The legality of the use of standard time was established by the decision of Judge Holmes, of Massachusetts, that whatever time was in ordinary use by the people of any community was lawful time; and his decision is not likely to be reversed. From an economic stand-point it is difficult to perceive what difference it makes to a laboring-man whether he commences work at a time nominally called seven o'clock or half-past seven, so long as he receives full wages for a full day's work.
Some of the objections raised to the use of standard time as a substitute for local time are as amusing as the famous declaration of the Rev. John Jasper, of Richmond, Virginia. It is urged that the sun was divinely set to rule the day, and therefore to use any but solar time is akin to, if not actually, immoral conduct. As the moon was also set to rule the night, such persons, if logical, should obey that portion of the divine command also. The fact is, that solar time was necessarily abandoned when clocks came into general use, and time based upon one or another arbitrary standard has governed the civilized world ever since. The present system, with its widely extended uniformity, simply conforms to the principle of securing the greatest good to the greatest number, a principle which must everywhere in the end prevail.
OUR newly-constituted Section of Anthropology, now promoted from the lower rank of a Department of Biology, holds its first meeting under remarkable circumstances. Here in America one of the great problems of race and civilization comes into closer view than in Europe. In England anthropologists infer from stone arrow-heads and hatchet-blades, laid up in burial-mounds or scattered over the sites of vanished villages, that Stone age tribes once dwelt in the land; but what they were like in feature and complexion, what languages they spoke, what social laws and religion they lived under, are questions where speculation has but little guidance from fact. It is very different when under our feet in Montreal are found relics of a people who formerly dwelt here. Stone age people, as their implements show, though not unskilled in barbaric arts, as is seen by the ornamentation of their earthen pots and tobacco-pipes, made familiar by the publications of Principal Dawson. As we all know, the record of Jacques Cartier, published in the sixteenth-century collection of Ramusio, proves
- Vice-President's address to the Section of Anthropology of the British Association at the Montreal meeting.