Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

CHARİKA SAMHITA.

This apprehension of facts as related is essential and necessarily earth works have been supposed to give the form of a serpent to precedent to the discorers of principles which govern these rela the monument, but Sir Gariner Wilkinson's plan shows this idea tions. In this respect practical fruit is to result from the study to be quite incorrect; this is a point for the visitor to verify. of philosopby. Not simply philosophers, but even the students of On the moors at the top of the hills above Eyam is a small circle philosophy, must get a more comprehensive grasp of facts and of a different character from Arbelowe; it is cilled the “Wet principles, as each is assigned its place in the whole system of Withins," and consists of a bank of earth, about six feet wide and knowledge. Truth is apprebended in its harmonies and whole two high, inside which, but close to the bank, was formerly a ness. It is seen in its proportions.

ring of small stones about two feet high and of proportionate size, If more attention were given to a careful study of philosophy of wbich ten remain, out of perhaps twenty or more. The di. as a system, rather than in its history, much of the conceit of ameter of this circle is about one hundred feet, and some sixty knowledge which is so preralert to-day would be unheard of. feet to the north-northeast there is a barrow, eighty-three feet The specialist would soon discover that he was occupying a very long (from northeast to south west) and forty-six feet wide. small niche in the universe of knowledge; the broadest scholar There are some other small remains of a similar character in that his horizon included but an infinitesimal portion of the sphere Derbyshire, but I have not seen them myself, and doubt whether of iruth.

they are worth the trouble of a visit.

BY A

BRITISH STONE CIRCLES. III. DERBYSHIRE CIRCLES.'
L LEWIS, TREASURER ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, LONDON,

ENGLAND

The Peak district of Derbyshire, so justly famed for its scenery, possesses also many attractions for the archæologist, among which are two stone circles.

The larger of these, called Arbor Lowe or Arbe Lowe, is about six miles from Bakewell, and consists of an oval ring, the diameters of which were about 126 and 115 feet, the precise lengths being ditficult to ascertain in consequence of the stones, which doubtless originally stood upright, being now all flat, and having fallen, some outside, some inside, and some across their original positions, while others are broken into fragments or buried in the soil. There were perbaps about forty stones, of wbich nearly thirty remain entire or in fragments, the largest being about twelve feet long, six broad, and four thick. The longest diameter of the oval ran nearly north rest and southeast, and somewbat more to the west and east, two of the stones seem to have stood back outside the regular line of the oval. Within the oval, and on the line of the longest diameter, but not in the centre of it (the distances from the northwest and southeast ends being in about the proportion of three to two), are the re nains of some large stones – one fourteen feet long – which were apparently three in number, forming a score," I like that in the centre of the northern circle at Abury, the central stone of which faced the rising sun on Midsummer Day. Like the circles at Abury, the stones at Arbelowe are surrounded by a ditch, which is about seven feet deep and fifteen wide at the bottom, outside of which is an embankment, formerly perhaps feet high and eight wide at the top; Sir G. Wilkinson says somewhat more, but it may be that he took the maximum and I took the minimum of the measure. This embankment is now very irregular, and in one place a tumulus has been formes from the materials copposing it, in which were found two Celtic vases and a bronze pin. This tumulus could hardly have formed part of the original plan of the monument, and would therefore seem to have been made after the latter had fallen into disuse. The embankment, like that at Abury, is not a true circle, and there is much similarity in the irregularities of both, but that may be quite accidental. There are two entrances, one southeasterly, in the same direction as the Kennet entrance at Abury, and one to the northwest, but not quite opposite to the other; altogether Abury and Arbelowe, notwithstanding the great difference between them in size, have more points in common than any other circle has with either. Just outside the southeast entrance are two small stones, quite as likely to bare been taken from the interior as to be in their original places. Nearly three hundred yards to the south west is a tumulus, called Gib Hill, about twenty feet bigh and as wide at the top, in which a small cist was found, two feet under the surface, which contained a vase, two worked flints, and an iron fibula with places for stones – probably a secondary interment. A bank of earth of doubtful antiquity runs from the embankment for some distance in a direction south of Gib Hill. These various

1 No. 1, Abury, appeared in No. 529, Varch 24; No. 2, Stonehenge, appeared in No. 537, May 19. To those who may wish for more minute details of measurements than can be given in a shor: article, I would recommend "Stonehenge," by Prof.ssor Flinders Petrle, D.C L. (St.nford, London).

