Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/868

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are pernicious, Prof. Huxley states in his preface that these essays are intended to combat certain of such claims. "Unless I greatly err," he says, "the arguments adduced go a long way to prove that the accounts of the Creation and the Deluge in the Hebrew Scriptures are mere legends; and, further, that the evidence for the existence and activity of a demonic world, implicitly and explicitly inculcated throughout the Christian Scriptures, and universally held by the primitive churches, is totally inadequate to justify the expression of belief in it. This much on the negative side of the discussion. On the positive side, the essay on the Evolution of Theology, as I imagine, shows cause for the conclusion that the Israelitic religion, in the earliest phase of which anything is really known, is neither more nor less rational, neither better nor worse ethically, than the religions of other nations in a similar state of civilization; that in the natural course of its evolution it reached, in the prophetic age, an elevation and an ethical purity which have never been surpassed, and that, since the new birth of the prophetic spirit, in the first century of our era, the course of Christian dogmatic development, along its main lines, has been essentially retrogressive."

It will thus be seen that Prof. Huxley aims to be not a destroyer but a purifier of religion.

Elementary Lessons in Steam Machinery and the Marine Steam Engine. With a Short Description of the Construction of a Battle Ship. By Staff-Engineer J. Langmaid and Engineer H. Gainsford. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 267. Price, $2.

These lessons, prepared for the naval cadets in one of the vessels of her Majesty's fleet, are intended to represent a systematic course of simple instruction preparatory to a more thorough study of the whole subject. In the earlier lessons instruction is given in the elements of construction and mechanism, and in those mechanical details which students are usually expected to learn by workshop experience. The conclusions given are wholly such as have been arrived at by experience, and the various details of marine engines are illustrated by the simplest examples. The lessons on Construction include the principles of measurements, the uses and qualities of the metals used, and instructions concerning riveted joints, screw threads and fastenings, transmission of power by shafts, etc.; conversion of motion, toothed gearing, friction, stuffing boxes and packing, joints of pipes, etc.; valves and cocks, and pumps. The lessons on the marine steam engine relate to boilers and boiler mountings and engines, with the details similarly separately considered.

Aëro-Therapeutics; or, The Treatment of Lung Diseases by Climate. With an Address on the High Altitudes of Colorado. By Charles Theodore Williams. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 187. Price, $2.

This work, by the Senior Physician in the Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest, Brompton, and late President of the Royal Meteorological Society, consists of the Lumleian Lectures for 1893, delivered before the College of Physicians. In his lectures the author has attempted to sketch a scientific system of aëro-therapeutics, based on the combination of modern meteorology with clinical experiment, in which each element of climate is duly considered in its bearing on health and disease. The lectures severally relate to the factors and elements of climate, temperature and moisture, and barometric pressure in its relation to health and disease. In the summary of results of different climates compared, at the close of the regular lectures, a marked preponderance is found in favor of high altitudes as against the English home stations, the Riviera, and sea voyages. The address on the high altitudes of Colorado embodies a clear account of the character and climate of the country, and a strong appreciation of its value to health.

The Conquest of Death. By Abbot Kinney. New York. Pp. 259.

The author is struck with the deficiency of children in American families and the apparent prevalence of the habit of limiting the number of children, and forebodes disaster from it. "For some twenty years," he says, "fact after fact has forced upon me the reluctantly received opinion that the present vital movement in our population can only eventuate in the elimination of the old American stock through nonreproduction. It is impossible to disguise the fact that in many