Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/862

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

At present, thinkers seem to acknowledge that animals can and do reason; and scientific men cease giving instinct as a cause for the conduct of animals. Will these thinkers now put women on a lower level than animals, or do they limit the word "reasoning" to slow action of the mind, and refuse it as a term for quick mental action? That were strange!

As a woman, I have seen much of women. I have yet to find one with real powers of intuition. I will not call her impossible. Instead, I encounter foolish women, who act from prejudice or impatience; wise women, who base their actions on great quantities of observations continually renewed and compared, as constant and careful as those of an accomplished detective; and a variety of women between these types. But — so absurd is the human being under the sway of conventionality — some of the wise actually made themselves believe that they acted and judged by intuition, because they had been told that women did so.

Furthermore, kindness may not require much reasoning power in the kind person, nor may mere abstention from vice in the abstainer; but I have always found that active goodness — and what other sort deserves the name of good? — needed reason to be brought into play as much as feeling.

Elizabeth Winthrop Johnson.




EDITOR'S TABLE.


ANOTHER RAID ON THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION.

A FEW months ago we referred to the objections which had been made to the teaching of modern scientific views in the University of California; but fortunately we were able to state that much public sympathy had been extended to the incriminated professors, and that they were able to hold their positions without any curtailment of the liberty they claimed of imparting the best scientific instruction in their power without regard to preconceived notions or theories. Even as we wrote there was similar trouble brewing, though we were not aware of it, in the University of Texas. The results in the latter case, if we are rightly informed, have been far less satisfactory than in the former. The Texan conscience, it seems, is a very tender one; and when it became mooted that Dr. Edwards, the Adjunct Professor of Biology, was teaching on evolutionary lines, and that the ingenuous youths who attended his classes were in danger of imbibing such ideas as that the world may not really have been made in six days, and that the countless species of plant and animal life now existing or that have existed in the past may not have been called separately into being by so many distinct acts of creation, there was much heart-searching on the ranches, and an enlightened public opinion determined that something must be done at once. They can stand a good many things down in the Lone Star State, but heterodoxy and horse-stealing are two things they will not stand if they can help it. As the Austin Daily Statesman elegantly expressed it: "The mind of the common people of Texas is wonderfully set and united on the verity of the old Bible as she stands in the King James version. The least hint that anything is being taught in any school that will unsettle the faith of their children in the good old Bible doctrine of the creation of matter, the origin of life, and the descent of the race from Adam and Eve, without going any further back in the pedigree, will raise the 'Old Henry' and wake the reptile that sleeps on the log in the sun with pious fathers and mothers all over the State. The origin of man, as set forth in the Bible in a pretty clear fashion, is made in the image of God with a natural body and a reasonable soul. It was a creative act of almighty power immediately performed with no intermediate ancestry." The slight literary defects which the