Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/376

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362
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

must self-fertilize, it may not be amiss to introduce testimony. An entomologist now at my side, who has passed four summers among these mountains, and made frequent visits to the Alpine regions, informs me that 'he has always found insects of all orders quite abundant in the Rocky Mountains'" (Silliman's Journal, 1876, pp. 397, 398). The route which I have described can hardly be called the "Alpine" region, unless it be in so far as it relates to Pike's Peak, which, however, I did not join my companions in ascending, having chosen in preference to explore alone what was then an unknown canon, and which I named after my good friend Dr. Engelmann, whose name it still bears. There is nothing in my paper, as referred to by Prof. Asa Gray, to warrant the statement that I was confining myself to "Alpine" regions. Indeed, the "suggestion," so far as it relates to the paucity of insects, should refer to the "entomologists who accompanied me," and not to myself. All I claim is that the "entomologists" found no insects, while I found colored flowers seeding abundantly.

In view of the testimony of the entomologist at Dr. Asa Gray's side, that insects of all orders are quite abundant in the Rocky Mountains, I should be glad to have, through The Popular Science Monthly, a list of the Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera that are abundant enough, in the particular part of the Rocky Mountain region covered by my experience, to probably act as cross-fertilizers of flowers, noting those which may perhaps be introduced since 1871, as it is well known that, with the introduction of agriculture and horticulture, insects often follow.

I do not suppose that, in the large number of observations I have placed on record, there will not be now and then one found "imperfect." Not one of us who are working in this field but, with all our care, must expect such annoyances. As the relation of insects to plants in the flora of Colorado is an important one, and I never heard the view I have taken of it questioned except as now stated, I think it important to science to know exactly how far my statement is imperfect, if imperfect at all.Thomas Meehan.

Germantown, Pa., November 27, 1876.

 

 

THOMAS CARLYLE AND THE DARWINS.

To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly.

There are floating in the American press some ill-natured remarks of the octogenarian, Carlyle, that merit a little attention. The remarks reported are as follows: "I have known three generations of the Darwins—grandfather, father, and son: atheists all. . . . I saw the naturalist not many months ago; I told him that I had read his 'Origin of Species' and other books; that he had by no means satisfied me that men were descended from monkeys, but had gone far toward persuading me that he and his so-called scientific brethren had brought the present generation of Englishmen very near to monkeys. A good sort of a man is this Darwin, and well-meaning, but with very little intellect."

Remark 1. If a "very little intellect" can change the present generation of Englishmen to monkeys, what are those Englishmen made of?

Remark 2. Carlyle has known the three generations of the Darwins, beginning with the grandfather. Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather, died in 1802, about six or seven years after Carlyle was born! Is it exactly the right thing for the old gentleman to say he knew him?

Remark 3. "They are atheists all." Now, two years before Mr. Carlyle was born, to wit, 1794, the grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, published the great work of his life, "The Zoönomia, or Laws of Organic Life," and on the first page he says: "The great Creator of all things has infinitely diversified the works of his hands, but has, at the same time, stamped a certain similitude on the features of Nature, that demonstrates to us that the whole is one family of one parent." And, on page 77, he says expressly: "I do not wish to dispute about words, and am ready to allow. . . and to believe that the ultimate cause of all motion is immaterial, that is, God." Mr. Carlyle may be a well-meaning man, but his knowledge of that grandfather, although at the ripe age of six years, must have been rather imperfect.

But the charge of atheism includes the naturalist, Charles Darwin. The candid readers of Charles Darwin's works know better. Many people, on reading the books of Genesis and Job, grow skeptical; but no