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Entered according to Act of Congress, A D. 1886, by A. N. BELL, in the office of the Librarian

of Congress, at Washington.

E. . B.



JUL 31 1886

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By Dr. ROMAINE J. CURTISS, Professor of Hygiene in the Joliet, Ill., College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago, Ill.

NATURAL selection, a general law of biology discovered by Charles Darwin, who, many people will probably remember, is now dead, is, as I understand it, made up of a few or several factors. These factors are variation, heredity (sexual selection), and atavism. I give this outline sketch of the subject, not because it is new, but because in the haste for new biological discoveries and priority of claims in discovery Charles Darwin and natural selection seem to be forgotten, or, at least, are not duly mentioned.

It is generally agreed, I think, among astronomers, that Newton discovered the law of gravitation-a general physical law. I think every astronomer nowadays who is working among the specialties of astronomy generally uses the law of gravitation-in his physics and mathematics-to determine astronomical problems, and does so without pretending priority in the discovery of this law, or that he has discovered a new name for the old laws of Newton and Kepler.

But it appears that this rule does not obtain among gentlemen who are investigating biological problems, especially those gentlemen who are studying the phenomena of immunity from disease that may be given by inoculation and vaccination. Even Pasteur, and Tyndall, and many writers in our own country, as well as original investigators and experimental students, ignore or do not happen to think of the general law

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