Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/145

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opening chapters insists on the necessity of regulation for the world as it now exists, he says in closing: "As we draw nearer to perfect social conditions positive law will grow less necessary. If all men had the true altruistic disposition, there would be no need of government. The course of progress is from the anarchy of the primitive state through law and government to the anarchy of the perfect state. We should aim, then, to diminish the restraints of authority, and, though working cautiously and tentatively, should seek ever to contract the sphere and minimize the duties of government. Only thus can that City arise into which the glory and honor of all the nations may be brought." Mr. Thompson's "Social Progress" will be a very helpful book to the student of public affairs who desires to look below the foaming, eddying surface of the stream of events, and see the strength and direction of the currents that determine the course in which society may advance.


A Study of Man, and the Way to Health, by J. D. Buck, M. D. (Clarke, $2.50), may be described as a series of essays philosophical in character, though popular in style. The body of the work opens with a chapter on the nature of evidence; then follow sections on the relations of matter and force, the universal ether, the character of phenomena, polarity, the matter of life, the forms of life, and the functions of organisms; or a brief outline of the principles of biology. An important chapter is devoted to a concise outline of the structure and functions of the human body, from which is deduced the philosophy of physiology, and upon which is laid the foundation of the science of psychology. Then follows a section on consciousness and psychic phenomena in general; a chapter on health and disease; a section on sanity and insanity; and the work closes with a section on the higher self, the archetypal man. The author is not at war with either science or religion, though he aims to get rid of both ignorance and superstition.

The little book entitled Living Matter, by C. A. Stephens (The Laboratory Company, Norway Lake, Me., $1), is an attempt to explain the constitution of the universe on the supposition that matter is sentient. The author credits to matter only "a sentience of low degree, in quantity far, very far beneath that evinced by even the lowest forms of life." Biogen, or living matter, forms all tissues of the animal body. Mr. Stephens gives an explanation of the method in which animal organisms are developed on the biogen hypothesis. He accounts for aging and death as resulting from changes in biogen, every one of which "is of the nature of an ordinary physical cause fairly within human power to avoid or remedy, and many of which in fact we are every day avoiding and remedying." This leads up to a suggestion of the possibility of learning how to prevent death altogether.

There has been printed A Classified List of Mr. S. William Silver's Collection of New Zealand Birds, with short descriptive notes by Sir Walter L. Buller (London, E. A. Petherick & Co.). A part of this collection, which is one of the most complete in Europe, formed a very attractive feature in the New Zealand Court, at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London, in 1886, and was awarded a diploma and medal. To the eight cases then exhibited, four have since been added, containing many of the rarer birds of New Zealand. Many of the genera and most of the species are strictly confined to New Zealand and the neighboring islands. The volume is copiously illustrated with heads, and in many cases full figures, of the typical species, besides many cuts of nests. An interesting object included in this collection is a frame of feathers of the moa, discovered in a cave in New Zealand by Mr. Taylor White in 1874.

The Forty-first Report on the New York State Museum of Natural History contains the reports of the trustees and the director, which relate the general progress and changes in the museum during 1887. In the report of the botanist it is stated that since the summer was unusually favorable to the production of fleshy fungi, the hymenomycetes, special attention was given to the collection and sketching in colors of these plants. The document is accompanied by reports of finding a large number of plants in various localities; by a paper on "Fungi destructive to Wood," contributed by P. H. Dudley, C E.; and by a botanical index to the museum reports Nos. 22-28. The report