Let it then he your firm resolve, students of the high-school par excellence, not to attend the lectures simply of one faculty, or of one branch of a faculty. Be true to the principles of universitas literarum. Over and above the studies special to your future calling, do not fail to acquire as liberal an education as possible. Postpone purely specialist studies to the time when you will not only have to receive, but also to give—to produce. Hold in high esteem the ancients in all things wherein they were and still are our teachers. Despise not your less remote predecessors and your contemporaries the world over in matters wherein they alone are the authorities.
|THE SPONTANEOUS-GENERATION CONTROVERSY.|
IN the present position of biological science in relation to this important and interesting question, any positive results which have a definite bearing on the difficulties of the subject, and point hopefully to new methods of research, must be warmly welcomed. Prof. Tyndall's beautiful series of experiments "On the Optical Deportment of the Atmosphere in Reference to the Phenomena of Putrefaction and Infection" are precisely of this class, and will give new impulse and direction to all unbiased labor. It is to be regretted when, in a matter so purely one of rigid science as this is, impassioned controversy is suffered to have any place. It fails utterly of its intended purpose, and simply hinders and delays the final issue. There are few but will have admired the animation, courage, and resolution, manifested by Dr. Bastian in the discussion of this question during the last five years; but those who have been most capable of understanding the method, nature, and objects of his experiments, and the general drift of his reasoning, are those who most earnestly disavow the perhaps unconscious, but nevertheless too palpable, advocacy of a thesis which his writings so freely display.
Dr. Bastian's position in relation to the origin of minute organic forms has, at the outset, the immense disadvantage of being adverse to the whole analogical teaching of Nature, down to the uttermost depths of minuteness, where our knowledge is accurate and sound. Wherever science has put down the landmarks of possession, and is not dealing with the disputable territory of hypothesis, it is absolutely known that at some period in the cycle of development the lowliest organisms are dependent for their propagation upon what we can only look upon as genetic products.
Manifestly, then, it must be weighty—nay, unequivocal and even irresistible—evidence that will induce the philosophical biologist to