Popular Science Monthly/Volume 41/October 1892/Literary Notices
Essays upon some Controverted Questions By Thomas Henry Huxley, F. R. S. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1892. Pp. 489. $2.
Most of these essays were first printed from time to time in the Nineteenth Century, and afterward republished here in the Monthly. They were written, the author says, without premeditated purpose or intentional connection in reply to attacks upon doctrines which he holds to be well founded; or in refutation of allegations respecting matters lying within the province of natural knowledge which he believes to be erroneous. The circumstances of their origin gave them a polemical tone, the traces of which disappeared from his heart after the heat of controversy was over, but which he has allowed to remain as being most just on the whole to all, and especially as excusing the occasional severities his antagonists may have indulged in. The author's main thought in the papers has been to show that the events of the world and of life have been and are the outcome of a regular sequence according to fixed laws, and that the intervention of a supernaturalism on which much stress is laid by the "other side" is superfluous—not necessary, and not proved; not that he denies the existence of a supernaturalism, or of real powers and knowledge, equivalent to those which the supernaturalists predicate; for, "looking at the matter from the most rigidly scientific point of view, the assumption that amid the myriads of worlds scattered through endless space there can be no intelligence as much greater than man's as his is greater than a black beetle's; no being endowed with powers of influencing the course of Nature as much greater than his as his is greater than a snail's, seems to me not merely baseless, but impertinent. Without stepping beyond the analogy of that which is known, it is easy to people the cosmos with entities, in ascending scale, until we reach something practically indistinguishable from omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. If our intelligence can in some matters surely reproduce the past of thousands of years ago, and anticipate the future thousands of years hence, it is clearly within the limits of possibility that some greater intellect, even of the same order, may be able to mirror the whole past and the whole future; if the universe is peopled by a medium of such a nature that a magnetic needle on the earth answers to a commotion in the sun, an omnipresent agent is also conceivable; if our insignificant knowledge gives us some influence over events, practical omniscience may confer indefinably greater power." Thus the principle of scientific naturalism of this age "leads not to the denial of the existence of any supernature, but simply to the denial of the validity of the evidence adduced in favor of this or of that extant form of supernaturalism." The author here employs the words "supernature" and "supernaturalism" in their popular sense, but to him the term "Nature" covers the totality of what is. The world of psychical phenomena appears to him as much a part of Nature as the world of physical phenomena; and he is unable to perceive any reason for cutting the world into two halves, one natural and one supernatural. As all of the world's classics have been put to the test of scientific criticism and dissection, Prof. Huxley sees no reason why the Bible should escape the same treatment; and these essays, as our readers may recollect, discuss certain features of the biblical narrative from the point of view of scientific and experimental criticism. The author lays down a body of "established truths," which he specifies, to something like which theological speculations will have to accommodate themselves. These "truths" are irreconcilable with the biblical cosmogony, anthropology, and theodicy, but they are no less inconsistent with Voltairism and kindred systems. But Prof. Huxley is no enemy of the Bible. It appears to him that "if there is anybody more objectionable than the orthodox bibliolater it is the heterodox Philistine, who can discover in a literature which, in some respects has no superior, nothing but a subject for scoffing and an occasion for the display of his conceited ignorance of the debt he owes to former generations." Twenty-two years ago he pleaded for the use of the Bible as an instrument of popular education, but laid stress upon the necessity of placing the instruction in lay hands. He finds the further merit in the Bible that both Testaments "have been the great instigators of revolt against the worst forms of clerical and political despotism." While not believing that the highest biblical ideal is exclusive of others or needs no supplement, he does believe that "the human race is not yet, possibly may never be, in a position to dispense with it."
Christian Anthropology. By Rev. John Thein. With an Introduction by Prof. Charles G. Herbermann, Ph. D., LL. D. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benziger Brothers. Pp. 576.
