Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/590

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572
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the greatest talent stated some time ago that in our day the reign of theoretic science had rightly yielded place to that of applied science. Nothing, I venture to say, could be more dangerous, even to practical life, than the consequences which might flow from these words. They show the imperious necessity of a reform in our higher education. There exists no category of sciences to which the name of applied science could be given. We have science and the applications of science which are united as tree and fruit."

A final reflection is here suggested. We have among us a small cohort of social regenerators—men of high thoughts and aspirations—who would place the operations of the scientific mind under the control of a hierarchy which should dictate to the man of science the course that he ought to pursue. How this hierarchy is to get its wisdom they do not explain. They decry and denounce scientific theories; they scorn all reference to ether, and atoms, and molecules, as subjects lying far apart from the world's needs; and yet such ultra-sensible conceptions are often the spur to the greatest discoveries. The source, in fact, from which the true natural philosopher derives inspiration and unifying power is essentially ideal. Faraday lived in this ideal world. Nearly half a century ago, when he first obtained a spark from a magnet, an Oxford don expressed regret that such a discovery should have been made, as it placed a new and facile implement in the hands of the incendiary. To regret, a Comtist hierarchy would have probably added repression, sending Faraday back to his bookbinder's bench as a more dignified and practical sphere of action than piddling with a magnet. And yet it is Faraday's spark which now shines upon our coasts, and promises to illuminate our streets, halls, quays, squares, warehouses, and, perhaps at no distant day, our homes.

 

THE AARD-VARK OR EARTH-HOG.[1]
By E. OUSTALET.

IN the class Mammalia the order Edentata is one which offers a very great diversity. To judge from their name, the Edentates should all be animals without teeth; yet, though some of them, as the ant-eater and pangolin, offer this peculiarity, others, on the contrary, as the sloth, the armadillo, and the orycteropus or earth-hog, have the jaws provided with organs of mastication, except the portion where the incisors should be. Again, the nails which terminate the digits of the Edentata are sometimes sharp and hooked, so that the animal may climb easily and suspend itself from the branches of trees; again, they are spade-shaped, so that the animal may excavate the ground. Finally, while in some

  1. Translated from "La Nature," by J. Fitzgerald, A.M.