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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/834

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

slight indulgence in alcoholic drinks dispelled instantly his best ideas. Prof. Gaule once told the writer, as an experiment during the strain of his "Staatsexamen," that he suddenly stopped his wine and beer, and was surprised to find how much better he could work. An eminent professor in Leipsic once said that the German students could do "twice the amount of work" ("könnten zweimal so viel leisten") if they would let their beer alone. Dr. August Smith[1] has found that moderate nonintoxicant doses of alcohol (forty to eighty cubic centimetres daily) lowered psychic ability to memorize as much as seventy per cent. Leixner[2] observes "dass der Alcohol den Menschen geistig so herunterbringt, dass er schliesslich nichts mehr kann, wie politisieren." Possibly the trouble with a good deal of our politics in this country.

But we must be careful about drawing too sweeping conclusions. A man "in the habit" may be unable to do anything without his usual stimulant. This fact must be recognized. And if, according to the theories of some, acquired characters may descend to the offspring, "inherited" habit may also require consideration. At any rate, we must cease to expect that problems which have baffled human solution for generations can be settled in a day or a year. They can be sanely solved only by the accumulation of wholly impartial evidence, sufficient in amount to determine conviction.

Truly to me

There seems to be
A kinship close
Wherever flows

Life's activity.
 

LIFE ON THE PLANETS.
By M. J. JANSSEN.[3]

(HAVING shown how all astronomical discovery, concluding with spectrum analysis, points to a similarity of constitution in the earth and the heavenly bodies, M. Janssen continues:)

All this whole forms a single family, the members of which have a common genesis and have been formed with the destiny of becoming worlds like ours. Their movements around the central star which enchains them by its powerful attraction are subject to the same laws, and that star, by virtue of its high temperature and the immense reserves of force it contains, sheds upon them


  1. August Smith. Die Alcoholfrage. Tübingen, 1895.
  2. Leixner. Laien-Predigten für das deutsche Haus. Berlin, 1894.
  3. From his remarks at the annual meeting of the French Academy of Sciences, October 24, 1896.