BY F. A. HASSLER, M.D., PH D., SANTA ANA, CAL. The student of Hindu literature has before him an ever-widening field of research. He must be prepared for glimpses and magnificent views of learning and wisdom which will astonish and delight him at every turn. The thoughts and the meth d of expression are different from those of other nations, and there is scarcely a subject, exc perhaps, electricity and steam, that has not been discussed by these ancient sages. The philosopher will find his theories, the anarchist his ideas, probed to the bottom, and thestudent of the supreme soul, high, noble thougbts, and even from this grand subject down to the every-day question of mistress and maid, we do not think of any matter that will not be found fully investigated in the pages of the Mababharata.

So the physician of our day will find in the Charaka and otber works of ancient India many views of health, disease, and remedies which he fondly imagined were jewels in the crown of modern science. When a young man wishes to study medicine, he may receive a little instruction from his pr ceptor, but places his chief reliance upon the teachings of some medical school from which he receives his diploma. This was not the custom in ancient India. There were no colleges. Every student became a part of his preceptor's housohol), was lodged and fed by him, and beyond a fer light services was not asked for any return. It is plain that such teachers could not instruct all their scholars by word of mouth. This accounts for the immense number of medical works of ancient India.

We cannot tell the age of the Charaka, it is based upon a work of Agniveca, which carries us back to almost mythical times. The very name of this suppos d autbor sounds like the mystery of long past ages, for it may be translated “the dwelling-place of fire." Ten years of study of the Mahabbarata has led me to quite certain conclusions as to the time when that great work was written, and I should say that the style, of the first part at least, of the Charaka corresponds with that portion of the Mahabharata which I think was written about the sixth century before Chri-t, or, in other words, about the time of the rise of Biddhism. Whatever its age may be, this we know, it is exceedingly ancient. It is mentioned by Avicenna, Rbazes, and others, and is supposed to have been translated by the early Persian and Arabian writers on medicine But we forget its age wben we read its pages. The work is immense. An English translation, now being pubJished by Doctor Kiviratna, the learned editor of several Sanscrit wo:ks and of a medical journal in Bengali, will probably cover from fourteen to fifteen hundred royal octavo pages. But it is not its size to which I wish to call attention, it is the wisdom and learning found in it that make it so valuable and interesting.

In a short article like this I cannot expect to do more than give the reader a glimpse of the work and a quotation here and there. We are told that in the earliest times some fifty-odd learned men assembled to study the science of life and the causes of disease; in fact, it was a medical convention similar to those of our day. The first conclusion they arrived at was that — “Freedom from disease is the excellent root of religion, profit, pleasure, and salvation. Diseases are depredators thereof, as also of happy liie. This, therefore, is a great enemy of men that hath appeared.

gate of Four,” that is, “the physician, nurse, drugs, and patient." Each is considered and as good advice as can be found given for the guidance of three of the aggregate. One thing, the first of the four, is taught which it were well to remember in our day; that is, that time must be considered in the treatment of all diseases, and one must not try to force a cure.

It would take more time and space than are at our disposal for us to consider all of even the four parts of the Cbaraka that have been published so far, but if any of our readers are interested, we would be glad to gire them any information in regard to the work or the other publications of the learned editor of this great monument of ancient Hindu wisdom and leaaping.

[ocr errors]

What shall be the means of checking them? Having said this, they beto)k themselves to meditation."

They did not discuss questions of life and health only, but moral and religious subjects also, and their effect upon life in general. The wind, or breath, disorders of the billiary system and phlegm, or improper secretions, seem to have been fully recognized as causes of bodily diseases, while passion and darkness of mind brought about mental disorders. Long lists of drugs and directions for their proper use are given, and there is abundant evidence that the properties of vaccine matter were well known. We are told that “He who knows how to apply these in disorders is conversant with the science of medicine." And listen to the following in regard to drugs and those who use them: “He who is acquainted with their applications according to considerations of time and place, after having observed their effects on individual patients, should be known as the best of physicians. An unknown drug like poison, or weapon, or fire, or thunder, while a known drug is like nectar. Drugs unknown by name, appearance, and properties, or misapplied even if known, produce mischief. Well applied, a virulent poison, eren, may become an excellent medicine, while a medicine misapplied becomes a virulent poison. Only a physician who is possessed of memory, who is conversant with causes and applications of drugs, who has his passions under control, and who has quickness of decision, should, by the application of drugs, treat diseases."

