Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/445

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
441
ZOOLOGY

ZOOLOGY[1]
By Professor HENRY B CRAMPTON

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

IN the present series of addresses upon the nature and scope of some of the divisions of knowledge, zoology connects the natural sciences with those subjects that deal with human progress in physical, social, political and economic respects. Like the human and other sciences, zoology has arisen from that vague uncoordinated and unresolved mass of knowledge, the natural philosophy of not very remote times, which undertook to comprehend all there was of nature and thought. And again like the other sciences it is as such a branch of relatively late growth. In earlier times few men were sufficiently withdrawn from the affairs of the market-place and commerce and conquest, from politics and government and theological propaganda, to observe the phenomena of nature closely, to reflect upon their observations, and to summarize their deductions in the formularies of natural law. Not until human social structure neared the relatively settled condition of modern times did it become possible for men to differentiate as students of nature solely, rendering their service to the common weal as investigators of the less practical and more remote departments of knowledge. Now the sciences have become so great, so complex and varied, that it is impossible for a single mind to comprehend all that is included in one of them. So widely the impelling energy of research has driven the soldiers of investigation that only when, as in the present series of addresses, they return to the council-fires of an intellectual bivouac can they come to realize how far-flung indeed are the battle-lines of the armies of science—how rich and diversified is the territory from which knowledge has driven ignorance and superstition. And they must realize also how impossible it is for them to conduct their operations at all times in entire independence. The results of physics and chemistry are indispensable weapons for the biologist; geology takes the field with paleontology for the study of fossil forms; while on the other hand the advance posts of zoology provide the students of many a human science with a secure base of operations.

I need not speak of the inter-relations of the several biological sciences, for these have been sufficiently explained in the earlier dis-


  1. A lecture delivered at Columbia University in the series on Science, Philosophy and Art December 11, 1907. Copyright, 1908, by the Columbia University Press.