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THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



I 



THE 
SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL 



VOLUME XIII 
JULY TO DECEMBER, 1921 



NEW YORK 

THE SCIENCE PRESS 

1921 



Gopyrtfit, 1921 

THE 8CIENCB PBESS 



nwMA0 J. catrrmtt Am M»t 

unCA, If. T. 



VOL XIII, NO. 1 JULY, 1921 



THE SCIENTIFIC 



\ 

1 (y-'^^^-c , 



MONTHLY 



<'^ 

\ 



//,, W EDITED BY /. McKEEN CATTELL 



CONTENTS 

THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY. Profeaaor John Johnston 5 

THE CENTENNIALS OF HERMAN VON HELMHOLTZ AND RUDOLF 
VIRCHOW: 

HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ. ProfeMor Louis Karpinski 24 

RUDOLF VIRCHOW— PATHOLOGIST. Dr. Carl Vernon Walker 33 

RUDOLF VIRCHOW— ANTHROPOLOGIST AND ARCHEOLOGIST. 

Professor Arthur E. R. Boak 40 

THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH— THE INHERITANCE OF DURATION OF UFE IN 

MAN. Professor Raymond Pearl 46 

VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES. Dr. Alfred C. Reed 67 

FISHING IN LAKE MICHIGAN. Professor A. S. Pearse 81 

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE: 

The Utilization and Conservation of the Natural Resources of the United States; 
The Executive Committee on Natural Resources; Mme. Curie's Visit to the 
United States; Exchange of Professors of Engineering between American and 
French Universities; Scientific Items 91 



THE SCIENCE PRESS 

PUBUCATION OFFICE: 11 LIBERTY ST., UTICA, N. Y. 
. EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICE: GARRISON, N. Y. 

Single Number, 50 Cents. Yearly Subscription, $5.00 

COPYRIGHT 1921 BY THE SCIENCE PRESS 
Eaterad •• wcond-clAM manor Febnury 8, 1921, it the Pott Ofice at Utica, N. Y., under the Act of March 3. 1879. 



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Inaugunl lectuie by die Savilian PtofctMr of Geometcy at Oifixd. 

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THE SCIENTIFIC 
MONTHLY 



JULY. 1021 
THE fflSTORY OF CHEMISTRY* 

By Profearor JOHN JOHNSTON 

TALE UNIVERSITT 

CHEMISTRY 18 the science of the ultimate eomposition and con- 
stitution of matter, of the mutual reaction between two or more 
substances^ and of the influence of factors such as change of temper- 
ature, pressure, or extent of surface upon the sti^ility of a substance 
and its relation to other substances. The chemist studies the great 
diversity of substances, organic and inorganic, which we see around 
us; he analyzes these substances, ascertains their composition, and 
builds them up again from their components; he investigates their be- 
havior with respect to change in external conditions and in relation to 
other substances. He learns how, not merely to imitate a substance 
occuring naturally, but to make the identical material artificially and 
to discover new substances superior in usefulness to those found in 
nature; and he considers how useful substances may be produced more 
economically from the raw materials available. The study of chemistry 
is slowly yielding information as to the nature of biological processes 
of importance to every one and so is assisting to retain health and to 
control disease. Indeed our material well-being and comfort depend 
in large part upon a fundamental knowledge of chemical processes and 
how to control them; and continued progress along these lines will be 
limited only by the rate at which we extend our knowledge of funda- 
mentals, what chemistry has adiieved being but a fraction of what it 
may do for us. 

The great practical achievements of chemistry are comparatively 
recent, almost entirely within the last sixty years, quite largely indeed 
within the present century. They are so manifold that it would not 
be feasible in the space allotted even to mention a fraction of them; 
consequently I have endeavored only to dcetch in general outline, as 
free from technicalities as possible, the development of the main funda* 

*A lecture delivered at Yale University, March 25, 1920, the second of a 
series on the History of Science under the auspices of the Yale Chapter of 
the Gamma Alpha Graduate Scientific Fraternity. 

103895 



« THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

mental principles of chemistry, and even in this have been forced to 
omit much that is important 

Development of the Idea of Chemical Elements and of Their 

Mutual Relationship 

Two hundred years ago, at which time the classical mathematics 
had already reached a high state of development, chemistry had not 
b^gun to be a science, nor even an art; it was more or less of a mystery, 
in which language was used to conceal the fact that there was no 
thought — as it still is used by some today. Boyle in ^'The Sceptical 
Chymist,** first published in 1661, refers to the vagueness of the ideas 
then current in the following terms :^ 

The confidence wherewith chymists are wont to call each of the sub- 
stances we speak of by the name of sulphur or mercury, or the other of the 
hypostatical principles, and the intolerable ambiguity they allow themselves 
in their writings and expressions, makes it necessary for me .... to 
complain of the unreasonable liberty they give themselves of playing with 
names at pleasure .... I cannot but take notice, that the descriptions 
they give us of that principle or ingredient of mixt bodies, are so intricate, 
that even those that have endeavored to polish and illustrate the notions of 
the chymists, are fain to confess that they know not what to make of it 
either by ingenuous acknowledgments, or descriptions that are not intelligible 
.... Chymists write thus darkly, not because they think their notions 
too precious to be explained, but because they fear that if they were explained, 
men would discern, that they are far from being precious. And, indeed, I 
fear that the chief reason why chymists have written so obscurely of their 
three principles, may be, that not having clear and distinct notions of them 
themselves, they cannot write otherwise than confusedly of what they but 
confusedly apprehend; not to say that divers of them, being conscious to 
the invalidity of their doctrine, might well enough disceme that they could 
scarce keep themselves from being confuted, but by keeping themselves from 
being clearly understood .... If judicious men, skilled in chymical 
affairs, shall agree to write clearly and plainly of them, and thereby keep 
men from being stunned, as it were, or imposed upon by dark and empty 
words; it is to be hoped, that these (other) men finding, that they can no 
longer write impertinently and absurdly, witiiout being laughed at for doing 
so, will be reduced either to write nothing, or books, that may teach us some- 
thing, and not rob men, as formerly, of invaluable time; and so ceasing to 
trouble the world with riddles or impertinendes, we shall either by their 
books receive an advantage, or by their silence escape an inconvenience. 

And again,' showing that he had no great opinion of their methods : 

Methinks the Chymists, in their searches after truth, are not unlike the 
navigators of Solomon's Tarshish fleet, who brought home from their long 
and tedijotts voyages, not only gold, and silver, and ivory, but apes and 
peacocks too: for so the writings of several (for I say not, all) of your 
hermetick philosophers present us, together with divers substantial and 
noble experiments, theories, which either like peacock's feathers make a great 

iThe Sceptical CSiymist, Everyman's Edition, pp. 113-6. 
K)p. ctt. p. 337* 



THE HISTORY OP CHEMISTRY 7 

•how, bttt are neither solid nor useful ; or else like apes, if they have some 
appearance of being rational, are blemished with some absurdity or other, that 
when they are attentively considered, make them appear ridiculous. 

The general belief of the aldiemiats appeaxB to have been that there 
18 a primordial matter which, when combined with more or less of one 
or more of their four so-called elements or principles — ^fire, air, earth 
and water — ^becomes apparent to our senses as the various substances 
we know; in other words, that matter is the carrier or embodiment of 
certain qualities which can by appropriate treatment be enhanced or 
attenuated. It is juster to look upon the alchemists* so-called elements 
as qualities — such' as hotness, coldness, dryness, wetness — typified by 
the things named, though no single quality would suffice for a single 
element, as each alchemist tended to endow his elements with such attrib- 
utes as suited his immediate purpose. In addition to these four elements 
some made U4e also of the ^^hypostatical" (fundamental) principles — 
salt, sulphur and mercury, idiich again may be interpreted as typifying 
fixity in the fire or incombustibility, combustibility, volatility and 
metallic lustre, respectively. Such vieirs lead one directly to believe 
in the possibility of transmutation, of dianging base metal into gold; 
for to achieve this, it would be necessary only to effect a suitable change 
in the proportions of the elemental qualities, a possibility which there- 
fore seemed far from hopeless or absurd. 

It is clear that no great progress in chemistry as a science could 
have been made, so long as such false views prevailed. And indeed the 
alchemists contributed notfung to the real philosophy of chemistry, 
although they did discover — ^by chance, more or lees — a few useful 
substances, such' as sulphuric add (oil of vitrei) and tartar emetic, 
some of which found application as drugs. For one of the tadcs they 
set for themselves was to find the elixir of youth, a quest along with 
which went a belief in the efficacy of doses of the strangest mixtures; 
indeed, an ingenuous person examining the present-day official phanna- 
oopeias might well be led to think that the alchemists continued to 
flourish and to be powerful until very recent times. 

The overthrow of this false philosophy was begun by Robert Boyle, 
in his **Sceptical Chymist** He endeavored to distinguirii the quali- 
ties of a substance from its composition, and enunciated views with 
reference to the difference between elements and compounds which are 
still held. Thus he writes: ^I must not look upon any body as a true 
prindple or element, but as yet compounded, which is not perfectly 
homogeneous, but is further resoluble into any number of distinct sub- 
stances, how small soever. ** ^*I mean by elements, as those chymists 
that speak plainest do by their prindples, certain primitive and simple, 
or perfectly unmingled boAes; which not being made of any other 
bodies, or of one another, are the ingredients of which all those called 



8 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

peifedly mizt bodies are immediately compounded, and into which 
diey are ultimately resolved.*^ 

It is difficult to picture the exact status of knowledge of chemical 
art at that pmod, partly because the alchemists commonly described 
their experiments in vague terms, partly because their false theories 
prevented them from discovering all the pertinent facts and led them 
to misinterpret much of vrfaot they did d>serve. For instance, the doc- 
trine of the indestructibility of matter — ^that the total weight of a 
system remains unaffected by chemical changes taking place within it — 
now regarded as axiomatic, was not definitely formulated; the material 
nature of air had not yet been recogniased, nor had gases been really 
differentiated; the process of combusticm was not understood, and 
anal3rtical methods haroly existed. 

Boyle's views gained ground very slowly, but the progress of 
chemistry was hindered for a century by a false theory, the so-called 
phlogiston theory. According to this view, there is an inflammable 
principle — ^phlogiston — which escapes when a substance is burned. 
For instance, when a metal is burned, phlogiston escapes and a caTx 
or earth remains; on which basis the metal is a compound of calx plus 
phlogiston, whence it would follow that in order to r^enerate the 
metal, phlogiston must be supplied to the calx by heating with some 
substance (such as carbon) rich in phlogiston. This theory 
emphasized the fundamental rimilarity of all combustion processes, 
and to that extent was a good and useful hypothesis; but the picture 
it presented is almost the exact inverse of the real facts, for we now 
know that a metal in burning actually unites with oxygen, that the calx 
or oxide vreighs more than the metal, and that the system as a whole 
has lost energy, mainly in the form of heat — all of these changes having 
to be reversed in order to regenerate the metal from the oxide. The 
phlogiston theory, despite its falsity, continued to prevail for a century, 
during which time it befogged the whole subject and paralyzed the 
advance of chemical philosophy; the net result being that, until nearly 
the end of the eighteenth century, the subject was as little clear as it 
had been a hundred years before, although it had in the meantime been 
enriched by many new observations of importance, and progress along 
experimental lines had been quickened by improved technique. This 
prevalence of a false theory, which hindred progress so greatly, leads 
one to wonder if some of the hypotheses now commonly accepted do not 
have a similar inverse relation to the real facts, as was the case with 
the phlogiston theory; it is this t3rpe of question whidi the promoters 
of the theory of relativity are in effect asking with respect to our funda- 
mental physical ideas. 

Another mistaken notion was the material nature of heat. The fact 

aOp. cit. p. 187. 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY » 

that flames* issue from burning bodies led to the view tbat they were 
material objects; and so fire was r^arded as one of the elements. Even 
after the overthrow of the ancient ideas of combustion, it was believed 
that heat, or caloric as they termed it, though devoid of weight, was a 
substance — an imponderable, in the same category as light and 
electricity. 

Thus, even as late as 1848, in a very interesting ^'Manual of 
Chemistr/*^ the author writes: 

The first part comprehends an account of the nature and properties of 
Heat, Light and Electricity — ^agents so diffusive and subtile that the com- 
mon attributes of matter can not be perceived in them. They are altogether 
destitute of weight; at least, if they possess any, it cannot be discovered 
by our most delicate balances, and hence they have received the appellation 
of Imponderables. They cannot be confined and exhibited in a mass like 
other bodies, they can be collected only through the intervention of other 
substances. Their title to be considered material is therefore questionable, 
and the effects produced by them have accordingly been attributed to certain 
motions or affections of conunon matter. It must be admitted, however, that 
they appear to be subject to the same powers that act on matter in general, 
and that some of the laws which have been determined concerning them are 
exactly such as might have been anticipated on the supposition of their 
materiality. It hence follows that we need only regard them as subtile 
spedes of matter, in order that the phenomena to which they give rise may 
be explained in the language, and according to the principles, which are ap- 
plied to material substances in general. 

From this it is apparent that the author did not feel quite sure of 
his ground although Rumford's experiments in 1798 had shovm that 
heat could be generated without limit by friction alone; indeed the 
question was not determined until the experimental investigations of 
Joule, published 1843-9, established the doctrine of the conservation 
of energy, that heat and work are mutually and quantitatively interom- 
vertible. 

Thus, up to nearly the close of the 18th century chemistry had not 
become a science. No descriptions had yet been given which cor- 
related change of properties with change of composition in such a 
way as to indicate new lines of investigation. Indeed th^ conception 
of chemical composition, as we now understand it, had not taken form, 
because the phenomena — and in particular, the change of weight — ac- 
companying the transformation of one substance into another had not 
been accurately observed. From this period date the use of the bal- 
ance, perhaps the most characteristic ringle tool of the scientific chemist, 
and the quantitative analysis of chemical changes; and wiUi this ad- 
vance chemistry begins to be a science, with a growing body of definite 
principles. 

^"Manual of Chemistry on the Basis of Dr. Turner's Elements of Chem- 
istry," by John Johnston (1806-79) Professor of Natural Science in the 
Woleyan University; new edition, Philadelphia, 1848; p. xiil 



10 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

In rendering chemistry a science many men bore a part, but the 
outstanding figure is Lavoisier, bom in 1743, beheaded in 1794 because 
'^e Republic has no need of scientists," a view which, though still 
widely held implicitly, is not now carried to its logical conclusion in 
the same way as it was then. Lavoisier's ^raite elementaire de 
chimie," published in 1789, is a systematic treatise which transformed 
the subject He gave a definite meaning to the expression, '^chemical 
conq>08ition''; and recognized that the quantity of matter is the same 
at the end as at the beginning of every operation. He stated that the 
object of chemistry is *Ho decompose the different natural bodies, 

and to examine separately the different substances which 

enter into their combination. We cannot be certain that what we think 
today to be simple is indeed simple; all we may say is, that such or 
such a substance is the actual term whereat chemical analysis has ar- 
rived, and that with our present knowledge we are unable to subdivide 
further." This quotation shows that Lavoisier had a much better 
philosophic attitude towards the whole matter than have had many of 
the chemists since his time; indeed until recently chemists were so much 
occupied in accumulating observations that they were prone to neglect 
the philosophy by means of which alone these multitudinous observa- 
tions can be correlated. 

Lavoisier gave a table of elements, containing thirty*three names, 
of which twenty-three are still regarded as elements — the definition of 
a chemical element being that it is a substance which we have not suc- 
ceeded in breaking up into anything simpler, the atoms of the several 
chemical elements therefore being, so to speak, the small pieces of 
tile of different kinds out of which are built up all of the numberless 
patterns or mosaics which we see about us as diverse kinds of matter. 
Of the others, five — ^lime, magnesia, baryta, alumina, silica — are oxides 
which, with the experimental means then available to Lavobier, could 
not be decomposed. These twenty-three elements, the number known 
at the end of the eighteenth century, comprise the following: carbon, 
hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur; antimony, arsenic, 
bismuth, cobalt, copper, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, 
molybdenum, nickel, platinum, silver, tin, tungsten, zinc This list, it 
will be noted, includes only six non-metals, one of which — sulphur — 
was known to the ancients though not recognized by them as an element 
in the modem sense of the term. Of the seventeen metals on Lavoisier's 
list, seven — gold, silver, copper, iron, mercury, lead, tin — ^were known 
to the ancients, though not as elements; most of the others were isolated 
for the first time during the second half of the eighteenth century. In- 
cidentally it may be mentioned, as an illustration of the slowness with 
whidi knowledge is applied, that some of these metals — notably, 
tungsten, molybdenum and manganese — ^were not used technically for 




THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY U 

more than a hundred years after their discovery; we now value them 
highly, as their use enables us to achieve results of the greatest im- 
portance technically and therefore economically, results which other- 
wise were unattainable. It is of interest, furthermore, to note that the 
names of two of these elemoits — cobalt and nickel — derive from words 
meaning *^e devil," ores of copper admixed with these metals being 
then considered useless; indeed we have only learned to make use of 
such ores comparatively recently. Nickel has been produced on a 
large scale for a short time, and no large use has yet been made 
of cobalt, although it is comparatively plentiful. 

By the year 1800, twenty-seven chemical elements had been 
recognized, the four added since Lavoisier being uranium, titanium, 
chromium and tellurium; thirty years later, in 1830, this number had 
been doubled. The discovery of many of these elements (for instance, 
the metals associated with platinum — palladium, rhodium, iridium, 
osmium) was brought about by the application of more and more 
careful analytical methods, in the hands of men such as WoUaston and 
Beraelius — the latter alone adding five to the list. The isolation of 
others, notably the alkali and alkaline earth metals, (potassium, 
•odium, calcium, strontium, barium) by Davy in 1807, was achieved by 
a new and powerful method of analysis, namely, the application of the 
electric current to the breaking up of substances. Davy, after proving 
definitely by this means that water is composed solely of hydrogen and 
oxygen, established the fact, surmised by Lavoisier, that the alkalis are 
oxides of metals; therefore that oxygen, the acid producer as it had 
been named (erroneously as we now know), is a constituent of the 
alkalies. He was, however, puzzled by ammonia and in particular by 
the ammonium radicle or grouping' which in its salts resembles so 
closely the alkali metals; and this puzzle was not solved until about 
1840, by which time the idea of the existence of similar compound 
radicles in organic chemistry was beginning to find general acceptance. 
From this period dates the usefulness of the atomic theory, first 
clearly enunciated by John Dalton in his **New System of Chemical 
Philosophy^ published in 1808. The speculation that matter is ulti- 
mately composed of discrete particles, or atoms, had been common in 
philosophical writings; but it had led to no real progress of knowledge 
until Dalton showed how the assumption that each element is made 
up of atoms serves to correlate experimental observations and to sug- 
gest new inquiries. On this basis, the myriad substances we see about 
us are all made up of combinations of a small integral number of atoms 
of the several elements present, the atoms of each element having char- 
acteristic properties, and in particular a characteristic weight. 
Chemical combination of one element with another is the union of an 

•Sec infra. 



11 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

atom of one element with an atom, or a small number of atoms, of the 
other; this number, in compounds of two elements, seldom exceeds four 
and is always less than eight, and it is in no wise arbitrary but in accord- 
ance ¥rith what is now termed the relative valence of the two elements. 
As a simple case, in the ordinary combustion of carbon (coal) one car- 
bon atom unites with two oxygen atoms, resulting in the formation of 
carbonic acid gas; or, as the chemist writes it in his shorthand, 
C + O2 ^ CO2. In more complicated structures, the number of ele- 
ments present may be greater than two, but is seldom greater than five; 
the total number of atoms making up the structure characteristic of the 
substance is in some cases large, but in all cases it can be pictured as 
made up of a number of groupings, each composed of two elements. 
As a simple familiar instance, limestone (CaCO,) is made up of equiva- 
lent amounts of lime (CaO) and carbonic acid (CO,), and is decom- 
posed into these two proximate constituents in the operation of lime- 
burning, thus: 

CaCO, (CaO.COJ = CaO + CO, . 

calcium carbonate calcium carbon 

oxide dioxide 

Furthermore the lime, when used as mortar, is slowly reconverted into 
the carbonate by the action of the carbonic acid always present in the 
atmosphere. In many chemical processes we are dealing mrith an ex- 
change of partners, the substances A B and C D becoming A D and 
B C; for example, hydrochloric (muriatic) acid added to a solution 
of silver nitrate (lunar caustic) yields nitric acid and silver chloride, 
the latter appearing as an insoluble white curdy substance; or in sym- 
bol HCl + AgNO, = HNO, + AgCl. This illustrates the fact that 
the apparent affinity of one kind of atom for another is not the same 
under all circumstances, and that consequently a firm and long-standing 
union of two atoms may be broken up by the entrance of a third under 
appropriate conditions. 

The atomic theory was a very great step in advance, establishing, as 
it did, the laws and processes of chemistry on a quantitative basis. 
Progress since Dalton^s time has only served to confirm the essential 
correctness of the atomic theory; indeed there is now no longer need to 
call it a theory, for the reality of atoms is no more open to question 
than that of any odier fact of physical science. The atoms are in- 
finitesimally small, so small that, if a drop of water were magnified to 
the size of the earth, the constituent atoms would be about the size of 
footballs. Perhaps a more striking illustration is that, if the particles 
in a cubic inch of air were magnified until they would just pass 
through a very fine sieve (100 meshes to the inch), this fine sand of 
particles would suffice to cover a highway extending from New York to 
San Francisco, and one mile wide, with a layer about two feet deep. 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY U 

We cannot see the actual atoms, it is true, but we can weigh them and 
measure them and study their characteristics; the same holds true for 
electridtf, whidi, it may be remarked, is, according to modem viewsv 
also made up of unitSi named electrons, which bear an extraordinarily 
intimate relation to the structure of the atom itself. 

In 1830, as noted above^ about fifty-five chemical elements had been 
recognised, and these include all — ^irith one notable exception, argon, 
to which we shall refer later — ^which have yet been found in appreciable 
quantities in the surface crust of the earth. Since that tjme the number 
of recognized elements has been increased by about thirty, most oi 
which, however, are so very rare that only a few grams of them have 
ever been isolated — ^in other words, most of them are chemical curiosi- 
ties kept in small tubes in museums. Indeed the recognition and isola- 
tion of the majority of these elements has been possible only through 
the discovery, about 1860, of the possibility of spectrum analysis. This 
elegant method depends upon the fact that each chemical element, 
whether in combination or free, gives, when viewed under appropriate 
conditions, a so-called spectrum made up of a series of bright lines» 
the positions, or colors, of which are absolutely characteristic. This 
method of identification is so sensitive that an element can be recog- 
niied even iidien it is present only in very small amount — an amount of 
the order of one-millionth of a gram; it therefore enables one to learn 
how to segregate or concentrate an element originally present in such 
small quantities that no ordinary chemical test would then suffice to de- 
tect it. Ldkevrise, by observation and measurement of the spectra of 
the sun and stars, it has been definitely determined that the elements 
present in their upper layers are identical with those which make up 
the crust of the earth and are already familiar to us, with one or two 
possible exceptions. 

In 1868 Lockyer, vdiile examining the solar spectrum, observed a 
bright line whidi did not correspond to any element then kno¥m, and 
attributed it to a hypothetical element helium. This element was not 
recognized on the earth for about thirty years, although Hillebrand had 
in the meantime, vdiile examining the mineral uraninite, had some in 
his hands, but, by reason of its inertness, considered it to be merely 
nitrogen. It was identified by Rayleigh and Ramsay in the course of 
their investigation of the inert gases of the atmosphere, an investiga- 
tion which arose out of the observation-— originally made, in a sense, 
by Cavendidi, a century earlier — that there is a fractional difference in 
density be tw e e n nitrogen prepared chemically and that obtained from 
purified air by removal of the oxygen. This investigation resulted in 
die discovery of a family of five new inert gaseous elements, all of 
whidi are present in the atmosphere, argon to the extent of about one 
percent, by volume, helium and the others in the proportion of a few 



14 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

parts per million. Argon, therefore, although all around us in enor- 
mous quantities — ^within a house 33 z 33 z 33 feet there is about a ton of 
air and consequently some forty pounds or 10,000 litres (400 cubic 
feet) of argon — ^was not recognized, by reason of its inertness; for 
neither it, nor any of the argon group, has hitherto been made to enter 
into chemical combination. But this very inertness is now being taken 
advantage of; in the case of argon, as a filling for electric light bulbs; 
in the case of helium, as a non-inflammable filling for balloons, a mat- 
ter which, duiing the war, was considered so important that large 
quantities of it were finally separated from natural gas in Tezas, after 
many dilEculties and at very large expense. Incidentally, this b an 
excellent illustration of the results which may follow from scientific 
work carried on merely to learn about things, and not with any idea of 
discovering something of particular use; for the possibility of produc- 
ing helium on a large scale is a direct outcome of careful observations 
of the spectrum of various samples of natural gas. 

