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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

them, as implicated with human passions and prejudices, and the influences of race, faith, nationality, states of society, and all the forces of obstruction and acceleration by which the human mind is affected. The most conspicuous and important feature in the history of science he considers to be its long conflict with theological authority. Religion was first in the field, and reigned supreme before science appeared. It put forth supernatural claims to the understanding of Nature, so that the profound ignorance of the natural world had a kind of religious consecration. To inquire was to question received explanations, to doubt pious beliefs, and was therefore impious. In its faint beginnings, therefore, among the pagan Greeks, science was denounced for the same reasons and in almost the same terms that it was recently anathematized by the Vatican Council. To fill in the links of the long-protracted struggle that has intervened, and delineate the stages of the mighty controversy which Dr. Manning declares to be now impending, was the object of Dr. Draper in preparing his work. He has, therefore, not only supplied an obvious want of historic literature, which would have been valuable at any time, but in the present crisis of the great elements, political, religious, and scientific, he has given us a text-book of the subject, by. which the experience of the past is made the basis for an intelligent judgment of the present. The problem is undoubtedly immense—too great for any thing but proximate solution, and in a pioneer attempt we are not to expect perfection; but Dr. Draper has done his work ably and courageously, and in a manner worthy of his high reputation and the greatness of the theme. His book will be read with avidity by thousands in both hemispheres, who will gladly acknowledge their indebtedness to it for help and light in the present crisis of the questions it considers.

 

 

NORMAL CO-EDUCATION.

In the October Monthly we published a letter of Prof. Cochran, from Dr. Clarke's late work, "The Building of a Brain," on the effects of co-education in the Albany Normal School. We have received a suggestive letter from a lady who was connected with the institution at the time, and who says that "the cases of illness or of failing health among the young ladies were sent to me to inquire into and care for;" and she adds that, "to those familiar with the work of the Albany school, at this period, no statistics drawn from its health-roll would count any thing whatever in this discussion." It is mentioned that, "in 1864, when Prof. Cochran left Albany, in a school of over two hundred pupils, there were twenty gentlemen, so that, as far as education is concerned, it would seem that some deference might have been paid to the greatest good of the greatest number." The curriculum is, however, characterized as "oppressive." Our correspondent claims to have investigated the subject, and says that, while "with regard to the facts there is little question, with regard to the causes there is a very important one." Her general view of the case is presented in the following passages from her communication:

"I have reached the conclusion, from my investigations, that no statistics drawn from mixed schools can prove any thing with regard to co-education or identical education, until the two sexes can be placed in those schools upon equal or similar conditions.

"While there are a hundred outside things that militate against a woman's success in such a school, which find no parallel in the conditions of the male pupils, ill health or want of power among the female pupils can prove nothing. In every quarter woman is unfairly weighted for the race; but especially in our normal schools these conditions have reached their climax. For example:

"In 1856 one of the young ladies, whose