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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/324

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
"This process is without precedent. The use of sand in sawing marble, or in grinding glass by common methods, hardly furnishes an analogy."

Here follows a description of the device, concluding with the statement that "it is regarded by the judges as being one of the most remarkable and valuable inventions which the age has produced."

When it is announced that the judges who thus emphatically indorsed the claims of the sand-blast were Profs. Barnard, Mayer, and Morton, our readers will demand of the writer no apology for or qualification of his expressed opinion that the "Tilghman sand-blast is an invention which, in simplicity of construction and extent of application, has hardly an equal in the annals of American patents."

 

INSTINCT AND ACQUISITION.[1]
By D. A. SPALDING.

SO great was the influence of that school of psychology which maintained that we and all other animals had to acquire in the course of our individual lives all the knowledge and skill necessary for our preservation, that many of the very greatest authorities in science refused to believe in those instinctive performances of young animals about which the less learned multitude have never had any doubt. For example, Helmholtz, than whom there is not, perhaps, any higher scientific authority, says: "The young chicken very soon pecks at grains of corn, but it pecked while it was still in the shell, and when it hears the hen peck, it pecks again, at first seemingly at random. Then, when it has by chance hit upon a grain, it may, no doubt, learn to notice the field of vision which is at the moment presented to it."

At the meeting of this Association in 1872, I gave a pretty full account of the behavior of the chicken after its escape from the shell. The facts observed were conclusive against the individual-experience psychology. And they have, as far as I am aware, been received by scientific men without question. I would now add that not only does the chick not require to learn to peck at, to seize, and to swallow small specks of food, but that it is not a fact, as asserted, and generally supposed, that it pecks while still in the shell. The actual mode of self-delivery is just the reverse of pecking. Instead of striking forward and downward (a movement impossible on the part of a bird packed in a shell with its head under its wing), it breaks its way out by vigorously jerking its head upward, while it turns round within the shell, which is cut in two—chipped right round in a perfect circle some distance from the great end.

  1. Read at the Bristol meeting of the British Association.