The author of this work is pastor of St, Martin's Roman Catholic Church, Liverpool, Ohio. Prof. Herbermann sets forth in his introduction that "the Church has taught for ages that between the truths of revelation and the truths of science there can be no conflict. The Vatican Council has solemnly repeated this teaching. On the other hand, some men famed for scientific learning and some famed for unscientific bluster proclaim that between faith and science no reconciliation is possible. Educated Catholics may well ask, How are such assertions possible? Still, it is not hard to find the explanation. If we could ascertain at once what are the truths of science and what are the truths of revelation, their comparison would end the controversy. But what are the truths of science?" Inquiring, the professor finds not the truths, but scientific opinion of what they are, vacillating and not wholly agreed. On the other hand, "we look to the Church to tell us what are revealed truths. . . . When the Church has spoken, we know what revealed truth is. But there are hundreds of opinions on dogma and morals which the Church has neither approved nor condemned, and thousands of biblical texts the meaning of which she has not defined." As it is not easy to find the truths of science or of revelation in every case, it is difficult to compare them with one another. When doctrines seem to be in conflict, it is well to inquire whether they have been established as truths by the Church on the one side or by science on the other; and it is not necessary to be troubled about conflict till this has been made to appear. Nevertheless, there are apparent conflicts, and "some scientific oracles" are doing their best with them to assail the dogmas of the Church. While the priests are informed only respecting one side, "difficulties, arguments on a new discovery, on scientific phenomena, against revealed truth, present themselves sooner or later to every priest in the exercise of his ministry"; and "the priest who knows only his dogmatic and moral theology may be surprised and confounded by objections formulated in entirely new language, supported by pretended fact or by a discovery wrongly interpreted." Father Thein, who is said to be an enthusiastic student of science, to have given years of study and research to anthropology, and to have read the literature of the subject exhaustively, has undertaken in this book to inform his brother clergymen, so that they may not have to go into the conflict unarmed. He reviews the whole system of modern anthropological science and of evolution, with clear knowledge of what has been written and much force of argument. When he finds a weak point, he exposes it unmercifully, and is not above occasional sarcasm. His treatise is intelligent, good-tempered, and readable. But, because, while he questions science everywhere, he accepts the established dogmas of the Church as fixed, his work is better adapted to satisfy those young priests who want to be supported in what they are determined to believe than those inquiring minds who refuse to admit that the dogmas are beyond investigation.
The Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the National Conference on University Extension. Compiled by George Francis James. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. Pp. 292. Price, 1.50.
The spread of the idea of university extension has been rapid, whether the results it has worked out have all been mature or not. Within a year after the first center of extension teaching was established in Philadelphia in November, 1890, Mr. James informs us, more than two hundred such experiments were being carried on in nearly every State in the Union. The results of the first year's work showed the need of thoughtful conference and discussion on the part of those engaged in it. Accordingly, a National Conference on the subject was called under the auspices of the American Society for the Extension of University Teaching, and met in Philadelphia in the last days of 1891. It was attended by delegates from twenty States, representing some fifty of the best institutions of learning, and—either personally or by written report—every center of extension teaching which had so far been established in the country. The seventeen addresses aud papers made and read at the meeting, and contained in this volume of the proceedings, regard the subject from as many different points of view. In addition to them, reports are given of the condition and prospects of university extension in the several States.
Matter, Ether, and Motion. By Prof. A. E. Dolbear. Boston: Lee & Shepard. 1892. Pp. 334.
Prof. Dolbear has essayed to give, in this little volume of three hundred odd pages, a brief account of the fundamental notions of modern physics, and to show the direction in which the thoughts of those are tending who are endeavoring to understand the ultimate mechanism of what we have been accustomed to call dead matter. The title of his volume clearly indicates the trend of such thought. To the physicist the hypothetical ether, which Grove in the forties contemptuously referred to as the clothes-horse upon which to hang the unknown, is becoming more and more a very definite reality. It is to him much more than a working hypothesis. He assumes its existence, and is busily occupied in trying to understand its ultimate structure—that is, how it must be constituted in order to explain the phenomena with which he has to deal.
