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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/522

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522
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of lumber that can be taken from the pine belt, we have a revenue even larger than that of the cotton crop. All this could be done without reducing the forests of the South to any serious extent. It simply requires good husbandry and common sense in forest management.[1]

Perhaps the greatest loss and damage are caused by fires, which sweep through the forests and destroy millions of feet of valuable timber every year. It is estimated that the total loss from this source alone is not less than a million dollars annually.

The greater part of this loss of valuable timber is wholly unnecessary. Our people take extra precautions against allowing fires to burn their houses and buildings, but they view with comparative indifference the destruction of millions of feet of timber. The districts invaded by the turpentine workers are left desolate wastes, and few people who have not been in the long-leaf pine belt can realize the great injury that has been done to the prosperity of the South by an industry which is rapidly changing the face of Nature and even the climate of the country.

 

THE STUDY OF INHERITANCE.
A Review of the Writings of Francis Galton.
By W. K. BROOKS, LL. D.

FIRST PAPER.

IT is much more easy to talk about inheritance than to study it. Of the books and essays which meet us at every turn, few have much basis in research, but those of Francis Galton are among the most notable exceptions. These books, which have appeared at intervals during the last twenty-five years, are not speculations but studies. They describe long exhaustive investigations, carried out by rigorous methods, along lines laid down on a plan which has been matured with great care and forethought.

The simplicity of their language is as notable as their subject. Dealing with conceptions which are both new and abstruse, the author finds our mother tongue rich enough for his purpose, and, while the reasoning often taxes all our powers, there is never any doubt as to the meaning of the words.

When in rare cases a technical term is inevitable, some famil-


  1. Three years ago the Geological Survey of North Carolina investigated the methods of the turpentine industry and suggested a number of radical changes or improvements. The recommendations have been adopted by many turpentine workers, who have modified their old, destructive methods. Prof. J. A. Holmes, of the Survey, informs me that as a result of these improvements the production of naval stores in North Carolina has been increased by one hundred and fifty thousand dollars within the past two years.