But the greatest interest in helium, from a scientific point of view 
at least, is in quite another direction, namely, its intimate connection 
with the phenomenon of radio-activity, or better, with the disintegration 
of the so-called radio-elements. These radio-elements, the best known 
of which is radium, first discovered in 1898, differ from the other chem- 
ical elements in one respect, but that one very significant, in that they 
are disintegrating before our eyes. This disintegration, ndiidi pro- 
ceeds at a rate unaffected by any change of temperature or by an3rthing 
tried hitherto, is accompanied by a continuous emission of energy — a 
million times greater than is liberated in any change of matter pre- 
viously known — ^largely in the form of material particles shot out with 
great velocity. This energy is so great that one can indeed count the 
number of particles shot out by observing the flash produced by the 
bombardment of a suitable screen, as in the spinthariscope, or the 
luminous watch dial in vdiidi the light is the aggregate of the flashes 
produced by a quantity of radium which weighs only a millionth of a 
gram. This phenomenon enables us to detect the presence of a small 
number of atoms of a radio-element; whereas the smallest number of 
atoms of an element which it has been possible to detect by means of 
the spectroscope or by the most delicate methods of chemical analysis 
is at least 10^', a number the magnitude of which will be more obvious 
from the statement that it is several hundred times the total present 
human population of the world. It is now definitely established that 
these material particles are helium atoms, and that this disint^ration of 
the radio^lements is an actual transmutation, a transmutation, however, 
beyond our present powers to control. If we should ever learn to con- 
trol this atomic disintegration, it would effect a much greater revolu- 
tion than was caused by the utilization of coal for power; for in that 




THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 16 

case the ttiergy derivable from the atomic disint^ration of a shovelful 
of material would be as great as that now derivable from a thousand 
tons of coal — ^in other words we would then be possessed of limitless 
stores of energy. This has not been done yet, it may not be achieved 
for a long time, it may not be possible; but he would be a rash man 
who would deny its possibility. The phenomenon of radio-activity is a 
very striking illustration of the way in which a new method, a new tool 
of research, may open up a field which otherwise we would not even 
sense — ^nay, hardly be bold enough to imagine; and there is absolutely 
no reason for believing that other equally novel and unsuspected dis- 
coveries will not be made in the future. 

From the fact that the material particles shot out by a disintegrating 
radio-element are helium atoms, it would appear that the helium atom 
is one of the kinds of brick which go to make up the more complex 
type of structure of the atoms of the heavier elements. Now the two 
simplest and lightest atoms known are the hydrogen atom and the 
helium atom; and there is ground for believing that the hydrogen atom 
also is one of the bricks of the atom-builder. Indeed recent experi- 
ments of Rutherford (1920) indicate that he has succeeded, by bom- 
barding nitrogen atoms with helium atoms, in dislodging hydrogen 
atoms from somewhere — ^presumably from the nitrogen atom. If this 
is confinned, we shall have to introduce an interpretative reservation 
into the present definition of an element, according to which a chemical 
element is a substance not yet resolved into something simpler. This 
however, is hardly part of the history of chemistry ; though, one may ask, 
what is the use of history, beyond being a sort of literary exercise, if 
it does not enable us to make general predictions as to what is going to 
happen, for then only will it be a science. 

The deduction from experimental evidence that the hydrogen and 
the helium atom are two of the building bricks brings us back to a 
very old icfea, to the idea that matter as we see it or — one would now 
say preferably, — ^the chemical elements are made up of one, two, or at 
most a few, kinds of primordial stuff. The relative weight of the atoms 
of the several elements can be determined by simple experiments; these 
atomic weights were usually referred to hydrogen as unity, hydrogen 
being the lightest known element, but for practical reasons are now re- 
ferred to oxygen ^ 16.00, there being only a fractional differoice be- 
tween these two standards of reference. It was early observed that a 
much larger proportion of these atomic weights approximate to whole 
numbers than can be accounted for on the theory of chances. From 
this it was inferred that the hydrogen atom was this ultimate unit; but 
there were a number of well established marked exceptions^ which 
woold not be explained away and so tended to discredit the doctrine. 
Nevertheless this h3rpothesi8, often called Prout*s hypothesis, continued 



16 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

to be a uaef ol one, as it was the occasion of much of the best woHl on 
atomic wei^ts; and in spite of the exceptions, it persisted as an aspira- 
tion which was rewarded in time by the discovery of the periodic law 
of the chemical elements, established by the writings of Mendelejeflf. 

According to this great generalization **The properties of the ele- 
ments, and, therefore, the properties of the simple, and of the com- 
pound bodies formed from them, are in periodic dependence on their 
atomic weights.** In other words, if the elements are arranged in order 
of increasing atomic weight, we find that like properties recur regularly, 
and that by this means like elemoits are brought together into natural 
groups, e. g. the alkali metals, the halogens^ the inert gases. This peri- 
odic classification had a profound effect in leading us toward the 
correct value of atomic weight of many elements; and in enabling 
predictions to be made as to the existence and properties of undis- 
covered elements, predictions which were completely verified in three 
cases by the subsequent discovery and investigation of the properties 
and relations of scandium, gallium and germanium. But to record all 
the consequences of this periodic law would be to recount the achieve- 
ments in inorganic chemistry in the fifty years elapsed since its dis- 
covery; suffice it to say that it forced the chemist to cease thinking about 
the elements as unrelated entities and instead, to consider them as 
members of a family or, at the least, as members of a series of related 



Time has only served to corroborate the essential correctness and 
usefulness of the periodic classification of the chemical elements; and 
no evidence has been more conclusive than that derived, within the last 
few years, from investigations of X-rays and of radio-activity. This 
work has led to the conception of a characteristic atomic number which 
changes by unity in passing from one element to its neighbor in the 
periodic systeuL It appears indeed that this atomic number is really 
more fundamental than the atomic weight, that all the properties of an 
atom, save mass and radio-activity, depend upon the atomic number, 
vdiich is the number of negative electrons (i. e. atoms of electricity) 
surrounding the positive nucleus at which the mass of the atom is as- 
sumed to be concentrated; or rather, that the distribution of the negative 
electr<His on which the ordinary physical and chemical properties de- 
pend is a function, and a periodic function, of the units of electric 
charge on the nucleus, and hence of the atomic number. It is believed 
that the lightest known element hydrogen has an atomic number of 1, 
helium of 2, lithium of 3, and so on up to thorium and uranium, the 

n*hese are now showing signs of yielding, in that the elements in ques- 
tion seem to be mixtures of so-called isotopes which have identical chemical 
properties, and so can not be separated by chemical means, but differ slightly 
in characteristic weight. 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 17 

heaviest known elements, with atomic numbers of 91 and 92 respectively. 
If these views should be confirmed — and their success in correlating di- 
verse phenomena makes it certain that the picture they present is one 
aspect of reality — ^we shall have nearly returned to the hypothesis of a 
primordial stuff; for present evidence indicates that the positive nuclei 
of hydrogen and helium and the negative electron are amongst the units 
from which the atoms of the elements are built. But this again is his- 
tory in the making. 

From the considerations just outlined it appears that all of the 
chemical elements as we know them are of a similar order of complex- 
ity, since they belong to a series of families; and consequently that any 
means which will decompose one element ivill also decompose others. 
Moreover, the sequence of atomic numbers indicates that only five ele- 
ments are missing in the series up to uranium, the heaviest element now 
known and the parent of one of the two series of radio-active elements. 
Whether elements heavier than uranium exist is open to question; if 
they do exist, they would presumably be radio-active, and with a shorter 
life than uraniuuL The most common elements in and about the surface 
layers of the earth are in general elements of smaller atomic number, as 
is shown by an estimate of the percentage of the several elements which 
go to make up the earth's ^'crust,'' defined for this purpose as a layer 
ten miles in thickness. 

It appears that two elements, oxygen and silicon — the latter wholly 
in primary combination ivith the former, the remainder of the oxygen 
being combined with the other elements — together constitute three- 
quarters of the earth's crust; and that the eight most abundant elements 
make up nearly 99 per cent, of the whole. 

It is also noteworthy that, of the metals in daily and common use, only 
aluminum, iron, manganese, chromium, vanadium, and nickel, appear among 
those elements that are present in the rocks of the crust in sufficient amount 
to be commonly determinable by the usual processes of analysis. Such com- 
mon and "every-day" metals as copper, zinc, lead, tin, mercury, silver, gold, 
and platinum, antimony, arsenic, and bismuth — ^metals that are of the utmost 
importance to our civilization and our daily needs — ^all these are to be found 
in igneous rocks, if at all, only in scarcely detectable amounts. Though they 
are ultimately derived from the igneous rocks, they are made available for 
our use only by processes of concentration into so-called ore bodies.^ 

Up to the present, then, the number of known chemical elements is, 
excluding the isotopic radio-elements, about eighty. That is, chemists, 
in spite of laborious and prolonged efforts, analyzing all manner of 
material from all quarters of the globe— and even from the heavens in 
the form of meteorites — ^have been able to resolve their multitudinous 
diversity into combinations and permutations of some eighty sub- 
stances; and these hitherto irreducible minima — ^the so-called chemical 

^H. S. Washington, J. Franklin Institute, Dec, 1920, p. 778. 
VOL. xin.-a. 



« 



18 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

elemente — are members of a family, or of a group of families, and 
so represent the same stage of simplicity or complexity of structure. 
Knowledge of the structure of the atom is extending rapidly, but it 
would lead too far afield to go into this absorbing question here. 

Development of Ideas Respecting Chemical Combination, 
P^ Particularly in Organic Chemistry 

The chemical elements are not all of the same degree of importance 
to us, although there are not very many which we could well do with- 
out; but there are four, in a sense, of supreme importance, as they are 
the main constituents of all living matter. These four elements are 
carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, with which are associated relatively 
small, but absolutely indispensable, proportions of other elements. 
For a long time it was thought that the substances which make up living 
matter — the so-called organic compounds — ^were associated with some 
sort of vital force, and so were to be placed in another cat^ory from 
mineral substances — the inorganic compounds. But this distinction 
was broken down, for the first time, nearly one hundred years ago; it 
remains now only in the names organic and inorganic chemistry, the 
term organic chemistry now connoting merely the chemistry of carbon 
compounds, from whatever source derived. 

So long as the idea persisted that the behavior of organic substances 
is determined more or less by a mysterious vital force, progress, it is 
obvious, could hardly be rapid; and indeed the rise of organic chem- 
istry as a science may be said to date from Wohler's discovery, ii^ 1828, 
that urea — a typical product of the animal organbm— could be made 
from materials classed as inorganic compounds. Under certain condi- 
tions, the molecule* of ammonium cyanate, which is a compound of the 
ammonium radicle (NH4) with the cyanate radicle (CNO), undergoes 
a rearrangement, a change of grouping, yielding urea; or as we would 
now sjrmbolise it 

NH, 

NH/OCN ^ OC < " 

NH, 
ammonium cyanate urea 

Here we have, therefore, two different substances composed of the 
same atoms, and convertible one into another by appropriate treatment; 
this instance illustrates the fact that the properties of a compound de- 

'The molecule may be defined, for our present purpose, as the smallest 
portion of a compound which can be conceived to exist alone ; for subdivision 
if it were carried further, would break up the compound into its constituent 
parts. The radicle is a grouping of elements, which reacts as a unit and is 
like a chemical element in many respects, with the outstanding diflFerence that 
the radicle can, by appropriate treatment, be decomposed into its elements or 
altered. 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 19 

pend, not only upon the kinds of atoms and number of each present, 
but also upon the arrangement of these atoms within the molecule. In 
other words, the behavior of a substance is dependent upon its constitu- 
tion, just as the behavior of an animal is dependent upon its constitu- 
tion. But this is to anticipate by some thirty years; for at that time 
chemists were still a long way from a clear understanding of the matter. 
The primary reason was a confusion between the atomic weight and 
the combining weight to be assigned to an element; this confusion re- 
sulted in a lack of consistency in assigning formulae to substances — ^for 
instance water was then frequently written HO — a circumstance which 
in turn, so to speak, hid the simple relations of the several ccxnpounds 
and, indeed, makes it hard for us now to follow much of the writing on 
chemistry at that time. But it would lead too far into a field of in- 
terest cmly to the chemist, to recount the various steps in the slow ad- 
vance towards an attainment of consistent ideas of chemical combi- 
nation and constitution. We can only mention some of the outstanding 
figures in this advance: Wohler and Liebig, with their discovery 
(1832) of the radicle benzoyl; Dumas, with his older type theory 
(1839), C^rhardt and Williamson with modified theories of types of 
formulation of organic compounds. 

Liebig's name cannot however be passed over without mention of 
the enormous influence which he and his teaching had upon the de- 
velopment of the subject Shortly after becoming professor at Giessen 
in 1824 he instituted systematic laboratory instruction in chemistry, 
and Giessen soon became the most famous chemical school in the world, 
attracting many who were subsequently themselves to become leaders 
in further development Still more important was Lid>ig's pioneer 
woHl on the chemistry of the processes of life, both animal and vege- 
table, work which makes him the real founder of two branches of the 
subject — ^biochemistry and the chemistry of agriculture; the develop- 
ment of these two branches is being attended with incalculable benefits 
to human welfare. \ 

From about 18^0 onwards, interest in chemistry enhanced steadily, 
the number of competent workers grew rapidly, and there was a con- 
stantly increasing body of facts of observation; but these various ob- 
servations and the deductions from them awaited reconciliation and in- 
terpretation which came only when the proper theory was developed. 
This did not happen until 1860 when, at a conference which had been 
called in the hope of bringing about some more general understanding 
of the questions at issue, Carrizzaro brought to the attention of the 
chemical world the h3rpothesis of Avogadro, showed how on this basis 
the apparent anomalies disappear, and so clarified the whole situation. 
Indeed it may be said that modem chemistry dates from 1860, with the 
enunciation of clear and consistent views vrith respect to chemical com- 



20 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

bination, as a direct consequence of grasping the real significance of 
Avogadro's hypothesis. 

From the gas-laws of Boyle and Gay-Lussac — ^namely, that equal 
changes in pressure and in temperature occasion equal changes in equal 
volumes of gases — ^and from Gay-Lussac's discovery (1809J|^ that two 
gases reacting with one another do so in simple proportions by volume 
and that the volume of the product, when gaseous, also bears a simple 
relation to that of the factors, — reasoning from these Avogadro about 
1811 was led to the hypothesis: Under the same conditions of tem- 
perature and pressure, equal volumes of gases contain equal numbers 
of molecules. The molecule is the smallest particle of a substance ob- 
tainable by mechanical subdivision; the atom can be obtained only by 
chemical subdivision of the molecule of which it constitutes a part, and 
is therefore a particle usually incapable of persisting alone but in most 
cases existing only in combination with other atoms. This oombination 
may be between like atcffns, in which case the molecule so formed is 
that of the element itself, or between unlike atoms, constituting the 
molecule of a compound. In either case the same principle holds; with 
the obvious deduction, as Avogadro showed, that the relative weight of 
two species of gaseous molecules is measured by the ratio of the weights 
of equal volumes, under the same conditions of temperature and 
pressure, — ^i.- e. of the densities — of the two gases. A molecule of the 
elements which are gaseous under ordinary conditions is made up of two 
atoms, ¥rith exception of the family of rare inert gases which are mono- 
atomic; that of other elements, — ^for example, sulphur — ^may contain 
six or more; in all cases there is, as we now know, a progressive dis- 
sociation of the molecules with increasing temperature and dimini^ing 
pressure, so that at the highest temperatures and lowest pressures a 
large proportion of the molecules are in effect broken up into mono- 
atomic particles. 

With the acceptance of Avogadro's hypothesis, the chemist had at 
last a definite criterion for deciding when he was dealing with really 
comparable quantities of elements or of compounds; he was enabled to 
fix the atomic weight definitely, and hence to deduce the correct 
empirical formula of his compounds. When this mras done, many things 
became clear. For instance, the full significance of the idea underlying 
the theories of radicles and types, which had been developing for the 
previous twenty or thirty years, became apparent; and this, in turn, led 
to the ccmception of valence, according to which the atom of each ele- 
ment has a maximum saturation capacity with respect to other atoms. 

Certain groupings of atoms are so relatively stable that they remain 
in cOTdbination although chemical change is effected in the molecule as 
a whole; sudi groupings, known as radicles, react commonly as units 
and are therefore in many respects analogous to chemical elements, the 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 21 

chief differences being that the radicle cannot commonly be isolated as 
such and that it can, of course, be decomposed into its constituent ele- 
ments. The earliest clear example is the ammonium radicle (NH^) 
which forms a whole series of salts differing no more from the corres- 
ponding salts of potassium (K) and sodium (Na) than these differ from 
one another; in other words, NH4 can, in principle, replace K or Na in 
a whole series of compounds each of which closely resembles its 
analogue. Likewise we have a whole series of organic radicles, ranging 
from the simplest — ^methyl (CH,), ethyl (C2H5 or CH3.CH2) — ^up to 
quite complex groupings, — such as stearyl (CitHsbCO or CHs.CCHs)!^ 
CO) but all ideally reducible to a small number of types. For in- 
stance, consider the following series of compounds, with the correspond- 
ing analogues in which hydrogen (H) is substituted for methyl (CH3) : 

CHy'H methane, the main con- H*H hydrogen gas 

stituent of natural gas 

CH3OH methyl alcohol H-OH water 

CH, *C1 methyl chloride H *CI hydrochloric add 

CH3CHO acetaldehydc HCHO formaldehyde 

(formalin) 

CH, -COOH acetic acid (vinegar) H *COOH formic acid 

(CH,)^© methyl ether H^O water 

(€113)25 methyl sulphide H^S hydrogen sulphide 

This list could be extended indefinitely, in either direction; for a 
whole series of other radicles can be regarded as derived from methyl 
by successive substitution in place of one or more of its H atoms, of 
CH3 groups or chlorine atoms or indeed of any other atom or radicle 
which exhibits the appropriate aflbiity relations. For instance, we have: 

CH -H CH -CH. CH -CH -CH, CH -CH -CH -CH, 

methyl ethyl propyl butyl 

and so on, in homologous series, as it is termed; further C2H4CI, 
chlorethyl as in (C2H4C1)2S, dichlorethylsulphide (mustard gas) ; C CI3, 
trichloromethyl, as in CCIg'CHO, trichloraldehyde (chloral), and so on. 
With the recognition of the relationships just outlined, of the 
existence of radicles related to one another in a simple manner and 
of the fact that the multifarious compounds are formed by the possible 
combinations of the several radicles and elements, it became possible to 
organize a consistent nomenclature. The advantage of this is obvious; 
for if to each chemical compound had been assigned an arbitrary name 
(as has been the case in naming minerals) it would have been possible 
to read chemical literature only by memorizing a list numbered now 
in hundreds of thousands — a task which would have been harder than 
learning the Chinese characters, and would have resulted in a similar 
retardation of progress. For certain common substances or common 



n THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

groupings specific names are retained, but in general the name is de- 
signed to exhibit the constitution — and therefore the general properties 
and behavior— of the substance with the least possible memory work; 
and the chemist gets from these names, in some cases apparently very 
complicated— e. g. phenyI*dimethyMsopyrazolone (antipyrin), di- 
methyl-methane-diethyl-sulphone (sulphonal) — ^much more informa- 
tion about the substance than the layman gathers from the term **third 
assistant secretary to the fourth assistant postmaster-general" with re- 
spect to the real function of that personage. As simple examples of 
systematic naming, consider the substances obtainable by chlorinating 
methane: 
CH^ CH3CI CH,C1, CHQ, Ca^ 

mathane chloronuithaBa diehlorooMthaBe tileklofOBMtlwoe tetnehloromediaBe 

(maibyl ehloride) (eUorofonD) (earbon temeUoride) 

Closely allied to the doctrine of radicles and types is the doctrine 
of valency, according to which each element has a maximum saturation 
capacity with respect to other elements. This doctrine developed about 
the same time, though in somewhat more rigid form than would now be 
generally accepted. Accordingly, to carbon was assigned the valence 4, 
to oxygen 2, to hydrogen and chlorine 1, and so on; and it was but a 
short transition to picture the valence numbers as the number of Unk- 
ings or bonds with which one atom may hold others, and from this to 
the writing of graphic or structural formulae. The graphic formula 
enabled the organic chemist to represent still more satisfactorily the 
structure of his substances, and has been an indispensable tool in the 
subsequent great development of organic chemistry; the following 
simple examples will suffice: 



H 

1 


H H 

H— C— C— 0— H 

1 I 
H H 

ethyl alcohol 


H H H H 
H — C — C — — C — C — H 

k i k k 

(diethyl) ether 


H— C — H 

1 
H 

methane 



In 1861 appeared the first portion of K6kul^'s great text-book which 
emphasized and illustrated the new views with hundreds of examples. The 
foundations of modem organic chemistry were therein laid and, what is 
more important for us here, the date marks the time when the sreat con- 
tribution of organic chemistrv to the historical development of the science 
as a whole was fully rendered. i^' 

So far we have mentioned only compounds whose structure can be 
represented by a straight chain of carbon atoms, and grouped under 
the general name of aliphatic (or fatty) compounds from the circum- 
stance that fats belong to this category. But there is another category, 
the so-called aromatic compounds, the simplest, and typical member 
of which is benaene, which has the empirical formula CaH«. A satis- 
factory structural formula for this substance was first given, in 1865, 

WF. J. Moore, History of Chemistry, p. 173. 




THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 



23 



by Kekule who aMumed that the six carbon atoms are arranged in a 
ringy a single hydrogen being attached to eadi; and all the subsequent 
work on aromatic compounds has only served to confirm the useful- 
ness of this hypothesis. One instance only can be mentioned here, 
namely, that whereas there is only one mono-substitution product, (i. e. 
where one atom of hydrogen is replaced by a di£ferent atom or group- 
ing, as in phenol) there are three disubstitution products (designated 
as ortho, meta, para) which differ by reason of the different relative 
position of the two substituting groups. This will be evident from 
the structural fonnulae, as now written: 

H NH OH OH OH OH 



/\_ _/\ 



H H 
H H 



H H 
H H 



/\ 



H H 
H H 



/\ 



NH. H 



/\ 



H 

Inh. h 



/\ 



V V V V V V 



i]nlBO<b«nieBe phenol 

(•ailiae) (eaibolie add) 



ortho^amiao- 
fhenol 



meU-amiBO* 
pKanol 



|Miim«amiBo* 
phenol 



The long controversies which ended about i860 in the triumph of 
Avogadro's hypothesis and the vindication of the atomic theory had been 
fought out in the organic field, and had culminated in the establishment of 
the valence theory as the guiding principle in that branch of the science. 
This gave, perhaps, to organic chemistry a somewhat exaggerated importance 
— at any rate, the idea that chemical compounds could be visualized as 
groups of real atoms united by real bonds exerted a remarkable fascination, 
and young chemists in great numbers began to devote themselves to synthetic 
studies, attempting on the one hand to prepare from the elements the most 
complex products of nature, and on the other to make the greatest variety 
of new combinations in order to find the utmost limits of chemical affinity 
and molecular stability. The rise of the coal-tar industry and the possibility 
of preparing from this source so many compounds of practical utility was 
partly cause and partly effect of this great movement which is going on 
tminterruptedly at the present day. 

If, however, we ask what direct contribution to the science as a whole 
has been made by organic chemistry since i860 we can hardly give it so 
high a place. We must rather confess that this branch of the science has 
lived largely for itself and while it has, during that time, developed a real 
history of its own which is of fascinating interest to the specialist, its great 
historical service to chemistry culminated in the work of Williamson, Ger- 
hardt and K6kul^.u 

(To 6e eonetaded) 



i^F. J. Moore, History of Chemistry, p. 212; italics mine. 



24 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



HERMANN VON HELMHOLTy 

By Professor LOUIS C. KARPINSKI 

UNIVERSITT OF MICHIGAN 

TIHE history of science concerns itself with the historical and logical 
. sequence of scientific concepts. The process of development 
by which man arrives at fundamental laws of the universe in which we 
live is a vital study, having great possibilities for furthering the ad- 
vance of science. Studies in this field have shown that the part of par- 
ticular individuals, even men of great genius, is much less than is 
commonly supposed. Advance in science rests upon the work of many 
individuals whose observations and reflections cover rather long inter- 
vals of time. The genius is that fortunate individual who arrives upon 
the scene when the accumulation of observations enables the formula- 
tion of some general law for whose reception and acceptance the way 
has been prepared. The genius **reaps where others have sown"; the 
genius is great, as Nevrton intimated, because he stands upon the 
dioulders of giants. 

