Popular Science Monthly/Volume 32/February 1888/What American Zoologists Have Done for Evolution: 1887 Speech III

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Popular Science Monthly Volume 32 February 1888  (1888) 
What American Zoologists Have Done for Evolution: 1887 Speech III
By Edward Sylvester Morse
WHAT AMERICAN ZOÖLOGISTS HAVE DONE FOR EVOLUTION.[1]

By Professor EDWARD S. MORSE.

[Concluded.]

TO those who have already been startled by the memoir of Dr. W. Baldwin Spencer on the presence and structure of the pineal gland in Lacertilia, and the evidence that it represents a third eye in a rudimentary condition, it will be interesting to know that among some of the earlier mammals the pineal gland may have assumed functional importance as an eye. Professor Henry F. Osborn[2] shows that in the skull of the curious mammal Tritylodon, of Owen, there is seen a parietal foramen in exactly the same position and relation as in the lizard Sphenodon.

Professor Osborn regards this fact of remarkable interest, as it adds greatly to the rapidly accumulating evidence for the reptilian affinities of the mammalia. Professor Owen, in the description of this unaccountable opening, suggested that it might be due to posthumous injury.

Professor Marsh,[3] in a description of the skull of Diplodocus, a Dinosaur, describes a fontanelle in the parietal on the median line directly over the cerebral cavity. He adds, however, that this may be merely an individual variation.

Professor Cope"Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society," 1878, p. 516. observes an enormous fronto-parietal foramen in the skull of Empedocles molaris, a curious creature from the Permian.

It would appear evident from these facts that at one time the pineal gland, which in the mammals is in a rudimentary condition, and in certain Lacertilia sufficiently perfect, as an eye, to be sensitive to light impressions at least, was, in certain extinct mammals and reptiles, of large size and functionally active. It is a significant fact that no sooner does some one opposed to evolution undertake to lay down the law by setting a boundary to type-features, than a discovery is made that breaks down the barrier. Thus, Dr. Thomas Dwight,[4] in an interesting memoir on the "Significance of Bone Structure," in which he makes a brave defense for teleology, says, in speaking of the persistence of the vertebrate plan, "There are never, for instance, more than two eyes or one mouth or two pairs of limbs," and, lo! an extra eye is immediately added. Dr. Spencer Trotter * has made a study of the collar-bone and its significance, in which he accounts for its presence or absence in mam- malia by correlating it with the life-habits of the animal in the use of the fore-limb. He says: "Every fully-developed tissue in an organism is needed, or it would not be there; and just so soon as by increasing change in life and habits it becomes a factor of less and less importance to the animal, it fails more and more to attain its former standard of development, and in time falls back to the primitive condition from which it arose and finally disappears."

Many new and interesting facts have been added sustaining the affinity between the birds and reptiles. Professor O. C. Marsh f made a careful study of the Archoeopteryx in the British Museum. The new points he has added bring out still more strongly the extraordinary characters blended in this creature. Among other features he discov- ered the separate condition of the pelvic bones, and shows that while it must be considered a bird, yet it has true teeth, bi-concave vertebrae, three separate fingers in each hand, all furnished with claws, meta- tarsals and metacarpals, equally unanchylosed and the pelvic bones separate, as already mentioned.

Dr. J. Amory Jeffries,^ in the study of the claws and sj^urs on birds' wings, has presented an interesting table showing the* number of phalanges in each finger, from the highest to the lowest family of birds, with the presence or absence of claws recorded for each finger. This table shows very clearly that the higher birds have fewer pha- langes and no claws, and as one approaches the lower families the phalanges increase in number, the first finger having two phalanges, and the second and third fingers being tipped with claws.

In a brief study of the tarsus of low aquatic birds,* made with special reference to the interpretation of the ascending process of the astragalus with the intermedium of reptiles, I observed a separate center of ossification for this so-called process, observed its unques- tionable position between the tibiaie and fibulare, its increase in size with the growth of the bird, and its final anchylosis with the proximal tarsal bones. In the bones of a young Dinornis, which through the courtesy of Dr. Henry Woodward I was kindly permitted to examine in the British Museum, the ascending process was large and conspicu- ous and firmly anchylosed with the coossified tarsals to the distal end of the tibia. Professor Marsh, | in a study of the metartasal bones of Ceratosaurus, a Dinosaur discovered by him, found that the metatar- sals coossified in the same manner as those of the penguin.

