Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/78

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in Christendom—a review that evidences the fact of progress. There was never before a period when men were judged so little according to their belief as now, and when all studies were pursued with such freedom. The victory of toleration in the purely intellectual sphere has been almost achieved. The principle is almost established that there shall be no restraint upon thinking, speaking, or publishing, whether it be in theology, in philosophy, in criticism, in science, in literature, or in politics. Both the law and public opinion favor such liberty.


TO classify phenomena as manifestations of a universal law is the intellectual pastime of the nineteenth century. The finding of a Rosetta stone which shall be the key to a bewildering maze of details is a mental rest to the thinker. Hence, a theory which settles a much-vexed question by a scientific ipse dixit is met with a murmur of admiration and a sigh of relief. But those who profess to hold a commission from Science should not the less be bound to the "scientific rule of deducing no principle which facts will not prove." What Science says, facts will corroborate, but they will not always wait upon the interpretation of her devotees. About fifty years ago a gentleman of high scientific attainments proved by irreproachable mathematics that no steamship could cross the Atlantic, for by no expedient could a vessel be built which could stow away enough fuel to propel itself to so great a distance. Today the gentleman might take as an ordinary trip the journey he proved impossible.

In the March number of "The Popular Science Monthly" Miss Hardaker invokes Science to testify to the natural and irrevocable mental inferiority of the female to the male. A statement of this kind, coming as it does when woman is struggling for every step in her intellectual advance, is peculiarly baneful to her. To cover ancient prejudice with the palladium of scientific argument is to unite the strength of conservatism and of progress in one attack. An examination of the accuracy of the paper, "Science and the Woman Question," may not, therefore, be ill-timed.

Two propositions underlie Miss Hardaker's argument. They are as follows:

1. A large amount of matter represents more force than a small amount. Hence man is superior to woman in body and brain (page 579).
2. "All human energy is an exact equivalent of the amount of