Obviously only few men can be successful in attaching their names 
to fundamental laws. Prominent in this group is Hermann von Helm- 
holtz, who in 1847 at the age of twenty-six, gave a complete statement 
of the law of the conservation of energy. Good fortune came his way 
in this law of energy and more than once again, but it must be said that 
Helmholtz met good fortune more than half-way, and entertained her 
so royally that no one could dispute his right to the visitation. 

Helmholtz was favored, also, in living to see the law of the con- 
servation of energy accepted as a truism, to see this law made the 
basb of the researches of hundreds of able scientists, and in being able 
himself to devote nearly half-a-century of vigorous intellectual activity 
to problems intimately connected with his first success. Towards the 
very end of his life in 1894, the great German was working upon the 
similar but more inclusive ^'principle of least action** which he hoped 
to extend mathematically so as to apply to all forces of nature. 

Helmholtz applied rigorously to biological problems the methods 
of physical science and mathematical reasoning. His activity marics 
the beginning of the period in which philosophical speculation about 

lA paper read at a meeting of the Research Gub, University of Michigan, 
April 20, 1921, in comniemoration of the centennials of Hermann von 
Helmholtz and Rudolph Virchow. 



■>"« • ■ w 



HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ 25 

science was definitely superseded by experimental research in science, 
combined with mathematical treatment of the observations. The law of 
the conservation of energy was stated by him with a wealth of illustra- 
tions from mechanics, electricity, heat and biology, but it also included 
a mathematical formulation and discussion of the problem. In the 
study of physiological optics and of light, in the study of sound and 
harmony and the ear, in the study of the psychology of the senses, in 
the study of vortex motions, in the study of electrical phenomena and 
of physics generally, Helmholtz constantly reinforced experimental 
work with rigorous mathematical demonstration. Were oine to attempt 
to characterize in a few words his extraordinary range of researches, 
one would say that Helmholtz brought biological and physical problems 
under the dominion of mathematical formulas and methods. 

The role of the mathematical formulation and treatment of physical 
problems can not be overestimated. Kelvin, the intimate friend and 
active co-worker in science with Helmholtz, has stated: ^AU great 
scientific discoveries are but the rewards of patient, painstaking sifting 
of numerical data." With these data the scientist starts, making funda- 
mental assumptions in the mathematical formulation of the problem. 
The successful formulation explains on the basis of the fundamental 
assumptions the observed facts; further than this, the procedure places 
the observed facts in harmony with other apparently widely-diverse 
phenomena, dioiving the harmony of natural forces and the reign of 
law in nature. But more than this the mathematical formulation sug- 
gests new facts of observation, and permits the prediction of obser- 
vations which had previously escaped the observer. This is the peculiar 
merit, for example, of the Einstein theory, that it explains the facts of 
the Newtonian universe, explains certain facts which were in conflict 
with the Newtonian theory and enables the theorist to predict other 
natural effects not consonant with the Newtonian theory and hitherto 
unobserved. This type of mathematical ability Helmholtz had in a sur- 
prising degree, and it made possible his contributions to the advance- 
ment of science. 

In a centennial recognition of a life of such great significance for 
mankind, the purpose is both historical and inspirational. What is the 
historical setting of the contributions of Helmholtz to civilization? 
What were the circumstances of birth and training, of academic posi- 
ticMi and environment, which made possible the wonderful productivity 
in appar^itly diverse fields of science? What can we do to foster the 
production of such men and to encourage thb type of devotion to pure 
science? This brief survey of the life and activity of Helmholtz is pre- 
pared from the point of view of these questions. 

Hermann von Helmholtz was bom in Potsdam, August 31, 1821. 
His father was a teacher of philology and philosophy in the Potsdam 



26 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

gymnasium, while his mother was a lineal descendant of William Penn. 
Despite a certain frailty of body his preparatory woric included not 
only the traditional classical course with Latin, Greek and Hebrew, but 
also English and Italian, privately, with a beginning of Arabic, together 
with serious training in music. Even in the schoolroom he found 
further time for experimental woric in physics and science. At the 
age of sixteen, although then desiring to devote himself to physics, he 
took an examination for a scholarship in the Royal Frederick William 
Institute of Medicine and Surgery, since the financial status of his 
family made desirable the election of the surer means of livelihood in 
medicine. One year later, Helmholtz entered upon the strenuous five 
year course of the institute. Here he completed the regular work, and 
studied, while acting as librarian, the works of Euler, Daniel Bernoulli, 
d'Alembert and La Grange. His thesis, *^e Structure of the Nervous 
System in Invertebrates,** contained the announcement that the nerve- 
fibers originate in the ganglion cells found by Von Ehrenberg in 1833; 
this discovery has been regarded by some physiologists as the histo* 
logical basis of nervous physiology and histology. 

For one year Helmholtz acted as house surgeon at the Charite in 
Berlin and then for five years at Potsdam as army surgeon as required 
of graduates of the institute. During these six years, he maintained 
active scholarly relationships with his teacher Muller, and with his inti- 
mate school friends, Brucke and du Bois Reymond, physiologists of 
later repute. 

At this time the vitalistic theory was still dominant in physiology. 
Milller proposed the problem as to the nature of the vital force, 
whether self-engendered or similar to those of the inorganic world 
This study of *Mtal forces** and the formulation given to the problem 
by Liebig, the chemist, stimulated the young student to several studies 
concerned with animal heat and with vitalistic problems. During these 
six years Helmholtz acquired further familiarity ¥rith mathematical 
physics and chemistry, made necessary by the problems he was con- 
sidering. It was in this period, in 1845, that the Physical Society was 
founded by du Bois Reymond, Brucke, Karsten, Knoblauch, Beetz and 
Heintz, and Helmholtz became one of the most active members with 
many contributions, published in the FartschriUe der Physik. 

On July 23, 1847, Helmholtz read befoie the Physical Society his 

paper, ^Die Erhaltung der Kraft** This paper was offered to 

Poggendorff's Annalen^ but rejected by Gustav Magnus, the physicist, 
since he regarded experimental and mathematical physics as separate 

departments. In fact, Magnus warned Helmholtz ''against undue 

partiality for mathematics, and the attempt to bring remote provinces 

of physics together by its means.** 

Despite the peculiar objection of Magnus, unfortunately shared 



HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ 27 

by many physicists of tbat day, the article was published and received 
the enthusiastic support of a chosen few who recognized the relationship 
to the woric of earlier mathematical physicists. 

In 1848, Helmholtz received the appointment as lecturer in anatomy 
at the Academy of Art and assistant in the Anatomical Museum of 
Berlin, in recognition of his researches, and a year later was called to 
Konigsberg as professor of physiology. 

In 1885, Helmholtz became professor of anatomy and physiology 

at Bonn, where he remained but three years, being called in 1858 to 

Heidelberg as professor of physiology. In 1871, at the age of fifty, 

he received the call as professor of physics to Berlin, having at that time 

incidentally made contributions to physics comparable in both range 

and worth with those made by any other physicist of the same period. 

In 1888, Helmholtz was relieved of teaching to devote himself entirely 

to the Physico-technical Institute of Berlin of which he became the first 
president. In this office the great scholar continued until his death in 

1894. 

The first fruits of Us lectures at Konigsberg on the physiology of 

the sense organs was the inv^ition, late in 1850, of the opthalmoscope, 

an instrument which renders it possible to examine the retina of the 

living eye. Helmholtz says: 

While preparing my lectures I hit upon the invention of the opthalmo- 
scope, and then on the method of measuring the velocity of nervous impulses. 
The opthalmoscope became the most popular of my scientific achievements, 
but I have already pointed out to the oculists that good fortune had more 
to do with it than merit. I had to explain the theory of the emission of 
reflected light from the eye, as discovered by Briicke, to my students. 
Brucke himself was but a hair's breadth off the discovery of the opthalmo- 
scope. He had only neglected to ask himself what optical image was formed 
by the rays reflected from the luminous eye. For his purpose it was not 
necessary to put this question. Had it occurred to him, he was just the man 
to answer it as quickly as I, and to invent the opthalmoscope. I was turning 
the problem over and over, and pondering the simplest way of making it 
dear to my audience, when I came on the further issue. 

The opthalmoscope established the position of Helmholtz in the 
scientific worldL More than that, opthalmic medicine had a new birth 
with this instrument and with the opthalmometer which Helmholtz per- 
fected for measuring the physical constants of the eye. Many students 
were dravm to this field, although his description of the opthalmoscope, 
publiahecl in 1851, was somewhat slow in general acceptance because 
of the mathematical and physical knowledge pre^supposed. Helmholtz 
himself stated: 

I attribute my subsequent success to the fact that circumstances had 
fortunately planted me with some knowledge of geometry and training in 
physics among the doctors, where physiology presented a virgin soil of the 
utmost fertility, while, on the other hand, I was led by my acquaintance with 



28 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the phenomena of life to problems and points of view that are beyond the 
scope of pure mathematics and physics. 

With both the opthalmoscope and the opthalmometer, thorough 
familiarity vdth mathematical physics was absolutely essential in the 
theory and construction of the instruments. 

His inaugural lecture ^on the nature of human sense-perceptions" 
was delivered at Konigsberg on June 28, 1852. This discussion in- 
volved, in connection with the study of sensations of sight, problems of 
the theory of knowledge; it also involved an exposition of the un* 
dulatory theory of sound and light, including the statement that light 
rays and heat rays are identical, impinging on two different kinds of 
nerve end organs. 

For more than fifteen years, Helmholtz worked intensively on 
physiological optics and his ^Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik** 
(1856-66), marks an epoch in the physiology of the eye, in the physio- 
logical-psychology of sensations and perceptions of sight, and in the 
physical theories of light and color. To-day the current issue of the 
^^Handbuch'* is published with four editors to present adequately the 
varied fields mentioned. To particularize further his numerous con- 
tributions to optics would take more time than is at my disposal. It 
may be of interest to the many sufferers from astigmatism to know that 
this condition was discovered by Helmholtz with his opthalmometer; 
the defect is that the cornea and crystalline lens are not accurately 
centered, preventing the sufferer from seeing vertical and horizontal 
lines with equal clearness at the same time. 

The ^Handbuch der Physiologischen Optil^ will long remain as 
one of the most noteworthy contributions made to physiological psycho- 
logy, not alone from the strictly physiological and the psychological 
^ but quite as much because of the comprdiensive grasp of geo- 
and physical properties of light and lenses as related to the 
physiological structure of the eye and the sensations communicated to 
the brain. 

The notion that sensations of light and color are only symbols for 
relations of reality, giving no knowledge of the real nature of external 
phenomena, was one fundamental conclusion of these researches on 
optics. The wide interest in this subject induced Helmholtz to investi- 
gate the subjectivity of sensation for the other senses, beginning with' 
acoustics. In this field the physicist. Ohm, has suggested **that the ear 
analyses and hears the motions of the air in exact correspondence with 
Fourier's series." This theorem of Fourier states that any periodic 
function of a variable may be expressed as the sum of periodic sine 
functions, of x and integral multiples of x, or, in other words that any 
repeating wave form may be decomposed into a number of simple 
waves of different length, the longest of the same length as the given 



HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ 29 

wave and the others of one half, one third, one fourth, and so on, 
integral portions of this length. This application of a mathematical 
theorem to a physiological process was in such harmony with the pre- 
ceding work of Helmholtz that no surprise is occasioned by his exten- 
sion and development of the idea. Particularly the application of this 
theory to harmony was an outstancfing contribution made by Helmholtz. 
Consonance, he taught, is produced when the ear perceives as a con- 
tinuous sensation tone movements that are regularly repeated at given 
intervals; on the other hand, discontinuous sensation gives dissonance. 
Mathematically he demonstrated that vibrations in the ratio of small 
integers give rise to movements regularly repeated. The place of 
resonance and of the upper partial tones in the theory of consonance 
and of sound was definitely established by mathematical methods with 
most ingenious mechanical devices for making these upper partials evi- 
dent to an observer. So far as the physiological structure of the ear is 
concerned, his theory was that the fibers of the basilar membrane act 
like the strings of a piano, and furnish the instrument of analysis into 
simple tones. Here, in this field the text-book which he wrote was 
again the result of a series of contributions to the theory of sound, based 
commonly upon mathematical formulation of the problems involved. 

In mathematical physics proper, probably the most noteworthy con- 
tribution is that of 1857 *'0n the integrals of the hydrodynamic equa- 
tions which express vortex-motion." The treatment both from the 
mathematical and the physical point of view is still fundamental in the 
discussion of the motions of fluids. Another paper of 1859 treats ^^the 
theory of aerial vibrations in tubes with open ends,'' in which from 
purely theoretical considerations he deduces the relations between the 
plane waves of the tube and hemispherical waves that spread from the 
tube, solving the problem of the influence of the open end upon the 
sound and determining the necessary lengths'. Kelvin elaborated the 
theory of vortex motion, the indestructibility of the vortex furnishing 
an approach' to a theory of the constitution of the matter. 

The electrical researches of the later years came at a period when 
fundamental changes in point of view were preparing. Helmholtz had 
accepted and furthered Maxwell's electro-magnetic theories and his 
gifted pupil. Hertz, achieved the experimental confirmation of the 
Maxwell theory, leading to the development of wireless telegraphy. 
Helmholtz was not only receptive to the new ideas, but active in their 

21 1 is of some interest to know that Stein way worked in the laboratory 
of Hehnholtz daring the time of Helmholtz's researches on sound. One of 
our own Michigan professors, Watson, the astronomer, sat on the jury of 
award at the Paris Exposition where the Steinway piano was given first place 
largely because of its superiority from the scientific standpoint (This note 
is supplied to the writer by Professor A. A. Stanley.) 



vr 



30 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

diseemination. In his Faraday lecture of 1881, he definitely pro* 
pounded the atomistic theory of electricity now commonly accepted, 
which is intimately connected with fundamental chemical problems. 
Several studies on the thermodynamics of chemical processes followed, 
and the Helmholtz-Gibbs equation is to*day the fundamental theorem in 
this field. 

Helmholtz recurred so frequently in popular lectures and in scien- 
tific papers to the conservation of energy that it seems desirable to dis- 
cuss the historical setting of this contribution. Particularly also, since 
an acrid controversy arose over the question of priority in statement. 
Englishmen to-day commonly credit an Englishman with the first state- 
ment, while the Germans, with better right in this case, credit a German, 
Robert Mayer. This arouses popular interest; many more people can 
comprehend the theft of an idea than can comprdiend the idea. Par- 
ticularly to follow the genesis of an idea requires a certain concentration 
which is not popular. 

At the time of Helmholtz, the indestructibility of matter was ac- 
cepted, apparently first started by Huygens, (1629-95). The Academy 
of Sciences at Paris had declined to receive any further attempts at 
perpetual motion since they assumed that energy could not be created. 
Huygens even made a general statement, in his treatise on light, that 
true philosophy is that *Hn which one conceives the cause of all natural 
effects as mechanical." So far as heat and energy are concerned, it is 
true that at this time many scientists still considered heat as a sub- 
stance. However, Rumford, in 1798, showed definitely by observations 
on the boring of cannon that the substance theory was not tenable; Sir 
Humphry Davy, in 1799, clinched the argument of heat generated by 
friction by rubbing two pieces of ice together and generating sufficient 
heat to melt the ice. With Camot, in 1824, heat was definitely recog- 
nized as a form of energy, and Clapeyron, writing in 1834 in the Journal 
de Picole pafytedwique reprinted in 1843 in Poggendorff^s Anruden^ 
states definitely that a quantity of heat and a quantity of work are 
*^lnagnitudes of like nature and that it is possible to substitute the one 
for the other.** 

The possibility of the universal application of these and other 
related facts to the whole field of energy was seen almost simultaneously 
by different observers. Robert Mayer, a German physician located in 
a small village, was certainly the first of this period, in 1842, to make 
the general statement in a paper **0n the forces of inorganic nature,** 
and he had it at first rejected by physicists of repute, and unnoticed 
after publication. Joule, a brewer scientist of England, in 1843 pre- 
sented before the British Association a paper in which he gave the me- 
chanical equivalent of heat, and studied relationships between electrical 
and chemical and mechanical effects, while in 1847, he gave the com- 



HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ 81 

plete formulation of the principle of the conservation of energy. The 
formulation by Helmholtz came at a more fortunate time and place, 
with a richer presentation involving mathonatical investigation of the 
fundamental considerations. But the priority of Mayer can not be dis* 
puted; nor can one dispute the great value of Joule's determination of 
the mechanical equivalent of heat. 

A general idea of such vride significance is only possible because 
it is^ more or less, **in the air." The idea is of value because it is 
definitely related to the past and to the present; the great idea must be 
capable of appreciation by an active group of intellectual workers, and 
this appreciation is only possible for an idea which has had some 
orderly process of growth. 

Helmholtz assumes that all problems of natural science can be re- 
duced to ^unchangeable, attractive and repulsive forces whose intensity 
depends upon the distance. The solution of this problem is the condi- 
tion for complete comprehension of nature." This assumption has with* 
in ten years been definitely rejected. Notably Albert Einstein, in a 
paper on *Theoretische Atomistik," and Max Planck, in a paper on 
**Das PHnzip der Kleinsten Wirkung," reject this conception, while re- 
taining the greater part of the theoretical achievements of Helmholtz 
in his conception of the conservation of energy and the principle of 
least action. 

Helmholtz, it should be noted, resolutely set himself against any 
commercialism or financial exploitation of his researches. His words 
on this subject are worthy of serious consideration to-day in every 
great American university, where in some departments a tendency exists 
to mix devotion to science and learning with devotion to private in- 
teiests. Helmholtz says: ^Whoever, in the pursuit of science, sedcs 
after immediate practical utility may generally rest assured that ho 
will seek in vain, ... we must rest satisfied with the consciousness that 
he too has contributed something to the increasing fund of knowledge 
on which the dominion of man over all the forces hostile to intelligence 
reposes." 

Helmholtz was always one of the leading figures in the academic 
communities in which he worked. In the German universities of that 
day, as in the English and European Universities of to-day, the pro- 
ductive scholar was given the tribute of popular recognition. No ad- 
ministrative officers, neither presidents nor deans, nor bursars nor 
secretaries, served to divert student and popular attention from the men 
^o made the university a place of learning. In fact, the attitude to- 
wards scholarship was such that political office was tendered to Helm- 
holtz, and every recognition the state could bestow upon an individual 
was given him. 

One concession Helmholtz made to this popular interest, which 



32 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

should also be seriously considered by American scholars, particularly 
in our great universities. Helmholtz prepared popular expositions for 
general audiences of the results of his own and allied researches. These 
popular expositions attracted in print a great circle of readers, un- 
doubtedly contributing to a wider appreciation and understanding of 
the methods and aims of science. This type of activity, so much 
neglected in our own universities, ^ould be, as a university matter, a 
ocMioem of the Research Club. Now it is only a matter of accident, 
if students of this university and citizens of this state learn what are the 
real contributions to human progress made within the walls of this insti- 
tution. Not otherwise can a wider appreciation for true science be 
obtained than through the active cooperation of productive scholars. 

In closing, I wish to point out how easily a man's life may be given 
a false interpretation by apparently competent observers. No less able 
a writer than W. K. Clifford states of Helmholtz that in studying the 
eye and ear **he found it was impossible to study the proper 
action . . . vdthout studying also the nature of light and sound, whidi 
led him to the study of physics; he is now one of the greatest physicists 
of the century .... He then found it was impossible to study physics 
without kno¥ring mathematics; and accordingly, he took to studying 
mathematics, and he is one of the most accomplished mathematicians 
of this century.** This statement is both false and pernicious; and yet 
has received wide circulation and recognition. False it is because at the 
age of 26, and continuously for many years thereafter, Helmholtz 
demonstrated himself to be one of the great mathematical physicists of 
the world, having devoted many years to mathematical training. 
Pernicious it is because studmts are led to suppose that in later years 
they can atone for the neglect of their youth, and study fundamental 
subjecls as the need arises. Helmholtz is a shining example of a man 
well prepared in fundamentals, whose preparation made possible for 
him the mathematical formulation and investigation of problems not 
before subjected to this analysis. His complete conunand of the tools 
prepared by mathematicians and physicists of preceding ages made 
Helmholtz a great contributor to modem civilization. 



RUDOLPH VIRCHOW^PATHOLOGIST 88 



RUDOLF VIRCHOW— PATHOLOGIST 
By Dr. CARL VERNON WELLER 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 

IN his delightful autobiography, tho elder Gross^ writes of his first 
European visit in 1868. 

There were three professional men in Berlin whom, as their names had 
long been familiar to me as household words, I was most anxious to see — 
Virchow, Langenbeck and Graefe. Accordingly, early in the morning of 
the second day after our arrival, I went to the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in 
search of Virchow, the illustrious pathologist and accomplished statesman, a 
professor in the university of Berlin, and a member of the German parliament 
The great man, upon my entrance, was in the midst of his pupils, engaged 
in a post-mortem examination. As my presence attracted some attention, 
.... I deemed it my duty, although the moment was not the most op- 
portune, to pass my card to the professor, at the same time apologizing for 
the intrusion. He at once saluted me with a gracious bow, and, shaking me 
cordially by the hand, introduced me to his pupils and expressed his gratifica- 
tion at seeing me. After a few minutes spent in conversation, he resumed 
his knife and completed his examination. He showed me his laboratory, his 
lecture-room, and many of his more interesting pathological specimens, most 
of them prepared by his own hands. His collections of diseased hearts of 
children, the result of inherited syphilis, is the largest in the world, and, as 
he explained specimen after specimen, he became not only enthusiastic but 
eloquent .... The laboratory, or work-shop as it may be termed, of 
Professor Virchow is a model in its way, admirably adapted to the wants of 
the student for improvement in the use of the microscope and the examina- 
tion of morbid specimens. . . . Microscopes are provided in great num- 
bers, and, in fact, every facility is afforded for the acquisition of knowledge. 
.... Such a room with the necessary appliances ought to exist in every 
well-organized medical institution in the United States. 

Dr. Gross died in 1884, so that he lived to see but the slightest 
realization of this wish, which has now reached a degree of fulfilment 
beyond the greatest anticipation either of Virchow himself or of his 
contemporaries. 

To continue Dr. Gross's personal narrative — and I can do no better 
in order to give an intimate acquaintance with him whose centennial 
we celebrate: 

lA paper read at a meeting of the Research Qub, University of Michigan, 
April ao, 1921, in commemoration of the centennials of Hermann von 
Iielmholtz and Rudolph Virchow. 

'Autobiography of Samuel D. Gross. G. Barrie, Philadelphia, 1887. 
VoL I, p. 231-255. 

VOL. xin.-4. 



34 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Virchow is a most patient and laborious investigator and yet he never 
seems to be in a hurry. His dissections [autopsies]' seldcxn occupy fewer 
than two and a half or three hours each. Every organ of the body is 
thoroughly explored. For years past his habit has been to open, every Mon- 
day morning, a cadaver in the presence of his private pupils with a view of 
instructing them in the art of conducting autopsies — ^holding the knife, using 
the saw, and taking notes, the whole being supplemented by microscopic in- 
spections of the more important diseased structures. In these dissections 
he is, if possible, more patient even than Rokitansky, his great Viennese 
prototype. 

Virchow is a thin, slender man, about the medium height, with a fine 
forehead, although the head is not large, and handsome black eyes, con- 
cealed by a pair of glasses. He is deliberate in his movements, a good talker, 
very affable, courteous and warm-hearted — in a word, a gentleman of the 
higher type. 

The evemng before Dr. Gross left Berlin he had farther occasion 
to appreciate Virchow's splendid courtesy. While he was the guest of 
honor at Virchow*s own table, together with von Langenbeck, von 
Graefe, the oculist, Donders, Gurlt and others, the host drew from 
under the table a large book, which proved to be the second edition of 
Gross's ^^Elements of Pathological Anatomy," and, rising, took his 
guest by the hand and in a graceful speech referred to the text as one 
from the study of which he had derived much useful instruction and 
one which he always consulted with much profit 

American medicine has too seldom received that full appreciation 
in Berlin and Vienna that Virchow was always vdlling to give. In re* 
views and abstracted articles edited by him one is struck by the large 
number of English and American references included. 