Thirty-two kinds of powders and plasters and six hundred purgatives are next described, after which a chapter on food and its proper use gives us as good advice as is to be found in any treatise published in this learned nineteenth century. Great stress is laid upon the proper care of the teeth, and a list of plants is given from which brushes can be made, there not being manufactories of such articles as there are now.

As the chief officer of a city protects his cily, as the charioteer protects his chariot, after the same ipanner should the intelligent man be attentive to ererything that should be done for the benefit of his own body.” Therefore, bodily, mental, and, if we may so call it, religious hygiene is discussed at length, and many excellent rules given.

The question of the duality of the mind and of its connection with th: understanding and the soul leads us into all the intricate mazes of Hindu philosophy, but are bere discussed in such a lucid manner that one is not bewildered and can easily follow the line of thought with pleasure and profit.

6. The objects of the mind are ideas. Here, again, the proper, escessive, scant, and injudicious correlation of the mind with its objects, or of the mental understanding with its objects, becomes the cause of the pormal or abnormal condition of oneself." In other words, a man is sane or insane according to the proper or improper agreement of the mind and its ideas, the ideas the understanding conceives; and, therefore, “One should act in such a way as to preserve one's normal condition, in order that one's untroubled senses and mind might continue in an untroubled state; that is to say, by keeping oneself in touch with such objects of the senses as are productive of beneficial results; by properly achieving such acts as deserve to be achieved (and abstaining from such acts as should be abstained from), repeatedly ascertaining everything by a judicious employment of the understanding; and, lastly, by resorting to practices that are opposed to the virtues of the place of habitation, season of time, and one's own particular nature or disposition (as dependant upon a preponderance of this or that attribute or ingredient). Hence all persons desirous of achieving their own good should always adopt ajth heedfulness the practices of the good.”

Selfishness was never a cause of happiness, and we are told

one can never be happy by taking or enjoying anything alone without dividing it with others.” And this advice is good in every age of the world — "one should not trust ezerybody, nor should one mistrust everybody."

Hindu works teach that everyone should have complete mastery of his body and his senses, hence we frequently come across such a sentence as this: “One should not suffer oneself to be overcome by one's senses."

A very interesting chapter is that which treats of “The Aggre

A NEW THEORY OF LIGHT SENSATION !
BY CHRISTINE LADD FRANKLIN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY,

BALTIMORE, MD. The reasons which make it impossible for most people to accept either the Hering or the Young-Helmholtz theories of light sensation are familiar to every one. The following are the most important of them :

The Young-Helmholtz theory requires us to believe: (a) something which is strongly contradicted by consciousness, viz., tbat the sensation wbite is nothing but an even mixture of red-greenblue sensations; (b) something which has a strong antecedent improbability against it, viz., that under certain definite circumstances (e. g., for very excentric parts of the retina and for the totally color-blind) all three color-sensations are produced in exactly their original integrity, but yet that they are never produced in any other than that even wixture which gives us the sensation of white; (c) something which is quantitatively quite impossible, viz., that after-images, which are frequently very brilliant, are due to nothing but what is left over in the self-light of the retina after part of it has been exhausted by fatigue, althuugh we have otherwise every reason to think that the whole of the self-light is excessively faint.

The theory of Hering avoids all of these difficulties of the Young-Helmholtz theory, but at the cost of introducing others which are equally disagreeable; it sips against the first principles of the physiologist by requiring us to think that the process of building up highly organized animal tissue is useful in giving us knowledge of the external world instead of supposing that it takes place (as in every other instance known to us) simply for the sake of its future useful tearing down; it necessarily brings with it a quite hopeless confusion between our ideas of the brightness and the relative whiteness of a given sensation (as is proved by the fact that it enables Hering to rediscover, under the name of the specific brightness of the different colors, a phenomenon which has long been perfectly well known as the Purkinje pbenomenon); the theory is contradicted (at least the present conception of it) by the following fact—the white made out of red and green is not the same thing as the white made out of blue and yellow; for if (being mixed on the color-wheel) these two whites are made equally bright at an ordinary intensity, they will be found to be of very different brightness when the illumi. nation is made very faint.

