Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/268

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it affords. It is preeminently the field for the amateur and the untrained worker. According to this view, a piece of systematic work may well be a part of the training of all professional zoologists, but capable men will naturally go on into the supposedly more fertile fields of physiology, cytology and experimental zoology.

As is usually the case where diverse opinions clash, a measure of truth is to be found in each one of the above-mentioned three, and doubtless there are other views more or less equally true, to which I have given no expression. As a systematist I should be very glad if I could bring myself to believe that the second view, formulated above, is essentially correct but the more I have thought on the subject the more strongly I have felt that it claims too much. It juggles with words and distorts some inescapable facts. On the other hand, every systematist whose zoological horizon is not hopelessly limited must reject the first view as utterly inadequate, while he will very naturally resent the implications of the third. There can be no question that so far as it goes the first view is true; naming species and cataloguing them, and even determining the correct names to use, are a conspicuous part of systematic work still. If, however, the systematist goes no further, he can not expect high rank as a zoologist. He ought not to ignore the significance of his observed facts; he ought to welcome, even if he can not seek for, information from each and every part of the field of zoology. If he neglects or refuses to listen to the suggestions of physiology, embryology or paleontology, he is not worthy of his task. And this, it seems to me, is the very real truth in the second view mentioned. In the third view, the vital fact is that good systematic work requires more than ordinary training of the abilities to see, and to estimate the relative worth-of the facts observed. It errs in assuming that a mind so trained can not find an adequate field of usefulness in systematic zoology.

Combining the above-given truths, we find we are still far from expressing the central purpose of systematic zoology. We have only brought together a statement of certain means to be used, of certain sources of material and of certain abilities required. The end in view is hardly suggested. As the purpose of zoology is something beyond the mere knowledge of all the phenomena of animal life, seeking further the true interpretation of those phenomena and even further to the ultimate interpretation of life itself, so it seems to me, the purpose of systematic zoology reaches beyond the mere increasing of our knowledge of animal forms and seeks a true interpretation of the resemblances and differences which we find among them. Primarily, however, it deals with results and is only indirectly concerned with the methods by which those results have been attained. It deals with the travelers, the routes traveled and the destinations reached in the animal kingdom,