He sees in it now not only a medium for the transmission of the wave-motions which manifest themselves as light, heat, and electricity, but is attempting to find in it the explanation of matter itself. The old conception of the atom as simply an ultimate particle, itself dead and inert, but endowed with forces by means of which it acts upon other particles, is giving place to a radically different one. This conception is that of the vortex ring. Any smoker can make one, and they are frequently thrown from the funnel of a locomotive in starting. Such a ring consists of a circle of material, all the parts of which are in rotation in the planes of the radii of the ring. Physicists have conceived that such rings formed in the ether—this being postulated as homogeneous and frictionless—might constitute the ultimate something which we term the atom. Such a ring in Mich a medium would be indestructible, it would be elastic, and the size of the ring and its rate of motion would constitute the differences which we recognize between the elementary substances, instead of these differences being due to the size and shape of ultimate hard particles and their impressed forces.
In this view matter itself becomes but a mode of motion, and the old conception of forces as entities disappears. Everything is in the last analysis reducible to motion in the ether, and whether any given set of motions manifest themselves as heat, light, or electricity depends upon the character of the motions. The ether is at once the medium for the transfer of all motion and the storehouse of all energy.
Prof. Dolbear has set forth these new views of modern physics briefly but clearly, and without calling upon the reader for more knowledge than that possessed by the average cultivated man. He does not present them as demonstrated science, but as the views which are gaming ground among scientific workers, and which hold out the promise of our ultimately understanding, in some greater measure than now, the ultimate structure of the physical universe.
Waterdale Researches; or, Fresh Light on the Dynamic Action and Ponderosity of Matter. By "Waterdale." London: Chapman & Hall, 1892. Pp. 293.
Since Newton first announced the law of gravity there have been innumerable attempts to formulate some working hypothesis of a mechanism by which the observed results might be produced. Newton himself repudiated the idea of the particles of matter acting upon each other through void space, and, though this conception of isolated particles endowed with attractive forces is commonly made use of in mathematical analysis, it has never been regarded by physicists as answering to any reality. They have recognized that the universe must be a plenum, and that gravity must in some way result from strains set up in a medium which fills all space. This view is now taking on more definite shape, and it is hoped that before a great while it may be possible to frame some intelligible and consistent theory of the operation of gravity.
To do this appears to be the purpose of "Waterdale" in these "researches," as he is pleased to call them. The book does not seem to have met with a very favorable reception in England, where it was published in the summer of 1891, and the author, therefore, prefaces the present volume with a wearisome plaint over his lack of recognition by scientific men. A dip into the book, which is all we have had time for, seems to amply confirm the judgment of the English scientific world. It may be that the author has arrived at some valuable ideas on the subject, but until he either puts them himself in readable English or has some one else do it for him he has not much cause for complaint if busy men refuse to spend time in hunting for the kernel of truth which may lie hidden.
Ethan Allen, the Robin Hood of Vermont. By Henry Hall. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 207.
The purpose of the author of this work, who died, leaving it for his daughter to complete, was "to make a fuller life of Allen than has been written, and, singling him from that cluster of sturdy patriots in the New Hampshire Grants, to make plain the vivid personality of a Vermont hero to the younger generations." A picturesque hero he is made to appear. Had the records been less exact and romance been left to deal unrestrained with his career, he might in time have shone forth comparably with the most airy heroes of ancient myth and saga. He is compared with Robin Hood—that is, the Robin Hood of Ivanhoe—whose life was "an Anglo-Saxon protest against Norman despotism," as Allen's life was "a protest against domestic robbery and foreign tyranny." Although never a citizen of the United States, "he is one of the heroes of the State and the nation." While we find much about him to study profitably and admire, there are some features in his career that we can not unqualifiedly commend for imitation by our youth; neither can we censure him, for he acted according to his conscience, and consistently for a single end—the freedom of Vermont. He is best known for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga; but what he would have considered his most important service was the defense of the New Hampshire Grants. This part of the story reminds us much of some of the scenes of the territorial history of Kansas. There is the same mixture of lawlessness and submission to the law that the Free State men showed there. It was a singular position the New Hampshire grantees were in, of acknowledging the political sovereignty of New York, and opposing with violence its conveyance of the lands they claimed by another title. The story is well told, largely in the words of the original documents. Another most curious feature in Allen's career is revealed in his coquetting with the British for the recognition of Vermont's position, even at the expense of the United States. As it is shown in this book, his conduct appears to have been controlled by sound reason. Congress had not recognized Vermont, and had refused to admit it to the Union. What claim had the Government on the allegiance of Allen or other Vermonters who were thus denationalized, and forced, as it were, to look out for Vermont alone? Allen was ready to negotiate with Great Britain or any authority that would secure Vermont's independent position—and that was all there was of it. The story of Allen's capture at Montreal, his captivity and imprisonment, is graphically told, wholly in his own words.
The Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages. A Popular Treatise on Early Archæology. By John Hunter Duvar. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp.285. Price, $1.25.
As this book claims to be no more than a popular treatise, pains have been taken to give it that character. It is a fairly full treatise as to European archæology, but less so as to American, although most of the more important recent American work is mentioned. The subject is dealt with to date, and in a very satisfactory manner. The earlier chapters are occupied with the consideration of the geological periods as they relate to the appearance of man with animals in the Tertiary, and man in the Post-tertiary, the primeval condition of man, the mastodon and other animals contemporary with early man, and the presumed domestic life of nomadic man (as primitive man was supposed to be). The older stone or palaeolithic age is characterized as the age of ponderous flint clubs. Two chapters are given severally to the cave-dwellers in Britain, and the cave-dwellers of other countries than Britain—in which notice is taken of American relics. Pursuing the subject, the author finds a gap in the scale of gradation between the close of the cave era and an advanced system of weapons in which light projectiles form the leading feature—the newer stone or neolithic age. This is described with considerable detail, both as to the weapons and the articles of domestic use, and is illustrated by a page of engravings of typical mound-builders' arrow-heads. The mound-builders have a chapter, and are supposed to have been of a civilization about equal to that of the Swiss lake-dwellers, and of no higher antiquity. A chapter each is devoted to the several topics of kitchen-middens; the age of bronze, pronounced the shortest of the three ages, the lake-dwellers, pottery, the iron age, sepulture (cairns, cromlechs or dolmens, barrows, etc.), fossil man, myth, and art. The author regards myth as not the invention of early man, but the fruit of a period of growth; and supposes that the works of art found among the relics, were the productions of specially gifted persons, of whom there may not have been more than one or two in an age, and that they can not be regarded as indicating any extended art sense.
Manual Instruction: Wood-work (the English Sloyd). By S. Barter. London: Whittaker & Co. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 343. Price, $2.
In this work, after an exposition of general principles in the introduction, information and instruction are given in drawing, the varieties, qualities, etc., of timber and other materials, bench-work, and the arrangement and fittings of the workroom—furnishing, among other things, the items of a complete equipment for a class of twenty boys. The chapter on bench-work contains twenty-three exercises in mechanical operations of wood-working, and thirty models of articles that may be made. A preface is supplied by Mr. George Ricks, who defines manual training as "a special training of the senses of sight, touch, and muscular perception by means of various occupations; and it is a training of those faculties, not so much for their own sake, though that is important, as it is for the training of the mind. While the eye is being trained to accuracy and the hand to dexterity and manipulative skill, the mind is being trained to observation, attention, comparison, and judgment." The main object of this training is educational, to perfect the system of education, and so to raise the standard of practical intelligence throughout the community.
Essays upon Heredity, and Kindred Biological Problems. By Dr. August Weismann. Edited by Edward B. Poulton and Arthur E. Shipley. Vol. II. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1892. Pp. 226. Price, $1.30.
