Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/873

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
853
LITERARY NOTICES.

scribed. Pp. 210. Department of Agriculture, Washington.

Mr. Marsden Manson, C. E., has published an interesting little book entitled Geological and Solar Climates, their Causes and Variations. In it he attacks the published opinions of some of the most eminent students and writers of geology, and, although he admits that the direct cause of the Glacial epoch or Ice age was a decrease in the original heat of the globe, he scores those scientists whose researches established that fact because they failed "to account for all the phenomena accompanying the Ice age, or to account for the disappearance of that age." Mr. Manson's theory is that the direct cause of the glaciation was the exclusion of solar heat from those regions where the ice development was taking place, and that the disappearance of the ice northward and southward was caused by the natural earth heat breaking through the ice crust, after which, assisted by the solar agencies, it began to gather heat and dispersed the cold toward the arctic and antarctic regions relatively as the land area predominated. The book is for sale by William Doxey, 631 Market Street, San Francisco. Price, 75 cents.

Volume X of the United States Fish Commission Bulletin is an important contribution to the scientific and industrial literature of the fishes and fisheries of the country. Besides articles on The Oyster and Oyster-culture, by Bashford Dean, which have already been noticed in these pages, it contains a valuable paper on the Fishing Vessels and Boats of the Pacific Coast, by Captain J. W. Collins; a report on the fisheries of the New England States; and various articles and reports on the aquaria of the United States Fish Commission and the conditions of the fisheries of Kentucky, Iowa, Lake Ontario, etc.

In the article on the Fishing Craft of the Pacific Coast, besides a fund of useful information and suggestion, Captain Collins describes the appearance, construction, and sea-going qualities, as well as their general adaptability to the several fisheries, of all kinds of boats and vessels, from the Alaskan kaiak (canoe) to the perfectly appointed whaler, and illustrates the text by thirteen plates and four figures. The fisheries of the New England States are also exhaustively treated, the report chiefly consisting of statistical tables of their condition, with an analysis of the quantities of the various fishes captured, the number of men and boats engaged, and the amount of capital invested.

In the report of the fisheries of Lake Ontario, Hugh M. Smith, M. D., gives an interesting account of his investigations, which were made with a view to the establishment of a fish-hatching station on the lake. The volume is fully illustrated with ninety-four full-page plates and ten figures in the text. Pp. 436. Washington, 1892.

A Concise History of Religion has been prepared by F. J. Gould for the issues of the Rationalist Press Committee of London. In the first volume, the only one that yet appeared, are given brief accounts of the principal religions of the world except Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism, preceded by an analysis exhibiting the chief phases of primitive worship, and the main lines of religious development. The list of religions treated include about fifty. The author proposes to follow this volume with other parts dealing with the Bible, Judaism, Christianity (from the point of view of a purely human origin), and modern Rationalism. (London: Watts &Co.)

The book Hermetic Philosophy, vol. iii, "A comedy founded on Plato's Meno, applied to modern discoveries in theosophy. Christian science, magic, etc., and to those who are seeking these discoveries," bearing the signature of Styx, and published by the J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, discusses the question, "Can virtue and science be taught?" There is a vein of levity running through the whole, yet the author's purpose appears to be serious. He has taken Plato for his pattern and applied his mode of illustration to modern mental phenomena—to the discussion of "the merits of a few self-appointed leaders among the thousands of those who feel that there is a call in the mind for them to begin on the 'mighty work.'" Among these pretenders are named "Adepts, Hon. Magi, Mahatmas, Children of the Sun, the Divinely anointed," and Christian scientists. The author's point of view is indicated by the question, "Is not the man who presents himself for common spectacle as one pos-