Nerertheless, the theory of Hering would have to be accepted if it were the only possible way of escape from the difficulties of the Young-Helmho!tz tbecry. But the:e difficulties may be met by a theory which has the following for its principal assumptions.

In its earliest stage of development vision consisted of nothing but a sensation of grey (if we use the word grey to cover the whole series black-grey-white). This sensation of grey was brought about by the action upon the nerve-ends of a certain chemical substance set free in the retina under the influence of ligbt. In the course of development of the visual sense the molecule to be chemically decomposed became so differentiated as to be capable of losing only a part of its exciting substance at once; tbree chemical constituents of the exciter of the grey-sensation can therefore now be present separately (under the influence

1 Abstract from the Proceedings of the International Congress of Experimental Psychology, London, 189?.

[ocr errors]

possible that the partly decomposed molecules just referred to should remain within the boundaries of the portion of the retina in which they are first produced; and their completed decomposition after they have passed beyond these boundaries is the cause of the complementary color-sensation wbich we call simultaneous contrast. The spreading of the actual color which succeeds it would then be accounted for, as Helmholtz suggests, by a diffusion of the colored light in the various media of the eye.

No effort has hitherto been made to explain a very remarkable feature in the structure of the retina,—the fact that the retinal elements are of two different kinds, which we distinguish as rods and cones. But this structure becomes qui'e what one might expect, if we suppose that the rods contain the undeveloped molecules which give us the sensation of grey only, while the cones contain the color molecules, which cause sensations of grey and of color both. The distribution of the rods and cones corresponds exactly with the distribution of sensitiveness to juet perceptible light and color excitations as determined by the very careful experiments of Eugen Fick.?

Two other theories of light sensation have been proposed besides the one which I hare here outlined, either one of wbich meets the requirements of a possible theory far better than that of Hering or of Helmholtz; they are those of Göllers and Donders. The former is a pbysical theory. Tbat of Donders is a chemical theory, and very similar to the one which I here propose. Every chemical theors supposes a tearing down of highly complex molecules; Donders's theory supposes, in addition, that the tearing down in question can take place in two successive stages.

But Donders's theory is necessarily a four-color theory; and Donders himself, although the experiments of König above referred to had not at that time been made, was so strongly convinced of the necessity of a three-color theory for the explanation of some of the facts of color-vision that he supplemented bis four-process theory in the retina with a threeprocess theory in the higher centres. The desirableness, therefore, of devising a partial decoin position of molecules of such a nature that the fundamental color. processes assumed can be three in number instead of four is apparent.

But the theory of Donders is open to a still graver objection. The molecules assumed by him must, in order to be capable of four different semi-dissociations, consist of at least eight different atoms or groups of atoms. The red green dissociations and the yellow-blue dissociations we may then represent symbolically by these two diagrams respectively:

1

2

1 2

8

3

8

3

7

7

4

4

6

6 5 But it will be observed ibat the two completed dissociations end by baving set free different combinations; in the one case 1 is combined witb 2 and in the cther case 1 is combined with 8, etc. If, now, the partial dissociations are so unlike as to cause sensations of yellow and blue (or of red and green) it is not probable that completed dissociations which end in setting free different chemical combinations should produce the same sensation, grey. The difficulty introduced by Donders's theory is therefore (as in the case of Hering's theory) as great as the difficulty sought to be removed. It is the desire to secure the adrantages of a partial dissociation theory, without the disadvantages of tbe theory of Dunders, that has led me to devise a partial dissociation of molecules of a different kind, The theory will be found more explicitly set forth in the next number of the Zeitschrift für Psychologie.

of three Jitferent parts of the spectrum respectively), and they severally cause the sensations of red, green and blue. But when all three of these substances are present at once they recoinbine to produce the exciter of the grey sensation, and thus it happens that the objective mixing of three colors, in proper proportions, gives a sensation of no color at all, but only grey.