This volume is made up from four essays upon the general subject of the title. In the first, Prof. Weismann describes the place and importance of retrogression in the development of animal life. The second essay deals with the musical sense in man and animals and its relation to natural selection. The third essay is controversial, and is an answer to certain criticisms of the views of Prof. Weismann on sundry biological questions. The last essay deals with the question of the reproduction of life, and is concerned with an attempt to understand the significance of the physical facts of the reproductive process. The work is addressed to students of biology, and requires acquaintance with the present state of biological inquiry to be read understandingly.
Contributions to North American Ethnology. Vol. II, in Two Parts. The Klamath Indians of Southwestern Oregon. By Albert Samuel Gatschet, and Vol. VI. The Cegiha Language. By James Owen Dorsey. Washington: Department of the Interior.
The monograph contained in the two large quarto parts of Volume II is a portion of the results of the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region carried on under the direction of Major J. W. Powell. As described in Mr. Gatschet's letter of transmittal it deals with the beliefs, legends, and traditions of the Klamath Indians, their government and social life, their racial and somatic pecularities, and, more extensively, with their language. The group of Indians herein described comprises two chieftaincies, the Klamath Lake Indians and the Modoc Indians, the latter celebrated for their stubborn war with United States troops in 1872-'73. About a hundred pages in the first part of the monograph are devoted to an ethnographical sketch, the other seven hundred pages treating of the Klamath language and giving many Klamath texts. The whole of the second part is occupied with a dictionary having Klamath-English and English-Klamath divisions.
The language treated in Volume VI is the speech of the Omaha and Ponka tribes of Indians. Mr. Dorsey was a missionary to the latter tribe from 1871 to 1873, and resided with the Omahas from 1878 to 1880. The material of his monograph consists of myths, stories, and letters obtained from the Indians, with translations, both interlinear and consecutive. A dictionary and a grammar of the Cegiha language are in preparation.
Mathematical Recreations of Past and Present Times. By W. W. Rouse Ball. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 241. Price, $2.25.
This is a book of curious interest, and, although the author confesses that the conclusions are of no practical use, and most of the results are not new, is not uninstructive. In the first of the two parts into which it is divided various problems and amusements of the kind usually termed mathematical recreations are described. In successive chapters are discussed questions connected with arithmetic, geometry, and mechanics; magic squares; and unicurval problems. In the second are discussed the three classical problems in geometry of the duplication of the cube, the trisection of an angle, and the quadrature of the circle, astrology, hypotheses as to the nature of space and mass, and the means of measuring time. Questions that involve advanced mathematics are excluded from both parts. Among the particular topics considered are the arts of coloring maps, of expressing conditions of physical geography by contour maps, games of position, the familiar "ferry-boat problems," geometrical puzzles, paradoxes on motion (sailing quicker than the wind, etc.), problems on force, inertia, work, stability of equilibrium, etc., perpetual motion, the boomerang, the puzzle of fifteen, the tower of Hanoi, Chinese rings, and the like; the knight's path on the chess-board, the art of traversing mazes, geometrical trees; the speculations on spaces of one, two, and four dimensions; and hypotheses concerning matter and gravity. Some of these problems are trivial; others are associated with the names of distinguished mathematicians; while several of the memoirs quoted have hitherto not been accessible to English readers.
The Atlantic Ferry: Its Ships, Men, and Working. By Arthur J. Maginnis. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 304. Price, $2.
This is a book of general interest and considerable historical value. Many interesting articles on its subject have been published in various periodicals, but none that in themselves have covered the whole ground, and given, as the author says, an idea of the routine, forethought, and general arrangements necessary to carry on such a far reaching organization as a great steamship line, and which would set forth the efforts of the men who have instituted and maintained such enterprises, and the nature and results of the more remarkable examples of vessels and machinery which they have employed. The effort has been made in this book to cover this ground; and the book gives the history, from the earliest institution of Atlantic steamers, of the several lines; chapters descriptive of the working, sailing experiences, and machinery of the Atlantic lines; notices of the men who have made and conduct the Atlantic ferry; sketches of eventful passages and scenes, etc.; facts concerning the manning, expenses, and cost of Atlantic lines; and Atlantic records and tables.
