Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/306

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292
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

stricted to the Rocky Mountains and the adjacent plains; while the black bear takes his place in other parts of the North American Continent, except in the extreme northwest. The Malayan bear we found distributed over the archipelago that bears its name, the southern part of Asia, and even South America, though with slight modifications. The brown bear (Ursus arctos), we have seen, holds undisputed sway of Europe, of Asia north of the Himalayas, and that it probably extends even to the northwestern part of North America. And, in marked contrast with this wide range, we find the sloth-bear confined to the Himalayas, and the polar bear to the Arctic Ocean.

 

WOMAN'S PLACE IN NATURE.
By FRANCES EMILY WHITE, M. D.

PROGRESS in knowledge is defined by Herbert Spencer as "the bringing of thoughts into harmony with things." Plato enunciated the same great truth more than two thousand years ago. "Man," he says, "is not a system-builder; his loftiest attainment reaches no higher than this: through endeavor, through discipline, through virtue, he may see what is." Recognizing the profound wisdom of these utterances of the ancient and the modern master, I propose, in studying the nature and place of woman, to be guided by this principle, which has led to results so satisfactory in other departments of science, and, forgetting theories, to study woman as she is. Should some onward glances be attempted, "a scientific use of the imagination" only will be indulged in, and the possibilities of the future will be inferred from the actualities of the past and the present.

As man's place in Nature is to be comprehended only by comparison with the various grades of organisms below him in the scale of being, so woman's place, as compared with that of man, is to be rightly understood only by a study of the relations of the sexes through the whole range of organized beings, involving a consideration of vegetable existence even, since sex accompanies all its higher forms. Paradoxical as it may seem, the less includes the greater—evolution being an unrolling or unfolding of that which potentially exists. It is by means of such a review, if at all, that we may hope to find answer to the questions of the day, relating to woman. How does she differ from man, and to what extent do these differences modify or determine her place in life? In other words, how does that differentiation of the human germ which we designate as feminine, influence the organism as a whole? Will these questions admit of complete solution? Probably not; no great question has ever yet been fully answered—and, although the human organism may be divided, for purposes of