Nearly twenty years after the visit of Gross to Berlin, we find Sir 
William Osier a pilgrim in Virchow's laboratory. Perhaps it has been 
the growing breadth of vision during those years, but not unlikely it 
b the wonderful catholicity of interests, possessed by the great visitor 
himself which changes the character of the pen picture. Part of his 
narrative I must reproduce even though it reaches beyond the limits of 
my subject. Osler^ writes: 

In 1884, on returning to Berlin for the first time since my student days, 
I took with me four choice examples of skulls of British Columbian Indians, 
knowing well how acceptable they would be. In his room at the Pathological 
Institute, surrounded by crania and skeletons, and directing his celebrated 
diener, who was mending Trojan pottery, I found the professor noting the 
peculiarities of a set of bones which he had just received from Madeira. 
Not the warm thanks, nor the cheerful, friendly greeting which he always 
had for an old student, pleased me half so much as the prompt and decisive 
identification of the skull which I had brought, and his rapid sketch of the 
cranial characters of the North American Indian. The profound expert, not 

'Bracketed words are inserted by the author. 

Osier, William. Virchow, the man and the student, Johns Hopkins 
University Circulars, 1891, XI, 17-20. 



RUDOLF VIRCHOW— PATHOLOGIST 85 

the dilettante student has characterized all of his work in this line . . . 
As an illustration of his capacity for varied work, I recall one day in 1884, 
in which he gave the morning demonstration and lecture at the Pathological 
Institute, addressed the Town Council at great length on the extension of 
the canalization scheme, and made a budget speech in the House, both of 
which were reported at great length in papers of the next day. 

Rudolf Virchow graduated in medicine from the Friedrich- 
Wilhelm Institute in 1843 with the dissertation De rheunuOe praesertim 
comeae. In the autumn of 1844, he became an assistant in pathological 
anatomy under Froriep, and in 1846 he was appointed prosector in the 
same clinic. He became a lecturer in the University of Berlin in 1847. 
Possessing vigorous political views, which would be considered liberal 
even today, he lost his university connections during the stormy period 
of 1848 and 1849, largely through the publication with Leubuscher of 
a half -medical, half -political journal, which they styled Medicinische 
Reform. From 1849 to 1856 he occupied the chair of pathological 
anatomy at Wiirzburg, where, working with the greatest industry, he 
raised his department to foremost rank and pursued investigations upon 
which much of his later work was based. At the end of that period, 
he was recalled to Berlin as professor of pathological anatomy and 
director of the newly established pathological institute in Berlin Uni- 
versity, with which he was connected until his death. 

To understand Virchow's relation to pathology and to medicine is 
to understand something of the stages through which scientific medicine 
has passed in the last one hundred and fifty years. We are now, and 
have been for some fifty years, in a period characterized by search 
for the etiological factor in disease. In part, the bacteriologist has 
been in the ascendency and we already have sufficient perspective to 
see the greatness of Pasteur and Koch. Among our contemporaries 
there may be those equally to be honored by another generation. More- 
over, there are those who would have us believe that we are even now 
passing from the epoch of bacteriology into a period dominated by 
biochemistery, serology and immunology, but upon this transition, if, 
indeed, it should be dignified as such, light is still to be shed. 

At any rate, these present-day tendencies will serve to illustrate the 
shifting emphasis in medical progress. Does it mean that the stage 
has been set for a certain scene, or that a brilliant and indefatigable 
worker, inspiring a group of collaborators, strides off into the un- 
known? As we read current medical history, the advance appears to 
be gradual and simultaneous along interdigitating lines. In re- 
trospect, the advance assumes the topography of a series of steps rising 
from plateau-like surfaces. The highest step of the nineteenth century 
was the rise of microscopical pathology as established and developed 
by Rudolf Virchow. 



36 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Cellular pathology rose from a foundation of gross pathology. In 
the later half of the preceding century John Hunter had developed his 
wonderful museum of gross preparations of both normal and patholog- 
ical anatomy. He had had the hardihood to apply objective experi- 
mental methods to the investigation of pathological problema. Through 
the experimental production of arterial anastomoses, he found that it 
was possible to ligate arteries whose flow had previously been c<m- 
sidered essential to the life of a part For Hunter, Virchow had the 
greatest admiration, and it has been said that for a long time Hunter's 
picture alone was found upon the walls of his laboratory. Fifty years 
or so after Hunter, Rokitansky in Vienna brought the period of gross 
pathology to ita greatest height The first autopsy protocol written in 
his ovm hand ia dated October 23, 1827. In March, 1866, he achieved 
his thirty thousandth post-^mortem examination. It is said that before 
his death he had access to 100,000 protocols of autopsies done by him- 
self and his assistants. With this enormous material he brought de- 
scriptive gross pathology to a degree of perfection never before 
realized 

As will be noted by the dates just given, Rokitansky was well es- 
tablished in his field of gross pathology when Virchow read his 
inaugural dissertation. In fact, Virchow was still in his assistantship 
when the first volume of Rokitansky's Lehrbuch der paihologischen 
Anatomie appeared in 1845. With the microscope at his disposal, his 
independence of thought, his originality in attack, and, above all, his 
ability to exalt pure objective description as an end in itself made it 
possible for Rudolf Virchow to do for the pathology of the cell what 
Rokitansky had done for the pathology of the organ and tissue. 

All medicine before Virchow had been burdened with mysticism, 
dogma and hypothesis. Witness the pertinacity with which the humoral 
theory survived in its varying forms, even to the extent of obscuring the • 
earlier part of Rokitansky's work. All this Virchow was able to cast 
aside and, avoiding dogma, he developed a method rather than a theory. 

To those who would lessen the importance of Virchow's work by 

• 

reference to Bichat, it need but be said that while the latter did resolve 
the various organs and tissues of the body into twenty-one simple, and, 
as he supposed, elemental types, this analysis was done on the basis of 
naked-eye observation alone. Bichat did not use the microscope. Like 
Virchow, however, he placed the objective detailing of facts before 
speculation. To Schleiden and Schwann, Virchow gave full credit for 
the earlier development of the idea of the animal cell as interpreted 
in terms of cellular botany. Yet, it must be remembered that to a 

great extent Virchow was called upon to formulate for himself stand- 
ards of normal histology as well as to describe the changes produced 
in the cell by disease. 



RUDOLF VIRCHOW-'PATHOLOGIST 87 

No adequate analysis of Virchow's published woric can be given 
here. Its volume is remarkable. In 1901, Schwalbe" and others whose 
assistance he invited, compiled a Virchow bibliography as their part 
in the celebration of the eightieth birthday of their old master. In the 
preface, Schwalbe himself says that a Virchow bibliography lays bare 
not alcme the life*work of a man, but exposes as well a history of 
medicine and anthropology for the preceding sixty years. Requiring 
118 pages, with an average of about eighteen items to the page, this list 
of approximately 2,000 titles bears witness to the industry, breadth of 
interest and critical scientific discrimination of the cellular pathologist. 
From all of this material I can refer only to the two most important 
books, to the journals developed under his leadership and to a few of 
the most important articles. 

^*Die Cellularpathologie" appeared in 1858. This book, presented 
in the form of twenty lectures illustrated by numerous wood cuts, 
placed before the world for the first time a summation of the author's 
views. Here was demonstrated that the principle of omnis cellula e 
cMula, which he was first to put into words, applied equally to patho- 
logical formations and to normal embryologic development Trans^ 
lated into French by Picard and into English by Frank Qiance, 
'^Uular Pathology" was seized upon with an avidity which must have 
surprised even its author. From that year modem pathology is to be 
dated. We cannot appreciate the effect upon Medicine of this new 
point of view. Before, all morbid products, tumors, cancers, purulent 
collections, tubercles, gummas had been explained as arising in, or 
from, a hypothetical primitive blastema, itself exudative in nature. 
Now these were shown to be composed of living body cells, differing 
in various ways from the normal, exhibiting alterations both in form 
and function. With histological technique in its infancy, much was in- 
complete and misinterpretations were bound to occur, even as they 
do to-day. 

Let me illustrate the accuracy of observation shown in the 
*^Cellular Pathology** by quotations dealing with the subject of 
argyria, the deposit of silver pigment in the tissues. Every student of 
pathology now knows that argyriasis shows a selective alEnity for the 
fibrillae of connective tissue. Silver is not deposited in epithelial 
structures, although it usually gains entrance to the body by passing 
through an epithelium. Note how clearly Virchow states these facts. 

We know that when any one takes salts of silver, they penetrate into tht 
different tissues of his body. ... A patient who had . . . received 
a solution of nitrate of silver as a lotion [for the eyes], very conscientiously 
employed the remedy . . . ; the result of which was that his conjunctiva 

'Schwalbe, J. Virchow-Bibliographie, 1843-1901. G. Reimer, Berlin, 
1901. Pp. 183. 



38 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

assumed an intensely brown, nearly black appearance. The examination of 
a piece cut out of it showed that silver had been taken up into the parenchyma, 
and indeed in such a manner that the whole of the connective tissue had a 
slightly yellowish brown hue upon the surface, whilst in the deeper parts the 
deposition had taken place only in the fine elastic fibers of the connective tis- 
sue, the intervening parts, the proper basis-substance, being perfectly free. 
But deposits of an entirely similar nature take place also in more remote 
organs. Our collection contains a very rare preparation from the kidneys of 
a person who on account of epilepsy had taken nitrate of silver internally. 
In it may be seen the Malpighian bodies, in which the real secretion takes 
place, with a blackish blue coloring of the whole of the membrane of the 
coil of the vessels, limited to this part of the cortex, and appearing again, in 
a similar, though less marked form, only in the intertubular stroma of the 

medullary substance The salts of silver do not deposit themselves 

in the lungs [when present in the circulating blood], but pass through them 
to be precipitated only when they reach the kidneys or the skin. 

Taking second place in importance among the larger works of 
Virchow, is the three volume treatise on tumors, ^*Die Krankhafteu 
Geschwiilste." This was completed in the years 1863-1867. In it 
Virchow develops a systematic classification of neoplasms based largely 
upon their microscopical characteristics. Here the influence of his 
teacher, Johannes Mtiller, is evident. The terminology used by Virchow 
in this work still survives to a large degree. 

Of the great array of lesser works, I can mention but a few groups. 
In the late forties Virchow, published a series of epoch-making papers 
on disturbances of the circulation. Here for the first time phldi>itis, 
thrombosis, metastasis and embolism were clearly set forth. In fact, 
the term Embolia, or as we now say, embolism, was introduced by 
Virchow himself. Osier relates that in 1848, at the height of Virchow's 
political activity, he performed an autopsy upon a patient, said by 
Schonlein to have died from cerebral hemorrhage. Virchow found no 
hemorrhage, but succeeded in demonstrating an embolus blocking an 
important cerebral artery. Schonlein, who was present to see the out- 
come of his diagnosis, turned to Virchow and in a half -joking, half- 
vexed manner, said Sie sdien auch uberall Barricaden. Other im- 
portant monographs, papers and groups of papers were those dealing 
with calcium metastasis, pathological pigmentation, amyloid, leukaemia, 
chlorosis, phosphorus poisoning, syphilis, trichinosis, rickets, cretinism, 
encephalitis and peptic ulcer. The list might be mudi extended. 

In 1847, Virchow with Reinhardt founded the Archiv fur pathologis' 
die AfuUamie und Physidogie und fur klinische Medicin. This journal 
has been continued since that time, and constitutes the most important 
collection of original contributions to scientific medicine. After Rein- 
hardt's death in 1852, Virchow carried the editorship alone for many 
years, so that even now one finds as many citations to this journal by 
the phrase '^Virchow Archiv^ as by its proper title. From 1851 to 1893 



RUDOLF VIRCHOW-^PATHOLOGIST 39 

he was the joint editor, and from 1893 to 1901 the sole editor, of 
Qmstatt's Jahresbericfu uber die Leistungen und FortschriUe in der 
geuanmien Medicin. From 1850 to 1862, Virchow shared with 
KoUiker, Scherer and Scanzoni the editorship of the Verhandlungen der 
fhysihcdischrmedidnischen GeseUschaft in Wiirzburg, 

A list of Virchow's pupils would include most of the makers of 
medicine of the last fifty years. Scattered throughout the civilized 
world, they have from time to time brought together in Festschriften 
and memorial celebrations lists of names and collections of original 
contributions of which their old master may well have been proud. 
The Festschrift for his seventy-first birthday contributed by his former, 
and then acting, assistants in the Berlin Pathological Institute includes 
in its table of contents the names of v. Rechlinghausen, Klebs, 
Salkowski, Orth, Grawitz and Langerhans, among others, all of whom 
have had a great influence on the development of pathology and modem 
medicine. American medicine owes much to those who were under 
Virchow's tutelage in the last three decades of the nineteenth century. 

Virchow was wrong. The cell is not the ultimate unit of life, but 
the methods of cellular pathology have groivn no less important since 
he gave his great work to the world. The cell with its miscroscopioally 
demonstrable oontei^ is still the morphological unit of life. Disease 
processes are still interpreted in the light of the cellular changes. 

To Virchow we owe our conception of disease. Disease is not an 
entity, entering the body from without. Disease is life, life which 
deviates from the normal. The casual factor may reside within or 
may come from vdthout in the form of trauma, infection, intoxication, 
or what not, but the cause is not the disease. The disease is the 
abnormal life of the body cells. The methods of modem medicine are 
therefore broadly biologic, and along this road of promise Rudolf 
Virchow pointed the way. 



40 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



RUDOLF VIRCHOW— ANTHROPOLOGIST AND 

ARCHEOLOGISr 

By Professor ARTHUR E. R BOAK 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 

RUDOLF LUDWIG KARL VIRCHOW was bom in the little 
Pomeranian town of Schivelbein, on October 13» 1821. He died 
on September S, 1902. His parents were people in moderate circum- 
stances, his father combining the occupation of a farmer with that of 
a retail merchant The young Virchow received his early education at 
the parochial school of Schivelbein, with special instruction from the 
local clergymen. He then entered the gymnasium at Koslin, from which 
he graduated in 1838 at the age of seventeen. 

At the gymnasium he followed the regular classical program of 
studies, but showed at the same time great enthusiasm for the natural 
sciences, history and geography. He acquired and retained through- 
out life a remarkable accuracy in both Greek and Latin, and in his 
later years upon several occasions mercilessly criticized the barbarisms 
which the younger generation attempted to introduce into medical 
terminology. This same attention to accuracy of details characterized 
Virchow's work in every field, and gave him the perfectly astounding 
mass of information which rendered him such a deadly critic of unstable 
hypotheses. In addition to the study of the classics, Virchow found time 
at the gymnasium to read widely in the French and German classics. 
Italian and English he acquired later. It is interesting to have his 
reflections upon suitable courses of study for the gymnasium, expressed 
in an address delivered when rector of the University of Berlin. He 
maintained that, as a preparation for scientific work, a course in 
mathematics, {diilosophy and the natural sciences would have equal 
value with a classical course, but that the later could not be replaced 
by the modern languages. 

From the gymnasium at Koslin, Virchow proceeded to the Royal 
Medico-Surgical Friedrich Wilhelm's Institute at Berlin. Here he 
qualified for the doctorate in 1843. In connection with his inaugural 
dissertati^m, Virchow defended, among other theses, two which he 
afterwards looked upon as shomng the early ripeness of his intellect 
and the breadth of his interests. The first of these ran nisi qui libendi- 

lA paper read at a meeting of the Research Gub, University of Michigan, 
April 20, 1921, in comtnemoration of the centennials of Hermann von 
Helmholtz and Rudolph Virchow. 




RUDOLF VIRCHOW^ANTHROPOLOGIST 41 

ba8 rebus faveni veram medicinae indolem non cognosauU (Those 
who do not encourage progress do not grasp the true nature of 
medicine) ; the second was an application of Agassiz's then recently 
published glacial theory to Pomerania Pomeraniae petrificata glade 
primordiali disiecta. To Virchow there might fittingly be applied the 
saying, homo sum, et nihil humanum mihi alienum puUK Hb ability 
to connect science with life as a whole and his interest in everything 
pertaining to life led him from the investigation of the dead to that of 
the living man, from craniology to ethnology and to the history of 
civilization, as well as from the laboratory into the political arena. 

In full conformity with this atitude towards life was Virchow's 
report upon the typhus epidemic in Silesia, published in 1848* Here 
he showed that the source of the epidemic was to be found in the back- 
ward social and political conditions of Silesia, and made radical sug- 
gestions for their amelioration. The championship of the people which 
he thus assumed he maintained throughout a long political career, as a 
member of the Prussian House of Representatives, from 1862 to 1878; 
of the Reichstag, from 1880 to 1893; and of the municipal council of 
Berlin for 42 years. He was a founder of the progressive party 
(FortsduiUspartei) 9 and a firm opponent of Bismarck's imperialism, 
being honored by the latter ¥ath a challenge to a duel. He fou^t un- 
ceasingly for the improvement of the education as well as the social 
conditions of the masses, and the term Kulturhampf was an outgrowth 
of his political manifestoes. But, at the close of his life, it was 
Virchow's boast that, although he had devoted himself to both politics 
and medicine, he had always succeeded in preservii^ for science its 
independence of political influences. 

While a professor at the University of Wurzburg (1849-56), 
Virchow published two studies on cretinism in Lower Franconia and 
pathological skull forms (1851-2). These may be taken to mark the 
beginning of his anthropological work, and were the first of more than 
one thousand publications in this and allied fields. They were followed 
(1857) by his '^Investigations on the Development of the Base of the 
Skull in Healthy and Diseased Conditions, and on the Influence of the 
same upon Skull Form, Facial Structure and Brain Formation.'' In 
this treatise he laid the foundation for an anatomical treatment of 
craniology, pointing out as the problem for investigation the relation- 
ship between the shape of the skull, the facial structure and the forma- 
tion of the brain. His conclusion was that all typical variations in 
facial structure rest chiefiy upon differences in the formation of the 
base of the skull. 

For about a decade following his return to Berlin in 1856, Virchow's 
main interest and activity lay in the field of medicine. Then he began to 
turn his attention in an ever increasing degree to anthropological and 
allied studies, upon ndiich he entered with all the enthusiasm of a true 



4t THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

pioneer. In 1869, mainly through bis efforts, was organized the 
Deutsche Anthropologische Gesellschaft In the same year he founded 
die Berliner Gesellschaft fur Anthropologic, Ethnologie und Urges- 
chichte, and its organ the Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie. In addition to 
directing the publication of the Zeiisdirift, he was also an editor of the 
Carrespandenzblau of the Anthropologische Gesellschaft and, from 
1870, of the Archiv fur Anihropologie. The degree to which these new 
fields absorbed Virchow's activities may be gathered from the fact that, 
although it was as a pathologist that he was elected to the Royal 
Academy of Sciences at Berlin in 1874, only three of his numerous 
papers read before the academy dealt with problems of patholc^, while 
nearly all the rest discussed anthropological subjects. 

Passing from the study of the diseased to that of the normal skull, 
in 1874 Virchow presented the results of his attempts to find ethnog- 
nomic skull characteristics in an article entitled **0n Some Character- 
istics of the Skulls of the Lower Races of Man.** Here he advanced the 
generally accepted view that the frontal projection of the squamous 
portion of the temporal bone is a pithecoidal characteristic, much more 
frequent among non- Aryan than Aryan peoples; and that the unproved, 
but certainly to be suspected, defective formation of the temporal brain 
parts ^M a result of this frontal projection permits us to see in the latter, 
and in the bare narrowing of the temporal area, a mark of lower, but 
not necessarily of the lowest, races. 

Virchow's next efforts were directed towards the determinadon of 
the skull types of European races. Here the prevailing view was that 
of Retzius: that each of the great racial divisions had a single type of 
skull and that peoples must be differentiated as either dolicooephalic 
or brachyoephalic. Virchow took a more cautious attitude and opposed 
the selection of type skulls ^until the whole breadth of individual 
varieties was known.** He also combatted Nilson*s theory that an 
original brachycephalic European population had been overrun by a 
dolichocephalic element which stood upon a higher plane of physical 
and mental development, i. e., the Celts and the Germans. 

In 1875, Virchow declared it impossible to establish definite cranio- 
logical types for Germans, Celts, Slavs, Finns or Italians; that the 
postulate of originally pure and homogeneous great culture races is 
erroneous, and that all these have been formed by a mixture of smaller 
elements, a view which now receives general acceptance. Then, in the 
following year, in his ^X^ntributions to the Physical Anthropology of 
the Germans,** he claimed that even greater weight should be laid upon 
the height of the skull than upon its length or breadth, and he was able 
to show that the old German cranial type, as represented by the Frisians, 
were chamaeprosopic and mesocephalic rather than dolichocephalic as 
had been maintained heretofore. 




RUDOLF VIRCHOW—ANTHROPOLOGIST « 

The scope of Virchow's anthropological studies widened until he 
sought to give an exact descriptive basis for the natural history of man. 
Hence he directed his investigations toward living peoples, as well as 
toward those which are now extinct, and entered upon the field of 
ethnology. One great result of his efforts was the census of the school 
children of the German Empire, taken from the point of view of racial 
physical characteristics. This census brought out the fact that the 
historic characteristics of the old Germanic type — ^blond hair, white 
skin and blue eyes — ^were to be found united in only approximately one 
third of the population of Prussia and one fifth of that of Barvaria. 
Perhaps in this connection one should mention Virchow's establishment 
in 1888 of the Museum for German National Costumes and Products 
of Household Industry, at Berlin. 

Carrying his investigations outside of Germany, Virchow compiled 
anthropological analyses of the Lapps, Eskimos, Patagonians, Terra 
del Fuegians, Kaffirs, Australians and Malays. One of his most in- 
teresting studies was that of the population of Ceylon, in which he 
established the nanocephalism and racial purity of the Veddas, as well 
as their relationship to the older Dravidian or pre-Dravidian popula- 
tion of India, while showing that the Cingalese, on the contrary, were 
a mixed race. 

Virchow continued his craniological studies with unabated zeal until 
the time of his death, when his collection comprised some 4,000 skulls, 
ancient and modem, coming from all quarters of the globe. Yet he 
had to acknowledge his inability to attain a satisfactory craniological 
differentiation of races, or an explanation of how various skull types 
arise among the same people. He gave great attention to the develop- 
ment of more exact methods of craniological measurements, and 
hdped to bring about th!e adoption of standard systems in this field. 
Another beneficial result of his work in this field was the exclusion 
of pathological forms from the list of skull types. Here it may be 
mentioned that he maintained that the celebrated Neanderthal skull 
exhibited pathological characteristics, and consequently protested 
against the acceptance of a distinct racial type upon the evidence of 
this sii^le specimen. But in this he failed to win the support of the 
majority of anthropologists. 

In addition to studies upon lUyrian, Trojan, Cyprian, Moroccan, 
East African, Ancient and Modem Gredc, and Philippine skull types, 
Virchow published a work on American racial skulls — Crania Ethnica 
i — ^noteworthy both for its descriptive details and for its- 
of pathological deformities of the skull from artificial 
deformitieB resulting from accident or intent His examination of the 
remains of the Java ape-man — pithecanthropus erectus Dubois — led 
him to the conclusion tiiat it did not belong to the genus homo, but was 
a gibbon of an extinct species, a view which now finds little acceptance. 



44 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

It was ioentaUe that Virdiow should be attracted by the baaic 
probleme of anthropology and biology, sach as the origin of species 
and the place of man in the natural world. And it was natoral that his 
point of view in diese questions should depend upon his belief in the 
identity of physiological and pathological processes. His formnla was: 
Individual and type equal pathology and i^siology. Towards the 
Darwinian theory of evolution he was by no means hostile, but cnrhibitwl 
the same cautious attitude as in other anthropological questions. He 
held diat there was a great gap in our knowledge, namdy, in r^ard 
to the devdopmeot oi the human from the lower forms of life. For the 
time this gap may certainly be filled by an hypothesis, for only by 
hypotheses can the pi^ of research in unknown fields be marked out. 
Such a hypothesis, Virdiow felt, Danrin had supplied in the finest sense 
of the word. **It was an immeasurable advance," he declared, **which 
living Nature made when the first man developed from an animal, 
whether diat was an ape or other creature, which was the racial ancestor 
of the ape as well. However, the actual proof of the descent of man 
from the ape has not yet been made* None of the known apes supplies 
the transitional stage." Still the theory of the descent of man was for 
him, ^not only a logical, but also a moral postulate," whose value lies 
not in being a new dogma, but a light for further research. 

