SELECTION of these particular plants from the very large number that have occupied my attention for the last ten years is based on a recognition of the fact that it is extremes—the largest and smallest, 1 A lecture before the Academy of Science of St. Louis, delivered October 17, 1910. the best and the worst—rather than ordinary or average things which attract human interest.
OF late years the reading, thinking public has been awakened to a realization that sickness, poverty and crime are great and perhaps growing evils. It does not seem right that there should always be about 3 per cent. of our population on the sick list, that our alms houses should support over 80,000 paupers, not to mention the hundreds of thousands that receive outdoor relief or are barely able to earn a living; and that there should be 80,000 persons in prison.
AFTER some introductory remarks by Dr. Finley, president of the College of the City of New York, Professor Abbe said: I think myself specially honored by these kindly words from the president of the College of the City of New York. You all know how thoroughly that noble institution has, during the past sixty years, entrenched itself in the hearts of our citizens, and you know what Dr. Finley is doing to carry its work forward.
IN the previous part of this article we have examined two of Kant’s early writings, and have found in the one a confused mechanistic theory of cosmic evolution, and in the other a sort of anthropological and social evolutionism—neither doctrine being truly original with Kant himself.
AT present there is a wide-spread popular interest in all questions relating to the subject of educational reform, and it may be said with truth of the public, “Thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding." The discussion is general and not limited to any one locality, nor confined to any particular social class.
IT is quite generally agreed that the conditions of modern life make for a lower birth rate. But whether they make for voluntary or involuntary sterility, there is much diversity of opinion. Economists quite generally incline to the first of these views while many biologists incline to the second.
ANY conscious restriction in the birth rate is popularly referred to as “race suicide.” It is in this sense that Theodore Roosevelt employed the term when he wrote to Mrs. Van Vorst concerning “race suicide, complete or partial.” The prevalence of a conscious restriction in the birth rate on the part of the vast majority of American families has been established beyond question, while the facts from which this conclusion is drawn form a basis for the anathema and ridicule which the opponents of a declining birth rate have heaped upon those anti-social individuals convicted of “race suicide.”
PEOPLE do not take the matter of health seriously.” So wrote Professor Bain not over thirty years ago, but in the intervening time how things have changed! If he were writing on the same theme to-day, he would probably say that we take the matter of health too seriously, or, at any rate, that some of us are on the verge of so doing.
THE message I shall attempt to-day is a message of peace through the arraignment of war. My attack shall be made from the side of biology, and my text may be found in these words of Sophocles, “War does not of choice destroy bad men, but good men ever.”
THE Carnegie Foundation is certainly doing what it can to disturb the somnambulance which is supposed to characterize academic circles. It promises length of service pensions to professors and then decides not to pay them; its trustees pass resolutions and quite different action is announced in the annual report; it tells universities to do this, that and the other, if they want its pensions.