The question as to the existence of a sternum in Dinosaurian

  • "American Naturalist," vol. xix, p. 1172.

•f "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xxii, p. 338.

X "Proceedings of the British Society of Natural History," vol. xxi, p. 301.

    • "Anniversary Memoirs of the British Society of Natural Histoiy," 1880.

II "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xxvlii, p. 161. '494 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

reptiles has long been in doubt. Professor Marsh* has, however, discovered in Brontosaurus, one of the largest known Dinosaurs, two flat bones which he regards as clearly belonging to the sternum. They correspond to the immature stage of similar parts in birds.

Dr. Alexander Agassiz,f in a study of the young stages of certain osseous fishes, shows that while the tail is a modified heterocercal one, it is for all that in complete accordance with embryonic growth and paleontological development; and, independently, Dr. John A. Ryder J finds that "the median fins of fishes normally present five well-marked conditions of structure which correspond inexactly to as many stages of development, which, in typical fishes, succeed each other in the order of time."

Mr. James K. Thatcher, * in a study of the "Median and Paired Fins, a Contribution to the History of Vertebrate Limbs," shows that "the limbs, with their girdles, were derived from a series of similar simple parallel rays, and that they were a specialization of the con- tinuous lateral folds or fins evidenced in embryos, which were, with some probability, homologous with the lateral folds or metapleura of the adult Amphioxus."

A great amount of work has been done in making clear the earlier stages ifi the development of animals, and breaking down the hard and fast lines which were formerly supposed to exist between the larger divisions. Dr. C. S. Minot, || in a series of papers on "Comparative Embr5'ology," in referring to the work accomplished, says: "These researches have completely altered the whole science of comparative anatomy and animal morphology, by entirely upsetting a large part of Cuvier's classification and the idea of types upon which it was based, substituting the demonstration of the fundamental identity of plan and structure throughout the animal kingdom, from the sponges to man."

Professor C. O. Whitman,'^ in describing a "rare form of the blas- toderm of the chick, in which the primitive groove extended to the very margin of the blastoderm, terminating here in the marginal notch first observed by Pander," justly contends that, "in the origin of the embryo from a germ-ring by the coalescence of the two halves along the axial lines of the future animal, and, secondly, in the metameric division which followed in the wake of the concrescence," we have evidence of the annelidan origin of the vertebrates, since concres- cence of the germ-bands is a well-established fact for both chseto- pods and leeches.

  • "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xix, p. 393.

f "Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," vol. xiii, p. 117. X "American Naturalist," vol. xix, p. 90.

  • "Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences," vol. iii, p. 281.

I Ibid., vol. xiv, p. 96.

^ "Proceedings of the British Society of Natural History," vol. xxii, p. 178. The tracing of apparently widely divergent structures to a com- mon origin has engaged the attention of many of our investigators. Not only has a large amount of evidence been offered to show a com- mon origin of widely-separated structures, but memoirs of a sjDecula- tive and theoretical character have given us a possible clew to the avenues we may follow in further establishing a proof of the unity of origin of forms and parts.

Dr. Francis Dercum* gives an interesting review of the structure of the sensory organs, and urges that the evidence goes to prove the common genesis of these organs.

Professor A. Hyatt f has presented an interesting study of the larval history of the origin of tissue. He attempts to show a phyletic connection between the Protozoa and Metazoa, and also to show that the tissue-cells of the latter are similar to a sexual larvce, "and are related by their modes of development to the Protozoa, just as larval forms among the Metazoa themselves are related to the ancestral adults of the different groups to which they belong." Dr. John A. Ryder J has studied the law of nuclear displacement and its signifi- cance in embryology. In a discussion of this subject he says: "The mode of evolution of the yolk is of great interest, and doubtless oc- curred through the working of natural selection. It is evidently adaptive in character, and the necessity for its presence as an append- age of the Qgg grew out of the exigencies of the struggle for exist- ence."