His attitude came to light clearly in his famous controversy with 
Haeckel, in 1887, when the latter demanded that his monistic doctrine 
be introduced into the schools. Virchow objected strenuously to the 
teaching of the problems as thou^ they were the conquests of science, 
taking the ground that this was contrary to the conscience of the 
natural scientist, who reckons only with facts. He likewise protested 
vigorously against any form of compulsion of conscience. 

In approaching the problem of the origin of species, Virchow saw 
more hope of attaining a solution through physiology and pathology 
than throu^ morphology, which gives only the possibility and not the 
proctf of evolution. ^He who teaches us," he vnrote, ^to develop a 
Schimmelpilz out of a Spaltpilz will have accomplished more than all 
the heralds of the geneological tree of man." 

In his *'Rassenbildung und Erblichkeit" (1896), he developed his 
doctrine of the pathological nature of variations from type. Originally 
each species, or variation from type, is produced by a permanent dis- 
turbance of the parental organism, and is in this sense pathological. 
Only by inheritance in the descendants does this condition become 
physiological: but, up to now, it is completely unknown why one dis- 
turbance is inherited, another not Races, too, are only hereditary 
species, which rest upon a pathological disturbance in the parental 
organism. Probably in most cases the disturbance is produced by the 
aivironment, but often also by causes contained within the organism, 
which become effective only after birth. 




RUDOLF VIRCHOW^ANTHROPOLOGIST 46 

Virchow's general interest in historical questions and his special 
anthropological studies led him into the field of prehistoric archeology. 
To this study, in Germany, he did a great service by raising it from 
dilettantiam to a recognized position among the social sciences. He was 
early attracted by the history of his birthplace, Schivelbein, and, in 
1866, wrote on its antiquities. From 1867 onwards, he became a 
regular participant in the international congresses for prehistoric 
archeology and anthropology. In 1869, he began his investigations of 
North German pile dwellings. A careful study of ceramics enabled 
him to determine that these pile dwellings were of later origin than the 
correspcmding structures in South Germany, and, on the basis of similar 
evidence, he showed that the so-called Wendish cemeteries were really 
pre-Slavic in origin. 

Becoming interested in the question of the mutual influences of pre- 
historic cultures, Virchow made an exhaustive study of the ancient 
amber and flint traffic routes in Central Europe. It was largely as a 
result of a friendship formed in 1875 with the Homeric enthusiast 
Schliemann that Virchow extended his archeological studies beyond the 
limits of his native country. In 1879 he accompanied Schliemann to 
the site of ancient Troy, in 1881 to the Caucasus, and in 1888 to Egypt, 
Nubia and the Peloponnesus. It was Virchow's influence that induced 
Schliemann to entrust his later excavations at Troy to the experienced 
ardieologist Dorpfeld. 

Virchow's expedition to the Caucasus was undertaken in the hope of 
finding there the source of the European bronze age culture, but in his 
report on the Graveyard of Koban (1883) he decided against the pos- 
sibility of this theory. One important result of his woric in Egypt was 
that he was the first to adduce positive evidence for a period of neolithic 
culture in the Nile Valley. 

His Caucasian studies led Virchow to encourage others to interest 
themselves in the origins of the civilization of the Near E^ist, and 
through the work of his pupils the civilization of the ancient kingdom 
of Colchis was revealed. Shortly before his death, Virchow had as- 
sumed the honorary direction of a new German Society for the Investi- 
gation of Asia Minor, especially Anatolia and Cappadoda. 

In these closely related fields oi anthropology, ethnology and pre- 
historic archeology, Virchow's fame rests not so much upon the in- 
fallibility of his own conclusions as upon his introduction of scientific 
methods of investigation, his establishment of organizations for co- 
operative effort in research, his logical and independent thinking and 
his deep sense of truth. A great worker himself, he stimulated the work 
of others, not only in his own country, but also abroad, and so became, 
in the best sense of the word, an international figure. 



46 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH— V. THE INHERITANCE 
OF DURATION OF LIFE IN MAN* 

By Professor RAYMOND PEARL 
the johns hopkins universitt 

1. The Deterbanation of Longevitt 

IN the series of papers up to this point we have seen, in the first 
place, that immortality is a potential attribute of cells generally 
and becomes actually realized when conditions are so arranged as to 
make continued life possible. These conditions are not realized in 
the metazoan body because of differentiation and specialization of 
structure and function. What actually happens in the metazoa is that 
sooner or later some differentiated organ or system of organs gets to 
functioning badly and upsets the delicate balance of the whole. As 
a result the entire organism presently dies. We have further seen 
that in the case of man, where alone quantitative data are available, 
the breakdown of particular organ systems, and consequent death of 
the whole, occurs in a highly orderly manner in respect of time or age. 
Each organ system has a characteristic time curve for its breakdown, 
differing from the curve of any other system. The problem which now 
confronts us is to find out what lies bade of these characteristic time 
curves and determines their form. In view of the biological facta 
about death which we have learned, what d^ermines that John Smith 
shall die at 58, while Henry Jones lives to the obviously more re- 
spectable age of 85? We have seen that there is every reason to be- 
lieve that all the essential cells of both their bodies are inherently 
capable under proper conditions of living indefinitely. We are fur- 
ther agreed that it is the differentiated and specialized structure 
of their bodies which prevents the realization of these favorable 
conditions. But all diis helps us not at all to understand why in fact 
one lives nearly 30 years longer than the other. 

It may heFp to visualize this problem of the determination of long- 
evity to consider an illustrative analogy. Men behave in respect of 
their duration of life not unlike a lot of ei^t-day clocks cared for by 
an unsystematic person, who does not wind them all to an equal 
degree and is not careful about guarding them from accident Some 
he winds up fully, and they run their full a^t days. Others he winds 
only half way and they stop after four days. Again the clock whidi 

1 Papers from the Department of Biometry and Vital Statistics. School 
of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, No. 32. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 47 

has been wound up for the full eight days may fall off the shelf and 
be brought to a stop at the third day. Or someone may throw some sand 
in the works when the caretaker is off his guard. So, similarly, scmie 
men behave as though they had been wound up for a full 90-year 
run, while others are but partially wound up and stop at 40 or 65, or 
some other point Or, again, the man wound up for 80 years may, 
like the clock, be brought up much short of that by an accidental in- 
vasion of microbes, playing the role of the sand in the works of the 
clock. It is of no avail for either the clock or the man to say that the 
elements of the mechanism are in whole or in major part capable of 
further service. The essential problem is: what determines the good- 
ness of the original winding? And what relative part do external 
things play in bringing the running to an end before the time which 
the original winding was good for? It is with this problem of the 
winding up and running of the human mechanism that the present 
paper will deal. 

There are two general classes of factors which may be involved 
her& These are, on the one hand, heredity and, on the other hand, en- 
vironment, using the latter term in the broadest sense. Inasmuch as 
we can be reasonably sure on a priori grounds that longevity, like most 
other biological phenomena, is influenced by both heredity and en- 
vironment, the problem practically reduces itself to the measuring of 
the relative importance of each of these two factor groups in deter- 
mining the results we see. But before we start the discussion of exact 
measurements in this field, let us first examine some of the general 
evidence that heredity plays any part at all in the determination of 
longevity. 

2. The Hyde Familt 

The first material which we shall discuss is that provided by the 
distinguished eugenist. Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, in his study of the 
Hyde family. Every genealogist is familiar with the **Genealogy of 
the Hyde Family,** by Reuben H. Walworth. It is one of the finest ex- 
amples in existence of careful and painstaking genealogical research. 
Upon the data included in this book. Bell has made a most interesting 
and penetrating analysis of the factors influencing longevity. At first 
thought one might conclude that highly biased results would probably 
flow from the consideration of only one family. Bell meets this point 
very well, however, in the following words: 

A little consideration will show that the descendants did not constitute a 
single family at all, and indeed had very little of the Hyde blood in them. 

Even the children oi William Hyde owed only half of their blood to 
him, and one-half to his wife. The grandchildren owed only one-quarter of 
their blood to William Hyde, and three quarters to other people, etc. The 
descendants of the seventh generation, and there are hundreds of them, owed 
only one sixty-fourth of their blood to William Hyde, and sixty-three sixty- 
fourths to the new blood introduced through successive generations of 
marriages with persons not of the Hyde blood at all. 



48 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



It will thus be seen that the thousands of descendants noted m the Hyde 
Genealogy constitute rather a sample of the general population of the country 
than a sample of a particular family in which family traits might be expected 
to make their appearance. 

too 



90 



60 



10 



60 



30 



^O 



M 



iO 



lO 



O 




a 9 IOISiOl5 3035404S5035606510756065909S 



A6C 

FIG. i. SHOWING SURVIVAL CUEVES OF MEMBERS OF THE HYDE FAMILY 

(Plottad froai Ball's data) 

The substantial nonnality of the material is shown in Figure 1, 
which gives the U, line, that is, the number of survivors at each age, 
of the 1,606 males and 1,352 females for whom data were available. 
The solid line is the male (s line and the dotted line the female ^. 
It is at once apparent that the curves have the same general sweep in 
their passage over the span of life as has the general population life 
curve discussed in the preceding paper. The descent is a little steeper 
in early adult life. The female curve differs in two respects from the 
normal general population curves. In the first place, beginning at 
age 15 and continuing to age 90, the female curve lies below that for 
the males, whereas normally for the general population it lies above 
it This denotes a shorter average duration of life in the females than 
in the males, the actual figures being 35.8 years* for the males and 33.4 
years for the females. Bell attributes the difference to the strain of 
child-bearing by the females in this rather highly fertile group of 
people, belonging in the main to a period when restrictions upon size 
of family were less common and less extensive than now. In the sec^ 
ond place, die female (s curve is actually convex to the base through- 



THE BIOLOGY OP DEATH 



49 



oat a considerable portion of middle life whereas normally this 
portion of the curve presents a concave face to the base. 

Apart from these deviations, which are of no particular significance 
for the use which Bell makes of the data, the Hyde material is essen- 
tially normal and similar to what one would expect to find in a ran- 
dom sample of the general population. In this material there were 
2,287 cases in which the ages at death of the persons and the ages at 
death of their fathers were knovm. It occurred to Bell to arrange 
this material in such a way as to show what, if any, relation existed 
between age at death of the parent and that of the offspring. He ar- 
ranged the parents into four groups, according to the age at which 
they died, and the offspring into five groups upon the same basis. In 
the case of the parents the groups were: First, those dying under 40; 

TABLE I 

Analysis of the Hyde family data by person's age at death, showing the num- 
ber and percentage having (a) fathers and (b) mothers who died 
at the age periods named. (From Bell), 



Person's age at death 



Stated 



Under 20 , 

20 and under 40. 
40 and under 60. 
60 and under 80 
80 and over 



F 


axhei 


''B age 


at dea 


ith 


Stated 


-40 


40-60 


60-80 


8O4. 


2,287 


66 


522 


1,056 


643 


669 


20 


189 


299 


161 


588 


18 


140 


269 


111 


467 


12 


116 


215 


124 


428 


13 


57 


196 


168 


185 


3 


20 


77 


85 



Percentages 



Stated 



Under 20 , 

20 and under 40. 
40 and under 60. 
60 and under 80. 
80 and over. . . . . 



100.0 2.9 22.8 46.2 28.1 



100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 



3.0 
3.4 
2.6 
3.0 
1.6 



28.2 
26.0 
24.8 
13.3 
10.8 



44.7 
50.0 
46.0 
45.8 
41.6 



24.1 
20.6 
26.6 
37.5 
46.0 



Person's age at death 



1 


iothe 


r'B age 


at des 


ith 


stated 


-40 


40-60 


60-80 


80+ 


1,805 


191 


435 


713 


466 


511 


88 


129 


199 


95 


407 


42 


104 


176 


85 


379 


27 


92 


159 


101 


360 


26 


80 


129 


125 


148 


8 


30 


50 


60 



Stated 



Under 20 

20 and under 40. 
40 and under 60. 
60 and under 80. 
80 and over. . . . . 



Percentages 



Stated 



Under 20 

20 and under 40. . 
40 and under 60. 
60 and under 80.. 
80 and over 



100.0 10.6 24.1 89.5 25.8 



100.0 


17.2 


25.2 


39.0 


18.6 


100.0 


10.3 


25.6 


43.2 


20.9 


100.0 


7.1 


24.3 


42.0 


26.6 


100.0 


7.2 


22.2 


35.9 


84.7 


100.0 


5.4 


20.3 


33.8 


40.5 



VOL. xm.- 



60 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



second, between 40 and 60; third, between 60 and 80; and fourth, at 
age 80 and over. The groups for the offspring were the same, except 
that the first was divided into two parts, namely, those dying under 20 
and those dying between 20 and 40. The resulting figures are ex- 
hibited in Table 1. 



600 


SJd 


MH 


416 


165 


P£lf90NS 


PC/fSONS 


PC»SOHS 


PCKSONS 


PCBdC 


tXD 


D€D 


a£D 


ao) 


0€D 


-to 


i0'40 


*0'tO 


CO- so 


dot 



SO 



30 



go 




10 



' 40 60 00 -406060-400000' 40 60 60 - 40 60 60 
4O6O60't4O6060't-40O060i'4O6O60t 40 60 60 -^ 

no. 2. INFLUENCE OF FATHER'S AGE AT DEATH UPON LONGEVITY OF OFFSFRINC. 

Fini dot la eaeh dUfiBia thowt the p«re«atage haviac father* who died at 40; Mcead dot tho 

perceatage haviag fathen who died from 40—60; third dot the perceatage haTiag fathers who died 

froB 60—00; fourth dot the percoata^ havtac fathers iHio died 00+ 

The results for father and offspring are shovm in Figure 2, based 
upon the data of Table 1. In each of the S polygons, one for each off- 
spring group, the first dot shows the percentage of fathers dying under 
40; the second dot the percentage of fathers dying between 40 and 60; 
and so on, the last dot in each curve showing the percentage of fathers 
dying at age 80 and over. It is to these last dots that attention should 
be paiticularly directed. It will be noted that the dotted line connecting 
the last dots of each of the S polygons in general rises as we pass from 
the left-hand side of the diagram to the right-hand side. In the case 
of offspring dying under 20, 24 per cent of their fathers died at ages 
over 80. About 21 per cent, of the fathers of offspring dying between 
20 and 40 lived to be 80 years or over. For the next longer-lived group 
of offspring, dying between 40 and 60, the percentage of fathers living 
to 80 or over rose to 27 per cent In the next higher group, the per- 
centage is nearly 38, and finally the extremely long-lived group of off- 
spring, the 185 persims who died at ages of 80 and over, had 46 per 
cent or nearly one half of their fathers living to the same great age. In 
other words, we see in general that the longer-lived a group of off- 
spring is, on the average, the longer-lived are their fathers, on the 
average; or, put in another way, the higher the percentage of very 
long-lived fathers which this group will have as compared with 
shorter-lived individuals. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



51 



Stl 


4on 


379 


960 


146 


PERSONS 


PCKSONS 


PCKSONS 


PCHSONS 


PCffSONS 


XD 


D€D 


oa> 


DICD 


txo 


~£0 


i(h40 


40 -M 


60-60 


BO-t- 



30 



50 



40 



30 



20 




40 



30 



io 



' 40 eo ao - 4o oo 6o ' 4o 6o 00 - 40 to &o - 40 oo oo 
40 eo do * 40 60 00 *4oooao*4ooooo*4oeooo-f' 

FIG. 3. INFLUENCE OF MOTHER'S AGE AT DEATH UPON LONGEVITY OF OFFSPRING. 

Fint dot in each diagrona tbowt the pereeoUge h«Tiiig mothen who died «t 40; lecoad dot the 

percentage having mother* who died at 40—60; third dot the percentage having mother* who died 

60—80; fourth dot the percentage having mothen who died 80 4- 

Figure 3 shows the same sort of data for mothers and offspring. 
Here we see the curve of great longevity of parents rising in an even 
more mariced manner than was the case with fathers of offspring. The 
group of offspring dying at ages under 20 had only 19 per cent, 
of their mothers living to 80 and over, whereas the group of offspring 
who lived to 80 and beyond had 41 per cent of their mothers attain- 
ing the same great age. At the same time we note from the dotted 
line at the bottom of the chart that as the average age at death of the 
offspring increases, the percentage of mothers dying at early ages, 
namely, under 40, as given by the first dots, steadily decreases bom 
17 per cent at the first group to just over 5 per cent, for the off- 
spring dying at very advanced ages. 

These striking results demonstrate at once that there is a definite 
and close connection between the average longevity of parents and 
that of their children. Extremely Icmg-lived children have a much 
higher percentage of extremely long-lived parents than do shorter 
lived children. While the diagrams demonstrate the fact of this con- 
nection, they do not measure its intensity with as great precision as 
can be obtained by other methods of dealing with the data. A little 
farther on we shall take up the consideration of this more precise 
method of measurement of the hereditary influence in respect of 
longevity. 

In the preceding diagrams we have considered each parent sepa- 
rately in connection with the offspring in regard to longevity. We 
shall, of course, get precisely the same kind of result if we consider 
both parents together. For the sake of simplicity, taking only the 



» 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



cases of extreme longevity, namely, persons living to 80 or over — the 
essential data are given in Table 2. 

TABLE 2 
Longevity of parents of persons dying at 8o and over. (From Bell). 



Age at death of parents 



Stated 

lived to be 804- 

Neither parent 

One parent (not other) 
Both parents 

Father (not mother) . . 
Mother (not father) . . . 



Number of 
persons 



827 
683 
184 

337 
246 



Number of 

persons lived 

80+ 

139 



44 

57 
38 

38 
19 



Per cent, of 

persons lived 

80+ 



5.3 

9.8 
20.6 

11.3 
7.7 



From this table it is seen that where neither parent lived to be 80, 
only 5.3 per cent of the offspring lived to be 80 or over, the percent- 
age being baaed upon 827 cases. Where one parent, but not the 
odier, lived to be 80 or older, 9.8 per cent of the offspring lived to be 
80 or older, the percentage here bemg based upon 583 cases. Where 
both parents lived to be 80 or older 20.6 of the persons lived to the 
same great age, the percentage being based upon 184 cases, llius it 
appears that in this group of people four times as many attained great 
longevity if both of their parents lived to an advanced age, as attained 
this age when neither parent exhibited great longevity. The figures 
from the Hyde family seem further to indicate that the tendency of 
longevity is inherited more strongly through the father than throu^ 
the mother. Where the father, but not the mother, lived to be 80 or 
older, 11.3 per cent of the persons lived to age 80 or more, there 
being 337 cases of this kind. Where the mother, but not the father, 
lived to be 80 or older, only 7.7 per cent, or nearly 4 per cent fewer 
of the persons lived to the advanced age of 80 or more, there being 
246 cases of this sort Too much stress is not, however, to be laid upon 
this parental difference because the samples after all are quite small. 

One other point in this table deserves consideration. Out of the 
1,594 cases as a whole, less than 9 per cent of the persons lived to the 
advanced age of 80 or more. But out of this number there are 767, 
or 48.1 per cent, nearly one-half of the whole, who had parents who 
lived to 80 or more years. 

Another interesting and significant way in which one may see the 
great influence of the age of the parents at death upon the longevity of 
the offspring, is indicated in Table 3, where we have the average dura- 
tion of life of individuals whose fathers and mothers died at the 
specified ages. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



68 



TABLE 3 

Showmg the influence of a considerable degree of longevity m both father 

and mother upon the expectation of life of the offspring, {After Bell), 

(/n each cell of the table the open figure is the average duration of 

life of the offspring and the bracketed figure is the number of 

cases upon which the average is based). 



raXher'a age 
at death 


Mother's age at death 


Under 60 


60^0 


Over 80 


Under 60 


32.8 years 
(128) 


33.4 years 
(120) 


36.3 years 
(74) 


60-80 


35.8 
(251) 


38.0 
(328) 


45.0 
(172) 


Over 80 


42.8 
(131) 


45.5 
(206) 


52.7 
(184) 



We see that the longest average duration of life, or expectation of 
life, was of that group which had both mothers and fathers living to age 
80 and over. The average duration of life of these persons was 52.7 
years. Contrast this with the average duration of life of those whose 
parents both died under 60 years of age, where the figure is 32.8 years. 
In other words, it added almost exactly 20 years to the average life of 
the first group of people to have extremely long-lived parents, instead 
of parents dying under age 60. In each column of the table the average 
duration of life advances as we proceed from top to bottom — ^that is, 
as the father's age at death increases — and in each row of the table the 
average expectation of life of the offspring increases as we pass from 
left to right — that is, with increasing age of the modier at death. How- 
ever the matter is taken, a careful selection of one's parents in respect 
of longevity is the most reliable form of personal life insurance. 

So much for Bell's analysis of longevity in the Hyde family. We 
have seen that it demonstrates with the utmost clearness and certainty 
that there is an hereditary influence between parent and offspring af- 
fecting the expectation of longevity of the latter. Bell's method of 
handling the material does not provide any precise measure of the in- 
tensity of this hereditary influence, nor does it furnish any indication 
of its strength in any but the direct line of descent. Of course, if hered- 
ity is a factor in the determination of longevity we should expect its 
effects to be manifested as between brothers and sisters, or in the 
avuncular relationships, and in greater or less degree in all the other 
collateral and more remote direct degrees of kinship. Happily, we 
have a painstaking analysis, with a quantitative measure of the relative 
influence of heredity in the determination of longevity, which was car- 
ried out many years before Bell's work on the Hyde family, by the 
pioneer in this field. Prof. Karl Pearson. His demonstration of the 
inheritance of longevity appeared more than twenty years before that 
of Bell. I have called attention to the latter's work first merely be- 



54 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



cause of the greater simplicity and directness of his demonstration. 
We may now turn to a consideration of Pearson's more detailed results. 

3. Pearson's Work 

The material used by Pearson and his student. Miss Beeton, who 
worked with him on the problem, came from a number of different 
sources. Their first study dealt with three series from which all deaths 
recorded as due to accident were excluded. The first series included 
one thousand cases of the ages of fathers and sons at death, the latter 
being over 22.5 years of age, taken from Foster's ^Peerage." Hie 
second series consisted of a thousand pairs of fathers and sons, the 
latter dying beyond the age of 20, taken from Burke's ^Landed Gen- 
try." The third series consisted of ages at death of one thousand pairs 
of brothers dying beyond the age of 20 taken from the ^Peerage." It 
will be noted that all these series considered in this first study dealt 
only with inheritance in the male line. The reason for this was simply 
that in such books of record as the **Peerage" and ^^Landed Gentry" 
sufficiently exact account is not given of the deaths of female relatives. 
In a sec<Mid study the material was taken from the pedigree records of 
members of the English Society of Friends, and from the Friends 
Provident Association. This material included data on inheritance of 
longevity in the female line and also provided data for deaths of in- 
fants, which were lacking in the earlier used material. The investiga- 
tion was grounded upon that important branch of modem statistical 
calculus known as the method of correlation. For each pair of rela- 
tives between whom it was desired to study the intensity of inheritance 
of longevity a table of double entry was formed, like the one shown 
here as Table 4. 

TABLE 4 
CorrelaHon table showing the correlation between father and son in respect 

of duration of life. 
Duration op Life of Father ^ 

|23|28|33|38|43|48|58| 58| 63| 68| 78| 78| 88| 88| 98| 96|103|Totals 



as 

e 

o 

H 



231 11 11 2 

28 

33 

38 1 

43 1 

48 

53 

58 

63 2 

68 

73 

78 

83 

88 

93 

98 I 1 




8 


2 




2 




7 




1 


1 




8 


4 


1 






9 


5 


2 


1 




17 


5 








5 


3 








10 


1 


1 


1 




9 


3 




2 




U 


5 








12 


7 


2 






13 


8 


8 


1 


1 


9 


4 




3 




1% 


3 


2 


2 




1 


2 

1 


1 


2 





86 
85 
70 
70 
72 
68 
70 
68 
84 
90 
90 
57 
53 
28 
5 
4 



Totals) 1| 8| 9|30|26|65|70| 76| 90|122|131|153|132| 53| 18| 15| 1| 1000 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



6S 



The figures in each cell or oompartment of this table denote the fre* 
quency of occurrence of pairs of fathers and adult sons having respec* 
tively the durations of life indicated by the figures in the margins. 

Hius we see, examining the first line of the table, that there were 

11 cases in which the average duration of life of the father wa? 48 

years and that of the adult son 23 years. Farther dovm and to the 

rig^t in the table there were 13 cases in which the average duration of 

life of the father and the son was in eadb case 83 years. These cases 

are mentioned merely as illustrations. The whole table is to be read 

in the same manner. 

