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LITERARY NOTICES.

ture to think, represents but a small portion of the pertinent facts. Much has undoubtedly been gained by past conflict; astronomers are no longer imprisoned, and physiologists no longer roasted. But have ignorance and intolerance been banished from the world? or, remaining in it, have they lost their aggressiveness or their influence over men's minds? Have they, in fact, done more than change weapons? We grant that the antagonism to science has greatly diminished within recent years; but, to say that science has now to encounter no external adverse influences which affect its prosperity, is to talk at random. The world is still dominated by illiberality and prejudice; and when science puts forth ideas that do not square with prevailing belief, as, from its progressive nature, it has always been doing, and must continue to do, it is met with anger and denunciation, which it requires no little moral courage to withstand. It cannot reasonably be claimed that such a state of things is without influence upon scientific interests. It represses the honest and healthy expression of opinion; it checks young men from entering the scientific field; it resists scientific education; and it hinders men of science from obtaining the necessary means for prosecuting their inquiries.

Even our correspondent puts Science upon its good behavior before a censorious world. He affirms that she may incur damage, and is exposed to danger from her enemies, but these evils, it is alleged, can only come from "contamination" and "debauchery" by her own partisans. And what is meant by this language, but the promulgation of doctrines that her enemies regard as odious? Stop a hundred men in the street, and ask them what they consider to be the great contamination and debauchery of science at the present time, and ninety-nine of them will reply, "Darwinism"—the first item in our correspondent's new "Nicene Creed." This is the verdict of public opinion. But we open the new volume of Helmholtz, who is probably the most eminent and authoritative scientist in Europe, and, in his lecture on the "Aims and Progress of Physical Science," we read that "Darwin's theory contains an essentially new creative thought." This is the verdict of science. Is the great German one who brings discredit upon his class by thinking instead of knowing? and is the party which characterizes the creative conceptions of Nature as degradations, to be accepted as the arbiter of the proper limits of science? We remain of opinion that scientific men are the best judges of the legitimacy of their own inquiries, and that they will honor themselves most by the bold and fearless prosecution of these inquiries, let them lead wherever they may.

 

 

TO THE PUBLIC.

A book entitled "Youman's Dictionary of Every Day Wants" is being extensively circulated by canvassers, and I am much annoyed at finding that it is purchased under the impression that it is by the Editor of The Popular Science Monthly, and the author of the "Hand Book of Household Science," "Chemistry," etc. I am neither the author of it, nor have I had any thing to do with its preparation; and, in so far as my name has been used to sell it, it is a fraud. It will be an act of justice to the public, as well as to myself, if the press will kindly reproduce this card.

E. L. Youmans.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Lessons in Elementary Anatomy. By St. George Mivart, F. R. S., etc. Macmillan & Co., London and New York, 1873.

This is a companion volume to Huxley's "Lessons in Physiology" and Oliver's "Lessons in Botany," and is devoted mainly to a description of the human body, with