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LITERARY NOTICES

eral plan of the work does not differ essentially from that adopted by the earlier writers on the subject; but he has revised definitions, simplified explanations, abbreviated demonstrations, and conformed the limits of the treatment to the growing wants of scientific education.

Chronos: Mother Earth's Biography; a Romance of the New School, by Wallace Wood, M. D. London: Trübner & Co., 1873, 334 pages.

If a peripatetic scientific lecturer may seek to draw listeners by proclaiming to make science "as fascinating as fairy tales," surely the author of this book is justified in terming his work a "Romance of the New School."

In eleven chapters he pictures with a flowing pen the birth, growth, maturity, and decay of Mother Earth; and to those who have puzzled their brains over the severe, concise formulas of Herbert Spencer, who have passed working hours on the nebular hypothesis, and striven with the problem of the precession of the equinoxes, or the data and inductions of Biology and Psychology, it is like sailing with a "wet sheet and a flowing sea" on the highest waves of the imagination over the formidable obstacles which those philosophical problems present.

The author professes to traverse the field with seven-leagued boots, and surely they are needed, for in this small volume is crowded the result of prolonged and profound speculations into the mystery of the earth, its geology, its life, the periods of its development, the evolution of its organisms, its social history, and its final dissolution.

With liberal quotations from the writings of modern scientists, with here and there an enlivenment of humor, and to deal with him gently—some considerable irrelevant frivolity, he puts forward in a fresh and brisk, if not altogether attractive presentation of the subject, the most advanced ideas of the evolutionists, and those who shudder at the definition of evolution as "a change from an indefinite incoherent homogeneity, to a definite coherent heterogeneity," may, not unprofitably, follow their chatty and lively guide, who certainly is never dull while acting as cicerone.

The first American contribution to the International Scientific Series will be by Josiah P. Cooke, Professor of Chemistry in Harvard College, on the "New Chemistry." It is well known that this science in recent years has undergone a profound change in its theory, with a corresponding change in its nomenclature. The new view is firmly established in the world of science, and modern text-books are slowly adopting it, while the mass of educated people still think in the old chemical ways. A book was needed to make this transition clear and easy for the non-scientific, which should explain the necessity and philosophy of the change more fully than is possible in the regular manuals, and such a work Prof. Cooke has now prepared. He has long taught the modern views, and his College Textbook of "Chemical Philosophy" embodies them; but, perceiving the public want, he prepared a course of lectures familiarly explaining the new doctrines, and delivered them at the Lowell Institute in Boston (immediately after the course of Prof. Tyndall), with great satisfaction to those who heard them. The volume containing these lectures, carefully revised and illustrated, is now going rapidly through the press, and will be ready in a very short time. It will be of interest to general readers who care to note the progress of scientific thought; but will be invaluable at the present time to all teachers of chemistry.

 

 

PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Acrididæ of North America, by Cyrus Thomas, Ph. D. (Geological Survey of the Territories.) Washington: Government Printing-Office, 1873.

Essay on the Glacial Epoch. By Dr. Philip Harvey. Burlington, Iowa, 1873, pp. 24.

New Vertebrata from Colorado Territory. By Prof. E. D. Cope. Government Printing-Office.

Law and Intelligence in Nature. By A. B. Palmer, A. M., M. D. Lansing, Mich., 1873, pp. 31.

Thysanura of Essex County, Mass., by A. S. Packard, Jr., with two other papers