From such a table as this it is possible to calculate, by well- 
known mathematical methods, a single numerical constant of scmie- 
what unique properties known as the coefficient of correlation, which 
measures the degree of association or mutual dependence of the two 
variables included in such double entry tables. This coefficient meas* 
nres the amount of resemblance or associaticm between diaracteristics 
of individuals or things. It is stated in the form of a decimal which 
may take any value between and 1. As the correlation coefficient 
rises to 1 we approach a condition of absolute dependence of the va- 
riables one upon the other. As it falls to zero we approach a condition 
of absolute independence, where the one variable has no relation to the 
other in the amount or direction of its variation. The significance of a 
correlation coefficient is always to be judged, in any particular case, 
by the magnitude of a constant associated mrith it called the probable 
error. A correlation coefficient may be regarded as certainly signifi- 
cant when it has a value of 4 or more times that of its probable error, 
which is always stated after the coefficient with a combined plus and 
minus sign between the two. The coefficient is probably significant 
when it has a value of not less than 3 times its probable error. By 
^significant" in this connection is meant that the coefficient expresses 
true organic relationship and not merely a random chance result. 

In Table 5 are the numerical results fr<Hn the first study based upon 
the •Tecrage" and ^^Landed Gentry." 

TABLE 5 
Inheriiance of duration of life in male line. Data from "Peerage" and 

"Landed Gentry" (Beeton and Pearson). 



Relatives 



W^t^er ("Peerage^) 
FYUher ("Landed Gentry") 
Father CTeerage") 
Father ("Landed Ctentry^) 
Brother (Peeraae") 



Son, 25 years and 
Son, 20 years and 
Son, 52.5 years and 
Son, 50 yean and 
Brother 



over 
over 
over 
over 



:;orrelation 
coefficient 



.115 
.142 
.116 
.113 
.260 



.021 
.021 
.023 
.024 
.020 



Ratio of co- 
efficienl to 
its prohahle 
error. 



5.5 
6.8 
6.0 
4.7 
13.0 



It is seen at once that all of the coefficients are significant in com- 
parison with their probable errors. The last column of the table gives 



56 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the ratio of the coefficient to its probable error, and in the worst case 
the coefficient is 4.7 times its probable error. The odds against such a 
correlation having arisen from chance alone are about 655 to 1. Odds 
such as these may be certainly taken as demonstrating that the results 
represent true organic relationship and not mere chance. All of the 
other coefficients are certainly significant, having regard to their prob- 
able errors. Furthermore, they are all positive in sign, which implies 
that a variation in the direction of increased duration of life in one 
relative of the pair is associated with an increase in expectation of life 
in the other. It will be noted that the magnitude of the correlation be- 
tween brother and brother is about twice as great as in the case of 
correlation of father with son. From this it is provisionally con- 
cluded that the intensity of the hereditary influence in respect of dura- 
tion of life is greater in the fraternal relationship than in the par- 
ental. It evidently makes no difference, broadly speaking, so far as 
these two sets of material are concerned, whether thoe are included 
in the correlation table all adult sons, whatever their age, or only 
adult sons over 50 years of age. The coefficients in both cases are es- 
sentially of the same order of magnitude. 

Perhaps some one will be inclined to believe that the correlation 
between father and son, and brother and brother, in respect of the 
duration of life arises as a result of similarity of the environments to 
which they are exposed. Pearson's comments on this point are pene- 
trating, and I believe absolutely sound. He says: 

There may be some readers who will be inclined to consider that much of 
the correlation of duration of life between brothers is due to there being 
a likeness of their environment, and that thus each pair of brethren is linked 
together and differentiated from the general population. But it is difficult to 
believe that this really affects adult brothers or a father and his adult off- 
spring. A man who dies between 40 and 80 can hardly be said to have an 
environment more like that of his brother or father, who died also at some 
such age, than like any other member of the general population. Of course, 
two brothers have usually a like environment in infancy, and their ages at 
death, even if they die adults, may be influenced by their rearing. But if this 
be true, we ought to find a high correlation in ages at death of brethren who 
die as minors. As a matter of fact this correlation for minor and minor is 
40 to 50 per cent less than in the case of adult and adult It would thus seem 
that identity of environment is not the principal factor in the correlation be- 
tween ages of death, for this correlation is far less in youth than in old age. 

The results regarding minors to which Pearson refers are shown 
in Table 6. This table gives the results of the second study made by 
Beeton and Pearson on inheritance of duration of life, based upon the 
records of the Friends Societies. It appears in the upper half of the 
table that wherever a parent, father or mother, appears with a minor 
son or dau^tn the correlation coefficients are small in magnitude. In 
some cases they are just barely significant in comparison mth their 
probable errors, as for example, the correlation of father and minor 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



67 



TABLE 6 
Inheritance of duration of life. Data from Quaker records. 

(Beeton and Pearson). 





1 




Ratio of co- 


Relatives 1 


Coarrelatioo 


efficient to 






coefficient 


its probable 






''xy 


error. 


X 


y 


r^ -^ £r 


Father 


Adult son 


0.135 ± .021 


6.4 


Father 


Minor son 


.087 ±i .022 


4.0 


Father 


Adult daughter 


.130 ± .020 


6.5 


Father 


Minor daughter 


.052 ± .023 


2.3 


Mother 


Adult son 


.131 ± .019 


6.9 


Mother 


Minor son 


.076 ± .024 


3.2 


Mother 


Adult daughter 


.149 ± .020 


7.5 


Mother 


Minor daughter 


.138 ±i .024 


5.7 



sader adult brother 
Adult brother 
Minor brother 
Adult brother 
Elder adult sister 
Adult sister 
Minor sister 
Adult sister 
Adult brother 
Minor brother 
Adult brother 
Adult sister 



Younger adult brother 
Adult brother 
Minor brother 
Minor brother 
Younger adult sister 
Adult sister 
Minor sister 
Minor sister 
Adult sister 
Minor sister 
Minor sister 
Minor brother 



.229 
.285 
.103 

-.026 
.346 
.332 
.175 

-.026 
.232 
.144 

-.006 

-.027 



.019 
.020 
.029 
.025 
.018 
.019 
.031 
.029 
.015 
.025 
.035 
.024 



12.1 
14.3 

3.6 

1.0 
19.2 
17.5 

5.6 

.9 

15.5 

5.8 
.2 

1.1 



The cases above the horizontal line are all direct lineal inheritance; 
those below the line collateral inheritance. 



son, and that of mother and minor daughter. In the other cases in- 
volving minors the coefficients are so small as to be insignificant On 
the other hand, in every case of correlation between parent and aAult 
offspring of either sex, the coefficient is 6 or more times its probable 
error, and must certainly be regarded as significant. It will further be 
noted that the magnitude of the coefficients obtained from these Quaker 
records is of the same general order as was seen in the previous table 
based on the ^Peerage*' and ^^Landed Gentry" material. 

The lower part of the table gives the results for various fraternal 
relationships. In general the fraternal correlations are higher than the 
parental. Tlie coefficients for minors or for minors with adults are 
very low and in most cases not significantly different from zero.. In 
four cases — namely, adult brother with minor brother; adult sister 
with minor sister; adult brother with minor sister; and adult sister with 
minor brother — ^the coefficients are all negative in sign, although in no 
one of the cases is the coefficient significant in comparison with its 
probable error. A minus sign before a correlation coefficient means 
that an increase in the value of <me of the variables is associated with 
a decrease in the value of the other. So that these negative cofficients 
would mean, if they were significant, that the greater the age at death 
of an adult brother, the lower the age at death of his minor brother 



68 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

or ttster. But the coeflicieiits are actually sensibly equal to zero. 
Pearson points out that the minus sign in the case of these correlations 
of adult with minor ediibits the effect of the inheritance of the mor- 
tality of youth. Minors dying from 16 to 20 are associated with adults 
dying from 21 to 25. That is, minors dying late correspond to adults 
dying early. This situation may be a peculiarity of the Quaker mate- 
rial with which this work deals. There is urgent need for further study 
of the inheritanoe of the duration of life on more and better material 
dian any which has hitherto been used for the purpose. I have under 
way in my own laboratory at the present time an extensive investiga- 
tion of this kind, in which there will be hundreds of thousands of pairs 
of relatives in the individual correlation tables instead of thousands, 
and all types of collateral kinship will be represented. Because of the 
magnitude of the investigation, however, it will be still a number of 
years before the results will be in hand for discussion. 

The facts which have been presented leave no doubt as to the reality 
of the inheritance factor as a prime determinant of the length of the 
life span. 

At the beginning it was pointed out that it was on a priori grounds 

highly probable that duration of life is influenced by both heredity 

and environment, and that the real problem is to measure the com* 

parative effect of these two general sets of factors. We have seen that 

die intensity of inheritance of duration of life, taking averages, is of 

the order indicated by the follofring coefficients. 

Parental correlation (adult children) r=.i365 
Fraternal correlation (adults) r=:.283i 

Now we have to ask this question: What are the values of parental 
and fraternal correlation for characters but slightly if at all affected 
in their values by die environment? Happily, Pearson has provided 
such values in his extensive investigations on the inheritance of physi- 
cal characters in man. 

TABLE 7 
Parental inhfriiance of physical characters in man. (Pearson). 

Pair Organ Correlation 

ntther and Son Stature .61 



Span 45 

Forearm .42 



" " Span 45 

•• •• •• Forearm 42 

•• *• Eye Color 55 

Father and Daughter Stature 51 

«« «< •« 

«fl «« «< 

" " •• !.'!!!!.!!! SyeColor 44 

Mother and Son Stature 49 

" " " Span 46 

•• " •• Forearm 41 

•• EJye Color 48 

Mother and Daughter Stature 51 



•f 
l« 




Span 45 

Forearm 42 

Eje Color 51 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 59 

In Table 7 are given the values of the parental correlations for the 
four physical characters — stature, span, forearm length, and eye color. 
Now it is obvious that the differences of environmental forces imping- 
ing upon the various members of a homogeneous group of middle class 
English families (from which source the data for diese correlations 
were dravm) can by no possibility be great enough to a£fect sensibly 
the stature, the arm-length, or the eye color of the adults of such fam- 
ilies. It would be preposterous to assert that the resemblance between 
parents and offspring in respect of eye color is due solely, or even sen- 
sibly, to similarity of environment. 

It is due to heredity and substantially nothing else. Now the aver- 
age value of the 16 parental coefficients for the inheritance of physical 
characters shown in the table is 

r=.4675 



TABLE 8 
Fraternal inheritance of physical characters in man, (Pearson). 

Pair Organ Correlati<^ 



Brother and 

M <« 


Brother 


M 


«fl 


«• 


«« 


ti 


M 


M 


M 


•« 


M 


$4 


«« 


Sister 

M 


and 

M 


SistM* 

M 


M 


M 


•• 


«l 


«t 


M 


M 


M 


M 


M 


t* 


«t 


Brother a>iid Sister 

«< M «< 


M 


M 


l« 


M 


M 


M 


M 


M 


«< 


«• 


M 


«« 



Stature 51 

Span ...^ 55 

Forearm 49 

ETye color 52 

Cephalic index 49 

Hair color 59 

Stature 54 

Span 56 

Forearm 51 

Eye color 45 

Cephalic index 54 

Hair color 56 

Stature 55 

Span 53 

Forearm 44 

Eye color 46 

Cephalic index 48 

Hair color 56 



Table 8 shows the coefficients for the fraternal inheritance of six 
physical characters, cephalic index (the ratio of head length and head 
breadth) and hair colour having been added to those given in the 
parental table. Again it is seen that the coefficients have all about the 
same values, and it is as apparent as before that the resemblance be- 
tween brother and sister, for example, in eye-color, or arm length, or 
shape of head can not for a moment, because of the nature of the 
characters themselves, be supposed to have arisen because of the 
similarity of environment. The average value of all these fraternal 
coefficients is 

r = .5156 

From these data, with the help of a method due to Pearson, it is 
possible to determine the percentage of the death rate dependent upon 
the inherited constitution, and the percentage not so dependent If 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



pN be die number 61 deaths in ^V cases which depend in no way upon 
the inherited consCitation of tlie indiridoal^ then (1-j^) will rep re s ent 
dbe diance of mn, indtridoal dying because of his inherited oonstitntiMial 
makeup, and (l-pV will be the diance of a pair of individuals^ say two 
brothers, both dying from causes determined by inheritance. If further 
r denotes the obsenred correlation between indiriduals in respect of 
duration of life, and r^ the correlation between the same Idn in reqpect 
of such measured physical characters as diose just discussed, in the 
determination of which' it is agreed that enrironment can play cmly a 
imall part, we have the following relation: 

-7-= a-p)^ 

Substituting the ascertained values we have 

1. From parental correlations. 

0.1365 = .4675 (l-^)s 

{X'p)t =z .292 

(1-^) = .54 

2. From fraternal correlations 

0.2831 = .5156 (1-^)3 
(1-^) = .74 

From these figures it may be concluded, and Pearson does so con- 
clude, that from 50 to 75 per cent of the general death rate within 
the group of the population on which the calculations are based, is 
determined fundamentally by factors of heredity and is not capable of 
essential modification or ameloriation by any sort of environmental 
action, however well intentioned, however costly, or however well 
advertised. Muiatis mutandis the same condusion applies to the 
duration of life. I have preferred to state the conclusion in terms of 
death rates because of the bearing it has upon a great deal of the public 
health propaganda so loosely flung about. It need only be remembered 
that there is a perfectly definite functional relation betwreen death rate 
and average duration of life in an approximately stable population 
group, expressible by an equation, in order to see that any conclusion 
as to the relative influence of heredity and environment upon the 
general death rate must apply with equal force to the duration of life. 

4. The Selective Death Rate in Man 

If the duration of life were inherited it would logically be expected 
that some portion of the death rate must be selective in character. For 
inheritance of duration of life can only mean that when a person dies 
is in part detennined by that individual's biological constitution or 
makeup. And equally it is obvious that individuals of weak and un- 
sound constitution must, on the average, die earlier than those of strong, 
sound, and vigorous constitution. Whence it follows that die chances 
of leaving offspring will be greater for diose of sound constitution 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



ei 



fh^n for the weaklings. The mathematical discussian which has just 
been given indicates that from one-half to three-fourths of the death 
rate is aelective in character, because that proportion is determined by 
hereditary factors. Just in proportion as heredity determines the death 
rate, so is the death rate selective. The reality of the fact of a seleotiye 
death rate in man can be very easily shown graphically. 

50 









1^ 



-w 



40 



35 



30 



Z5 



20 



15 



to 




MOTHER Am CHUXEN 
FATHER AMD Cm,DREN 



I I I I 



16 



26 



36 



46 



56 



66 



76 



d6and 



AGE. AT DEATH OF PARENTS 



FIG. 4. DIACRAII SHOWING THE INFLUENCE OF ACE AT DEATH. PARENTS UPON 
PERCENTA<» OF OFFSPRING DYING UNDER 5 YEARS. (After PUwIi) 

In Fig. 4 are seen the graphs of some data from European royal 
families, where no neglect of children, degrading environmental condi- 
tions, or economic want can have influenced the results. These data 
were compiled by the well-known German eugenist, the late Professor 
Ploetz of Munich. The lines show the falling percentage of the ixv- 
fantile death rate as the duration of life of the father and mother inr 



62 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

creeses. Among the children of short-lived fathers and modiers^ at the 
left end of each line, is found the highest infant mortality, while among 
the offspring of long-lived parents the lowest infant mortality occurs, 
as shovm at the righthand end of the diagram. 

The results so far presented regarding a selective death rate and 
inheritance of duration of life, have come from selected classes; the 
aristocracy, royalty or Quakers. None of these classes can be fairly said 
to represent the general population. Can the conclusion be transferred 
safely from the classes to the masses? To the determination of this 
point one of Pearson's students, Dr. E. C. Snow, addressed himself. 
The method which he used was, from the necessities of the case, a much 
more complicated and indirect one than that of Pearson and Ploetz. 
Its essential idea was to see whether infant deaths weeded out the unfit 
and left as survivors the stronger and more resistant All the infants 
bom in a single year were taken as a cohort and the deaths occurring in 
this cohort in successive years were followed through. Resort was had 
to the method of partial or net correlation. The variables correlated 
in the case of the Prussian data were these: 

1. x^ = Births in year a given cohort started. 

2. x^ = Deaths in the first two years of life. 
3« jT = Deaths in the next eight years of life. 

.4. ;r^ = Deaths in the ten years of all individuals not included in 
the iMuticular cohort whose deaths are heing followed. 

In the case of the English data the variables were: 

x^ r= Births in specified year. 

x^ =. Deaths in the first three years of life of those bom in 

specified year. 
x^ = Deaths in fourth and fifth years ol life of those bom in 

specified year, 
jr. = The "remaining" deaths under 6. 

The underlying idea was to get the partial or net correlation 
between Xi and x^^ while Xo and x, are held constant If the mortality 
of infancy is selective, its amount riiould be negatively correlated to 
a significant degree with the mortality of the next eight years when the 
births in each district considered are made constant and when the 
general health environment is made constant Under the constant con- 
ditions specified a negative correlation denotes that the heavier the 
infantile death rate in a cohort of births the lighter will be the death 
rate of later years, and vice versa. The last variable, x^, is the one 
chosen, after careful consideration and many trials^ to measure varia- 
tion in the health environment. If any year is a particularly unhealthy 
one — an epidemic year for example — then this unhealthiness should be 
accurately reflected in the deaths of those members of the population 
not included in the cohort under review. 

Snow's results for English and Prassian mral districts are set forth 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



63 



TABLE 9 

Snon/s results on selective death rate in man, English and Prussian 

rural districts. 



DaU 


Actual 
correlation 

''l2'03 


Expected correla- 
tion if no 
selection 

■ 


Males: 

English Rural 
Districts 


(1870) 
(1871) 
(1872) 


-0.4483 

- .3574 

- .2271 


-0.0828 

- .1014 

- .0807 


Prussian Rural 
Districts 


(1881) 
(1882) 


- .9278 

- .6050 


- .0958 

- .0765 


Females : 

English Rural 
Districts 


(1870) 
(1871) 
(1872) 


- .4666 

- .2857 

- .5089 


- .0708 

- .0505 

- .0496 


Prussian Rural 
Districts 


(1881) 
(1882) 


- .8483 

- .6078 


- .0933 

- .0705 



in Table 9. From this table it is seen that in every case the correlations 
are negadve^ and therefore indicate that the mortality of early life is 
selectiye. Furthermore, the demonstration of this fact is completed by 
showing that the observed coefficients are from 3 to 10 times as great 
as they would be if there were no selective character to the death rate. 
The coefficients for the Prussian population, it will be noted, are of a 
distinctly higher order of magnitude than those for the English popula- 
tion. This divergence is probably due chiefly to differences in the 
quality of the fundamental statistical material in the two cases. The 
Prussian material is free from certain defects inherent in the English 
data, which cannot be entirely got rid of. The difference in the co- 
efficients for the two successive Prussian cohorts represei^, in Snow's 
opinion, probably a real fluctuation in the intensity of natural selection 
in die one group as ccmipared with the other. How significant Snow's 
results are is shoim graphically in Figure 5. 

Snow's oYm comments on his results are significant. He says : 

The investigations of this memoir have been long and laborious, and the 
difficulties presented by the data have been great Still, the general result 
cannot be questioned. Natural selection, in the form of a selective death-rate, 
is strongly operative in man in the early years of life. Those data which we 
believe to be the best among those we have used — the Prussian figures — show 
very high negative correlation between the deaths in the first two years of 
life and those in the next eight, when allowance is made for difference in 
environment. We assert with great confidence that a high mortality in in- 
fancy (the first two years of life) is followed by a corresponding low mor- 
tality in childhood, and conversely. The English figures do not allow such a 
comprehensive survey to be undertaken, but, so far as they go they point 
in the same direction as the Prussian ones. The migratory tendencies in 
urban districts militate against the detection of selective influences there, but 
we express the belief that those influences are just as prevalent in industrial 



« THE SCIENTIFIC UONTHLY 

as in rural communities, and could be measured by other means if the data 
were forthcominK. 

Our investigation substantiates for a general population the results found 
by Pearson and Ploetz for more restricted populations, and disagrees with 
many statements of health ofBcers. It is with great reluctance that we point 
out this disagreement, and assert a doctrine which, in the present sentiment 
of society, is bound to be unpopular. We have no feelings of antagonisn to- 
wards the efforts which have been made in recent year* to save infant life, but 
we think that the probable consequences of such actions, so far as past 
experience can indicate them, should be completely understood. All attempts 
at the reduction of mortality of infancy and childhood should be made in 
the full knowledge of the facts of heredity. Everybody knows the extreme 
differences in ronstitutional litness which exist in men and women. Few 
intelligent people can be ignorant of the fact that this constitutional fitness 
is inherited according to laws which are fairly definitely known. At the 
same time marriage is just as prevalent among those of weak stocks as 
lO T- 






Is 
St 



. SHOVS BtSULTS 



SELECTIVE DEATH RATE IN MAN. Th. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH «6 

among those of the vigorous, while the fertility of the former is certainly not 
less than that of the latter. Thus a proportion of the infants born every 
year must inevitably belong to the class referred to in the report as "weak- 
lings," and, with Pearson's results before us, we are quite convinced that true 
infantile mortality (as distinct from the mortality due to accident, neglect, 
etc. — ^no small proportion of the whole) finds most victims from among this 
class. Incidentally we would here suggest that no investigation into the 
causes of infant and child mortality is complete tmtil particulars are gathered 
by the medical officers of the constitutional tendencies and physical characters 
of the parents. 

Our work has led us to the conclusion that infant mortality does effect 
a "weeding out" of the unfit; but, though we would give this conclusion all 
due emphasis, we do not wish to assert that any effort, however small, to 
the end of reducing this mortality is undesirable. Nobody would suggest 
that the difference between the infant rates in Oxfordshire and Glamorgan- 
shire {7Z and 154 per 1,000 births respectively, in 1908) was wholly due to 
the constitutional superiority of the inhabitants of the former county. The 
"weeding-out" process is not uniform. In the mining districts of South Wales, 
accident, negligence, ignorance and unsanitary surroundings account for 
much. By causing improvements under these heads it may be possible to 
reduce the infant mortality of Glamorganshire by the survival of many who 
are not more unfit than are those who survive in Oxfordshire, and the social 
instincts of the community insist that this should be done. 

This work of Snow's aroused great interest, and soon after its ap- 
pearance was controverted, as it seems to me quite unsuccessfully, by 
Brownlee, Saleeby and others. 

Happily the results of Pearson, Ploetz and Snow on the selective 
death rate have recently been accorded a confirmation and extension to 
still another group of people — the Dutch — in some as yet unpublished 
inyestigi^ons carried out by Dr. F. S. Crum of the Prudential Life 
Insurance G>mpany, with the assistance of the distinguished mathe- 
matical statistician, Mr. Ame Fisher. By the kind permission of these 
gentlemen I am able to state the general results of these investigations 
in advance of their publication. 

The Dutch Government publishes annually data which undoubtedly 
fumirii the best available material now existing in the world for the 
purpose of determining whether or not there is a positive or negative 
correlation between infant mortality and the mortality in the im- 
mediately subsequent years of life. Fisher's mathematical analysis 
embraces a very large body of material, including nearly a million and 
a half births, and nearly a quarter of a million deaths of males occur- 
ring in the first five years of life. The Holland data make it possible 
to devel(^ life tables for every cc^ort of births and this has been done 
in the 16 cohorts of males during the years 1901-1916. The data also 
make it possible to work up these life tables for urban areas and for 
rural areas. After carefully eliminating secular disturbances the 
Holland material appears to prove quite conclusively for the rural dis- 
tricts that there is a definite negative correlation, of significant 

VOL. xin.-^. 



66 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

magnitude, between infant mortality and the martality in the im- 
mediately subsequent years of life. The only place where positive cor- 
relation appears is in the four large cities of the country with more 
than a hundred thousand inhabitants each. Fisher makes the following 
point (in a letter to the present writer) in explanation of these positive 
correlations. He says: 

The larger cities are better equipped with hospital and clinical facilities 
than the smaller cities and the rural districts. More money is also spent on 
child welfare. Is it therefore not possible that many feeble lives who in the 
course of natural circumstances would have died in the first year of life are 
carried over into the second year of life by means of medical skill? But 
medicine cannot always surpass nature, and it might indeed be possible that 
among cohorts with a low mortality during the first two years of life there 
will be an increase of death rate in the following three years of life. 