In the Elementary Geography of the British Colonies, published by Macmillan & Co. as one of their Geographical Series (price, 80 cents), the part relating to the British possessions in North America, the West Indies, and the southern part of the South Atlantic Ocean, is contributed by Dr. George M. Dawson, of the Geological Survey of Canada; and that concerning the colonies, dependencies, and protectorates in the northern part of the South Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Asia, Australasia, and Oceania is contributed by Mr. Alexander Sutherland, of Melbourne. India and Ceylon are not included, but are described in a separate volume of the Geographical Scries. In both departments the descriptions are systematic, full, and satisfactory; and the geography is a valuable manual for whatever purpose such a work may be required.
In his book on Electric Railway Engineering (Rubier Publishing Company, Lynn, Mass.) the author, Mr. Edward Trevert, has endeavored to make the subject as plain and interesting as the present advance in the science will admit. The book is written wholly from an electrical point of view, and aims to make clear all the points connected with the management of electric railways. The powerhouse and its apparatus, generators, the construction of the line, motors, rheostats, electric heaters, trolleys, locomotives for heavy traction, trucks, car-wiring, and the storage-battery system are described and illustrated in the chapters severally assigned to them. Accounts are given of some illustrative roads, and remarks for motor men and station men; and some miscellaneous matters are treated of in the appendix. The author predicts a brilliant future for electric railroading.
We published a few months ago a paper by M. Charles Henry on Odors and the Sense of Smell, which included many facts and principles of great interest—some of them, doubtless, novel to most of our readers. Prof. Henry's full discussion of these subjects, with technical observations, tables, etc., which were not appropriate to a popular article, with descriptions of some special apparatus he has invented and applied, are given in a hand-book, Les Odeurs; Démonstrations pratiques avec l'Olfactomètre et le Pèse-vapeur (Odors; Practical Demonstrations with the Olfactometer and Vapor-Balance), which is published in Paris as a number of the Forney Municipal Professional Library of Art and Industry.
The Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Prevalent Epidemic of Quackery—an address before the graduating class of a medical school—by Dr. George M. Gould, is devoted very largely to the denunciation of homoeopathy. The offer of a prize of $100 is made for the best essay that shall, historically and actually, show up the ridiculous pretensions of modern homœopathic practice. Other medical "vagaries," like "Keeleyism," patent medicines, advertising, etc., are attacked with earnest vigor. Philadelphia.
A compendium of information is furnished by Dr. C. Remondino, concerning a region which is attracting much attention on account of its climatic advantages, in his book on The Mediterranean Shores of America (F. A. Davis & Co., Philadelphia, $1.25). The preparation of the book was suggested while the author was trying to unravel the intricate and contradictory information that is encountered in the study of climatology and its relation to the etiology of phthisis. Then he made a special study of his home climate, or rather climates, for he distinguishes seven kinds in southern California. The introduction is devoted to the discussion of generalities concerning the various features, several and collective, of climate, location, soil, altitude, exposure, sunshine, electrical conditions, etc., and is followed by descriptions of the several health resorts of the region and their peculiarities.
A book describing The Chinese, their Present and Future; Medical, Political, and Social (F. A. Davis, Philadelphia, $1.75), is by a Presbyterian medical missionary, Dr. Robert Coltman, Jr., who became fascinated with the peoples of the far East, and particularly with those of China, by reading accounts of them in missionary journals and books. He was disappointed in his reading by a lack of detail and a meagerness of description, especially in regard to the social state of the people and country at present, and sought an opportunity to go and see for himself. Hence the book may be regarded as a labor of love. It gives a lively running account of what the author saw, experienced, and learned in northern China, throws many side-lights on the social conditions of the people of all classes, and adds chapters on the missionaries and their works, business opportunities, the present political situation of the country, and its future prospects.
