Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/101

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SOME ANALOGIES AND HOMOLOGIES.

It was further observed by him that, inasmuch as there are pairs or opposites in all things, there is a good and an evil spirit; yet both of these are appointed and controlled by the Great Mystery. There were no angels in the Indian's theology. As there is a spirit of antagonism among animals, so also the Indian believed that the elements do often wage war upon each other, and sometimes upon the animals. For instance, it was supposed that the thunder-bird often goes upon the warpath, traveling over vast tracts of country and chastising both animate and inanimate things.


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SOME ANALOGIES AND HOMOLOGIES.

By W. T. FREEMAN, F. R. C. S.

READERS nowadays like to have things made easy for them. The student has worked for year after year at one new subject after the other; it has been hard work for him, he has painfully struggled to master the new facts, the new ideas, and the time comes when he has reached the acme of his work; he thinks more for himself, reads magazines more than books, and prefers to digest the articles in his armchair, and they must be put for him in an appetizing form, must reach him in fact as the old ideas amplified and reclothed. Very pleasant reading the old lore brought home again, very refreshing to regain what is nearly lost by the help of a few chatty words in every-day tones; nice to dream, even among the words of the scientist, and to drift into illusive paths of speculation which are pointing dimly through and away beyond the veil of thought. May this little paper then be simply a series of dips here and there into the teachings of the unity of type and ideas, leaving the workings of the deeper mines for those who are fit for the labor.

Analogues and homologues are words with a practical ring about them, but they can not always be dealt with in a practical manner. The analogies of the creation teach us that everything is spun of the same stuff and upon one plan. Let a powerful example of this fact be taken in hand at once, and some portion of the animal creation be utilized. Now, we have all of us necks, some of us graceful necks, some of us apoplectic necks, and some of us no necks at all to speak of; again, the giraffe has a very long neck, the elephant a very short one, and the porpoise apparently stops short of one altogether, but in each and every case we find seven cervical vertebræ — and seven only. Again, they, and human beings also, all have the same number and variety of muscles and ligaments. Some of them certainly are simply mere representatives; for instance, the powerful ligamentum nuchæ of the horse