Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/717

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

many collections have been sent." We should also like to know how many of these collectors "have been made members of many scientific societies," how many have "been decorated with ribbons," and the color, style, and significance of these same ribbons. But especially would it delight the archaeological world to be favored with a list of the Sir Knights who have received the accolade as a reward of their great powers and magnificent achievements on the hard-fought field of American archæology, and who are now Sir Somebody Something and Sir Something Somebody among their untitled scientific brethren of this democratic land. We are free to confess that in our seclusion in "Ohio" we had not heard of these decorations, and did not know that the palæolithic heretics had amassed so much evidence in favor of their great archetype in America, or that they had been so highly and so widely honored for their discoveries. We must infer, though we had not heard of the fact, that our palæolithic acquaintance. Dr. Abbott, is now Sir C. C. Abbott, of Trenton, N. J., and Bristol, Pa. We congratulate him. Others will no doubt be heard from in due time.

We sincerely trust that the Director of the United States Geological Survey has not been in this instance also drawing on his imagination and clothing the creations of his fancy with "local habitations and names." But if not, we must express the fear that he has been looking at the palæoliths and their finders through his most powerful multiplying glass.

We write the above criticisms not without regret. Major Powell's services to geology as the head of the United States Geological Survey have been great. Not even himself will claim that they have been faultless. But in entering the controversial field it is needful first to make quite sure of the facts and then to reason logically from them. In the former respect some of Major Powell's paragraphs are "based on error," as we have shown, and his deductions from them are consequently mere fallacies. If no stronger argument can be found, the case for which he has pleaded may almost as well be abandoned.

In the midst of so much that is open to criticism it is refreshing and pleasing to find Major Powell expressing a sentiment with which all geologists and other scientists should agree and with which we ourselves are in full accord. We thank him for so well wording what must be the rule of all concerned who appreciate the present position of the palæolithic discussion in this country. He writes:

"We will all withhold final judgment until the evidence is in, being perfectly willing to believe in Glacial man or Tertiary man or Cretaceous man if the evidence demands it, and being just as willing too to believe that man was introduced on this continent within the last two thousand years if the evidence demands it. What care we what the truth is if it is the truth?"

Grant this, and courtesy in debate, and the present controversy will not have been useless.

E. W. Claypole.
Akron, Ohio, June 29, 1893.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

 

CIVIC DUTY.

AMONG the hopeful signs of the times we may reckon the increased attention that is being given in our higher schools to the study of "civics," a term which includes the general principles of government, the Constitution of our own country in particular, and the duties of citizenship. It is somewhat extraordinary that the importance of instructing our youth in these subjects was not earlier recognized; but we may hope that, now that they have been introduced pretty generally into our educational courses, they will assume the prominence to which they are entitled. If the State undertakes to educate, it should be mainly and primarily with a view to producing good citizens; and the instruction which specially pertains to this object should in all public schools have an honored, if not indeed the foremost, place.

What is government? is a question which must spontaneously occur to the mind of every young person, and the teacher is fortunate who has a subject to deal with in regard to which his or her pupils are already prepared to ask questions. Government, it can be explained, in the first place is control. Control may be exercised either for good or for evil—either in excess of requirements, or in due proportion to