Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/286

This page has been validated.
272
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

in illness; not only idiosyncrasies of constitution but incomplete knowledge of physiological chemistry still render the problem difficult. New foods are constantly introduced which subsequent experiment proves to be harmful. The last dictum, we believe, in regard to saccharin is that it is not wholly innocuous, so that it might be as well for the diabetic patient to learn to do without sweets in the beginning, while as for the digestive ferments, they are at the least hazardous concoctions. We can not be too wary of artificial substitutes and laboratory products which claim the virtues of organic material or living protoplasm.

 

The reason for the being of John Munro's The Story of the British Race[1] is briefly indicated in the preface as to be found in the fact that the current ideas on the subject are derived from the views of historians representing the doctrines of an earlier and less critical generation, while the fact is overlooked that the new science of anthropology, using careful observations and exact methods, has put the real nature of the British people in a light in which it was never seen so clearly before. The result is that the old ideas on the subject have been greatly modified. Mr. Munro believes that his little book is the first attempt to bring these important results and views of modern anthropologists before the general public in familiar language, whereby the oversights of historians and teachers may be redeemed. An important error to be controverted, in the author's view, lies in the fine-drawn distinctions and sharply defined demarcations that have been made between Celts and Saxons. It is inferred from anthropology that the population of the British Isles is a mixture of all the races of western Europe, in which the Teutonic and Mediterranean elements—"the aborigines of Europe"—predominate, while "the intrusive Celtic race from Asia," still represented by the Bretons, passed into the British Isles in comparatively small numbers. Scotland is perhaps more Teutonic and less Mediterranean than England, Wales, or Ireland. Wales is the least Teutonic and the most Mediterranean, if not Celtic, of the three. England has more of the Dutch and Low Country elements than of the Scandinavian, with apparently not far short of an equal share of the Mediterranean and Teutonic elements. Ireland is perhaps as Teutonic as England, though the better fusion of the elements may disguise the fact. The author thinks that the first chapters of English history will have to be written over again by the light of anthropology.

The Eighteenth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey[2] mentions, as an important change in the held work that made necessary by the legislation providing for the establishment of levels and permanent monuments and bench marks, of which 10,840 miles of levels were run and 1,820 bench marks were established. The topographic surveys to date covered an aggregate area of 759,525 square miles, of which 240,000 square miles were on a scale of four miles to the inch. The topographic work has progressed very satisfactorily under the present organization of the survey, including, in the year covered by the report, surveys in the Indian Territory and of the northern part of the boundary line between Idaho and Montana—the first work of the kind assigned to the Geological Survey—and the beginning of the survey of the forest reserves. The work on the educational series of rocks has been completed. It includes two hundred and fifty larger and smaller sets, which will be distributed to institutions where geology is taught. In his general report the director mentions the work of more than thirty geological parties in all parts of the United States, of six paleontological parties, hydrographic and topographic surveys by States, and the work of the division of mineral resources, the full account of which will constitute Part V of the report. The theoretic and other papers in Part II relate to the Triassic


  1. The Story of the British Race. (Library of Useful Stories.) By John Munro. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 228. Price, 40 cents.
  2. Eighteenth Annual Report of the United States Geological Surrey to the Secretary of the Interior, 1896-'97. Charles D. Walcott, Director. In Five Parts. Director's Report, including Triangulation and Spirit Leveling. Pp. 450, with 4 plates. Part II: Papers chiefly of a Theoretic Nature. Pp. 653, with 105 plates. Part III: Economic Geology. Pp. 861, with 118 plates. Part IV: Hydrography. Pp. 756, with 102 plates.