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yet published, will include chapters on stratigraphy and paleontology, and a discussion of theoretical questions connected with historical geology and the evolutions of the earth. This will therefore probably be the more entertaining of the two; but the book now before us is attractively written and makes easier reading than most geological manuals. Its style is between the extreme condensation of the encyclopedic text-books, and the more literary form of Lyell's Principles.' Except in the chapters that are necessarily occupied with simple definition and tabulation, there is a satisfactory amount of argument and discussion, and a careful presentation of both sides of a question; so that the learner's attention is held to the facts long enough to allow him to acquire them familiarly, and to perceive that their proper understanding requires a higher mental process than mere memorizing. The work is further intentionally a statement of the evolutionary rather than of the uniformitarian view of geology, which Lyell's leadership so long in England placed too prominently before many students: there was under Lyell's teaching no room between uniformitarianism and catastrophism for the safer middle ground which Prestwich clearly states, and which is now certainly the dominant view held by working geologists. The change in the rate of denuding processes and of eruptive action from ancient to later geological times may be named in illustration of this. Under the latter subject, it is an additional satisfaction to see prominence given to the mechanical origin of eruptions, and only a subordinate importance attached to Scrope's theory of the action of steam and other gases; and to find definite statement of the metamorphism of eruptive as well as of sedimentary rocks. Indeed, it would be easy to name many more examples of treatment that must commend themselves to the American as well as to the English taste, while there are only two sections that are likely to excite any general dissent,
one on the origin of valleys, which attributes too much influence to fissures to find full acceptance, at least in this country; and another in which much importance is attached to Elie de Beaumont's extinct theory of parallel mountain-ranges, which is certainly given more space than students in this last quarter of the century should ask for it. The author's familiarity with the geology of this country has not been such as to prompt many quotations from our surveys, nor to change the triassic coloring of the copper-bearing rocks of Lake Superior on he reduced copy of Marcou's geological map of the world, which serves as a frontispiece; so that, as a book for class reference in our higher schools and colleges, this work will hardly gain the reputation
of Geikie's text-book: but, if the excellent fashion of placing different books in the hands of every member of a class could be introduced, this one would certainly be one of the most popular.
W. M. D.
PORTER'S MECHANICS AND FAITH. THIS work is one of those attempts, so common in our day, to reconcile science and religion.' The main thesis of the author, which he endeavors through many chapters to prove, is this; that all truth, physical and spiritual, is made known to us by 'revelation,' and could never become known to us by any other means. Thus, he says that in mechanical science, 66 'man, in his conscious ignorance, and with a sense of entire dependence, makes his appeal immediately to the Infinite Source of truth; that the methods of experiment and observation are the divinely appointed way in which this appeal is made and the revelation of physical truth is received" (p. 32). Having established this thesis, to his own satisfaction, he goes on to infer, that, since all other truth is given by revelation, we should naturally expect that religious truth, the most important of all, would be given in the same way. Thus he thinks to establish the doctrine of revelation in the theological
Now, in all this there is great confusion of thought, resulting from the use of the word 'revelation' in two quite different senses. The 'revelation' which the author speaks of in physical science is nothing but the presentation of objects to our senses, and this is not a revelation of truth at all. Truth is not a property of objects, but of thoughts; and all our thoughts, whether true or false, are the product of our own mental activity. It is absurd, therefore, to say that scientific truth is revealed to us from an external source. On the other hand, the sacred books of religion are held to contain religious truth itself in the form of propositions, and we have nothing to do but to receive and assimilate it. At best, therefore, there is nothing more than a poetic analogy between the two cases, and nothing whatever to base an argument on.
Mr. Porter's main doctrine being thus defective, it is unnecessary to criticise his book in detail; but we would call attention to the chapter on The revelation of God,' as an example of the author's method. He expressly says that God cannot be known by the intellect, but only by love with much more to the same effect. It is not by such methods as these that science and religion can be harmonized.
Mechanics and faith: a study of spiritual truth in nature. By CHARLES TALBOT PORTER. New York, Putnam, 1886.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, 1886.
COMMENT AND CRITICISM.
