The American Palæozoic Fossils: A Catalogue of the Genera and Species, with the Names of Authors, Dates, Places of Publication, Groups of Rocks in which found, and the Etymology and Signification of the Words, and an Introduction devoted to the Stratigraphical Geology of the Palæozoic Rocks. By S. A. Miller. Cincinnati, Ohio: The Author, No. 8 W. Third Street, 1877. Pp. 253.
We give this long title in full, as it explains in as few words as possible the scope and contents of a very useful book. It is a check-list of American Palæozoic fossils, but it is something more; and the added features are those which will make it specially welcome to students and amateurs who do not have access to large libraries and collections.
The labor of collecting and arranging the materials for such a work is very great, and will, we hope, be appreciated sufficiently to reward the author in some degree for his painstaking zeal.
A paper on the "Construction of Systematic Names in Paleontology," by Prof. E. W. Claypole, forms an important part of the book.
Serpent and Siva Worship. By Hyde Clark, M. A. I., and C. S. Wake, M. A. I. Edited by Alexander Wilder, M. D. New York: J. W. Bouton. Pp. 48. Price, 50 cents.
These papers, reprinted from the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, are examinations into the nature of the worship of the serpent, with a view to tracing its origin and connections, and are important as contributions to the material from which alone a philosophical theory of sociology can be formulated. The facts cited confirm Mr. Spencer's conclusions as to the intimate relations between ophiolatry and ancestor-worship.
On a Scientific Course of Study. A "Paper read before the State Teachers' Association of Iowa, by Prof. C. E. Bessey. Pp. 11.
This seems to be in some measure an effort to reconcile the antagonism between the languages and science as means of culture.
The author is not disposed to underrate the importance of the sciences, and makes some excellent remarks as to the methods of teaching them to the young; the necessity of beginning the science-teaching early; and also as to the value of the languages as tools for the scientific man. But he seems to miss the real question at issue in the "conflict." It is not "What kind of training is best to produce a scientific specialist?" but "What are the relative claims of the study of language and of natural science in giving the discipline and culture which will be useful in the ordinary walks of life?" Upon this point we would refer Prof. Bessey to Prof. Bain's article on "Language-Culture and the Civil Service," in the December number of The Popular Science Monthly.
I. Proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences. Vol. II., Part 1. Davenport, Iowa. Pp. 148. Price, $3.
II. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. Vol. XVIII., Part 4. Boston. Pp. 104.
The first of the above volumes is largely taken up with records of the business meetings of the Davenport Academy, its condition, etc., interspersed with some papers of interest. The majority of these are archaeological, being descriptive of mounds and their contents, illustrated by several fine photographic plates of inscribed tablets. Iowa is rich in these relics of the mound-builders, and there is a fitness in the Academy devoting itself to a study of these remains, which are fast disappearing.
The Boston "Proceedings" is filled with the results of more steady-going, thorough work, as might be expected from its greater age, and its locality in a centre where scientific men congregate. The table of contents includes papers on "The Origin of the Domestic Sheep," by G. W. Bond; "Genetic Relations of Stephanoceras," by Prof. A. Hyatt; "Reptiles and Batrachians from the Isthmus of Panama," by S. W. Garman; "Notes on Noctuæ from Florida," by A. R. Grote.
Ninth Annual Report on the Noxious, Beneficial, and other Insects of the State of Missouri. By Charles V. Riley, State Entomologist. Jefferson City, 1877. Pp. 130.
This continuation of Prof. Riley's labors in the field in which he has become so well known covers observations on the currant,