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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/337

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INFLUENCES DETERMINING SEX.

fied into the conception of a power which can not be known or conceived, would not be destroyed. It was held that there would survive, and might even increase, the sentiments of wonder and awe in presence of a universe of which the origin and nature, meaning and destiny, can neither be known nor imagined; or that, to quote a statement afterwards employed, there must survive those emotions "which are appropriate to the consciousness of a mystery that can not be fathomed and a power that is omnipresent." This proposition has not been disproved; nor, indeed, has any attempt been made to disprove it.

Instead of assaults on these propositions to which alone I am committed, there have been assaults on various propositions gratuitously attached to them; and then the incongruities evolved have been represented as incongruities for which I am responsible.

I end by pointing out as I pointed out before, that "while the things I have said have not been disproved, the things which have been disproved are things I have not said."—Nineteenth Century.

 

INFLUENCES DETERMINING SEX.[1]
By Professor W. K. BROOKS,

OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY.

OF the many writers upon this subject, some have approached it with such an imperfect and narrow acquaintance with the facts that their contributions are of no interest to the scientific student; while other writers have allowed some minor generalizations to assume such prominence that their papers are of little value in themselves. The subject has an especial fascination for many minds, apart from its very great scientific interest, and we can, therefore, understand that the fugitive literature is somewhat in disrepute among students.

In Düring's papers, however, we find a remarkable combination of the two elements of scientific research: thorough observation and accumulation of evidence, and reflection upon its hidden significance. Although they contain comparatively little original observation, they are remarkable for the encyclopedic information which the author has collected from all sources. In many cases his generalizations are based upon observations which run up into the millions, and, even where the reader is not prepared to accept his conclusions, he will find in the papers a mine of recorded facts.

Having shown that there is in each species of animals or plants a

  1. "On the Laws which determine the Sex of the Embryo in Mankind, in Animals, and in Plants." Carl During, "Jenaische Zeitschrift," xvi, iii, 1883, p. 428; and xvii, 1884, pp. 592-940.