A RECENT NUMBER of the Philadelphia American has an article on Unrecognized proprietorships,' pointing out the difficulties encountered in ⚫ rewarding men of the most beneficent inventiveness,' and recounting with many illustrations how seldom the originator of a new device reaps a fortune, while those who come after and make new adaptations of the original artifice become prosperous. Wyatt invented roller-spinning, and Hargreaves invented the spinning - jenny; Arkwright appropriated both, and was the only 'successful' man of the three. On reading further, it is with surprise that we find Myer,' whose 'weather-charts have saved thousands of dollars,' classed, not with the successful Arkwrights, but with the neglected Wyatts and Hargreaves, where he is notoriously out of place. It is difficult to say in whose mind the idea of daily weathercharts first took practical shape; but the idea was fully carried out in Europe several years before its introduction here, if we except the charts with which Professor Henry used to entertain visitors to the Smithsonian in 1859 or 1860, and which might have early grown into a systematic service had it not been for the interruptions of 1861. Besides this, Professor Cleveland Abbe had, with the assistance of local enterprise, established an actual, continuous, and successful weather-service in Cincinnati a year before weather-prediction was undertaken by the government. It was essentially this Cincinnati service that General Myer, with his imperious executive ability and the support of the government treasury, appropriated and expanded into a national service; taking not only its methods, but its director, who has ever since been, even though anonymously, the leading scientific member of the weather-bureau. The American's article is an example of the very neglect that it laments.
A SON OF CHARLES GOODYEAR, the well-known inventor, has lately felt it to be his duty to make public some particulars in respect to the origin of the india-rubber patents, which, if not hitherto
unknown, have been generally forgotten by those who participate in the great advantages which have followed the wonderful expansion of indiarubber manufactures. He wishes particularly to controvert the idea that his father's discovery was accidental; and for this purpose he publishes his father's account of the various steps which were taken by him as far back as 1838 to ascertain what modifications could be made in 'the material,' as he was accustomed to call the gum-elastic, in order to adapt its peculiar properties to the greater service of mankind. The inventor's own narrative was printed in 1849, in a very few impressions, upon thin sheets of a tissue made of cotton, and shows conclusively by what prolonged, intelligent, painstaking endeavors he reached the processes which are known as 'vulcanization.' Few persons are aware of the great changes which were introduced by these discoveries, or of the constant increase in india-rubber manufactures. In 1870 the imports of the crude material were five million pounds; in 1885 they were twentyfive millions.
The narrative from which we draw these particulars also calls attention to the fact that Goodyear at an early day foresaw most of the innumerable applications which were destined to follow the promulgation of his process. There is a circular of his, which was issued in 1844, announcing the invention or discovery of a metallic gumelastic composition,' enumerating its properties and its possible uses, and inviting the most searching investigation and the most severe trial.' In the light of all that has followed, the prophetic sagacity of the inventor is as noteworthy as his inventive power. It is a pity that a life arduously devoted to the advancement of an idea which was fertile in utilities should have been so much depressed at one stage by penury, at another by extreme j' health, and again by vexatious and almost interminable litigations. The final decision of the U. S. supreme court, confirming Goodyear's claims, was given four years after the patent had expired, and eight years after his death.
DR. M. A. VEEDER of Lyons, N.Y., has sent a letter to the Rochester Democrat and chronicle
(July 21) on 'The significance of coincident weather-conditions,' in which he points out that the recent tornadoes in Kansas City and Madrid were nearly simultaneous, that the late ' sirocco' in Dakota accompanied intense heat in southern Europe, and that many other examples of corresponding weather may be found in widely separated localities. From this basis he concludes, without any sufficient examination of the dissimilar weather that so generally prevails in widely separated localities, that "the common which originates wide-spread atmospheric conditions of exceptional character. . can be none other than variations in the condition of the sun." This can hardly mean that the appearance of a spot on the sun at once brings forth tornadoes on the earth tornadoes are known to arise under much more local conditions; and the coincidence of their occurrence in Kansas and Spain is most trivial when it is recollected that the large disturbances in which the tornadoes spring up probably came from remote beginnings, unequally distant in time and place from these points of action. The coincidence is especially trivial in view of the great amount of non-coincidence it has to balance. Yet if this be not the meaning, the suggestion is simply a vague truism, of no value from its very antiquity and indefiniteness. No one will deny that the sun is at the bottom of all our weather-changes; but who will explain the full control that it exerts, and follow the process from beginning to end?