Mr. 11. AY. Conn,* in a paper entitled "Evolution of the Decapod Zoae," gives a number of striking and suggestive facts explaining the reason of the multiform and diverse character of the larvro of decapod crustaceans. He shows in what way natural selection has affected the young. What has seemed an almost insoluble mystery, as to why the early stages of closely allied crustaceans should be so often diverse in their varied armature of long spines, their powers of rapid flight, etc., are explained on the ground of natural selection. In another memoir by the same author, || on the significance of the "Larval Skin of Deca- pods," a very complete discussion of the views of authors is given. At the outset he shows that the crustaceans are a particularly favor- able group for the study of phylogeny, and then suggests the charac- ter of the ancestral form of the Crustacea from the significance of the larval envelope. The author infers, from his studies, that "all deca- pods are to be referred back to a form similar to the Proiozom {Zoce), in which the segments of the thorax, and probably of the abdomen, were present, and whose antennae were locomotive organs."

Not the slightest justice can be done this admirable discussion in the

"•' "American Naturalist," vol. sii, p. SYO.

\ "Proceedings of the British Society of Natural History," vol. xxiii, p. 45.

X "Science," vol. i, p. 273. » Iljid., vol. iii, p. 513.

11 "Studies from Biological Laboratory," Johns Hopkins University, vol. iii, No. 1. brief reference here made, but the perusal of it will certainly inipress one with the profound change which has taken place in the method of treating a subject of this nature compared to the treatment it might have received in pre-Darwinian days. Indeed, the features discussed in this paper would not have attracted a moment's attention from the older naturalists.

Since Darwin published his provisional theory of Pangenesis it has provoked speculative efforts on the part of some of our naturalists to devise other hypotheses which might answer some of the objections urged against Darwin's hypothesis. Space will permit only a mention of a few of these papers. Professor AV. K. Brooks * presented, in brief abstract, at the Buffalo meeting eleven years ago, a provisional theory of Pangenesis. These views, more elaborated, are now pub- lished in book-form, under the title of "The Laws of Heredity." An illustrious reviewer says it is the most important contribution on the speculative side of Darwinism that has ever appeared in this country. He has also aptly termed studies of this nature molecular biology. Dr. Louis Elsberg at the same meeting also read a paper on the plasti- dule hypothesis.

Dr. John A. Ryder f has made an interesting contribution entitled "The Gemmule versus the Plastidule as the Ultimate Physical Unit of Living Matter." In this paper he discusses Darwin's provisional theory of Pangenesis, and shows it to be untenable from Galton's ex- pei'iments.

Ilaeckel's provisional hypothesis of the perigenesis of tbe plasti- dule is clearly stated, and he closes by saying that the logical conse- quences of the acceptance of Haeckel's theory, and with it the theory of dynamical differentiation—because the latter is no longer an hy- pothesis—forever relegate teleological doctrines to the category of ex- tinct ideas.

The wide-spread public interest in Darwinism arose from the fact that every theory and every fact advanced in proof of the derivative origin of species applied with equal force to the origin of man as one of the species. The public interest has been continually excited by the consistent energy with which the Church—Catholic and Protestant alike—has inveighed against the dangerous teachings of Darwin. Judging by centuries of experience, as attested by unimpeachable his- torical records, it is safe enough for an intelligent man, even if he knows nothing about the facts, to accept promptly as truth any gen- eralization of science which the Church declares to be false, and con- versely to repudiate with equal promptness as false any interpretation of the behavior of the universe which the Church adjudges to be true. In proof of this sweeping statement, one has only to read the impos-

  • "ProceedincTS of the American Associated Antiquarian Societv," vol. xxv, p. IVV;

also "American Naturalist," vol. xi, p. 144. f "American Naturalist," toI. xiii, p. 12. ing collection of facts brought together by Dr. White, the distin- guished ex-President of Cornell University, which are embodied in his work entitled "The Warfare of Science," as well as two additional chapters on the same subject, which have lately appeared in "The Popular Science Monthly." One then realizes the lamentable but startling truth that, without a single exception, every theory or hy- pothesis, every discovery or generalization of science has been bitterly opposed by the Church, and particularly by the Catholic Church, which resists, and, as Huxley says, "must, as a matter of life and death, re- sist the progress of science and modern civilization."

Only the briefest reference can here be made to a few of the nu- merous contributions on the subject of man's relationship to the ani- mals below him. The rapidly-accumulating proofs of the close rela- tion existing between man and the quadrumana, make interesting every fact, however trivial, in regard to the structure and habits of the higher apes.

