Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/847

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allowing the fluid fat to drain off at once. When cooked on the greased plate, one Bide is necessarily cooling, and the fat settling down into the fish, while the other is being heated from below.

By Dr. J. W. DAWSON.

MY predecessor in office remarked, in the opening of his address, that two courses are open to the retiring president of this Association in preparing the annual presidential discourse—he may either take up some topic relating to his own specialty, or he may deal with various or general matters relating to science and its progress. A geologist, however, is not necessarily tied up to one or the other alternative. His subject covers the whole history of the earth in time. At the beginning it allies itself with astronomy and physics and celestial chemistry. At the end it runs into human history, and is mixed up with archæology and anthropology. Throughout its whole course it has to deal with questions of meteorology, geography, and biology. In short, there is no department of physical or biological science with which geology is not allied, or at least on which the geologist may not presume to trespass. When, therefore, I announce as my subject on the present occasion some of the unsolved problems of this universal science, you need not be surprised if I should be somewhat discursive. Perhaps I shall begin at the utmost limits of my subject by remarking that in matters of natural and physical science we are met at the outset with the scarcely solved question as to our own place in the nature which we study, and the bearing of this on the difficulties we encounter. The organism of man is decidedly a part of nature. We place ourselves, in this aspect, in the sub-kingdom vertebrata, and class mammalia, and recognize the fact that man is the terminal link in a chain of being, extending throughout geological time. But the organism is not all of man; and, when we regard man as a scientific animal, we raise a new question. If the human mind is a part of nature, then it is subject to natural law; and nature includes mind as well as matter. On the other hand, without being absolute idealists, we may hold that mind is more potent than matter, and nearer to the real essence of things. Our science is in any case necessarily dualistic, being the product of the reaction of mind on nature, and must be largely subjective and anthropomorphic. Hence, no doubt, arise much of the controversy of science and much of the unsolved difficulty.

  1. Address of the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, delivered at Minneapolis, August 15, 1883. Reprinted from "Science."