Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/369

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365
DARWIN AND ZOOLOGY

companion to owls," and continued for several pages in attempted explanation and demonstration of the falsity of Darwin's theories, and ended with the author's conviction that the only good that can come from these theories is the fact that they must bring about their own defeat.

Cope replied immediately and was then replied to, and so on. But why follow the discussion?

The spell was being felt even farther south. Within two months of the date of its founding, the Philosophical Society of Washington listened to a paper by Professor Gill, in which it was stated that if the doctrine of evolution was accepted at all, it must involve man.

This was also the date of Dr, Allen's paper on the "Geographical Variation of North American Birds," a philosophical as well as a descriptive article, an important contribution to the then scant literature of distribution, a paper which established a distinct method of zoological research that has reflected the highest credit on its author and on the institutions with which he has been connected.

It was also in this year that Morse published his paper on "Adaptive Coloration."

In January, 1872, the New York Academy made its first direct contribution to the subject of evolution by publishing a brief paper on the "Carpus and Tarsus of Birds." I hope that Professor Morse, now forty-five years a member of this academy, is present at this gathering, for the fifty years that have passed since the appearance of the "Origin of Species" exactly synchronize with the period of his devotion to the principles enunciated therein.

If, among the volumes of this academy from 1859-1876, one binding shows more signs of use than the others, take down the book, and you will find that it opens to this article by Professor Morse: a contribution to zoology, to comparative anatomy, to embryology, and to the theory of evolution. It is a refreshing spot, but somewhat out of place in an arid expanse of descriptions of new species and revised classifications.

Another paper issued by the academy in 1872, and characteristic of the new thought of the time, was by Benj, M, Martin on the "Unity of the General Forces of Nature," but this was physical rather than biological.

If one were forced to accept the presidential addresses of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as indicative of the advancement of science in American associations, the address of 1873, delivered by one who said he thought that natural selection had died with Lamarck, would sadly mislead. He writes:

In Darwin we have one of those philosophers whose great knowledge of animal and vegetable life is transcended only by his imagination. In fact, he is to be regarded more as a metaphysician with a highly-wrought imagination than as a scientist.