Dr. Arthur E. Brown * has made some interesting experiments with the monkeys at the Zoological Gardens in Philadelphia. He found that the monkeys showed great fear, as well as curiosity, when a snake was placed in their cage, though they were not affected by other animals, such as an alligator and turtle. On the other hand, mammals belonging to other orders showed no fear or curiosity at a snake. These experiments, repeated in various ways, lead him to only one logical conclusion, "that the fear of the serpent became instinct- ive in some far-distant progenitor of man, by reason of his long ex- posure to danger and death in a horrible form, from the bite, and that it has been handed down through the diverging lines of descent which find their expression to-day in Homo and Pithecus."

The same author,f in an exceedingly interesting description of the higher apes, says: "Mr. A, R. Wallace once called attention to the similarity in color existing between the orang and chimpanzee and the human natives of their respective countries. It would, indeed, seem as if but half the truth had been told, and that the comparison might be carried also into the region of mind; the quick, vivacious chimpan- zee partaking of the mercurial disposition of negro races, while the apathetic, slow orang would pass for a disciple of the sullen fatalism of the Malay."

Dr. Brown | has also given a description of the grief manifested by a chimpanzee on the death of its mate. His grief was shown by tearing his hair or snatching at the short hair on his head. The yell of rage was followed by a cry the keeper had never heard before, a sound which might be represented by hah-ah-ah-ah-ah uttered some- what under the breath, and with a plaintive sound like a moan.

Mr. W. F. Hornaday * read at the Saratoga meeting of this Asso-

  • "American Naturalist," vol. xii, p. 225. f Ibid., vol. xvii, p. 119.

X Ibid., vol. xili, p. 173. * Ibid., vol. xiii, p. V12.

VOL. xxxii.—32 ciation an exceedingly interesting paper on the "Habits of the Orang," as observed by him in his native forests. He says, "Each individual of the Borneo orangs differs from his fellows, and has as many facial peculiarities belonging to himself alone, as can be found in the indi- viduals of any unmixed race of human beings." After recounting the many traits of the orang, heretofore regarded as peculiar to man, he says: "Let any one, who is prejudiced against Darwinian views, go to the forests of Borneo. Let him there watch from day to day this strangely human form in all its various phases of existence. Let him see it climb, walk, build its nest, eat and drink and fight like human 'roughs.' Let him see the female suckle her young and carry it astride her hip precisely as do the coolie women of Hindostan. Let him witness their human-like emotions of affection, satisfaction, pain, and childish rage—let him see all this, and then he may feel how much more potent has been the lesson than all he has read in pages of ab- stract ratiocination."

Professor W. S. Barnard several years ago, in a study of the my- ology of man and apes, showed that the scansorius muscle which Trail studied in the higher apes and which he supposed had no homologue in man, was really homologous with the gluteus minimus in man. Dr. Henry C. Chapman,* in a study of the structure of the orang- outang, has confirmed the truth of Barnard's discovery. Dr. Chapman is led to infer that the ancestral form of man was inter- mediate in character, as compared with living anthropoids or lower monkeys, agreeing with them in some respects and differing from them in others.

The osteologieal aflSnities which man has with the Lemurid<x, as insisted upon by Mivart, are also recognized by Cope.f In a general paper on the "Origin of Man and other Vertebrates," he says: "An especial point of interest in the phylogeny of man has been brought to light in our North American beds. There are some things in the structure of man and his nearest relatives, the chimpanzee, orang, etc., that leads us to suspect that they had rather come from some extinct type of lemurs."

It would seem as if we must look farther back than the higher apes for the converging lines of man's relations with them. The earliest remains of man or the apes found fossil, presenting as they do marked types with little tendency to approach one another, would in them- selves suggest an earlier origin for both stocks.

In a paper by Professor Cope J on "Lemurine Reversion in Human Dentition," he says, in concluding his article: "It may be stated that the tritubercular superior molars of man constitute a reversion to the dentition of the Lemuridce of the Eocene period of the family Anap-

  • "Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences," 1880, p. 163.

f "Popular Science Monthly," vol. xxvii, p. 609. \ "American Naturalist," vol. xx, p. 941. tomorphidae, and second, that this reversion is principally seen among Esquimaux and the Slavic, French and American branches of the European race."

