Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/132

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122
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

CORRESPONDENCE.



SCIENCE AT PRINCETON COLLEGE.

Messrs. Editors.

THERE are statements in the "Correspondence" of the last number of "The Popular Science Monthly" fitted to leave an unjust impression as to what is taught in Princeton College. I do not enter upon the argument of that article, which is palpably illogical. It is that we have had low fever, taking a typhoid shape, because we do not teach physiology to our students. Two scientific adepts have reported as to our sanitary state, and what they have testified is likely to be accepted by the public. Nor do I look on this as the fitting opportunity to enter on the discussion as to what branches should be taught in colleges which impart a high and refining education, and confer the Bachelor's, the Master's, and the Doctor's degrees. My opinions on this subject have often been given to the world. I believe that, in our higher educational institutions, there should be a due combination of literature (including languages), of science, and philosophy. We have endeavored to unite these, and give a proper place to each in our curriculum. It is only thus that we can fulfill the grand end of education, that of developing the man and the full man. I do not regard a youth as fully trained who knows merely Latin and Greek; but as little do I look upon him as educated if he knows only his own bodily frame and malarial disease. Nor am I ashamed to add that religion has an important part to act in a college, if we would impart the proper spirit to our young men. The favorites of "The Popular Science Monthly," Professor Huxley and Herbert Spencer, have avowed that there is no adequacy in physical science to make youths moral; and the former wishes the Bible taught in the public schools of London, and the latter seems to be trusting to a development which will make people moral in a million of years, if in the mean time the world is not burnt up by the conflagration which he says must come. But my special object in this communication is to correct certain statements and insinuations as to our teaching. The impression is left by the article that we give exclusive, or, at least, our chief attention, to classics and certain old branches, and that we neglect the study of our own bodily frame and of the laws of health. After this declaration, your readers may be surprised to learn that of our thirty instructors thirteen are employed in teaching the various sciences, including the very latest. As to the special branches which we are said not to teach, the Professor of General Chemistry reports: "All students of the college have a full course of instruction in the outlines of human anatomy and physiology, with so much of hygiene as there is time for; and this has been done in the college for nearly half a century. We do not profess to be a medical college, or to train physicians, but no student leaves us without a fair knowledge of his own bodily system." The Professor of Analytical Chemistry reports: "The question of sewage, from a chemical point of view, is fully investigated by all the students of the scientific course and by those of the academic course who elect applied chemistry. Its injurious effects on the atmosphere and on the water are described and the laws of the diffusion of all gases are applied at this present time, and have always been, to this question." The Professor of Natural History writes: "The students in science go through a course of physiology, using 'Huxley's Elements' as a textbook, along with Youmans's Chapters on Hygiene, to which special attention is given. The subjects which are said to be neglected are all taught with some degree of fullness." I have an idea that some of the readers of "The Popular Science Monthly" will be gratified to notice that Professor Youmans is allowed to teach hygiene to our young men; but they will also discover that this fact undermines his argument, which is that, where hygiene is taught, there should be no fever.

James McCosh. 
 Princeton College, August 14, 1880.
 

 

THE SENSE OF DIRECTION IN ANIMALS.

Messrs. Editors.

I was very much interested in the account, published in your July number, of the experiments with the intelligent Cincinnati dog, and I think the facts there developed tend strongly to the proof of a theory that I have long believed to be correct, viz., that some of the lower animals are endowed with a sense of location and direction which at most is only rudimentarily possessed by man. I do not think that the feats of the carrier-pigeon can be accounted for on the theory of any finite