Altogether, we may regard the weight of present evidence as 
altogether preponderant in favor of the view tfuxt the death rate of the 
earliest period of life is selective — eliminating the weak and leaving 
the strong. From our present point of view it adds another broad clase 
of evidential material to the proof of the proposition that inheritance is 
one of the strongest elements, if not indeed the dominating factor, in 
determining the duration of life of human beings. 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES «7 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 

By Dr. ALFRED C REED 

Assistant Cunical Professor of Medicine, Stanford Uiniversity 

Medical School, San Francisco 

AMERICAN scientific men Kave been credited with lagging behind 
the progress shown in England and Europe in the domain of 
medicine. Surgery has come fully into its own, in the western hemi- 
sphere. But American medicine too often is held to be engaged solely 
in practising and teaching, and all too little in investigating. Its con* 
tributions to scientific knowledge are held to be meager and unimport- 
ant Among many, one of the finest refutations of this mistaken tlotion 
is discovered in the impetus given by American scientists to our under- 
standing of dietetics and food values, and the use of diet in the preven- 
tion and cure of disease. Strictly speaking, modem medicine has 
relatively little to do with drugs. Webster's definition of medicine is 
best, namely, the prevention, cure and alleviation of disease. 

It has remained for America^ investigators to lead in showing how 
important is the role assumed by diet in the prevention, cure and alle- 
viation of disease. The old dictum, **Feed a cold and starve a fever** has 
been reversed.- Laboratory studies on the basis of exact measurements 
of energy requirements in the body under normal and pathologic condi- 
tions, have demonstrated that in the presence of fever, more energy is 
required, and that, if this additional energy is not furnished in an in- 
creased diet, it mil be secured at the expense of serious inroads on the 
body reserves, and that such inroads result in definite symptoms and in 
abnormal physiologic processes which invariably tend to make the in- 
vading disease more dangerous. 

Our appreciation of dietary requirements for health has advanced 
so that the term, a balanced diet, means considerably more than merely 
the provision of a sufficient energy supply. **Man shall not live by 
bread alone** is equally true of his physiologic mechanism. To-day 
a balanced diet implies of course that the body shall receive a sufficient 
quantity of energy from the food, that there shall be a proper number 
of calories of food energy per unit of body weight. It means a suit- 
able distribution of this total caloric requirement between carbo* 
hydrate, fat and protein. It means also a proper mineral supply of 
inorganic salts. Water is a prime necessity for digestion, absorption 
and for cellular function. Four-fifths of the body weight is water and 
only one-tenth of the water in the body is found in the blood. Hence 
the necessity for sufficient water intake. 



68 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Since the epochal work of Emil Fischer, we now understand some- 
thing still further of the mysteries of protein or nitrogenous metabol- 
ism. In food the protein molecule is extremely large and complex. 
In the process of digestion, through the action of digestive juices and 
enzymes, this molecule is broken down into relatively small units called 
amino acids. In digestion all forms of protein yield these ultimate 
amino acids or building stones. Less than a score of amino acids are 
known, but all proteins are composed of various groupings of two or 
more of these building stones. Thus it is easily understood that for 
repair of body tissue and for growth, there must be a correct selection 
of amino acids. No protein contains all the amino acids and many 
proteins lack certain amino acids which are absolutely essential for 
growth or for maintenance of body cells. Thus in practical dietetics 
it is necessary to do more than secure merely a certain total quantity 
of protein per day. That protein must be so selected, in quantity and 
quality, as to supply the required amino acids or ultimate building 
stones in correct variety and quantity. This explains why proteins of 
cereal or vegetable origin may not entirely substitute with safety for 
proteins of animal origin. 

For some time it was supposed that nutrition consisted solely in the 
absorption and utilization by the body, either for energy or for tissue 
building, of food stu£fs which, according to the preceding description, 
had been adequately prepared through the medium of digestion. These 
food stuffs seemed to have been placed on a level of chemical and me- 
chanical exactitude by the wonderful development of physiological 
chemistry to which reference has been made, and by the classification of 
food into the great divisions of proteins (amino acids), fats, carbo- 
hydrates, minerals and water. The rapidly advancing and changing 
conception of food deficiency diseases has, however, led to and ac- 
companied an extension of the classification of food elements- to in- 
clude certain as yet largely unknown substances, called vitamins, which 
have a definite controlling influence on nutrition, health and growth. 
Imbalance, or lack of some or all of this group, is believed to eventu- 
ate in physiological perversions which proceed to clinical disease. This 
conception parallels the idea of physiologic perversions due to defici- 
ency in the earlier recognized food elements, as observed in starvation, 
or in the results of the body's inability to burn carbo-hydrate in 
diabetes. 

In general food deficiency may be said to act in one of three ways to 
produce a departure from normal health and nutrition. It may result 
simply in mal-nutrition, or better, poor nutrition, from insufficient sup- 
ply of the particular food elements lacking. This form of mal-nutrition 
is automatically more or less compensated for by increased utilization 
of other food elements. Such a compensatory use of other food elements 
occurs least in the case of protein insufficiency. Proteins may be 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 69 

spared in bodily nutrition by increased utilization of carbohydrate and 
fat, and thus the minimum necessary intake of nitrogenous food may 
be lowered, but no other food can actually and entirely replace the 
function of protein. 

In the second place, a deficiency of some food element may cause 
a general disturbance of metabolism. This is illustrated by the condi- 
tion of acid intoxication, or acidosis, which may result from a diet 
excessive in fat and deficient in carbo-hydrate, as seen, for instance in 
certain types of infantile acidosis, and in the dangerous and often fatal 
acidosis of diabetes. In the third place, « food deficiency may pre- 
dispose to secondary factors which are directly responsible for disease. 
Thus a condition of under-nourishment from general deficiency or 
starvation, predisposes to infection. Again deficiency of a particular 
food element may result in a selective mal-nutrition of some organ or 
system of the body, as illustrated in the nerve degenerations of beriberL 

Thus it is evident that the problem of food deficiency is no simple 
one, but that it is complicated by selective results produced in the 
organism, by secondary factors which may become operative in the 
presence of the deficiency, and by obscure inter-relations and balances 
of nutritive equilibrium which easily may be disturbed by a variation 
in the component food elements. Here too must be considered the 
activity of various physiologic factors of safety in the animal body, 
which nature providently furnishes as additional safeguarcb against dis- 
ruption of the delicate and sensitive adjustment necessary for health. 
Such a factor of safety is seen in the mechanism involved in maintain- 
ing proper alkalinity of the blood serum, thus preventing acidosis. 
Another illustration is the detoxifying function of the liver whereby 
various chemical poisons, if they happen to gain access to the blood 
stream, are automatically neutralized. 

Given, then, a dietary constructed with due regard for water, mineral 
salts, carbo-hydrate, fat and protein building stones, one additional fact 
must yet be taken into account to secure a perfectly balanced food sup- 
ply. This final factor has reference to the protein-like substances called 
vitamins, or accessory food substances. At present three types of these 
substances are recognized and a proper proportion of each is requiiPed 
to prevent serious derangement of the metabolism. It is not known 
whether these substances act in the body in a definite constructive 
fashion, entering themselves into the chemistry of metabolic processes, 
vdiether they act as catalytes, stimulating and originating changes in 
other substances but taking no chemical part themselves. 

Two general lines of investigation are responsible for our present 
knowle^e of vitamins. For a considerable time these two lines seemed 
contradictory, but they have gradually converged and afforded per- 
spective and unity to our entire conception. The name ^^vitamin" was 
coined in 1911 by Casimir Funk for a substance occurring in rice 



70 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

polishings and yeast, which appeared to cure neuritis in birds and 
beriberi in man. This line of investigation was based on the earlier 
work of Eijkman in the Dutch East Indies, who, in 1897, had demon- 
strated a multiple neuritis in fowls fed on a polished rice diet and oh* 
served that this neuritis was curable by feeding rice polishings. In 
1907, Eraser and Stanton, American workers in the Philippines, found 
that an alcoholic extract of rice polishings would cure experimental 
neuritis. Eunk found the same to be true for yeast and from an im- 
perfect knowledge of the chemistry of the substance, called it vitamin, 
an amino or basic nitrogenous body necessary for normal life. Thus 

the study of beriberi led to the name and conception of vitamins. 
Hopkins has suggested ''accessory food substances" as a better term, and 
Graham Lusk ''food hormones.** Both suggestions have merit and the 
word vitamin has definite disadvantages, but priority, common usage 
and brevity have established vitamin as the term of choice and so it 
doubtless will remain. 

The second line of investigation developed on the basis of nutri- 
tional studies by McCollum and his associates, by Osborne and Mendel, 
and others, which showed that various foods of approximately similar 
caloric value and total content of fat, carbo-hydrate and protein, ex- 
hibited an enormous variation in their ability to maintain life and 
promote growth. These experiments, in huge numbers, were carried 
out on animals and the results threw brilliant light on the prc^lems of 
the food deficiency diseases as observed clinically in human-kind. It 
was found that certain food stuffs produced results in grovrth and 
nutrition out of all proportion to their quantitative or caloric value. 
Out of a great mass of carefully directed investigation, there crystal- 
lized in 1915 the recognition of two groups of vitamins^ named by Mc- 
Collum *'fat soluble A** and ^water soluble B." More recently evidence 
has accumulated in favor of a third group of vitamins called **water 
soluble C* This C group has to do with the prevention of scurvy. It 
is now possible by specialized chemical procedures to concentrate and 
isolate vitamins of these three groups. 

The exact chemical nature of vitamins is unknown. The exact rela- 
tion of vitamin deficiency is not in all cases clear. We can say, how- 
ever, that growth, beriberi and xerophthalmia are directly related to 
A and B factors. Scurvy seems definitely connected with deficiency of 
the C vitamin. Evidence has accumulated that pellagra belongs with 
the vitamin deficiencies, and then follow a number of less clearly de- 
fined conditions, such as rickets, various forms of infantile and adult 
mal-nutrition, anemia and marasmus. These latter seem to be as- 
sociated with an excess of carbo-hydrate in the diet, together vdth an 
insufficiency of mineral and animal constituents. While many cases 
of eczema now are known to be caused by a skin reaction to certain 
specific proteins of the food, still a large percentage of eczema depends 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 71 

on or is greatly influenced by an excess of fat or carbo-hydrate. The 
last statement applies also to acne or '^pimples". A certain form of 
acid poisoning in babies is caused by excess fat in the diet. To a great 
degree dietary irregularities are responsible for the uric acid abnor- 
malities of gout, and finally no small proportion of cases of constipa- 
tion follow a diet lacking in bulk or in cellulose. 

Again, as has been mentioned, symptoms which had been ascribed 
to certain diseases are found to be due in all probability to defective 
nutrition, again illustrating the relation of food deficiency to disease 
production. For example, diarrhea, delirium . and the so-called 
typhoid state have been considered integral elements of the natural 
history of typhoid fever. However, since the introduction of the high 
calory diet in t3rphoid, these symptoms are usually mild or in abeyance. 
The inference is justifiable that these symptoms are due, not to the 
typhoid infection, but to a food deficiency resulting in mal-nutrition. 
This deficiency is doubtless qualitative as well as quantitative. It will 
be found probably that many symptoms of many diseases are not at all 
pathognomonic of those diseases, but are characteristic of and common 
to some form of unbalanced diet 

There is good reason to believe that the primary cause for the onset 
of many diseases will be found eventually to lie with a dietetic defici- 
ency of some sort. In the case of amebic dysentery, for instance, Mc- 
Girrison in Coonoor, India, found experimentally on monkeys that the 
disease appeared in the presence of a food deficiency where it did not 
develop when the monkeys were well nourished on a balanced diet. 
There is sound judgment in McCarrison's conclusion "emphasizing the 
importance in practice of a study of the dietary history of the case, be- 
lieving as I now do that bacterial agencies are often but weeds which 
flourish in soil made ready for them by dietary defects, and believing 
also that in the fuller comprehension of the science of dietetics we 
shall understand more perfectly the beginning of disease and its 
therapy." 

One further illustration of the vast importance of food deficiency 
in social, economic and health welfare, lies in the situation stressed by 
Dr. Mazyck P. Ravenel, president of the American Public Health As- 
sociation. Dr. Ravenel advocates the cultivation of a wholesome fear 
of those diseases and infections which, while not apt to result in death, 
yet are attended by a high degree of social inefficiency and invalidism. 
Less emphasis on mortality and more emphasis on invalidism figures 
gives a better estimate of the real human seriousness of disease. 
Malaria destroyed Greece and Rome, and malaria has not a high death 
rate. Influenza struck the world vdth shoddng severity, but it left no 
social scar on the race, no aftermath of invalidism and social ineffici- 
ency. Chronic exhaustive diseases like malaria, hookworm, tubercu- 



72 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

losb and syphilis are, i^ter all, the greatest scourges of mankind, and 
their social and economic cost is highest 

In two ways food deficiency is closely related to the considerations 
detailed in the last paragraph. In the first place, the greatest single 
predisposing factor to the development of the chronic exhaustive type 
of disease is food deficiency and mal-nutrition. Secondly, just as in 
the case of specific diseases, the more serious human losses are due to 
invalidism and social inefficiency, so in the realm of nutrition, after all 
is said, the loss from the definite specific deficiency diseases does not 
bulk so great as the huge loss from vague ill-health and more or less 
severe invalidism resulting from unbalanced or insufficient diet In this 
connection are to be noted the nutritional dangers attendant on the in- 
creasing use of food substitutes. Examples of such substitutes are cot- 
ton seed oil for olive oil, or cod liver oil, margarines for butter, and 
the use of milk powders. Food substitutes are very important and may 
be very dangerous on a broad scale. The tendency in America is to 
excessive utilization of meats and sweets, with a subnormal employment 
of vegetables, fruits and dairy products. Such racial, local or indi- 
vidual aberrations of diet are vastly important and to an unbelievable 
degree are concerned ivith a sub-normal status socially, economically 
and in health. From such a sketchy survey it is evident that the science 
of dietetics promises to become ever more important in the treatment 
and prevention of disease, and as essential from the sanitary and public 
health point of view as for the individual man or woman. 

We turn now to that smaller group of diseases which have been 
noted as having a direct relation to vitamin deficiency. While we can 
not state with absolute accuracy the specific element lacking in each 
case, we can assert with complete safety that they are due to an un- 
balanced or faulty diet, and that certain dietary procedures will serve 
adequately to prevent and to cure them. 

Having clearly in mind what is meant by the term vitamin, and in 
spite of the disadvantages of the name, using it in a generic sense, it 
is next in order to consider why there should be clinical differences in 
disease types arising from a common etiology. Why should a vitamin 
deficiency in one case eventuate in beriberi, in another in pellagra and 
in a third in scurvy? While this question can not be fully answered at 
present, certain suggestive hypotheses may be predicated. As already 
explained, there is ground for the belief that vitamins are not unit 
substances, but represent a group chemically related and unstable, 
which may well have certain inter-relations necessary for their physio* 
logic functioning. Thus absence of one type might be associated vdth 
a special clinical syndrome. 

Recalling the three methods in which food deficiency may disturb 
the nutritional status, it is apparent that a vitamin deficiency nuy also 
produce differing clinical results by virtue of secondary factors which 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 78 

may become operative under varying conditions of climate, general 
condition of patient, concurrent infection, age — ^in short, that the effect 
of the vitamin deficiency may be influenced or even determined by all 
manner of extraneous circumstances, whose operation may conceivably 
be initiated or modified by the deficiency. It is not unlikely that the 
general type of caloric food supply used may be of importance, since 
we find for instance that beriberi is most common in rice eaters, and 
that pellagra is usually associated with maize. 

Before discussing the common pathologic features of the deficiency 
diseases and methods of cure and prevention, it may be well to re- 
hearse briefly the clinical picture of scurvy, beriberi and pellagra, with 
some suggestions of the experimental basis for believing them due to a 
food deficiency. 

Scurvy 

Armies and ships have suffered notoriously from scurvy. The name 
suggests the days of early exploration, long voyages and sailing ships. 
Whalers, fishermen, armies, sailors, explorers — ^all have feared and 
fought scurvy. As will be seen, the very circumstances which now are 
best explained as due to a food deficiency, were once considered con- 
clusive proof of the disease being an infection and this view has pre- 
vailed to some extent, as in Russia, for example, almost to the present 
time. Its true nature was apprehended by the British much earlier as 
witnessed by the virtual disappearance of scurvy in the British navy 
since the regular rationing of lime juice b^an in 1795. 

Scurvy is characterized by a pronounced inclination to hemorrhage, 
with soft^ spongy bleeding gums, and hemorrhage under the skin and 
from mucus membranes. Certain bony changes follow and a condition 
of progressive weakness and anemia. In children, hemorrhages are 
more apt to occur under the periosteum causing what is often diag- 
nosed by the mother as "rheumatism of the legs", and characteristic 
skeletal changes are seen. The condition rapidly improves upon the 
addition of anti-scorbutic articles to the diet. Fresh meat and vege- 
tables, especially with limes, lemons, onions, etc., are quickly curative 
except in the extreme stage. 

Comrie has recently detailed his experiences while on duty with' 
British troops in northern Russia in 1919. Scurvy appeared on a large 
scale among prisoners and natives. After several months on a diet 
deficient in protein, vegetables and fresh foods, the disease appeared in 
wholesale fashion. Its effects were doubtless intensified by the crowded 
prisons, general poor surroundings, and the long Arctic night A pur- 
puric rash on the legs usually came first, accompanied by mental de- 
pression, loss of energy and weakness. Bleeding gums, swollen ankles, 
and hemmorrhages into muscles and joints rapidly followed. Pain 
was noticeably present Recovery was rapid vdth correction of the diet 



74 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

alone, and in a month's time the victims showed few sequels of the dis- 
ease. An effective anti-scorbutic was found in germinated peas or 
beans. Preserved lime juice was useless. 

Another striking outbreak of scorbutic disease occurred as reported 
by Siccardi, in Italian troops serving at high altitudes in the Alps. In 
the summer of 1916 these troops suffered from a transient epidemic of 
a hemorrhagic form of scurvy. These hemorrhages were noted among 
those sick of other diseases as well as in men who had no other com* 
plaint The disease was traced to an unbalanced diet, in the presence 
of cold, and ill ventilated under-ground quarters, and it was easily 
controlled by proper diet and rest 

Infantile scurvy is of surprising frequency especially in cities, where 
the widespread use of Pasteurized milk always brings danger of scurvy 
unless corrected by anti-scorbutics. Infantile scurvy is not common in 
the advanced stage characterized by very poor nutrition, '^rheumatism 
of the legs," and bleeding spongy gums. But of surprising frequency, 
especially in cities, is a status of more or less indistinct symptoms as- 
sociated with failure to gain weight and a tendency to hemorrhage, 
especially beneath the skin and mucus membranes, irritability and fret- 
fulness, and sometimes femoral tenderness. Pateurized milk should be 
corrected by the addition to the diet of orange juice. It must be re- 
membered that the advantage of Pasteurization vastly overbalances its 
tendency to produce scurvy, and that this tendency is easily controlled 
by a simple means. 

In the group of deficiency diseases mid-way between scurvy and 
beriberi should be mentioned a peculiar syndrome called ''ship beri- 
beri.** This affection differs from beriberi in its lack of involvement 
of the peripheral nervous system and is related to scurvy by its tendency 
to hemorrhage. The Newfoundland fishermen suffer from a similar 
condition in which a beriberi-like dropsy is associated with sore, bleed- 
ing gums. On the Labrador, the Esquimaux are frequently victims of 
scurvy and beriberi. 

Dr. John M. Little, writing from Newfoundland, has described a 
deficiency disease related in causation and also doubtless in path- 
ology, to this group. It is knovm among the natives as kallak. Com- 
menting on the need for proper vitamin content in the diet. Dr. Little 
states that it is largely unknown as to where the Esquimaux get the 
necessary ingredients for a balanced diet outside of meat. The meat 
supply comes from seals, caribou, birds and fish. In good seasons 
berries too, are abundant, and when frozen, keep well. Dr. Little points 
out a possible source of carbo-hydrate supply when either civilized 
foods are not to be had, or when there is a failure of the berry crop. 
He says that the great feast of the Esquimaux consists of a thick soup 
made of the blood and stomach contents of the caribou. The caribou 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 75 

eats coarse vegetable matter such as lichens, moss, tree bark and small 
twigs, leaves and shoots, which are entirely unsuitable for the human 
stomach. The powerful digestive juices of the animal's stomach con« 
vert this coarse v^etable mass into forms which in turn can be acted 
upon by the more delicate digestive mechanism of man, and thus 
rendered assimilable. Thus is there secured the requisite vitamin sup- 
ply from fresh vegetable sources. 

Kallak appears on the Labrador in endemic form when there is 
a deficiency especially of seal meat and berries, resulting probably 
in a deficiency of the fat-soluble type of vitamins. It is in turn pre^ 
vented and cured by an abundance of seal meat and berries. It shows 
itself in successive crops of a pustular erruption with intense itching. 
The disease tends to recovery as soon as a balanced diet is procured. 
Dr. Darling has described another variant of scurvy in the South Afri- 
can Rand, which has certain features approximating beriberL 

Beriberi 

Beriberi is a disease of antiquity known and described in ancient 
Qiina, and recorded as having attacked a Roman Army in Arabia be- 
fore the Christian era. It is pre-eminently a disease of the Orient and 
Pacific islands, although now vddespread in Africa and South 
America, and not infrequently reported from other countries. It is 
not unknown in San Francisco and other parts of the United States. 
Its common association with a predominant rice diet does not always 
hold true. An instance of this is afforded by Draper, who in 1916 re- 
counted nine early cases in a crew of fourteen men on a Norwegian 
bark touching at St Hel^ia. Here the victims had eaten sparingly of 
rice and had an abundance of fresh vegetables. An evidently beriberic 
diet was not demonstrable. Such instances lend credence to the 
parasitic theory of causation, held especially by certain English writers. 
For example, one of the most competent sanitarians in the Far East, 
Dr. Arthur Stanley, health officer of Shanghai, wrote in his 1914 report, 
'Tlie cause of this disease (beriberi) remains under close observation, 
thouj^ up to the present wrapped in obscurity. The evidence prepon- 
derates in favor of the disease being an infectious one, having no direct 
relation to food but infective through body vermin.'' This view, how- 
ever, is not tenable in relation to the American and Dutch results in 
the Philippines and East Indies. 

Beriberi can now be classified accurately as a food deficiency dis- 
ease caused by a lack of neuritis-preventing vitamin, water soluble B, 
in the food. Its occurrence in rice-eaters is associated with the use of 
polished rice, where the pericarp is removed from the grain. In this 
pericarp is the vitamin. The pericarp also contains an important 
fraction of phosphorus and the relative quantity of vitamin present 
can be measured by the quantity of phosphorus. Less than 0.4 per 



76 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

coit of phosphorus pentoxide indicates a dangerous vitamin deficiency, 
if rice is the chief article of diet. 

Beriberi is essentially a disease of the nervous system and shows 
itself in poly-neuritis, accompanied by an edema especially of the 
lower extremities and a weakened heart. This last is an important 
differential point, and the extreme tendency to cardiac failure is most 
serious. The disease may be acute and fatal vrithin a few days or it 
may pursue a chronic course. The term beriberi, includes a large and 
more or less ill-defined group of diseases which have not yet been 
carefully separated. There are various types and all degrees of inten- 
sity, now one and now another symptom outstanding. Many forms 
are on the borderline of scurvy and may represent a combined de- 
ficiency. If the neuritis and nerve damage are sufficiently extensive, 
there may be a residual paralysis which long outlasts the original dis- 
ease. Beriberi is often of importance in its incipient or larval form, 
because it predisposes to other diseases and in turn, larval beriberi 
may suddenly fulminate under the excitation of some other acute dis- 
order. Thus beriberi is remarkably frequent in association with acute 
dysentery. It is interesting to note that beriberi is almost unique among 
tropical diseases in having no features of laboratory importance. The 
diagnosis rests solely on clinical data and the laboratory findings are 
entirely negative or normal. 

Pellagra 

Pellagra is an endemic disease of modem history. It is not defi- 
nitely known to have been recognized earlier than the 18th century, 
when it was described in Italy and Spain as of rather wide distribution. 
From the first reports in Italy it has been ascribed to a maize dietary. 
It was early identified with ^^Alpine scurvy". The disease was recog- 
nized in Egypt in the first half of the nineteenth century, and since 
then in France and other parts of Europe. It was first described in 
the United States in 1907 but had undoubtedly existed there for an 
indefinite time preceding. It is estimated that there are 125,000 cases 
in the United States at present According to Goldberger of the U. S. 
Public Health Service, who, with his associates has studied the disease 
exhaustively, it is one of the foremost causes of death in the southern 
states, in 1916 ranking fourth in Mississippi, third in Alabama, second 
in South Carolina. Not only this, but it is responsible for an un- 
guessed total of sickness and physical inefficiency in addition. Its 
actual death rate is about 5 per cent. The relative infrequency of 
pellagra outside the endemic area in the United States will probably 
be found related to the dietary deficiency which we believe is its cause. 