Theories of this kind have a remarkable resemblance. They pass at once from near effect to a remote cause, impatiently bridging over with wide-spanning assertions a whole world of process that lies between. They fail to see behind the immediate facts, and discover the long train of events leading up to them. They represent the theory of special creations on the inorganic side of nature. They always include a convenient corollary of about this form: "the disturbing influence due to changes in the condition of the sun may be modified to some extent by local conditions, so that it will not always manifest itself in the same way in every part of the earth." What with an entire lack of definition of the sun's disturbing influence, a complete assortment of local conditions' on the earth, and a glorious variety in our weather, coincidences may be found without limit. Finally, there is the unfail
THE POISONING of 143 persons in Michigan, followed by a similar accident in Charleston, Ill., by which fifty persons were made sick, both attacks being attributed to ice-cream, has incited chemists throughout the country to examine critically the ingredients employed, in order to discover if possible which one is accountable for the poisonous effects. As has already been stated in Science, Professor Vaughan of Michigan charges it upon tyrotoxicon, a new poison which he has discovered, and which he believes to be produced during the decomposition of milk. Professor Bartley of the L. I. college hospital has investigated a number of cases, and gives as his opinion that the deleterious effects produced in these cases of poisoning by ice-cream is due to the gelatine which is now largely employed by manufacturers of ice-cream to give body to their product. If this gelatine is of poor quality it readily undergoes decomposition. Dr. P. A. Morrow, in the Medical record, July 24, 1886, refers the poisonous effects to the flavoring extract, and finds that in all the reported cases vanilla has been used for this purpose. He has found a number of references to similar poisoning-cases in French and German literature, which toxic phenomena have been spoken of as ' vanillism.' In Europe for years the vanilla used in flavoring ices and pastries has been recognized as in some cases poisonous. Orfila more than thirty years ago recorded such cases. Whether these poisonous effects are due to some principle in the vanilla bean itself, or to cardol, which is an oil used as a coating to prevent the deterioration of the bean, or to the too early gathering of the pods, is still a matter of dispute. It is to be hoped that the cause of the frequently occurring poisonings may be soon determined on, that ice-cream may not cease to be a part of the bountiful feasts provided at church picnics.
THE AMERICAN NEUROLOGICAL ASSOCI
THE twelfth annual meeting of the neurologists of America took place at the Howland house, Long Branch, N. J., on July 21, 22, and 23. The membership of this body is limited in number, and is intended to include eminent specialists on nervous diseases and workers in allied branches of science. From fifteen to twenty members attended the sessions, which is about the usual annual attend
Dr. Burt G. Wilder, professor of comparative anatomy at Cornell university, called the meeting to order and delivered the address of the retiring president. The address was devoted to the description of an embryonic fissure not hitherto noticed.
Dr. Wilder then introduced Dr. Charles K. Mills, the president-elect, of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania. The address of the president was a plea for the extension of the activity of the association so as to enroll all the active neurologists of the country, and the distinct adoption of a broad psychological point of view, so that papers on scientific topics closely related to the interests of the practising neurologists might be then presented. The president also favored the proposition that the association should meet biennially as a section of the proposed congress of American physicians and surgeons.
The scientific portion of the address consisted in the presentation of a number of human brains abnormal in some way or other. The brains of a delusional monomaniac who perished at the fire at the insane department of the Philadelphia almshouse; of Taylor who was executed for the killing of his jailor, and who had committed other murders; of an adult idiot, one of three brothers similarly affected; of a negro; and what is very rare, of a Chinaman were exhibited, and notes upon the brains of three other murderers, one of whom was afterwards afflicted with paralytic insanity, were read. In the paper to be published by Dr. Mills, he will treat in detail the peculiarities of the individual brains; in his address he confined himself more to a general presentation of their characteristics. The brains were all of a low type and showed similar affinities. The brain of the Chinaman was characterized by a shortening and obliquity of the orbital surface corresponding to the peculiar set of the eyes in that race, and by the extension of the first temporal convolution well up into the parietal lobe.
The presentation aroused great interest and much discussion. There was a general agreement that the brains had strong sutural, foetal, and low race-type characteristics.
Dr. L. C. Gray of Brooklyn gave an account of a case of lesion of both temporal lobes without word-deafness (sensory aphasia), but with a remarkable loss of memory. The patient seemed to have lost all retention of impressions whatever. For example, he was once hammering on the door. The doctor asked him to stop, as he was annoying others; he understood the request and complied with it after asking the reason for his stopping. The doctor had hardly left the room when the hammering began anew. He was again asked to stop; again asked the same question; had no recollection of the previous request and again promised to stop, but again forgot. His letters show the same state of mind; while otherwise rational, sudden breaks will occur in the writing, and then will follow the words, "I don't know when I wrote the above, whether yesterday, an hour, or a minute ago," or words to that effect. In short, his time-sense and retentiveness had almost completely vanished. The patient, whose age was forty-three, had an attack of convulsions, remained comatose for thirty-six hours, and then died. At the autopsy the skull and dura were found normal, and with slight exceptions, the only lesions were found in the temporal lobes in the parts supplied by the sylvian artery (septomeningitis). Dr. Gray laid special stress on the point that both lobes were affected, and thought that our views regarding the seat of the languagecentre needed modification.
Dr. Leonard Weber of New York discussed some affections of the nervous system associated with tuberculosis. Attention was especially directed to the fact, illustrated by cases, that the nervous symptoms often appeared long before the usual symptoms of approaching tuberculosis could be detected. These nervous symptoms were often depressive in their nature, with a loss of interest in one's occupation, with little or no tendency to periodicity, and generally a well-developed suspicion of the doings of one's fellow-men. The cases generally showed hereditary taint, and were confined to women. An important part of the treatment consisted in restoring a healthier moral tone.
