Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 84.djvu/179

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175
SCIENCE AND POETRY

the guidance of science than in the preceding two thousand without it. The imagination is the force that impels the scientist to seek new and hitherto unexplored regions in the vast domain of nature; but unless it is guided and controlled by the intellect it rarely leads to anything worth while.

Perhaps, however, the circumstance that our generation devours enormous quantities of fiction should not be taken as evidence that there is comparatively little thinking. Mental effort is largely expended along practical lines. Such problems as the existence of God, the priority of mind or matter, whether moral ideas are intuitional or evolutionary, metaphysical monism or dualism, together with a host of others on which philosophers were wont to expend their intellectual energies for more than two thousand years are now generally regarded as impossible of solution and are ignored. The world concerns itself little about transcendental questions and is turning with increasing interest to the consideration of matters that lie within its reach. Everybody now admits that the noumena of the cosmos are undiscoverable; the use to which the visible and tangible phenomena about us determines our moral and physical welfare and our mundane happiness as a whole.