In another paper by the same author* on the "Developmental Significance of Human Physiognomy," he compares the proportions of the body and the facial peculiarities of man with the higher apes and human infants, and shows that the Indo-European, on the whole, stands higher than the other races in the acceleration of those jjarts by which the body is maintained in an erect position, and in the want of prominence of the jaws and cheek-bones, which are associated with a greater predominance of the cerebral part of the skull and conse- quently greater intellectual power.

Dr. Harrison Allen, f in a study of the shape of the hind-limb as modified by the weight of the trunk, dwells on the manner of articu- lation in the gorilla of the fibula with both calcaneum and the astrag- alus, as well as the fact that the astragalus in that genus possessed a broad, deflected fibula facet, and says: "This peculiar projection is rudimental in the astragalus of civilized man, but was found highly developed in an astragalus from an Indian grave found at Cooper's Point, New Jersey,"

In my Buffalo address, I alluded to a paper by Professor N. S. Sha- ler on the intense selective action which must have taken place in the shape and character of the pelvis in man on his assumption of the erect posture—the caudal vertebra? turning inward, the lower portion of the pelvis drawing together to hold the viscera, which had before rested on the elastic abdominal walls, the attending difiiculty of parturition, etc. Dr. S. V. Clevenger J has since called attention to other inconveniences resulting from man's escape from his quadru- manous ancestors. In a paper entitled "Disadvantages of the Up- right Position," he dwells particularly on the valves in the veins to assist the return of blood to the heart, which, considered from the usual teleological point of view, seems right enough; but why, he asks, should man have valves in the intercostal veins? He shows that in a recumbent position these valves are an actual detriment to the flow of blood: "An apparent anomaly exists in the absence of valves from parts where they are most needed, such as the venae cavse, spinal, iliac, haemorrhoidal, and portal. The azygos veins have important valves. Place man upon ' all - fours,' and the law governing the presence and absence of valves is at once apparent, applicable, so far as I have been able to ascertain, to all quadrupedal and quadrumanous animals. Dorsad veins are valved; cephalad, ventrad, and caudad veins have no valves." By means of two simple diagrams he shows clearly the distribution of valved and unvalved veins as they exist in

  • "American Naturalist," vol. xvii, p. 618,

\ "Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences," 1885, p. 383.

X "American Naturalist," vol. xviii, p. 1. mammals, and wby in man the same arrangement becomes detriment- al. He dwells on the number of lives that are sacrificed every year by the absence of valves in the haemorrhoidal veins. He also mentions other disadvantages in the upright attitude, as seen in the position of the femoral artery, even with man's ability to protect it. Its exposed condition is a dangerous element. Inguinal hernia of rare occurrence in mammals occurs very often in man, at least twenty per cejit being affected. Strangulated hernia also causes many deaths. Prolapsus uteri and other troubles and diseases are referred to by Dr. Clevenger as due to the upright position. In other words, the penalties of origi- nal sin are in fact the penalities resulting from man's assumption of the erect posture.

In another paper by the same author,* on the "Origin and Descent of the Human Brain," he gives an interesting sketch of the phylogen- esis of the spinal cord to its ultimate culmination in the development of the brain of man. He says that the most general interest centers in the large mass of cells and nerve-fibers called the cerebrum, "In the ornithorhynchus it is smooth and simple in form, but the beaver also has an unconvoluted brain, which shows at once the folly of attaching psychological importance to the number and intricacy of folds in ani- mal brains. With phrenology, which finds bibativeness in the mastoid process of the temporal bone, and amativeness in the occipital ridge, the convolutional controversies must die out, as has the so-called science of palmistry, which reads one's fate and fortune in the skin- folds of the hand."

Professor Alexander Graham Bell f has presented a memoir to the National Academy on the "Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race," in which he shows by tables a series of generations of certain families in which the progenitors being deaf-mutes this peculiarity be- comes perpetuated in many of the descendants. Recognizing fully the laws of heredity, natural selection, etc., he shows that the estab- lishment of deaf-mute schools, in which a visual language is taught which the pupils alone understand, tends to bring them into close association with one another; and that naturally, with this seclusion, acquaintance ripens into friendship and love, and that statistics show that there is now in process of being built up a deaf variety of man.

Dr. W. K. Brooksjj animated by the cogency of Professor Bell's reasoning, is led to prepare an article entitled "Can Man be Modified by Selection?" In this paper he discusses the startling proposition of Professor Bell, and recognizes the convincing proof which he furnishes to show that the law of selection does place within our reach a power- ful influence for the improvement of our race. The striking character of the tables of facts presented by Professor Bell, and the significant

  • "American Naturalist," vol. sv, p. 518.

f "Memoirs of the Xational Academy of Science," vol. ii, fourth memoir.