This theory is found, upon working it out in detail, to aroid the difficulties of the tteories of Helmholtz and of Hering.

Its assumption of a separate chemical process for the production of the sensation of grey gives it the same great advantage over the Young-Helmholtz theory that is possessed by the theory of Hering ; it enables it, namely, to account for the remarkable fact that the sensation of gres exists unaccompanied by any sensation whatever of color under the five following sets of circumstances – when the portion of the retina affected is very small, when it is very far from the fovea, when the illumination is rery faint, when it is very intense, and wben the retina is that of a person who is totally color-blind. This advantage my theory attains by the perfectly natural and simple assumption of a partial decomposition of chemical molecules; that of Hering requires us to suppose that sensations so closely related as that of red and green are the accompaniments of chemical processes so dissimilar as the building up and the teating down of photo-chenrical substances, and farther that two complementary colors call forth photo chemical processes which destroy each other, instead of combining to produce the process which underlies the sensation of grey.

Of the first four of the above enumerated cases the explanation will readily suggest itself; in the case of the totally color-blind it is simply that that differentiation of the primitive molecules by which they have become capable of losing only a part of their exciting substance at one time has not taken place; tbe condition, in other words, is a condition of atavism. In partial color-blind. ness and in the intermediate zones of the retina in normal vision the only colors perceived are yellow and blue. This would indicate that the substance which in its primitive condition excites the sensation of grey becomes in the first place differentiated into two substances, the exciters of yellow and blue respectively, and that at a later stage of development the exciter of the sensation of yellow becomes again separated into two substances which produce respectively the sensations of red and of green. In this way the unitary (non-mixed) character of the sensation yellow is accounted for by a three-color theory as completely as by a four-color theory. A three-color theory is rendered a necessity by the fact that it alone is reconcilable with the results of König's experiments for the determination of the color-equations of color-blind and of normal eyes,' experiments which far exceed in accuracy any which have yet been made in color-vision, but which, owing to the intricate character of the theoretical deductions made from them, have not hitherto been allowed their due weight in the estimation of color theories.

The explanation wbich the theory of Hering gives of afterimages and of simultaneous contrast are not explana!ions at all, but merely translations of the facts into the language of his theory. My theory is able to deal with them more satisfactorily; when red light, say, bes been acting upon the retina for some time, many of the photo-chemical molecules hare lost that one of their constituents which is the exciter of the red sensation ; but in this mutilated condition they are exceedingly unstable, and their other two constituents (the exciters of the sensations of blue and of green) are gradually set free; the effect of this is that, while the eyes are still open, a blue-green sensation is added to the red sensation with the result of making it gradually fade out into white, and, if the eyes are closed, the cause of the blue-green sensation persists until all the molecules affected are totally decomposed. Thus the actual course of the sensation produced by Icoking at a red object, -its gradual fading out, in case of careful fixation, and the appearance of the complementary color if the illumination is diminished or if the eyes are closed, - is exactly what the original assumption of a partial decomposition of molecules would require us to predict. The well-known extreme rapidity of the circulation in the retina would make it im

TA Kön'g und C. Dieterici. Sitzungberichte der Berl. Akad. vom 29 Jull, 1886.

2 Studien über Licht und Farbenompiladung. Pflü jer's Archiv, Bd. XLIV., 8. 441, 1888.

3 Die Analyse der Lichtwellen durch das Auge. Du Bois-Reymond's Archir, 1889.

* Noch einmal die Farben-systeme. Gräfe's Archiv für Ophthalmologie, Bd. 30 (1), 1884.

SCIENCE:

PUBLISHED BY N. D. C. HODGES, 874 BROADWAY, NEW YORK.

SUBSCRIPTIONS TO ANY PART OF THE WORLD, $8.50 A YEAR.

To any contributor, on request in advance, one oundred copies of the issue containing his article will be sent with ut charge. More còpies will be supplied at about cost, also if ordered in advance. Reprints are not supplied, as for obvious reasons we desire to circulate as many copies or Science as possible. Authors are, however, at perfect liberty to have their articles reprinted elsewhere. For illustrations, drawings in black and white suitable for photoengraving should be supplied by the contributor. Rejected manuscripts will be retrirned to the authors only when the requisite amount of postage accompanies the manuscript. Whatever is intended for insertion must be authenticated by the name and address of the writer; not necessarily f r publication, but as 9 guaranty of good faith. We do not hold ourselves responsible for any view or opinions expressed in the communications of our correspondents.

