Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/612

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to study the different stages through which man as an individual passes from infancy to maturity. Psychology, finally, has taken cognizance of the various facts supplied by the other sciences, and has led us to understand, how, man being known, and his environment being comprehended, we are to interpret their interaction.

There are two conclusions which I think we are warranted in drawing from the facts here presented. The first refers to the actual relation between time and development. Just as geology teaches us that the simpler organisms have existed on the earth through vastly longer periods than the more complex, so it shows us that the ages during which man used, simpler and stone implements were greater in duration than those in which he has used more complex and metal tools. Let us compare what we are doing now with metals, and. what we did with them during the miserable epoch we call the "age of chivalry," of which sentimentalism still gives us false and fanciful pictures. The second conclusion springs from the first. As the true history of our own race shows that we came from a low and brutal state, common once to all mankind, so the facts of our present condition give us reasonable hope for a better future. Let us, then, stand, on the highest points of knowledge in all its departments, for these are touched with light. We must reach these heights by continual reading, observation, and experiment. The result of these is culture. All thought has an added, beauty as it approaches the truth, but what is needed is to attain to clear conceptions. Our impressions are blurred because we do not see facts clearly in all their relations, and such impressions are ugly because they are imperfect. We are yet in the morning of culture. We are only becoming sweet. as wild-apple trees grafted on single boughs. It is not so much that we are sinners as that we are sluggish and stupid that is the matter with us. It is certain that there is a better time yet to come for our race upon this earth than the present. It will be reached by a continuous exercise of our brain-power, giving us right reason at last, the permanent correction for faults of conduct and for errors in our ideas. Sir Henry Maine has said that "conceit and skepticism are the products of an arrested development of knowledge."

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THOMAS EDWARD.

MANY of our readers, as their attention is arrested by the portrait we furnish this month, will glance at the name beneath it, and musingly ask themselves whether they have ever seen or heard it before. They will say, perhaps: "There were several Edwards, who were Kings of England, and there was Edwards, who made a book upon the will; and there is Milne-Edwards, the great naturalist of