ON THE TENDENCY OF SPECIES TO FORM VARIETIES; AND ON THE PERPETUATION OF VARIETIES AND SPECIES BY NATURAL MEANS OF SELECTION.
LONDON, June 30th, 1858. My Dear Sir:—The accompanying papers, which we have the honour of communicating to the Linnean Society, and which all relate to the same subject, viz., the Laws which affect the Production of Varieties, Races, and Species, contain the results of the investigations of two indefatigable naturalists, Mr. Charles Darwin and Mr. Alfred Wallace.
WHEN the Bermudas were first visited by Europeans, about three hundred years ago, they had never been occupied by man. In this respect they differed from most islands of a similar size and blessed with a genial climate. The study of the character of their original fauna and flora and of the changes subsequently wrought by man is, therefore, of peculiar interest.
AMONG the achievements of the nineteenth century none surpass the revolution wrought in the field of psychiatry. The care of the insane to-day excites the interest not only of philanthropists and alienists, but of all right-minded men and women.
The invitation of the British Association to preside over the Section of Education, established this year for the first time, has been given to me as a representative of that government department which controls the larger, but perhaps not the most efficient, part of the education of the United Kingdom.
TO the intelligent man with an interest in human nature it must often appear strange that so much of the energy of the scientific world has been spent on the study of the body and so little on the study of the mind. 'The greatest thing in man is mind,' he might say, 'yet the least studied.'
ZOOLOGISTS have held various views as to the origin of sex in animals, but the subject is confessedly speculative. They have very little data bearing upon the problem—the gap between the Protozoa and the Metazoa is so immense and characterized by such a paucity of intermediate types.
THE islands of Japan are remarkable for their richness of animal life. The variety in climatic and other conditions, the nearness to the great continent of Asia and to the chief center of marine life— the East Indian Islands—its relation to the warm Black Current or Kuro Shiwo—the Gulf Stream of the Orient—and to the cold current from Bering Sea, all tend to give variety to the fauna of its seas.
THE cult of the omen animals is of such importance in the daily life of most of the tribes of Borneo that it is desirable that more attention should be paid to it by those who have the opportunity of studying it at first hand. The Venerable Archdeacon J. Perham has given a full account of the Iban or Sea Dayak religion in the 'Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society' (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8), which has been reprinted by Ling Roth in his book, 'The Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo.'
To one of scientific tastes, who at the same time welcomes the recent American renaissance of the historical novel, or to one whose faith in the common sense of his countrymen may waiver on considering their apathy towards the metric system, a recent work by M. Bigourdan* will have great fascination.
FOREIGN ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.
PROFESSOR PAWLOW’S RESEARCHES ON NUTRITION.
ZINC IN DRIED FRUITS.
AN ELECTROMAGNETIC BASIS FOR MECHANICS.
TENDENCIES IN ZOOLOGY.
THE national scientific associations of Great Britain, Germany and France held their annual meetings during the month of September. The British Association met at Glasgow, under the presidency of Professor A. W. Rücker, the eminent physicist.