Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/94

This page has been validated.
84
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

lished this marvelous circumstance? You will hardly deem it possible, when I tell you he did it simply by noticing, in the presence of certain people, that a spring-balance, of the same kind as one uses to weigh letters, gave movements the causes of which were not apparent.

I will here show you a small drawing, so that you may understand

PSM V04 D094 Crookes experiment in hypnotism.jpg

it better, which illustrates the principle of an apparatus used by Crookes. B is the strong mahogany board, several feet long, one end of which rests on the table, T, by means of a sharp point placed in the under side, while the other end is fastened to the balance, W, which hangs suspended from a rest, G. The index of the balance shows how great the weight is which it has to bear. Every movement backward or forward, any shaking or pushing which is communicated to the board, must be made perceptible through a rising or falling of the index. And now, Crookes assures us that he has perceived such motions of the index, in the presence of others, when Mr. Home, the principal medium, did not move the apparatus at all, but was held firmly by the bands and feet, some distance from it! And that is all! Crookes ventures his monstrous assertion on the ground that the balance made motions which appeared to have no cause whatever! Whoever is satisfied with the general assertions of Crookes, in this respect, manifests such incapability of judgment concerning science, that he has simply no right to speak about such things.

That a balance makes motions is a circumstance very easy to establish. We can accept it, as an actual event in Crookes's evidence, that the balance has really made some motions in the presence of the so-called mediums; but when Crookes represents as an actual event that it was the "psychic force" of the medium which caused this motion, and altered considerably the weight of the body, it is, in spite of all persuasion, no real circumstance, but a well-meant assertion of an "event viewed unequally;" a statement which does not deserve the