THE PHYSICAL LABORATORY AND ITS CONTRIBUTIONS TO CIVILIZATION
PROFESSOR ARTHUR GORDON WEBSTER
ALTHOUGH physics is one of the oldest and most respectable of the sciences, it must be acknowledged with regret that many otherwise well-educated persons have but a vague idea of its scope, and the question, "What is a physical laboratory and what does one do in it?" is by no means a rare one.
To the ancients what we designate as personality was a more or less general attribute of the human body rather than an aggregate of functions having a strictly nervous source. In fact Aristotle, who was such an accurate observer and profound thinker in so many fields of biology, denied positively that the brain was in any direct way concerned with sensation and declared the heart to be the sensorium commune for the whole body.
CURRENT PROGRESS IN THE STUDY OF NATURAL SELECTION
I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
II. FURTHER ATTEMPTS TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER THE DEATH RATE IS SELECTIVE AND TO DETERMINE THE INTENSITY OF SELECTION
B. The Selective Value of Particular Characters
III. SUPPLEMENTARY TESTS OF FITNESS
IV. CONCLUDING REMARKS
DR. J. ARTHUR HARRIS
IN papers on "The Measurement of Natural Selection" and "On Assortative Mating in Man," which have appeared in these pages,1 I have endeavored to show by a review of the quantitative work already done that natural selection and sexual selection are not subjects for idle speculation and polemics, or even for inductions from comparative evidence, but that, like the other factors of organic evolution, they are open to direct quantitative investigation.
THE hibernation of animals is one of the most interesting phenomena of nature. The word "hibernation" comes from the Latin hibernare, meaning to go into winter quarters, but it has come to have a more restricted meaning, and we understand by it a protracted condition of lethargy, during which the vital activities of an animal are more or less completely suspended.
IF one were to enumerate the chief characteristics of the apple, its variability would doubtless come well toward the head of the list. A species which has been so long under domestication, which has been removed to so many localities where it is not native and subjected to conditions so different from those of its original habitat and which has such a complex ancestry as our modern apple, may well be expected to display a great variety of forms, and among the number some of such abnormal character and infrequent occurrence as to be reckoned as curiosities.
IN the year 1910 there were published in the United States, in round numbers, 13,500 books. This was an increase of about 2,500 over the preceding year. The total for Great Britain was nearly 21,000 for the same biennium. The German output was over 31,000 volumes, the variation between the two years being small.
THE rural community is the granary of the world. Civilization is not possible without the farmer. The great city could not endure without the country. This feature of the economic situation is just now making itself prominent. The rapid increase of population in the cities naturally means decrease of population in the rural districts, which, in turn, means decrease in agricultural area, so that, while pro rata, increased products of the soil are demanded, decreased products are the facts.
WHEN, in England about a century ago, earth-study was made a modern science through William Smith's famous geological discoveries that the relative age and natural sequence of rock-layers were susceptible of accurate determination by means of the contained organic remains, America very early, and from a wholly unexpected quarter, furnished important aid in support of the newly established principles.
A common objection to political agitation is that it disturbs business, and either diminishes or renders uncertain the incomes of the laboring and property-owning classes. As an argument against agitation that is purely destructive, this objection is undoubtedly sound.
THE ATLANTA MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
THE WORK OF THE COUNCIL OF THE ASSOCIATION
THE ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT
THE meeting at Atlanta was unusually pleasant for those who were able to be there. This is likely to be the case when the association meets at a distance from the larger scientific centers, for both the trip and the place are interesting and the welcome is cordial.