of the family are scientifically untrustworthy. They may, therefore, be practically ignored. Yet we infer from the paper that most of the experiments were made under these conditions; and we read that the presence of the father "seemed decidedly to increase the percentage of successes."
The authors, indeed, say, "Though generally the object selected was shown to the members of the family present in the room, we were sometimes entirely alone." From the only rational point of view, that of scientific skepticism, and therefore with total disregard of the personal factor, this consideration seems in no way to invalidate the line of comment here taken. It is not clear to how many of the three observers the pronoun "we" in the above passage refers; but, at any rate, we miss entirely in the paper any specific quotation of results obtained in this latter set of circumstances.
But, even if this evidence had been forthcoming, no mere ipse dixit on such a matter could for one moment be admitted. Reason would require us to entertain the great probability of mental bias in some at least of the observers, or to discredit the accuracy of their memory, rather than to allow that anything has been adduced in this account of what, to say the least, must be called superficially conducted experiments, to warrant a recognition of any novelty, or, by consequence, to stand in need of explanation by a theory of "brain-waves."—Nineteenth Century.
|THE PHYSICIAN OF THE FUTURE.|
A CHANGE in the theory of disease, which long since began, but is not yet completed, must profoundly affect the work of the physician of the future. Disease was formerly believed to be a something which had a sort of independent existence, and which went about over the earth seeking whom it might assail. When this something had entered the body of a man it created confusion in his internal economy, and order could not be restored until the intruder was driven out. Accordingly, remedies none of the gentlest were vigorously applied until the disease was scared away or the patient died. It is strange how universal among men this belief in a possession, an entrance of something into the body causing disease, has been.
This savage idea was long perpetuated among civilized people, and remedies were used which were hardly less absurd than the leapings, howlings, and rattle-shakings of an Indian medicine-man. The change
- An Address delivered at the opening of the Twenty-ninth Annual Course of Lectures in the Medical Department of the University of Vermont.