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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/289

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275
SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

sary to supply the material from other sources, when the articles were submitted to the subjects for revision.

In The Dawn of Reason[1] Dr. Weir has provided a most interesting book for the unscientific reader as well as for the comparative psychologist. He traces the gradual unfolding of conscious mind in animal life from the actinophryans which discriminates between the grains of starch and sand, and the Stentor which changes its position to catch a ripened spore, to the higher forms that decorate their homes, exhibit parental affection, exercise mathematical faculty, and extricate themselves from unforeseen dangers. As the field of observation of the senses of touch, taste, and smell has been so thoroughly worked by Lubbock and other naturalists, special attention is paid by the author to the senses of sight and hearing, in regard to which he furnishes new and valuable data. In addition to these he claims to establish the fact that tinctumutations and "homing" are auxiliary senses—not instincts. He located the center of color changing in the frog exactly below the optic, and by artificial stimulation produced the alteration in tint, and by excision, or treatment with atropine, destroyed the chromatophoric function. By experimentation upon snails he found the center of the sense of locality at the base of the cephalic ganglion, and, removing it, rendered them unable to return to their homes. Many anecdotes are given showing that the lower orders of animal life exercise conscious determination, and that among those with more complex nervous systems there is a mind akin to that of man. Not only do animals remember friends, strangers, and events, but they love, hate, and fear. They evince æsthetic feeling also when the spider ornaments its web with logwood flakes, the dog howls in harmonic accord with the church bell, and salamanders assemble at the sound of a piccolo. Still higher psychical attributes are those of animals that show parental affection or ability to count, like the mason wasp, which provides invariably five spiders for the male larva and eight for the female; or the harvester ants that plant their grain, weed and winnow it. Examples are cited of the capacity of the elephant to form abstract ideas and of the dog to indulge in brown studies. The author scouts at the theory that "specialized instinct," or "intelligent accident," prompts actions in animals which in man would be ascribed to reason. "Instinct," he writes, "is the bugbear of psychologists," and thereupon he differentiates sharply the two sadly confused functions.

In the thesis entitled A Step Forward, F. Theodor Kruger proposes, as a measure of possible social reform, placing the medical and legal professions wholly under the direct control of the civil authorities, to be exercised through duly constituted boards or departments of the several communities.

In his study of Centralized Administration of Liquor Laws in the American Commonwealths (Columbia University Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law) Clement M. L. Sites finds that widely variant policies are followed by the several States in the regulation of the liquor traffic, all based upon the broad powers of taxation and police. While we hear much of characteristic plans of regulation, little is said about characteristic systems of administration. This is because the liquor laws are administered incoherently. There is no consensus, even within the Commonwealth, in standards of administration. Each community practically determines for itself how the law shall be enforced, and we have all degrees of enforcement, from rigid severity to none. The various plans of regulation are classified by the author according to the dominant aspect in which they regard the liquor traffic. It has been treated as an open traffic, subject simply to taxation and reasonable safeguards; as a necessary but dangerous business, to be limited to approved persons and places and surrounded by special safeguards; as a criminal enterprise, to be suppressed, like highway robbery; and as a subject of legal monopoly. It is the purpose of Mr. Sites's essay to follow the developments of centralized administration that have taken place in recent years in each of these spheres, and in that of the institution and maintenance of judicial proceedings. The phases of current de-


  1. The Dawn of Reason. By James Weir, Jr., M. D. New York: The Macmillan Company. Pp. 234. Price, $1.25.