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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/511

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

force, its tension or motion.... It is impossible, therefore, to construct matter by a mere synthesis of forces."

Now, as all conceptions result from motion in the brain, it is self-evident that motion is the primordial reality whence all concepts arise, and that different conceptions of realities are solely different modes of motion, each distinct attribute being a distinct mode, and modified attributes are modified modes. Therefore a conception of matter, mass, inertia, or momentum, being solely a product of motion in the brain, and a conception of color being solely a product of motion in the brain, it is again self-evident that the only possible difference, between the primordial realities we call inertia and color, is difference in modes of motion.

Hence it is seen that the idea—almost universal—that inertia, or momentum, necessarily coexists with motion, may have no foundation in fact; its error being further evidenced by our non-perception of their coexistence in the invisible, or molecular motions. In fact, inertia or momentum is only perceived in that single mode of motion which produces the sensation of touch; and which we designate as mechanical or mass-motion.

But whether or not momentum necessarily accompanies motion, it was shown above that the same reason for conceiving color to be solely a mode of motion equally obtains in our conception of matter, mass, or inertia, as a mode of motion; and that "all the reality we know" exists, primarily, in changing, but ever-existing, relations and contrasts of modes of motion.

A. Arnold.

 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

AGASSIZ.

OUR great naturalist has finished his work and passed away. His loss will be felt throughout the scientific world, and will be deeply lamented beyond the circles of science in all parts of our own country. Although he had accomplished much during a long and active life, he entertained no thought of rest, but was still full of hope, ambition, and large plans of labor, such as belong to the prime of manhood. But his physical powers at last gave way, and his career terminated, we might almost say prematurely, at the age of sixty-six. Of Prof. Agassiz's more strictly scientific labors we shall take an early opportunity to speak; we can here only briefly refer to some of the leading features of his career and character.

Prof.Agassiz was by descent a Frenchman, his family being among the Huguenots who were driven from France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in the year 1685, and took refuge in Switzerland. He came of a theological stock, being derived from six lineal generations of clergymen. He was born in 1807, the year that the first steamboat started on the Hudson, and when Humboldt, Cuvier, and Napoleon, were thirty-eight years of age.

It has been Prof. Agassiz's fortune to take a very conspicuous part in the scientific work of the present time. The Old World gave him his education, and the New World the best opportunity of using it. He was early and powerfully attracted to the study of Nature, while his mind was moulded and matured through intimate intercourse with the most illustrious men of science in Europe. He did his chief original work, and developed the views with which his name will be mainly associated, in his youth and middle life, and at the age of thirty-nine he left the continent, where scientific men abounded, and took up his residence in a new country where they were wanted, and where the opportunities, both of entering unexplored fields of investigation and of drawing men and institutions