Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/255

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243
EDITOR'S TABLE.

words and manner before them, and I would fearlessly trust to the manhood of any Young Men's Christian Association in the Union for a verdict in this matter. The writer in the Intelligencer, moreover, fails to see one conclusion to which his assertions inevitably lead; for, were they true, the perfectly unmistakable manner in which the 'attack' was received by the audience would prove the state of 'religious faith' in New York to be the reverse of creditable to him and others who have the care of it.

"The head and front of my offending hath this extent: At the conclusion of one of my lectures, I referred, for two minutes, in mild language, to the reported words—reported, I would add, by a Presbyterian—of the intemperate occupant of a single Presbyterian pulpit, and this is wilfully twisted by that occupant into an attack upon the Presbyterian body. The charge, as originally made, and as now echoed by the Intelligencer, is so silly that I did not think it worth public refutation. Why should I care about refuting it, when the sympathetic kindness of the very men I was reported to have assailed assured me that they did not believe a word of the indictment? I carried no more pleasant memory with me from the United States than that of my reception at the Presbyterian College of Yale. The high-minded youths and cultured gentlemen whom I met there, as indeed the Presbyterian body generally, a few hot-headed fanatics excepted, knew how to rate at its proper worth the statement of Dr. Hall, and they will, I am persuaded, assign to its echo in the Intelligencer the self-same arithmetical value.

"Should you deem this letter, or any part of it, necessary to public enlightenment, you are at liberty to make public use of it.

"Ever yours faithfully,
"John Tyndall."
 

 

EDITOR'S TABLE.

GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS IN THEIRS EDUCATIONAL BEARINGS.

THE proposition of Prof. Leeds, in his article on "State Geological Surveys," to link these undertakings to the collegiate institutions of the country is a novel and very important one, and deserves the serious attention of all the friends of scientific education. After stating the aims and necessities of these surveys, the writer shows how college talent might be pressed into their service, and points out the advantages that would arise both in giving thoroughness to the work, and in diminishing its expense to the State. Prof. Leeds confines himself mainly to the consideration of economy, thoroughness in the performance of the work, and the interests of the survey itself. But such a measure could not fail to yield double advantages: it would be as good for the colleges as for the exploration. On educational grounds alone, nothing could be more desirable than to effect this arrangement, and give the colleges business of the kind contemplated.

A geological survey is but a systematic scientific inquiry into the structure and resources of a given region of country. It investigates the strata of the earth and their mineral and organic contents, both to find out how they are constituted, and to contribute useful productions to the arts and wants of society. In its full scope it inquires into the physical features of the region, its agricultural adaptations, its vegetable productions, its forms of animal life in earth, water, and air, its atmospheric conditions, salubrity, and general climatology. In short, it embraces a very full research into those facts of Nature which it is important for the community to know, and the business of science to determine. But the colleges have, for one great object, the teaching of those very things. A portion of their professors are devoted to it, of course under the assumption