Attention is called to the “Wants” column. It is invaluable to those who use it in soliciting information or seeking new positions. The name and address of applicants should be given in full, so that answers will go direct to them. The “Exchange" column is likewise open.

[blocks in formation]

is plain that motion is multiplied equally with the diameter of the object; or, in other words, if we magnify an object one thousand diameters, a motion of that object to the extent of one-thousandth of an inch becomes in the amplified image a motion of one inch, which very readily shows why good results cannot be obtained under such conditions. When observing with the microscope, it is possible and quite feasible to focus the instrument abore and below the general plane of the object, in order to study ang projecting points which may be within or without the general plane. This feature is not possible with the photograpbic process, save in so far as diaphragming the lens and modifying the light may effect the result. Overestimation of the possibilities of photography and underestimation of the careful preparation of objects bave occasioned much unnecessary labor and great disappointment by failure to produce results which should be sought through different channels. Wben the inrestigator contemplates the employment of photography for illustrating his work, let bim consult his photographer before preparing his objects. No one human being bas set encompassed all that is known. When the anatomist takes to his photograpber a thick section of muscular or ossified tissue and asks to bare the individual striæ and cells iso. lated and delineated with distinct outlines and minute detail, he will fail to realize bis expectation. When the mineralogist or geologist prepares his sections of crystallization or deposits, he must not calculate that all his various planes will be perfectly shown in one photograph, even if the specimen be translucent. Color, mass, and position are important factors in all photographic work. With orthochromatic plates many objects beretofore impossible of proper illustration may be quite successfully treated; but, with objects of this class, another factor, that of time of exposure, offers a barrier of limitation. The mobility of life, animal and vegetable, is a most important element which cannot be ignored in exposures of hours, or even minutes, and seconds. A vegetable fibre, when placed in concentrated light, may make one or more entire rerolutions during the time of exposure necessary to properly impress its image upon an orthochromatic plate; and especially is this the case when a hizh-power objective is used. Thin sections deroid of the less actinic colors, red, orange, yellow, and green in their darker tints, or admixtures, may be easily treated. Circulating fluids or objects changing size or position are susceptible of instantaneous exposures only. When such objectionable features as motion and non-actinic color are present, the problem becomes far more complicated, and if the pbotographer fails in its clear and complete solution his patron sometimes looks upon such failure as a proof of incompetency or a lack of proper effort. Like her sister bandınaids in the adrance and illustration of scientific thought, photographs stands ready to do her proper work. She has done much, and it is believed will do more to enlarge the field of human knowledge and gather the harvest; but we should not ask her to accomplish the impossible.

The comparatively recent departure from old methods in various fields of scientific research, has called into action agencies for solving problems of initial progress and results not known or utilized by earlier workers. Discoveries within the last few years hare so advanced the lines of study, and an active scientific press has scattered so broa:lcast the knowledge of progress made that, although the field is boundless, be who reads has little excuse for reworking ground from wbich all reachable fruit has been gathered. In eagerness for the new, a desire to find some hidden, shorter paths into the mysteries of nature, do we not often fail to recognize obstacles, or to sufficiently consider the best means for their removal? With pen and pencil our predecessors sought to leave a record of their work. What they thought and what they saw have been handed down to us through the best means at their command. For the physician, the botanist, mineralogist, and the geographer the artist sketched, elaborated, and finished illustrations having a more or less amount of truth, often obscured by some personality, which rendered them valueless or even misleading. In no class of objects have such defects been more conspicuous than that requiring the use of the microscope. Therefore, he who had used with dissatisfaction the hands of the draftsman was eager to utilize the means offered by photography. He had seen the results obtained in other fields, and, without knowing the difficulties in the way, believed it easy to obtain all desired brilliancy, detail, and amplification. It inay be asked, Why hare not these expectations been more fully realized ? When we pause to consider that color is a most important feature in photographic work, and that a majority of objects studied under the microscope reflect or transmit the least actinic rays of light, red, orange, green, and yellow, we may well understand why we do not secure brilliancy. Again, when the microscopist studies his subject for detail, he mentally eliminates all those parls which do not belong to the special point under observation. A crystal, cell, or fibre which orer- or underlies his object or forms a full or partial background in the field of the objective is left out in the mental summing up of his study. The laws of chemistry and optics do not permit such selection and elimination from the photographic mage. A slight tremor conveyed to the microscope by a passing vehicle in the street, a step about the room or house, may be anpoging to the observer, but does not prevent securing results by longer application. But when we consider the necessity of absolute immobility of the instrument, often for a considerrble length of time, in order to impress upon even the most sensitive plate the image of many.colored objects, we can well understand one of the greatest causes of failure to secure detail; and this obstacle of motion becomes far greater as the amplification increases It

