Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/797

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PROF. G. F. WRIGHT AND HIS CRITICS.

vades many of the criticisms of Prof. Wright's book is dangerous to the freedom of scientific discussion.

In an unsigned review published in an issue of the Chicago Tribune in October, 1802, we read: "Prof. Wright believes that there was but one Ice epoch. In the present volume this question is so handled as to leave the impression that the general opinion of glacialists is in favor of but a single epoch." How true this charge is let the following extract show (page 109): "Do the phenomena necessarily indicate absolutely distinct Glacial epochs separated by a period in which the ice had wholly disappeared from the glaciated areas to the north? That they do is maintained by President Chamberlin and many others who have wide acquaintance with the facts. That they do not certainly indicate a complete disappearance of the ice during an extensive interglacial era is capable, however, of being maintained without forfeiting one's rights to the respect of his fellow-geologists." The criticism is anonymous, and we are thereby spared the disagreeable association of any name with a direct misrepresentation, due, let us hope, either to careless reading or previous writing.

To one of these two causes we should also probably assign the remark, "Mr. Leverett's work is ignored,"[1] whereas Prof. Wright quotes Mr. Leverett's work as correcting that of President Chamberlin in the delineation of the terminal moraine south of Lake Michigan (page 101).

Another of these experts[2] writes in the same omniscient style about the "unskilled observers whose difficulty is to distinguish between objects included in the ancient gravel when it was formed and those imbedded recently. . . . Neither of the four are geologists (sic), and they could not well have appreciated the need of extreme care." Any reader of the evidence can form his own opinion upon this assertion. Again, "Four of the rude specimens said by inexpert observers to have been found in place in glacial gravels," etc.; and again, "The unsafe matter furnished by inconsiderate bookmakers to a credulous public." This sort of writing would in ordinary mortals be called conceited and unbecoming, but probably from the pens of the self-appointed experts it is perfectly proper toward the amateur and the public. However, let it pass; there is more to come.

As if this were not enough, we read in the same place the following yet more unscientific statement: "The implement from Tuscarawas County, Ohio, can be duplicated from the refuse deposits of any of the great Indian quarry-shops of this country." This is an extraordinary assertion, surpassing in audacity any


  1. Dial, Chicago, November 16, 1892, p. 306.
  2. American Antiquarian, January, 1893, pp. 35, 36.