Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/317

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But justice forbids raising an outcry against Roman Catholicism alone for this. In 1864 a number of excellent men in England drew up a declaration to be signed by students in the natural sciences, expressing "sincere regret that researches into scientific truth are perverted by some in our time into occasion for casting doubt upon the truth and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures." Nine tenths of the leading scientific men of England refused to sign it; nor was this all: Sir John Herschel, Sir John Bowring, and Sir W. R. Hamilton administered, through the press, castigations which roused general indignation against the proposers of the circular, and Prof. De Morgan, by a parody, covered memorial and memorialists with ridicule. It was the old mistake, and the old result followed in the minds of multitudes of thoughtful young men.[1]

And in yet another Protestant country this same mistake was made. In 1868 several excellent churchmen in Prussia thought it their duty to meet for the denunciation of "science falsely so called." Two results followed: upon the great majority of these really self-sacrificing men—whose first utterances showed complete ignorance of the theories they attacked—there came quiet and wide-spread contempt; upon Pastor Knak, who stood forth and proclaimed views of the universe which he thought scriptural, but which most school-boys knew to be childish, came a burst of good-natured derision from every quarter of the German nation.[2]

Warfare of this sort against science seems petty indeed; but it is to be guarded against in Protestant countries not less than in Catholic; it breaks out in America not less than in Europe. Do conscientious Roman bishops in France labor to keep all advanced scientific instruction under their own control—in their own universities and colleges; so do many not less conscientious Protestant clergymen in our own country insist that advanced education in science and literature shall be kept under control in their own sectarian universities and colleges, wretchedly one-sided in their development, and miserably inadequate in their equipment: did a leading Spanish university, until a recent period, exclude professors holding the Newtonian theory; so have many leading American colleges excluded professors holding the Darwinian theory: have Catholic colleges in Italy rejected excellent candidates for professorships on account of "unsafe" views regarding

    may be noted the following comment on the affair by the Revue, which is as free as possible from anything like rabid anti-ecclesiastical ideas: "Elle a cté vraiment curieuse, instructive, assez triste et même un peu amusante." For Wurtz's statement, see Revue de Thérapeutique for 1868, p. 303.

  1. De Morgan, Paradoxes, pp. 421-428; also, Daubeny's Essays.
  2. See the Berlin newspapers for the summer of 1868, especially Kladderadatsch.