The Hygienic Treatment of Consumption has been prepared by Dr. M. L. Holbrook to advocate the treatment of consumption by hygienic remedies, which are accessible to all who have the intelligence and the wisdom to acquire a knowledge of them and their application. It is methodical, and in the first part considers the nature and causes of the disease. Among the latter are the predisposing causes of various kinds, and the accidents which often result in consumption, and the micro-organisms as the immediate cause. The second and third parts discuss the prevention and treatment of consumption in its earlier stages and in more advanced cases. Most important of the remedies is enlargement of the chest and lungs, both as preventive and as curative measures in the early stages of the disease. They are secured through expansion by breathing, vocal culture, and a large number of physical exercises which are described. Food, clothing, the dwelling, horseback-riding, the will and will power, and many other physical agencies much neglected are discussed; also resting in the open air at various seasons and its advantages. The book is written mainly for the patient, who may select from the various remedies such as are more especially adapted to his needs. (M. L. Holbrook & Co., New York.)
Phases of Animal Life Past and Present (Longmans, $1.50) is the name of a collection of essays by R. Lydekker, which are intended to illustrate in a popular manner a few of the various modes in which animals—especially vertebrates—are adapted to similar conditions of existence; and also to demonstrate some of the more remarkable types of structure obtaining among the higher vertebrates. Special attention is given to the curious creatures of past geological ages, but living forms are not neglected. The animals described are classed as "mailclad," "flying," "swimming," "primeval salamanders," "fish lizards" (short-necked), "plesiosaurs" (long-necked), "tortoises and turtles," "giant land reptiles" (dinosaurs), "flying dragons" (pterodactyles), "giant birds," "egg-laying mammals" (monotremes), "pouched animals" (marsupials), and "dogs and bears," followed by chapters on teeth and their variations, horns and antlers, and rudimentary structures. The style is clear and entertaining, the descriptions are specific, and the illustrations are excellent.
A book published by Putnams, on Materialism and Modern Physiology of the Nervous System, is the substance of an address that was delivered before the Philosophical Faculty of Columbia College, by William H. Thomson. The author finds the expressions of modern physiologists on the connection between nerve and consciousness indefinite and unsatisfactory. He examines the development of the nervous system from the lowest vertebrates up to man, and discussing the questions at issue, concludes that there is that in consciousness and mental operations that can not be accounted for by nervous action alone, but something must be called in to assist; therefore matter, force, and consciousness are three distinct realities.
In Architecture, Mysticism, and Myth (Macmillan), a study is presented by W. R. Lethaby of the influence of Nature and men's ideas of the universe and of divinity on their art. The author distinguishes between the common use of the term architecture, which is rather applied to building, and the sense in which he employs it, as "the synthesis of the fine arts." "As the pigments are but the vehicle of painting, so is building but the vehicle of architecture, which is the thought behind form, embodied and realized for the purpose of its manifestation and transmission." The two are regarded as "quite clear and distinct as ideas—the soul and the body." Of these enumerated ultimate facts behind all architecture, which have given it form, the author studies particularly the influence of the known and imagined facts of the universe, the connection between the world as a structure and the building as a whole. His study brings him evidence "of a cosmical symbolism" in the buildings of the younger world, and of the intention in the idea of the temple "to set up a local reduplication of the temple not made with hands, the world temple itself." Beginning with the form of the world in the first chapter of his study, the three or four chapters that follow deal with the relation of the building to it as a whole, and the rest of the work with parts and details. The book is an interesting one, the argument is re-enforced with citations from mythology and folk lore, and the whole is appropriately illustrated.
In Philosophy and Physical Science—an inaugural address as professor in Adalbert College—Mattoon Monroe Curtis turns the tables on the champions of scientific culture, and sets forth the claim that "philosophy is the central discipline about which all others cluster, and by which they are to be estimated; that upon the great problems of physical science there is at present little ground for sweeping generalizations and rigid dogmatisms; that principles of faith are the foundations of all our beliefs concerning external realities; that the speculative elements in physical science are its most prominent and necessary features; and that in all speculative questions wisdom commands honesty, moderation, and charity."