Smith to Johns Hopkins University of his valuable herbarium and library gives us an excellent opportunity to consider what such herbaria are, how they are brought together, and what is their purpose. We intend, furthermore, to show what they accomplish in botany and what botany does besides.
IN an essay on The Origin and Function of Music, first published in 1857, I emphasized the psycho-physical law that muscular movements in general are originated by feelings in general. Be the movements slight or violent, be they those of the whole body or of special parts, and be the feelings pleasurable or painful, sensational or emotional, the first are always results of the last : at least, after excluding those movements which are reflex and involuntary.
THE uncertainty of jurors, and the capricious, whimsical character of their verdicts, are accepted as inevitable, and explained as part of the natural weakness of the mind. It is assumed that, if the facts are clearly presented, a jury will give a common-sense verdict, which will approximate the truth and human jnstice.
IT is not many years ago that the occurrence of pulmonary tuberculosis in a person stamped the family of the sufferer as tainted. So lax was the common as well as the professional logic, and so imperfect were the observations drawn from experience, that the fact of inheritance clearly seen in some diseases was immediately applied to all cases where there was any ground for the analogy.
THE study of morbid heredity is full of interest, because the knowledge of its laws may assist us in finding preventive measures against it, and because it may thereby be a means of comforting persons who are under those laws. In seeking a definition of morbid heredity, we first take Sanson’s definition of biological heredity as the transmission from ascendants to descendants, by sexual generation, of natural or acquired properties.
IN seconding the obituary resolutions of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on the first director of the Harvard College Observatory, ex-President Quincy used these words: "It is not too much to say that the extent of his knowledge, the winning urbanity of his manners, and his exemplary exactness in life and as an observer, in a great degree effected the attainment of those large means and increased powers which ultimately raised to its present prosperous state the observatory over which through subsequent life he watched, and which he left at death honored and improved by his labors and genius.”
A RECENT writer, whose work has been very much discussed, tells us that social evolution depends more on the kind of religion a community possesses than on any other circumstance. A given community, provided with a suitable religion, will far outstrip in civilization another more richly endowed intellectually but with an inferior religion.
A SUBSTANTIAL service has been done to teachers and students of entomology in the preparation of this handsome, systematically arranged work by Prof, and Mrs. Comstock. Besides describing the important insects of each order, the authors have undertaken to provide an analytical key of insect species similar to those which the student of plants finds so helpful and interesting.
Agricultural Experiment Stations. Reports and Bulletins. Connecticut : Eighteenth Annual Report. Pp. 296; Fertilizers. Pp. 16.—Cornell University: The Dwarf Lima Beans. Pp. 20; Early Lamb Raising. Pp. 24.—Illinc is University: The Chinch Bug. Pp. 64.— Massachusetts: Twelfth Annual Report of the Board of Control, Amherst, f p. 487.—Michigan : When and What to Spray.
Meeting of the American Association.— The forty-fourth meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will be held in Springfield, Mass., August 28th to September 7th. Ample provisions have been made by the local committee for the accommodation of the association and its sections and for the entertainment of those who will attend.
A TIMELY protest is made in the Pharmaceutische Rundschau against the proposition of some pharmaceutical schools to confer the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy. A forcible objection to the use of the term doctor in this connection was uttered in 1874 by the Board of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, which deprecated the use of that title because the practices of pharmacy and medicine were so closely connected with each other that it would tend to confusion.