Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/518

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laying down courses of study, general and special. This is the constructive part, which is ever the most difficult and liable to criticism, because of its conflict with preexisting habits; but there can be no doubt that this portion of his volume involves a marked advance on previous practice. We have seen no popular scheme of study in which Nature is so confessedly the groundwork on which the whole fabric of mental cultivation is to rest, and in which science is so intimately interwoven with the constant course of school-work. Hitherto, scientific studies have been too much looked upon as secondary, intrusive, and to be superinduced upon a preëstablished scheme; they are here made the starting-point, and incorporated in the plan of studies as an essential and fundamental element. In thus contributing to the better organization of school exercises, this book meets an urgent need of the times which cannot fail to be appreciated by many teachers.

The Psycho-Physiological Sciences and their Assailants: Being a Response by Alfred R. Wallace, of England; Prof. J. R. Buchanan, of New York; Darius Lyman, of Washington; Epes Sargent, of Boston, to the Attacks of Prof. W. B. Carpenter, of England, and Others. Boston: Colby & Rich. Pp. 216.

This is the counterblast of the spiritualists against the lectures of Dr. Carpenter on spiritualism, mesmerism, etc. For three hundred years the devotees of scientific knowledge have been laboring to disentangle the natural from the supernatural, which had previously been so mixed up in the traditions of learning that "Nature," as a system of uniform and verifiable laws, was unknown. The progress of science has, in fact, consisted simply in tracing out and giving expression to these regularities and uniformities of the natural world. The spiritualists go back on all this, and declare it to be a false process and a spurious progress. They claim that the supernatural is to be included in the natural, and aver that they can investigate it and work out its laws so that they shall be a part of proper and legitimate science. They maintain, indeed, that they have already done this; but the difficulty is, that the whole scientific world denies it. Nor is there the slightest prospect that they will be able to convince scientific men of the validity of their claims on the basis of anything as yet accomplished. What they may do in the future we shall not presume to say; but we think they will have to be content to go on working out such results as they find possible, and trusting to time for that recognition which they so vehemently demand shall be accorded to them now. They make much complaint of the inhospitality of the scientific mind to what they call new truth, and this complaint we consider as wholly groundless. Prejudices, no doubt, arise from intense preoccupation in special lines of scientific labor, so that the physicist, for example, fails in appreciation of the biologist, while the chemist is indifferent to the work of the sociologist; yet in these diverse and widely-separated departments there is still sufficient liberality of spirit to leave all investigators unmolested in their special work. Why should the spiritualists wax wroth and imprecate Science and scientific men, because they will not drop their own researches and come over to help exploit the wonders of the preternatural sphere? If they cannot appreciate such marvelous things, why not leave them with due commiseration to wriggle and squirm in their congenial materialistic mud? Let the spiritualists go on and get out something worthy of attention, and it will be sure to get attention in due time.

The Native Flowers and Ferns of the United States, in their Botanical, Horticultural, and Popular Aspects. By Thomas Meehan, Professor of Vegetable Physiology to the Pennsylvania State Board of Agriculture, Editor of the Gardener's Monthly, etc. Illustrated by Chromo-lithographs. Boston: L. Prang & Co. Pp. 16. Fifty cents per number.

Botanical works with good colored illustrations have hitherto been far too expensive for general use; but the perfection now attained in the art of chromo-lithography makes possible a new departure in pictorial botany. The series now projected, the first two numbers of which are before us, show that a very considerable degree of fidelity and naturalness in the representation of flowers is already secured by the chromo-lithographic process, and we