Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/498

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lisliment broken up, the surviving cock bird removed to a new cage, and the hatching cage itself thoroughly cleansed and purified, and put aside till the following spring. Never, however, could any bird afterward endure being placed in that cage. They fought and struggled to get out, and, if all in vain their efforts, they moped, huddling close together, thoroughly unhappy, refusing to be comforted by any amount of sunshine, companionship, or dainty food." The experiment was tried with foreign birds, that had not been in the house when the death of the hen occurred, and could not, therefore, have known anything of the melancholy event by observation. The result, however, was always the same. "For the future that cage to them was haunted."

It is a common belief that many animals can see ghosts and future events. Justinus Kerner declares (Die Seherin von Prevorst, i, 125) that they are endowed with second sight, and that numerous facts can be adduced in proof of it. This uncanny faculty is supposed to be especially strong in dogs and horses. Storks, too, are known to have foreseen the burning of houses on which they had been wont to build their nests, and to have abandoned them, taking up their abode on other buildings or on trees in the vicinity. No sooner had the anticipated conflagration taken place, and a new house been erected on the same site, than they returned and built their nests on it as heretofore. That Balaam's ass perceived the angel, which was beyond the ken of the prophet, ought to suffice to convince every believer in the plenary inspiration of the Bible of the specter-seeing powers of the lower animals. The ghost stories told of dogs and horses are quite as numerous and well authenticated as those which have been told of men. There is no psychological theory of apparitions that does not explain these strange phenomena as satisfactorily in beasts as in human beings. The night side of Nature casts its gloom over both.

Of course, if religion is a direct and special revelation to man, then no sentient creature prior and inferior to him could have any share in it. The hypothesis of a pure primitive monotheism, of which all polytheistic systems of belief are mere distortions and degradations, would also tend to exclude the lower animals from the possession of religious sentiment by showing that the religious history of the race has been a downward instead of an upward movement, a corruption instead of an evolution. Its growth would not correspond to the growth of intelligence, and it could no longer be studied as a psychological phenomenon, but would be removed at once from the province of scientific investigation. There can be no science of the supernatural, since science recognizes only the operation of natural laws. A miracle that can be explained, as the rationalistic school of theology has