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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

place where all the faculties of the intellect may be brought into the fullest exercise. From the most trivial questions of the ordering of the household, up to the ever-impending contingencies of life and death, there is occasion for sleepless solicitude, unremitting thought, and extensive knowledge. There is room for the play of the aesthetic faculties and a cultivated taste; there is need of light from various sciences; there is demand for a cautious logic; there is required a direct knowledge of things, as well as of book information, and also a training in practical household concerns. All these are constant and pressing subjects in which both father and mother should be interested and instructed, upon which the very destiny of the family depends. And yet Prof. Cairnes tells us that the present element of weakness in the family is the want of sufficient subjects of common interest! He is mistaken; there are subjects enough of mutual concern, but the element of weakness is that they are neglected. He would elevate and strengthen the family by having the women go into politics; we are quite clear that this is not the way the family is to be elevated and improved. Prof. Cairnes's remedy is no remedy at all, and would rather be a fatal hindrance. The general effect would be to preoccupy the female mind with public instead of private and domestic interests; and to divert attention from those home questions which are in fact a thousand times more important to the community than the issues of partisan strife.

 

 

THE RIGHTS OF ORIGINALITY.

To fair-minded readers, apology will be unnecessary for the very considerable space that we devote this month to the relation of Herbert Spencer to the doctrine of Evolution: the misconceptions that have prevailed, regarding Mr. Spencer's relation to this great doctrine, make such a statement as this indispensable in the interest of justice. Much of the misunderstanding and erroneous representation is undoubtedly due to the general ignorance of a subject which has recently attained unexpected prominence, and has to be discussed by many who are not well informed about it. For example, in an able and liberal article on Prof. Tyndall's late address, in Harper's Weekly, Mr. Darwin is declared to be "the most famous expounder of Evolution." This is so far from being true, that Mr. Darwin has never even attempted any such thing. He has devoted his life to special and important researches, which bear upon the principle of organic development; but his writings, though rich in biological contributions to the question, do not contain any thing like a full or comprehensive exposition of the subject. Whole tracts of the inquiry they do not touch; the general evidence of the truth of Evolution they do not give; nor do they subject the problem to that rigorous analysis into its ultimate elements and factors which scientific investigation requires. Mr. Darwin has shown with great learning how the principle of natural selection gives rise to diversities of organic species; but natural selection is no more Evolution than a fusee is a watch, or a throttle-valve a steam-engine; and Harper's Weekly might as well send its readers to a treatise on Arches to get a knowledge of Architecture as to Mr. Darwin's writings to get a knowledge of Evolution. Perhaps no living man is better acquainted with what Mr. Darwin has done than Prof. Huxley; but, in a lecture before the Royal Institution of Great Britain, he said: "The only complete and systematic statement of the doctrine" (Evolution) "with which I am acquainted, is that contained in Mr. Herbert Spencer's 'System of Philosophy,' a work which should be carefully studied by all who desire to know whither scientific thought is tending."