Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/790

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Buckland, Sedgwick and Woodward, Bonney, Blake, Crosskey, Fisher and Renard, Haughton and Hitchcock, many valuable chapters would be missing from her literature. Instead of regretting that a theological professor should be found in the geological field, it would be more seemly to wish that there were more such men. Instead of showing apparent jealousy, all helpers should be made welcome. Official reserve and exclusiveness are out of place in science. The field is the world, the harvest is plenteous, and the laborers are all too few.

Especially inappropriate is the above objection when it comes from men whose time is largely occupied with the labors of administrative office, leaving only the spare hours for the study of geology. We freely admit that men whose lives are wholly given to geology should produce the greatest results. They have advantages possessed by no others. Concentration of thought and energy, command of funds, access to books, and assistance of many needed kinds, all these things are theirs. But the fact remains that the great bulk of the work always has been and still is done by volunteers, working for the most part at their own expense of time and money. The amateur is too often looked down upon by the professional, but it has happened over and over again that the professional has been glad to borrow the results of the amateur, and more than once has the amateur come out the victor in a contest. It was an amateur, Nicol, who maintained that the gneissic rocks of the west of Scotland were of Arch├Žan age and not metamorphosed Silurian strata, and, though for fifty years the authority of Murchison and the British Geological Survey was arrayed against him and his single voice was drowned by their official shoutings, yet time has justified him, and the "Secret of the Highlands," lately wrung from the unwilling rocks, has been proclaimed by Nature in tones so loud that no combination or concert could prevent its being heard. It is folly, we assert, to attempt by any other means than fair and open argument to put down the amateur in science. He possesses a tenacity of life and purpose equal or superior to that of officials or professionals. Many of the brightest names on her roll are the names of amateurs, from those of Hugh Miller, the Scottish stonemason, and William Smith, "the father of English geology," to others in the present day, too numerous and too well known to be named here.

The chapter of Prof. Wright's book which has specially aroused the ire of the critics is on Relics of Man in the Glacial Period, where the author has collected all the instances from America that possess any importance in which traces of man have been reported from strata of probable or known glacial date. The evidence of each is set forth concisely yet clearly. Positive con-