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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/131

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LITERARY NOTICES.

United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Part VI. Report of the Commissioner for 1878. A. Inquiry into the Decrease of Food-Fishes. B. The Propagation of Food-Fishes in the Waters of the United States. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1880. Pp. 988.

The present report brings down the history of the work of the commission to the end of 1878, and a part of it, especially that connected with the propagation of salmon, to the date of the actual planting and disposition of the young fish in 1879. The scale of operations was increased during the year, in correspondence with the increased appropriations made by Congress, without bringing any material addition to the expense of the management. The history of the operations includes the record of the progress of the planting of different varieties of salmon, of which we may mention the planting of California salmon in the Southern rivers, and of the measures to promote the increase of the white-fish, shad, herring, carp, and cod. The attempt to introduce the sole met with a second failure. An experiment in the artificial propagation of the sponge of commerce, by planting cuttings of live sponges, was successful, and gave much encouragement. The supplemental papers are of great interest, and constitute of themselves a respectable library of ichthyological literature. They embrace numerous articles, by American, Scandinavian, and German writers, on subjects connected with fishery expositions, the sea–fisheries, deep-sea research, the natural history of marine animals, and essays general, special, and practical, on the propagation of the different kinds of food-fishes.

Natural Theology. By John Bascom. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1880. Pp. 302. Price, $1.50.

Dr. Bascom, who is widely and favorably known as one of the strongest thinkers within theological lines, has here recast the theistic argument, and has endeavored to present it in a form which shall meet the changed conditions and enlarged knowledge of to-day. The argument is conducted in excellent temper, and is in many respects a strong and able presentation of what the intuitive philosophy has to offer upon this fundamental question. His attitude toward current scientific doctrine and the spirit in which he approaches his work are indicated in the following quotation from the preface: "The opposition has changed front, and so renders a corresponding change necessary on the part of the defense. This shifting of the conflict has attended on a great increase of knowledge, and new views of the methods of development in the physical world. We wish to recognize most fully the value of these attainments, and to see clearly their relation to theism. We are quite prepared to accept evolution—the present intellectual solvent of physical problems—in all the facts it offers, while we are still at liberty to give those facts the interpretation which is most in keeping with the two kingdoms, physical and spiritual, which make up the universe in its outer form and inner force. It is exactly here that we hope to add something to the work of our predecessors—1. In a more complete recognition of all the results of scientific inquiry; and, 2. In pointing out the relation of these facts to an intellectual exposition of the universe." Dr. Bascom, in his discussion of the nature of the Deity, reaches the conclusion that a sufficient, positive, and consistent idea of his nature is obtainable; and he then, after stating the kind of proof necessary, carries his search for it through the organic world and into the "rational kingdom," closing his argument with a consideration of the goodness of God and the bearing the evidence of this has upon his existence. The concluding chapter of the work is devoted to a discussion of immortality, its relation to natural theology, and the proofs of it from the constitution of man, and the character of the Deity.

Drainage for Health; or, Easy Lessons in Sanitary Science. By Joseph Wilson, M. D., Medical Director, United States Navy. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1881. Pp. 68. Price, $1.

The author attempts, in this work, to present the subject, briefly and correctly, so far as he goes, in simple style and language, and in so familiar a manner as to make easy reading. He first discusses the subject of land-drainage on farms and in country districts; next the drainage of cities and townhouses, closets, and plumbing.