Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/865

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845
LITERARY NOTICES.

the investigations into the earth's extinct life, and pointed out that the high ground of evolution has been gained, and that it is no longer an open question, but must be accepted for the guidance of future research; while all the tendencies of thought converge toward the conclusion which the future will realize, that inorganic and organic nature will yet become one. Dr. Ullman, also assuming the truth of evolution, enriches our biological literature with an elaborate essay on that remarkable substance, only made known in quite recent times, which turns out to be the common medium and substratum of all vital manifestations—the liquid protoplasm. Professor Mivart and Dr. Pye-Smith, in their inaugural addresses as Vice-Presidents, still further devote themselves to biology and natural history, while Powell and Tylor open the extensive subject of anthropology. Biological studies, of course, issue in the science of man, involving a broad series of questions, organic, psychological, developmental, racial, and social, and these questions now occupy the central arena of interest and debate. Anthropology has long been a prominent subject in the British Association, although for many years it had to battle for formal recognition and the important position that is now accorded to it. It has now come forward in the American Association, and the status conceded to it is sufficiently shown by the fact that the President-elect, who will preside at the Boston meeting next year. Mr. Lewis H. Morgan, is the first special representative of anthropology who has attained this honor.

These circumstances illustrate the powerful drift of contemporary science in the direction of those higher human questions which have claims upon intelligent people of all classes. So long as science was supposed to busy itself solely with distant, curious, and useless things, it was very naturally an object of thoughtless derision to minds occupied with pressing interests and claiming to be "practical." But these superficial sarcasms have lost their point in these latter days, when science is everywhere giving law to the practical, and is now addressing itself systematically to the most directly important of all subjects—the laws of life, and the nature of man and his institutions. This is the field that now most needs cultivation, and the Associations which are devoted to improvement and diffusion of accurate and trustworthy knowledge upon these subjects are entitled to the liberal patronage of the public.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

A Sketch of Dickinson College, Pennsylvania: Including the List of Trustees and Faculty from the Foundation, and a more Particular Account of the Scientific Department. By Charles F. Himes, Ph.D., Professor of Natural Science. Illustrated by Engravings and by Photographs executed in the Laboratory. Harrisburg: Lane S. Hart. Pp. 155. Price, $2.

This neat little history of Dickinson College, with its portraits of the founder and of its leading presidents, its admirable photographs of the college buildings, and its illustrations of historic relics in its laboratory, will be much prized by all who are interested in the institution, and is by no means without instructiveness to general readers who care about the progress of education. Dickinson College, located at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in the beautiful Cumberland Valley, was founded in 1783, and named after John Dickinson, Governor of the State, who was active in its establishment, and made liberal donations to it. Dr. Benjamin Rush was also deeply interested in the institution from the beginning, and labored zealously for twenty-five years in various ways to promote its success. The college has had a successful career and a creditable history, and includes among its alumni a President of the United States, a Chief Justice, with many judges, senators, Cabinet officers, Congressmen, and professional men of high rank. Among the distinguished men who