Dr. Phillip Zeuner of Cincinnati presented in person a case of auctioneer's cramp. The patient was first made aware of his trouble by a difficulty in crying his sales. He found himself unable to keep up the continual repetition of the same words, without causing a spasm on the left side of the mouth which eventually made the action impossible. He soon found that he could relieve the difficulty by lifting with a pencil one corner of his mouth. For a time the difficulty was confined to his professional duties, but gradually it extended, though less noticeably, to his ordinary
conversation. The pronunciation of sounds not involving the lips, as a and s, was not interfered with. The case was regarded as one of the professional neuroses, arising from the too constant use of very specialized and delicate muscles, of which writer's cramp is the best-known type. In addition to the usual features of such a cramp, there were present subjective symptoms of a depressive, melancholic nature. In the minds of some of the members the case was strongly suggestive of a facial hemiparesis.
Dr. Wilder exhibited a frog from which the cerebral lobes had been removed on the 9th of last December, and which was in good healthy condition. In fact, Dr. Wilder could not see why such a frog should not live on indefinitely; he was freed from all wear and tear on his nervous system, was liberally fed, and was, in short, a living automaton. The frog behaved quite like those in the experiments of Professor Golz of Strassburg and was presented only to show how long such an animal could be kept alive. Dr. Wilder used the occasion to record a few observations which might be new, and to suggest some further inquiries. Spontaneous movements were noticed every few hours. At times the frog was observed to wink with one eye only. A curious observation was that of the simultaneous performance of opposite reflexes. When a minnow was forced down the frog's mouth, it was swallowed by the reflex irritation of the head of the oesophagus, and at the same time the other end of the minnow was still twitching in the mouth and hanging out; the frog would attempt to remove the minnow with his leg, and swallow at the same time. Dr. Wilder asked whether such frogs sleep, whether they were capable of sensory education, whether they could breed, and
Dr. Wharton Sinkler of Philadelphia described the treatment of a case of facial spasm in which, after various attempts at relief, the nerve was stretched, with the result of doing away with the spasm but leaving a paralysis after the operation. Similar cases were also referred to.
Dr. Wilder exhibited the head of a murderer cut in the median plane and showing the position of the brain in the skull, as well as other points. The preparation, which was unusually successful, was exhibited in order to describe the method of preparing it. After washing out the blood-vessels with a five per cent solution of chlorohydrate, a continuous injection of alcohol at first 65 per cent strong and gradually rising to a 94 per cent solution was kept up for a week. The injection was done under a high pressure, and the alcohol cooled to a temperature of about 10° C. by passage
through an ice chest. The head was then imbedded in plaster of Paris and firmly fixed so that the saw would pass directly through the median plane.
Dr. Lloyd read a paper on moral insanity, in which he held the view that the name was a misnomer, that the physician had only to deal with disorders of the functions of the cerebral mass, and that moral insanity was only a form of intellectual insanity. The paper also criticised the psychologists who neglect physiological considerations, and cautioned physicians from falling into the mistakes of metaphysicians by creating abstract entities and treating them as real things. The paper aroused considerable discussion.
Among the papers presented were the following Dr. Sarah J. McNutt of New York read a note on the case of an infant with multiple tumors of the cerebrum. Dr. G. Betton Massey exhibited diagrams designed to show by the graphic method the significance of Ohm's law; and also read a paper on the Cause of electrotonus and of the normal formula of polar reactions.' Dr. Wilder presented some notes on the brain, the first of which related to a new fissural integer which he would call the 'parocipital.' The next was devoted to the demonstration of an ental ridge corresponding with the occipital fissure; while the third referred to the appearance of a horizontal section through the foetal brain in man. Dr. C. L. Dana of New York considered some cases of pseudo-tabes from arsenical poisoning. Dr. Fisher presented some remarks on epilepsy, in which he inclined to the view that the disease was organic rather than functional. Dr. Sachs described a case of right hemiphlegia with aphasia in a child of two and a half years. Dr. V. P. Gibney of New York recorded a case of pseudo-hypertrophic paralysis, in which the microscopic examination of the spinal cord revealed changes in the anterior horns consisting in a diminution and loss of processes of the cells, especially in the dorsal and lumbar regions. The importance of the observation consists in the fact that such changes have been looked for in many cases, but none could be found. The propositions were demonstrated by Dr. Amidon.
Papers by Dr. Gibney and Dr. Dercum were announced but not read. A photograph of a microcephalic girl was received from Dr. Forel of Switzerland and ordered to be reproduced and published. A letter from the late Dr. Gudden was also read.
It was decided to meet at Washington in June of next year. Dr. Gray of Brooklyn was elected president, and Dr. Hammond of New York secretary, for the coming meeting. The meeting at