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

Correspondents are requested to be as brief as possible. The writer's nume is in all cases required as proof of good faith.

On request in advance, one hundred copies of the number containing his communication will be furnished free to any correspondent.

The editor will be glad to publish any queries consonant with the character of the journal.

Worms on the Brain of a Bird.

In the issue of Science for June 2, is a short account of my finding thread worms in the brain cavity of Boturus mugitans. The title of the article should have read "on" instead of win, as they were not in the tissue of the brain but, as I state there, in the subarachnoid space.

Since writing the short article above referred to l bare received a card from Professor J. W. P. Jenks of Providence, R. I.. in which he gives an account of his investigation of a similar if not the same parasite on the brain of the Snake Bird (Plotus anbingus). To quote a little from his communication, be says:

“In 1874 I camped for 50 days near Lake Akechobee in south Florida, and shot dozens of the Snake Birds, and in 19 out of 20 mature birds found a bunch of 10 to 20 parasitic worms just beneath the arachnoid membrane, but in no instance extending

into the substance of the brain. In young just batched I never recruited very largely from the ranks of collectors' who notorifound any. In young from two to three weeks old I found them ously infest entomology far more than any other branch of patuin their stomachs and the alimentary canal. When about ready ral history.” The omission is at least unfortunate. The followto fly I found coiled perhaps two or three on the brain."

ing sentences of the paragraph are so pithy and to the point that Further on in his note to me he says: “I was surprised to learn I cannot refrain from quoting them also: “The great majority of your finding them in Boturus—but I should not have been of these bave probably no interest in science generally, but care for I consider them primarily a fish parasite and developed from only for those things relevant to butterfly collections (herbaria, the eggs taken with the fish into the stomach of the bird, and in our case). They would never become Fellows of the Linnean, hence like Trichina spirulis finding their way to the brain.”' and care chiefly to discuss 'collectors’ topics, that would be quite

Professor Jenks called my attention to a note he published on out of place in that society; so that the Entomological Society this find in bis “ Popular Zoology," but which I had overlooked. affords them a sort purgatorial limbo, midway between the paraHe also gare me the address of Dr. W. Cahall of Philadelphia who dise of science and the inferno of popular nescience." bad published an article on the subject, based largely on the I trust that I missunderstand the word research as used by the material Professor Jenks obtained from Florida There is only committee, but it would seem desirable that they should better one point in Dr. Cahall's article (Journal of Nervous and Mental explain what is meant. It may be intended that all papers conDiseases for June, 1889), that I wish to speak of, and that is taining research should be presented to Section G of the American that while 19 out of 20 Snake Birds bave these brain parasites Association, fearing that if the congress were not restricted Secthey do not seem to affect them unfavorably. This was not tion Gwould be seantily patronized. This, however, does not the case with the Bittern. It was poor in flesh, of inferior size seem a reasonable interpretation, for if there is a limitation on the and deficient in intelligence.

congress, we should expect it to be open only to the best papers That birds do get parasites from fish I might add the following of most general interest, which could readily be decided by a case of circumstancial evidence: When skinning a percb (Perca committee on programme; lesser papers and papers of local i')flavescens), I found in the muscles a number of encysted parasites, terest being referred to Section G. the cysts white and about an eighth of an inch long A short The claim cannot be made with justice that nomenclature has time afterwards in skinning a wild duck I found a similar if not more than a factional interest. The majority of good botanists the same parasite in the pectoral muscles. The two parasites of the world pay no attention to nomenclature, and to them a were of the same size and color and seemed to be the same. discussion of its intricacies would be dry and worthless in the

G. H. FRENCH. extreme. If such factional questions are to be the only ones conCarbondale, Ill.

sidered, the congress should not be called a “ Botanical Congress," but a Nomenclature Congress. Whatever may be intended, it is

an unfortunate use of words. The International Botanical Congress at Madison.