X "Popular Science Monthly," vol. xxvii, p. 15. suggestions of Dr. Brooks, lead one to consider how far the influence of selection has had to do with the character of great communities, as to their intelligence or ignorance. When we see nations of the same great race-stock, one showing a high percentage of illiterates, a high death-rate, degradation and ignorance, while just across the borders another nation, apparently no better oil so far as physical environments are concerned, with percentage of illiterates and death-rate low, intel- ligent and cleanly, we are led to inquire if here a strict scientific scru- tiny with careful historical investigation will not reveal the cause of these conditions. Can it be proved beyond question that the illiteracy and degradation of Italy and Spain, up to within recent years at least, is the result of centuries of church oppression and the Inquisition, destroying at once or driving out of the land all independent thinkers, and at the same time forcing her priests to lead celibate lives and in- ducing others of cultivated and gentle minds to lead cloister lives? Is it also a fact, as Alphonse de Candolle asserts, that by far the greater number of distinguished scientists have come from Protestant pastors? He gives a significant list of eminent men whose fathers were Protes- tant pastors, saying that, had they been priests of another religion, leading celibate lives, these men would not have been born.

It is considered an intrusion into matters which do not concern science when such inquiries are made, but the scientist has very deeply at heart the intellectual and moral welfare of the community. If the cause of degradation and ignorance, of poverty, of contagious disease, or of any of the miseries which make a nation wretched, can be pointed out by scientific methods, then it is the stern duty of Science to step in and at least show the reasons, even if the remedy is not at once forth- coming. The men who would be reformers and agitators, and who by their earnestness and devotion get the attention of multitudes, are unfit for their work if they show their ignorance, as most of them do, of the doctrines of natural selection and derivation.

Dr. C. S. Minot * read a paper before the Cincinnati meeting of this Association, suggesting a rather startling proposition as to whether man is the highest animal, which led Dr. W. N. Lockington f to reply in a very able article entitled "Man's Place in Nature."

The great problem of food-supply has led to legislative enactments for the purposes of regulating the trapping and netting of game and fish. State and Government grants have been made for fish commissions; but, unless the public are clearly educated in the rudiments of zoologi- cal science and the principles of natural selection, appropriations will come tardily and in limited amounts. Dr. W. K. Brooks, \ in his re- port to the State of Maryland as one of the oyster commissioners, after showing the absurd way in which the problem of oyster-protection has

  • "Proceedings of the American Associated Antiquarian Society," vol. xxx, p. 240.

f "American Naturalist," vol. xvii, p. 1003.

X "Report of the Oyster Commissioners of Maryland," 1884, p. 31. been dealt with, and strenuously urging the necessity of oyster-culture, calls attention to the fact that "civilized races have long recognized the fact that the true remedy is not to limit the demand, but rather to increase the supply of food, by rearing domestic sheep and cattle and poultry in place of wild deer and buffaloes and turkeys, and by culti- vating the ground instead of searching for natural fruits and seeds of the forests and SAvamps."

Mr. Ernest Ingersoll,* author of the "Report on the Oyster-In- dustry," tenth United States census, has, in an address before the Geographical Society of New York, a striking sketch of the effect of the white man on the wild animals of North America, showing that, had the Indians remained in possession, little if any change would have taken place. The Indian, like the predaceous animals, hunts only for food, and shows even in this habit a wholesome self-restraint, never killing wantonly. He called attention to the survival of a number of small birds about the dwellings of man as the result of favorable con- ditions, such as a constant supply of food, etc. He shows that the contact of man in the main has been disastrous. His remarks on the oyster are timely; he shows its extermination along the coast by man's agency. "Hardly more than a century has elapsed since men believed that the oyster-beds of New York were inexhaustible, and that a small measure of legal protection, feebly maintained, was quite enough to sustain them against any chance of decay. So they thought in Massachusetts, where the oysters have not only disappeared but have been forgotten. So they think now in Maryland and Virginia, where their fond expectations are destined to equal downfall."

