Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/578

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564
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
separated by long Intervals of time from the too premature and intense stimulation of the brain in school-children which causes these nervous diseases. We meet with the preponderance of nervous diseases in the refined and cultivated classes, where, by premature and stimulating processes of education, there has been forced an elaboration of brain-structure, hastening the functional activity of the brain, with no due regard to the law of evolutional precedence. Normal growth and development will give us healthy minds, while a structurally degraded centric nervous system, or an altered quality of blood, and secondary disturbance of nerve-function, will antagonize healthy mental manifestation. If we have want of sleep, a defective generation of nerve-force, an unstable condition of the nerve-centers, an incomplete development of any part concerned in mental action, all of which Dr. Blanford, of England, has ably shown to be causes of mental disease, we can not expect healthy mental function. Alcohol and opium are to-day responsible for much deterioration of brain. Dipsomania and the opium-habit being on the increase among Americans, there is a greatly increased nervousness and an increasing inherited disposition to the different neuroses; and the condition known as cerebral hyperæmia, an increase in the quantity of the blood within the capillaries of the brain, or rather one form of it, of vaso-motor origin, resulting from overwork and mental strain, is greatly on the increase.

The Treatment of Wounds as based on Evolutionary Laws. By C. Pitfield Mitchell, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. New York: J. H. Vail & Co. Pp. 29. Price, 50 cents.

We recently called attention to the lectures of Dr. Hughlings Jackson, before the Royal College of Physicians in London, on the bearings of the law of evolution upon diseases of the nervous system, and in the monograph before us the principle of evolution is followed out in another field of medical practice. The author published a short essay in 1882, in "The New York Medical Journal," in which he "endeavored to find in the Spencerian doctrine of evolution the foundation of a satisfactory theory to guide us in the treatment of such wounds as are inflicted in the more common operations of surgery." The present pamphlet is a further extension of that view. We can only say here that the case is very strongly presented, and will repay the attention of those medical students of a philosophical turn of mind who care for those deeper elucidations and explanations of the living organism which the development theory is now so successfully affording.

Truths and Untruths of Evolution. By John B. Drury, D. D. New York: A. D. F. Randolph & Co. Pp. 140. Price, $1.

This volume consists of the Vedder Lectures delivered in April, 1883, before the students of the theological seminary and Rutgers College at New Brunswick. As might be expected, the author's interest in the doctrine of evolution depends entirely upon its relation to theology. He recognizes that there is some truth in it, which consists in that part that he can conform to the requirements of his theology. He will take evolution as a plausible hypothesis, not yet established as a truth, and which may be a help to scientific progress even if erroneous. He will accept it under theistic interpretation, or as "many Christians hold in conjunction with their faith in God and the Bible."

Dr. Drury examines the definitions of evolution, and, finding them unsatisfactory, remarks: "If I were to formulate a definition of evolution, such as the present condition of our knowledge warrants, it would be this: 'Evolution is that hypothesis which supposes the process by which the present diversity in nature has been reached to have been one of progression; the more complex and better endowed proceeding in accordance with laws imperfectly known out of simpler and lower forms.'"

Undoubtedly the laws will become more perfectly known, and then this germ of a definition will grow into greater completeness. Dr. Drury's book, though emanating from a mind in a state of anxious transition, and beset on all sides with difficulties, is, nevertheless, readable and instructive.

 

 

PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Inebriate Automatism. By T. D. Crothers, M. D. Hartford, Conn, Pp. 9.

Filtrations of Saline Solutions through Sand. By William Ripley Nichols. Boston. Pp. 12.

Earthquake Measurement. By J. A. Ewing, B. Sc. Tokio, Japan: Tokio Daigaku. Pp. 92, with Twenty-four Plates.

The Eastern Pioneer of Western Civilization and the Recognition her Efforts receive. By C. S. Eby. Tokio, Japan. Pp. 62.

The Sufficiency of Terrestrial Rotation for the Deflection of Streams. By C. K. Gilbert, Pp. 6.

Osteology of Ceryle Alcyon. By R. W. Shufeldt, U. S. Army. Pp. 15. with Plate.

The Subsidence Theory of Earthquakes. By Samuel Kneeland. Boston. Pp. 8.