It is announ 'ed that a separate circular will shortly be disIn looking over the “. Circular and General Programme of the tributed to botanists, giving further information. It is to be Forty-Second Meeting of the American Association for the Ad- hoped that a clear explanation of this point will be given. vancement of Science" just distributed, I am surprised to read

H. J. WEBBER. oa page 12, under the heading “International Botanical Con- Subtropical Laboratory, U. S. Dep irtment of Agriculture, Eustis, Fla. gress ” the following statement: • The congress will consider questions of general botanical interest, but papers embodying the

A Plea for a Fair Valuation of Experimental Physiology in results of research will be excluded. The International Standing Committee upon Nomenclature, appointed last year at the Genoa

Biological Courses. Congress, is expected to present a report at this time.” This is all DURING the discussion of the biology question, one point has that is said in the circular to indicate what we may expect to hear interested me more than any other, namely, that none of the at the Congress.

parties who bave taken part in the discussion hare teen able to The Botanical Gazette, in an editorial,' urges “If any botanist avoid speaking at the same time of evolution and of natural selechas a suggestion ... now is the time to give it expression.... tion. This thinking of biology, with constant reference to those Silence means apathy." I fear a certain class of our botanists two features of Darwinian teaching, has led me to believe more hare been silent too long judging from the above statement. It strongly than ever that my view of the matter is not very much seems to me outrageous to announce a programme from which all wrong. However, an article in this journal, entitled “Biolog! in original research is excluded. No scientific man cares to listen our Colleges: A Plea for a Broader and More Liberal Biology," to papers which are merely “a play of words,” not the results of induces me to take up my pen once more and explain matters a research. I should consider it an insult to our foreign guests to little more closely. offer such a programme. The one subject suggested, nomen- The tendency of the above-named paper ". is – a plea for sysclature, is indeed about the only one possible under such restric- tematic biology," but it is marked by such a number of wondertions, being truly void of all scientific research.

ful views on the different lines of physiological investigation that Botanical congresses do not come every year, especially in many specialists will really le at a loss about what they shall America, this being the first erer held here, if I am rightly in- think. “Systematic zoology has gone, or, if still tolerated in a formed. This being the case, it seems to me, as a matter of few colleges, is restricted to a very subordinate position.” I. course, that this should be the time and place for a discussion of imagine that the biologist would not know what to do if systethe vital questions of physiology, morphology, anatomy, etc., matic work, borb zoological and botanical — the latter holds sull, that this should be the time for an extreme effort on the part of says the article, “an honored place in many universities, though erery American botanist. If we desire to gain standing as true evidently on the wane" was not carried on, so that we could botanists among the true botanists abroad, our supreme effort know how to lay our hands upon the different forms for further should be directed to botany, not as appears to be the intention, study. But the methods of such a work may be wrong, and, to a mere machine of botany. It would seem a better restriction fatally, often are so, namely, when it presents itself merely as if all papers not the result of research were excluded.

simple regristation work, which strikingly has been called Papers from America bave long presented this characteristic - museum zoology or botany. Systematic work of any kind is to Do “result of research.” Nomenclature and Aristic is truly all be valued just as much as morphological or physiological woik, that we have thus far accomplished. One is, unfortunately, and so, even if it is done still — as in fact it is in ninets-pine cases compelled to believe that "Free Lance" ? accidentally omitted to out of a hundred after the old Linnæan principles. On the include botany when he said ; “The Entomological Society is other hand, a biologiral classification, or eren only a morphologii Botanical Gazette, vol, xvll. (November, 1892), p. 384.

cal classification, which employs biological characters of the forms, 9 “On the Organizatio) of Science,” by A. Free Lance, Edinburgh, 1892,

is to be more highly valued.

There is no doubt but that any paturalist enjoys the “delight

66

D. 25.

« ForrigeFortsæt »