Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/31

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



TO each century is granted one great discovery, and from this its highest thought and action takes its bent. In each century this discovery is never a new one. It has had its prophets and martyrs ages before—men whose lives have seemed thrown away until at last the world moves on and the caravan reaches their point of vision. The great discovery of the eighteenth century was that of the humanity of man. In action this became the spirit of democracy. The great discovery of the nineteenth century was the reality of external things. Carried out into action this means the progress of science. It is the movement of science which makes possible the varied activities of the new twentieth century.

We are gathered together this morning of the twentieth century to dedicate a new hall of science, a new temple to the worship of the truth of nature. It is erected that it may help men to know and to know what they know—to separate their knowledge of realities from their feelings, their hopes, their dreams, their traditions. All these may be beautiful, helpful, inspiring—but truth is something more than subjective satisfaction. To that part of the divine outside of ourselves which we are able to grasp we give the name of science.

In what I may try to say this morning, I shall speak freely in praise of science, of science study and science teaching. It is for this that we are gathered together. When we erect the hall of the poets, then our discourse may be on Euripides and Shakespeare, on Schiller and Browning, and some gentler tongue shall speak the fitting word. Each power of man shall be exalted in due season and no one at the expense of another. It is true that science is a late comer into the educational household, and that finding none too much room at the best, she sometimes unwittingly ventures to claim it all. But that is only for the moment. Knowledge of man and knowledge of the universe do not exclude each other. In urging the claims of science we would not deny one word ever said for training in the humanities or in any branch of these. This only would we claim. There exist forms of culture other than those which rest on the classical tripos. Other men with other powers have an equal right to training. There is no aristocracy in the human mind. Moreover, prescribed courses of study, whether classical

  1. Address at the dedication of Palmer Hall, Colorado College.