Professor William H. Brewer,f in a paper on the "Evolution of the American Trotting-Horse," shows that the trotter is an American product, and that it is still in process of evolution. He gives a column of figures to show the speed that has been attained in this new form of motion, from a speed of three minutes in 1818 down to two minutes ten and a quarter seconds in 1881. The materials for a curve is offered to mathematicians, and Professor Francis E. Kipher, J in a mathe- matical article on the subject, shows that a definite time of ninety-one soconds will ultimately be attained by the American trotter! Mr. W. H. Pickering, * however, urges some objections to the deductions of Professor Nipher.

In drawing to a close this very imperfect summary of what Amer- ican zoologists have accomplished for evolution many other dis- tinguished contributors might have been mentioned. The work of eminent physiologists and paleontologists has hardly been considered,

  • "Bulletin of the American Geographical Society," 1885, No. 1.

f "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xxv, p. 299.

X "St. Louis Academy of Sciences," May 7, 1SS3; also "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xxvi, p. 20.

  • "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xxvi, p. 378. nor has the long array of botanical facts for Darwin as revealed in the

fascinating study of the relations which exist between flowering plants and insects, contrivances for cross-fertilization, means of plant-disper- sion, etc., and the distinguished botanists connected with this work, received attention here. Indeed, the proper limits for an address of this nature have been far exceeded.

Suffice it to say that all these students have worked from the stand- point of derivative doctrines. A still greater triumph to Darwinism are the evidences of gradual conversion still going on among a few isolated workers who still remain stubborn, yet yielding to the press- ure of these views by admitting features that ten years ago they re- pudiated.

There are two points to be emphasized here in closing : and one is, that American biological science stands as a unit for evolution ; and the other is, the establishment of a great generalization, which shows that when intelligence became a factor in animals, it was seized upon to the relative exclusion of other characteristics. This generalization offers an unas^ilable argument to-day for a wider, broader, and deeper education for the masses. The untold misery and suffering of the working-classes, as witnessed in their struggles of the last two years, would have been avoided had the rudiments of social science — even a knowledge of the value and significance of simple statistics — ^been appreciated by them.

The startling paper of Dr. Seaman * on the " Social Waste of a Great City " shows the blundering, criminal way in which municipali- ties are controlled by coteries ignorant alike of Science and the benefi- cent mission she stands waiting to enter upon.

[\yithin ten years a number of general works on evolution have appeared, the most important of which have been the " Law of Hered- ity " by Dr. W. K. Brooks, to which allusion has already been made ; and the " Origin of the Fittest," by Professor E. D. Cope, in which are brought together the various papers, memoirs, addresses, etc., of the author which have appeared from time to time in scientific journals and magazines. Nearly all the addresses read, within the past ten years, before this Association by the presiding officers who were zoolo- gists have been imbued with Darwinism and deriviation. The titles of the general articles which have appeared on evolution would fill a large catalogue.

The general addresses on the subject are legion. Indeed, as the revered botanist Asa Gray has well remarked, " Dante literature and Shakespeare literature have been the growth of centuries, but Darwin- ism filled teeming catalogues during the lifetime of the author."

While no reference can be made to these various publications, al- lusions must be made to the Darwin Memorial Meeting of the

  • "Science," vol. viii, p. 283. Biological Society of Washington as containing a most appreciative résumé of the labors of the great naturalist. A perusal of the addresses on that occasion brings to mind very vividly the comprehensive scope of the work of this great man. The Introductory, by Professor Theodore Gill, is a strong sketch of the wonderful revolution wrought in the methods and convictions of naturalists by the doctrines of Darwin. Of great interest and value also are the succeeding addresses read at that meeting, which were — a "Biographical Sketch," by Dr. William H. Dall; "The Philosophical Bearings of Darwinism," by Major John W. Powell; "Darwin's Coral Island Studies," by Mr. Richard Rathbun; "Darwin's Investigations on the Relation of Plants and Insects," by Professor Charles V. Riley; "Darwin as a Botanist," by Mr. Lester F. Ward; "Darwin on Emotional Expression," by Mr. Frank Baker; closing with "A Darwinian Bibliography," by Mr. Frederick W. True.]


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  1. Address of the retiring President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, delivered at the New York meeting, August 10, 1887.
  2. "Science," vol. ix, p. 114.
  3. "American Journal of Science and Arts," vol. xxvii, p. 161.
  4. "Memoirs of the British Society of Natural History," vol. iv, No. 1.