Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/418

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To the Editor:—I have read with much bewilderment an article entitled 'Geology and the Deluge,' contributed to 'McClure's Magazine' for June, by Dr. Frederick G. Wright, professor of the harmony of science and religion in Oberlin College. Doubtless other men of science would also be gratified if Professor Wright would consent to make his position clear by answering the following questions:

1. You say, Professor Wright, that "The Paleolithic man of science may well be the Antediluvian man of Genesis." Was Tubal Cain, 'an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron,' an antediluvian man, and, if so, had he not learned to use smoothed stone instruments? Was Noah, himself, a paleolithic or a neolithic man, and did he build the ark with flaked or polished flint implements?

2. You say: "But towards the close of this period there were 120 years (specially mentioned in the Bible as a time of warning) in which the movement was accelerated to such a degree that the rising waters gave point to the preaching of Noah." The period of 120 years here mentioned was deduced from the statement that Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood. Do you believe that Noah was 600 years old, and that his grandchildren that peopled the earth were subsequently born?

3. You say: "During the last 371 days of this period the catastrophe culminated in the facts specifically related in the Book of Genesis." Do you believe that the 'facts specifically related in the Book of Genesis' are true?

For example, that "every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."

The readers of 'McClure's Magazine' will probably understand that Professor Wright claims to have confirmed by his geological discoveries the details related in Genesis. Are Professor Wright's fellow geologists also to understand that he believes that the early chapters of Genesis are in accord with modern science and that they are supported by his recent observations in Asia?

X. Plain.


To the Editor:—In the course of an article on 'Cocaine Analgesia of the Spinal Cord,' in the July number of the Popular Science Monthly, Dr. Jelliffie writes, "Soon after chloroform came ether, the safer anæsthetic," etc. Ether was, however, introduced before chloroform. On September 30, 1846, Morton, of Boston, used ether in dental surgery, and during the following months it was administered in surgical operations at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The news reached England on December 17, 1846. It was used by Simpson, of Edinburgh, in midwifery practice in January, 1847, and it was not until November, 1847, that he announced the discovery of the anæsthetic properties of chloroform.

C. Herrman.