Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/177

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kicks and screams, quite as much as any ordinary infant. In all of this, the analogy with living people is again complete, for we ourselves are not entirely new, but merely repeat, with all-important modifications—the forms of our ancestors. The old text-book must not be discarded. It is full of information—and information is the food upon which ideas subsist. Many a good child of the intellect has been starved or warped because the fact-food supplied to it was deficient or bad. Adulterated fact is as bad as adulterated butter, sugar or lard; we can not have it chemically pure, I suppose, but woe to him who intentionally mixes wrong ingredients. The scientific men is devoted to truth; he is a pure-food man on the intellectual plane, and those who distort the truth for the purpose of warping the public ideas, are to him the worst of living creatures.

However, just as food, pure or impure, is of no use unless it is consumed, so information unapplied to the nourishment of thought is thrown away. I fear there is too much such waste among us, for the reason that we have not yet learned to think. The other day I passed two very little children, a boy and a girl, on their way to the University Hill School. The boy said to the girl, with the air of one communicating a most interesting fact, "Do you know, t, h, e, spells the"! Here was an example of the true spirit of science, the pleasure in the apperception of a new thing in its relation to something else. I must confess that the plane of this conversation was higher than that I usually overhear on the university campus.