Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/876

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self in a vigorous and humorous style, and brushes away the nonsense from the popular idea of hypnotism with an unsparing hand, exposing as he goes along many of the tricks of platform "professors." He maintains that good subjects, when not confederates, are hypnotized by their own faith in the power of the operator, that the healing by saintly relics and Christian science is due to just such faith, and that ghosts and witches have had their only existence in a similarly strong belief.

Hypnotism is treated more respectfully in a little pamphlet by Prof. G. A. Keene (the author. Masonic Temple, Chicago, 15 cents), who gives a general exposition of the subject, and firmly maintains its value in medicine and surgery. All of these publications except the second are illustrated.

The Examination of Weismannism, by Dr. G. J. Romanes (Open Court Publishing Co., 35 cents), consists of a series of essays discussing the phases of Weismann's theory of evolution as they have appeared in that investigator's successive publications. The first chapter is a statement of Weismann's system up to the year 1886, and the second supplies additions bringing it up to 1892. Then follow examinations of Weismann's theories of heredity and evolution as they stood in 1891, and a final chapter brings the subject up to 1893. From this discussion Dr. Romanes excludes the doctrine of non-inheritance of acquired characters, and deals only with "the elaborate system of theories which Weismann has reared upon his fundamental postulate." He represents these theories as being in a continual flux and change, and he had intended to add supplementary chapters to future editions of this book in order to keep pace with further developments which he expected to appear. In his opposition to Weismann, Romanes was largely on common ground with Spencer, but there were points upon which he took issue with the latter, some of which are set forth in an appendix. Another appendix contains certain supplementary suggestions on Weismann's theory of germ-plasm.

One important way in which the fingers of primitive man assisted his wits is impressed upon our attention by Dr. Levi L. Conant's study of The Number Concept (Macmillan, $2). The number systems of nearly all existing peoples evidently arose from counting on the fingers—some using one, some both bands, and others supplementing the fingers by the toes. Dr. Conant mentions, however, a few tribes who have numeral words only for one, two, and many, and some even whose only numeral seems to be one. He shows from a large number of numeral vocabularies that number words have been suggested in very many languages by the act of telling off the fingers in counting. Examples are words meaning "the end is bent" for 1, "the notched off" or "one hand" for 5, "one on the foot" for 11, and "one man" (all the fingers and toes) for 20. While most peoples have five or ten as their number base, a few have two, going on with words meaning two-one, two-two, etc. Four is also used as a base, but Dr. Conant has found no recorded instance of a number system formed on 6, 7, 8, or 9. It has been announced recently that the Aphos, an African tribe, have the best of all systems, the duodecimal, but the report has yet to be verified. The vigesimal system, either alone or combined with the quinary, appears in many places and persists even in the French quatre-vingts. The author believes that he has brought together for this discussion the largest existing collection of numeral systems.

Among the publications issued by the Soimd Money League of Pennsylvania is No. 13, A Dissatified Farmer, which shows that most of the depression under which agriculture in the United States now labors is due to competition, and especially to the competition of the wholesale operations carried on in the West. The little pamphlet is illustrated with excellent photo-engravings showing old and new methods of agriculture, stock-raising, and transportation, (Room 248, The Bourse, Philadelphia.)

Under the title The Union College Practical Lectures there have been collected in a volume thirteen lectures delivered at Union College in a course instituted by General Daniel Butterfield. The plan of the course has been evidently to get men prominent in affairs to talk about their respective specialties to the students of the college. Thus the first lecture on the list is an account of the