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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/114

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

were necessarily many who grew up in ignorance of the new, or who did not learn of its existence until too late for changing the mode of thought. Just as the old psychology led to an improved science on the part of the progressive men, so it led to a degenerated form on the part of the others. Unable to grasp and to apply the methods of true science, these men can not even understand what the new is all about; and in their attempt to do something new they have fallen into the absurdities of "psychical research," or "experimented" with spiritualistic mediums, or gathered "statistics" concerning ghosts, or interviewed the several personalities of the hypnotic subject.

The older psychology, with its traditions and its dignity, was a discipline to be treated with filial consideration and respect; but the latest "sensation-psychology," plunged in the dregs of all the mysticism and superstition of the middle ages, not only contributes nothing to the progress of science, but arouses in opposition to it all the ghosts of the witches' caldron.

Summarizing, we are entitled to say that the new psychology is the old psychology in a new phase of development; that the impulses to this development came from physics, physiology, and astronomy; and that the resulting application of the best methods of modern science to the great problems handed down from the past is what makes the new psychology a true science worthy of its origin.

 
 

THE LATENT VITALITY OF SEEDS.
By M. C. de CANDOLLE.

SEEDS that remain in keeping without losing the faculty of germination are said to be in a state of latent life. The term is not exact, for it leaves us still to ask whether the life of the seeds is completely stopped, or is simply slackened in its activity—questions to which the same answer can not be given under all circumstances. It may be that a seed will continue to respire without producing any formation of new histological elements, when a loss of substance results to the plantule it contains which is compensated for by the assimilation of reserve materials from the energides, or living protoplasmic masses of the cells. A plantule may be supposed to live in this way for a considerable time if the temperature is favorable and the seed and the surrounding air are not too dry. Under these conditions the latent life may be considered one of slackened activity.

An experiment by MM. Van Tieghem and Bonnier proves that seeds may retain their vitality for a considerable period in this condition. Three lots of peas and beans were left—one in