Tlie incidence of pellagra has a close relationship to economic cir« 
cumstances and living conditions. High food costs and hard times 
lead to poor sanitary and unhygienic living conditions, which as al* 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 77 

ways, reach their climax where housing and sanitary knowledge are 
meager. This tends to enforce a dietary favorable to the development 
of pellagra especially in the south where coruy fat pork and certain 
types of vegetable food, are associated with a dearth of lean fresh 
meat, milk, eggs and green fresh vegetables. Following the economic 
conditions of 1914, the incidence of pellagra rose in 1915, again to 
decline as conditions improved a year later. Again in 1917 an in- 
crease was observed, due to like causes, and accurately foretold by the 
scientists of the Public Health Service. 

The symptoms of pellagra are in three groups, appearing re- 
spectively in the skin, gastro-intestinal tract and nervous system. 
Pellagra, or ^Vough skin," derives its name from an early observation 
of the skin. Roughened, dry patches of erythema, often superficially 
similar to sunburn, and symmetrically located, are the characteristic 
lesions. These areas usually are on surfaces exposed to the sun, but 
not necessarily so. Tlie second major group of symptoms arises from 
the gastro-intestinal tract, and includes various forms of indigestion, 
diarrhea, increased acidity of the stomach, and sore mouth. The 
mouth condition, in fact, is suggestive of sprue. Again, the tender 
bleeding gums are suspicious of scurvy, and represent a relationship 
to that disease as well as explaining the old name of *'Alpine scurvy**. 
The third major group of symptoms is referable to the nervous system. 
Fortunately not all cases of pellagra progress to insanity. But from 
the first a neurasthenic condition is present to which are added grad- 
ually various paresthesias, changes in reflexes, suicidal attempts, 
tremors, and, in the final stages, a confusional insanity. 

All of these symptoms show a remarkable vernal periodicity, ad- 
vancing in the springtime and receding toward autumn and winter. 
Not infrequently for several years the only symptoms noted will appear 
in the spring and not be related to each other by the patient. Fever 
is not present typically, except late in the disease and probably repre- 
sents intercurrent infection due to the weakened organism. The out- 
look in pellagra is very dark unless the patient can be subjected to 
proper dietary treatment. Under such proper conditions, improve- 
ment and cure ensue even in advanced cases. Treatment cannot repair, 
of course, broken down tissues or remove organic changes in the brain 
and elsewhere. 

Other Deficiency Diseases 



As has been pointed out, there is a heterogeneous group of 
and overlapping clinical conditions caused by deficiency of vitamin 
supply. One of the most definite of these is xerophthalmia, in which 
failing -vision and blindness are produced by increasing opacity of the 
cornea.- H. Gideon Wells has described the occurrence of xeroph- 
thalmia on a large scale among the famine sufferers of Roumania 



78 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

where it was promptly relieved by the administration of cod liver oil. 
The malady is evidently due to deficiency of the fat soluble A vitamin. 
Another and perhaps less clearly defined disorder is war edema, war 
dropsy, famine edema, or perhaps best, in the words of Wells, "nu- 
tritional dropsy". It was observed on a huge scale among prisoners 
of war in Germany and rather in those who were compelled to work 
while undernourished than among those who were merely underfed. 
Decreased protein and caloric intake are associated. It was frequent- 
ly seen in conjunction with xerophthalmia. Another affection, similar 
in some points to beriberi and again to war edema, was reported from 
northern Africa during the Great War. This nutritional edema is 
probably identical with the dropsy occurring in infants fed for long 
periods on a highly carbonaceous diet. 

It has been suggested that, succeeding an obvious state of mal- 
nutrition in infantile life, there may appear some disorder in later 
life with no apparent relation to the causal mal-nutrition. As an ex- 
ample of this, indications are cited that dental caries is produced by a 
deficiency in early life of a vitamin similar to fat soluble A« More 
recently most interesting experiments have been conducted by W. G. 
Karr, who finds a striking relation between the presence of water 
soluble B vitamin and appetite. This appetite-provoking vitamin is 
found in abundance in tomatoes and brewers' yeast 

Comparative Pathology 

The beriberi-scurvy group of deficiency diseases exhibit a striking 
relationship in morbid anatomy. Darling working in the Canal Zone 
in 1915, graphically portrayed this relation in a chart of overlapping 
circles whose centers were arranged in a straight line. The chief 
pathologic findings were grouped in a series along the straight line, 
ranging from palsy, through dropsy, cardiac weakness and degenera- 
tion, nerve degenerations, spongy gums, hemorrhages, bone lesions, 
to the lesions at bone ends which are so notable a feature of rickets 
and often of scurvy. The overlapping circles each of which embraced 
several of the pathologic series, began with classical beriberi and 
ranged through ship beriberi, scurvy, guinea pig scurvy, and infant 
scurvy to rickets. 

There is little doubt that beriberi is a disease group and not a fixed 
disease entity. The same is unquestionably true of scurvy and doubtless 
the other food deficiency diseases will eventually appear as types, 
varying with the relative imbalance of vitamins, and modified by other 
nutritional and environmental factors. As has been indicated, scurvy 
and beriberi have many points of pathologic similarity. Among these 
are especially to be noted the nerve degenerations and enlargement of 
the right heart. Pellagra differs somewhat in having a triple complex 
in pathology and symptoms, involving nervous system, gastro-intes- 



VITAMINS AND FOOD DEFICIENCY DISEASES 79 

tinal tract and skin. It is of interest that scurvy often shows a red- 
dened, roughened skin. The deficiency diseases are characteristically 
afebrile. 

It is known that after eating buckwheat, many persons suffer from 
a severe dermatitis on exposing the skin to bright light A similar 
explanation has been offered very plausibly for the rash in pellagra. 
It has been suggested, too, that the mental complex in pellagra is in- 
duoed by bright light in a nervous system predisposed by a nutritional 
deficiency. The role of light, or actinic energy, in the causation and 
treatment of skin rashes, even in the acute infectious diseases such as 
smallpox, and scarlatina, is but poorly understood. 

Darling found that in Rand scurvy, occurring with great frequency 
in South Africa and Rhodesia, there was a striking eccentric hyper- 
trophy of the right heart, along with severe degenerations of the vagus 
nerve. Hess has noted the frequency of dilated right heart in infantile 
scurvy. There is often also associated a cardio-respiratory disturb- 
ance which still further illustrates the involvement of the nervous sys^ 
tem. Such findings indicate a close relation between scurvy and thet 
beriberi group. Darling calls attention to the contrast between beri« 
beri as a neuro-cachexia, and rickets as an osteo-cachexia. 

Vitamins and Diet 

Tlie fat soluble vitamins are found abundantly in butter, eggyolk 
and cod liver oil. The water soluble vitamins are found in yeast, and 
in many green vegetables and whole grains. There is reason for be- 
lieving that vitamins can not be constructed either by animals or by 
plants, but that they are a product of bacterial action. Their presence 
is necessary for the growth of yeast and the rate of yeast growth has 
been used as a measure of the quantity of vitamins present in food 
substances. Vitamins are destroyed by heat, either excessive or of 
moderate intensity but long continued. 

An interesting study of vitamins in bread was made by Voegtlin, 
Sullivan and Myers, of the U. S. Public Health Service, in connection 
with investigations on pellagra. They were impressed with the marked 
reduction in two decades of the vitamin content in the dietary 
of the population studied (Spartanburg county, South Caro- 
lina). They ascribed this reduction to three causes. First, reduction 
in usage of vitamin-rich foods such as fresh meats, eggs and milk, due 
to advancing cost. Second, increased use of highly milled cereals, 
made from wheat and com, in which the vitamin-ridi pericarp, husk 
and kernel arc largely removed. Third, the increased use of baking 
soda in bread-making. The danger from soda lies in the fact that 
too often it is used to raise bread in place of yeast, and is not neutral- 
ized by acid as with sour milk. The soda apparently destroys the 
vitamin of the grain and this increases the deficiency of the excessively 



80 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

milled grain. The use of soda to soften beans and other foods in 
cookery, has an equally destructive result. 

It is evident that the use of highly milled grains is to be condemned. 
The extensive utilization of whole grain products during the war was a 
most beneficial modification of our national dietary, and should be 
continued. Its benefits pertain to the stimulating effect on the teeth, 
the avoidance of a concentrated and costive diet, and the provision of 
more vitamins. 

Under ordinary circumstances no particular attention is required 
to the practical details of securing sufficient vitamin content in the 
dietary of the average individual in this country. But in the endemic 
pellagra district, or where for any reason a varied supply of fresh 
foods is not to be had, the securing of the necessary vitamins becomes 
a matter of concern. Such a diet should include yeast bread made 
from the whole grain. If rice is used to any considerable extent, it 
should be undermilled, with a high phosphorus fraction. At least 
once weekly, legumes such as beans or peas should be served. Fresh 
fruit and vegetables should appear several times a week. Barley 
is especially desirable and should be added to all soups. Yellow or 
water ground commeal is preferable to the white variety. White pota- 
toes and fresh meat also should be included at least weekly, and better 
once daily. So far as possible canned food should be discarded. 

It may not be amiss to warn against conunercial preparations of 
vitamins. which are beginning to appear on the market. Under ordi> 
nary circumstances of life there is no need for such preparations. It 
is questionable whether any circumstances at present justify their use. 
Further than this, the chemical instability of vitamins makes it diffi- 
cult to say under what conditions of preparation and preservation, 
their potency will be maintained. Tlien, too, since there is no approved 
method of standardization of vitamins, there is consequently no check 
on adulteration of conunercial preparations. It seems probable that 
the appearance of vitamin preparations on the market, coupled with 
the present scientific and popular interest in the subject, will lead to 
an exuberant advertising campaign parallel to the exploitation of 
starch-free foods for diabetics. Among these latter, a small minority 
alone are found on analysis to be what they claim. 

Conclusion 

In summary, a new and important chapter is being written in our 
knowledge of nutrition, and to the classical requirements for a bal- 
anced dietary, has been added the requirement of a group of sub- 
stances called vitamins. Vitamins are essential for growth, main- 
tenance and reproduction of the human body, and lack of them leads 
to definite disease on a basis of mal-nutrition. 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



R HAULING NETS 

in the Great Lakes, and commerce must always depend on science 
for the exploration, conservation and improvement of its re- 
sources. The fisheries of the Great Lakes bring in more than ten mil- 
lion dollars each year and the chief contributors are Lake Erie and 
Lake Michigan.' 

The men who fish in the Great Lakes have the picturesquene&s 
which is characteristic of deep water fishermen the world over. The 
danger and uncertamty of "open water" fishing give it the touch of 
romance that attracts bold spirita who like to take chance«. The life is 
hard, but it may, and usually does, give rich rewards to those who fol- 
low it with industry, courage, and common sense. Fishermen are often 
"rough on the outside", but thsir life and training make them honest, 
independent and usually more thoughtfully courteous than those who 
have acquired "polish" in drawing rooms. One who has fished for a 
livelihood seldom goes back to the humdrum of a safe life on land. 
To give some idea of what a fisherman does each day on Lake Mich- 
igan the following description of a trip that the writer took as a guest 
on board the "Albert C. KaJmbach" is given: , 

On July 26 1 got up at half past four and made my way through the 
deserted streets of Sturgeon Bay to the dock. A brisk wind was blow- 
ing in from Green Bay and the sky was overcast. Frank Higgitis and 
his partner. Bill, were alrady loading boxes on board the "Albert C." 
when I arrived, "Boxes" are really trays and each holds about 1,600 

lAccnrdinR to ihc latest Report of Ihe Unileii Slates Bureau of Fisheries 
the value of the fisheries in these iwo lakes for the year igij was $443-J.767 
and $4,038.9^7 respectively. 



FISH/XC; !-\ LAKE MICHIGAS 83 

lineal feet of gill net This morning the "boys" were loading "small 
mesh" nets, for they were going out after chubs and bloaters in the 
deepest part of Lake Michigan. As they worked I looked over the boat. 
The "Albeit C." had been in the water lees than two months and was a 
fine example of the type of boat now in growing favor with lake 
fishermen. Years ago fishing tugs were in common use. But tugs are 
expensive to maintain and, as fishermen to man them grow harder to 
find, they are graduaJly being superceded by little gasoline boats. The 
"Albert C." measured forty-five feet in length and had twelve feet of 
beam. In the center of her cabin was a ^h'"'"E new two-cylinder 
KaUenbei^ engine which coet $2,500 and would delight the heart of 
any fisherman — a heavy duty engine; not speedy, but to be relied upon 
in a stonn. Except for the little platform forward for the man at 
the wfaed, the remainder of the cabin was devoted to fi^ng tackle. 
Oilskins and coiled lines hung on the walls and boxes of nets were piled 
on the floor aft. A gasoline hoist for hauling the nets occupied the 
space on the left side of the cabin forward. 

As soon as the boxes were stowed Bill lighted the torches at the 
tops of the cylinders. When "she" was hot he "turned her over" and 
we started. We backed out of the slip just after five o'clock, went under 
the bridge, and set our course toward the head of Sturgeon Bay. A 
dirty fishing>boat named "White Swan" tried to race us, but Bill "let 
her out a notch" and we soon left the upstart behind. 

"Ain't that an engine?" said Bill. 

At a quarter of six we passed the lighthouse and were on Lake 
Michigan. A noisy flock of herring gulls greeted us. These birds fol- 



M THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

lowed the boat all day, continually on the alert for fish or Bcraps. For 
nearly two hours Frank ran "NNE". It began to rain, the wind fresh- 
ened and stirred up the lake. Toward ten o'clock, when we were about 
twelve miles offshore, Frank sang out: 

"There's one'," 

I peered in the direction he indicated but could see nothing. As 
we came close, however, I made out a couple of tattered squares of 
canvas waving from a pole which projected from the top of a wooden 



I— SETTING NETS OFF THE STEM OF THE BOAT 
—A TKOUT JUST OUT OF THE WATER 
:— A LAKE TROUT 



FISHING IN LAKE MICHIGAN 85 

buoy. The boys put on their oilskins. As the buoy came alongside 
Frank tried to haul it in, but the waves were too much for him, and 
he missed it. We circled around and, approaching from a little better 
angle, the buoy came on board. Bill quickly started the hoist, and 
Frank threw the line that had been fastened to the buoy over it. The 
way the little fingers on the hoisting wheel handle lines and nets is 
almost uncanny. The wheel is horizontal and as it revolves the fingers 
around its margin take hold on one side and let go on the other. 
When a line is placed over the wheel it is grasped and pulled across 
from one side to the other. In this way the line came into the cabin 
and brought up a "string'' of nets from the bottom. 

The nets that we pulled had been set for seven days at depths of 
sixty-five to eighty fathoms. All of them were tied together in ''strings" 
of four boxes each. A line leading up to a flag buoy was attached at 
each end of a string. Gill nets stand up from the bottom like a tennis 
net ; weighted along the lower side with leads and stretched by the pull 
of corks along the upper side. Fishes swim into the meshes while mov- 
ing along near the bottom and become entangled. Most of those 
brou^t up in the nets are still alive. The deeper waters of lakes are 
usually cold and fishes may live for a long time after being caus;ht. 

Bill stood by the port where the lines and nets came in and kept 
them running smoothly around the hoisting wheel. Frank dextrously 
took the fishes from the net, using a short awl in order to save his 
fingers from pricks and cuts. He also extracted cinders and twigs 
from the net before coiling it down in the box in front of him. 

By half past twelve twenty boxes had been hauled and nets from 
the same number reset ofi* the stern of the boat. The catch consisted 
of about 500 lake trout, 200 bloaters, 150 chubs, 12 lawyers, 2 black- 
fins, and 5 ugly little cottids, which the fishermen call ''stonerollers". 
The lawyers, stonerollers, and a few of the other fishes were thrown 
back into the lake — ^to the great delight of the gulls. 

I ate my lunch at eleven o'clock, but Frank and Bill did not get 
theirs until all the nets were set. On the way home Bill ran the boat, 
while Frank cleaned the catch. Frank performed his work with re- 
markable speed. Catching up a fish by its head*, he laid it on a board; 
one movement with the knife removed the gills, another slashed open 
the ventral wall of the body, and a third threw out the visceral organs. 
At 3:10 P. M. we were back at the dock with the catch of the day 
cleaned and the cabin floor scrubbed. 

I was glad to go on shore and rest, having lost my lurch in the 
lake, but the crew still had two or three hours work ahead. The nets 
had to be boiled, to keep them from rotting, and then spread on reels 
to dry. After that the nets to be set on the following day were to be 
wound off the reels into boxes. While the boat crew were looking 
after the nets, the men in the fish market sorted the fish and put them 
on ice. 



86 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Kalmbach's fish market, in Sturgeon Bay, U an interesting place. 
It is well equipped to care for all sorts of lake fishes and does both 
wholesale and retail business. The owner operates three boats wbich 
fiith on a co-operative basis, the owner furnishing nets and boats and 
the crew getting a certain percentage of the catch. At the market fishes 
from pound nets are bought, mostly sheepshead and perch, and line 
fishemien bring in a number of pickerel each day. The retail depart- 
ments sells fish to all who will buy — tattered urchins, pretty girls, 
hotel managers', dames in silken gowns con:e for fresh fish. Behind 
the market are three modern smoke houses where delectable chubs are 
prepared. 



^— FISH1>C BOAT AT THE LOCK 

S -UNLOAOINC BOXES OF LAKE FISH 

C— BOaiNC NETS TO KEEP THEM FROM ROTTING 



FISHIXG IX LAKE MICHIGAX 87 

According to the Report of the United States Commissioner of 
Fisheries for 1918 the value of the equipment used for fishing in Lake 
Michigan in 1917 amounted to $4,038,927. This amount includes boats, 
nets, traps, lines, shore property, and the cash capital necessary for 
operation. The returns from the fisheries amounted to $2,270,859 — 
a very fair amount for the capital invested. The fishes furnishing this 
revenue were as follows: 

Fish. Pounds Value. 

Trout, fresh 8,679,845 $856,228.00 

Trout, salted 12,820 259.00 

Ciscoes (chubs, bloaters, etc.), fresh 1 5.341 .588 708.038.00 

Ciscoes, salted and smoked 2,917,766 139,344.00 

\vhitelish, fresh 3,i45,78o 327.991.00 

Whitefish, salted 28,048 2,174.00 

Perch, fresli 2,361,071 11641900 

Perch, salted 1,725 81.00 

Suckers, fresh 2,103,163 74,803.00 

Suckers, salted 14,1 10 625.00 

. Wall-eyed pike 132,024 18,445.00 

Carp 246,503 7,500.00 

Catfish and bullheads 164,466 6,627.00 

Pickerel 40,597 3,375-00 

Sturgeon, Caviar 346 904.00 

Sturgeon 10,805 2,517.00 

Crawfish 80,495 4.42700 

Lawyer 166,785 i,436.oo 

Rock hass 1,714 i37-00 

Buffalo 1,290 56.00 

During 1917 the Great Lakes as a whole yielded 86,416,477 on a 
total investment of $10,732,879. In Lake Michigan fourteen-fifteenths 
of the product of the fisheries came from the species which were 
caught in deep water. In Lake Erie, which is shallower, more than 
half the value of the fisheries also came from deep water. These lakes 
are in marked contrast to those in the course of the Mississippi River 
(Lake Pepin, Lake Keokuk)^ where practically all the revenue comes 
from shallow water fishes — carp, buffalo, dogfish, catfishes, sheeps- 
head, etc. 

The fishes in Lake Michigan, which are of most value conmiercially, 
not only live on or near the bottom in deep water, but secure their 
food there. The soft bottom ooze, directly or indirectly, supports many 
detritus-feeding crustaceans (Pontoporeia, Mysis), clams (Sphaeri- 
dae), and insect larvae (mostly those of midges and may flies). The 
ciscoes, which are the most abundant fishes, the little cottids, the long- 
nosed sucker,, and the whitefish feed largely on this bottom fauna. The 
trout and lawyer are primarily fish eaters. All these fishes are true 
deep-water species which have not, in the long period since glacial 
times, migrated to any extent into small inland lakes or into streams. 
They are at home in the cool depths of large lakes — where there is 
always low temperature, great pressure, and little or no light. 

^Annual Report of the United States Commissioner of Fisheries to the 
Secretary of Commerce, pp. 78, 79. 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



nSH ON THE WAY HOUE 

In the shallow waters of Lake Michigan the yellow perch is the 
most abundant species. It is rather omnivorous in its food habits, and 
is at home in a variety of habitats. These characteristics probably ac- 
count for its abundance, but for some reason it does not go into deep 
water. The pickerel and pikes, which are coiomon, are fish eaters. 
The ^eepshead prefers snails to other foods. The other shallow water 
fishes which are of c(»mnercial importance are dependent on aquatic 
vegetation and the small animals which live among plants for food. 
Where vegetation is plentiful, as on swampy shores and at the mouths 
of rivers, they are abundant. 

The ability of any body of water to produce large numbers of 
fishes depends primarily on its food resources. Somewhere in the 
shore veji;etation, or in the microscopic life of the open water, or in 
the soft bottom mud there must be sufficient quantity to permit many 
fishes to maintain themselves from day to day. In Lake Michigui the 
great bnllc of the fish food is in or near the hoRom mud. Lake Erie 
with its larger area of shallow water has a different ratio of food re- 
sources and supports more shore fishes. 

Lake Pepin, which is really not a true lake, but an expansion of the 
Mississippi River, has quite different food resources for fishes. The 
temperature of this lake is rather uniform at all depths end varies 
markedly with the seasons. The bottom shifts continually and does 
not support an abundant fauna, lliere are none of the deep water 



FISHJNG IN LAKE MICHIGAN » 

fiflhea of lakes beie, but many species peculiar to rivers— spoonbill, 
redh<»aes, qnillbacks, sand sturgeon, etc. The fishes in Lake Pepin 
{eed more on the microscopic organisms in the water and the foods 
dependent on aquatic vegetation than those in Lake Michigan. This 
means that the food resources for the fishes that man makes commer- 
<asl use of are not in Lake Pepin (or in the Mississippi River) itself 
but along the shores and in the tributary swamps and lakes. A river 
u a hi^way to feeding grounds in lakes, swamps, or other habitats 
mben fish foods are abundant and many fishes pass through it. The 
open water of a large river contains food for fishes as microscopic 
plankton organisms which float in the water, but its bottom is rather 
barren. The plankton is derived largely from swamps, ponds, shores, 
and is not developed in quantity in open water. 

He problems relating to conservation of the food resources of the 
fishes which have commercial value are not the same in Lake Pepin 
and Lake Michigan. Because the former resembles a river in being 
largely dependent on is tributary lakes and swamps for Food, it has 
a more precarious food supply. Rainfall controls the height of its 
water and the availability of its food resources. If the swamps along 
the Mississippi are ever filled or drained to further agriculture, the 
fisheries must suffer. If the access of fishes to tributary lakes is cut 
off by dams, or if the value of the river as a highway is destroyed by 
the presence of the wastes of commerce in the water, fishes must de- 
crease in numbers. The continued success of the fisheries of the 
Mississippi depends largely on the conservation of the habitats tribu> 
tary to the river itself. The fisheries in Lake Michigan have greater 
hope of contiiiued stability because the food resources of the commer- 



KALMBACHS FISH MARKET 



W THE SCIESTIFIC MONTHLY 

cial fishes are in deep water, where they are less likely to be depleted 
or destroyed l>y civilization. 

The quantity of food available limiu the number of fishes that 
can exist in a given volume of natural water, but whether fishes grow 
to large size is dependent on other factors. Stagnation or continued 
movement of the water may make it impossible for fishes to take ad- 
vantage of foods which might otherwise be available. Parasites may 
be so abundant as to kill fishes or impede their growth. To state the 
case briefly — the number of fishes that may exist depends largely on 
food resources, but ability of fishes to grow to large size depends on 
the opportunities they have to live a healthy, normal life and grow. 
In this connection true lake habitals appear to have the advantage over 
those of rivers In their stability. The bottom and the deep water of 
Lake Michigan are dependable; they can be counted on to furnish about 
the same amount of food each year and to offer safe retreats. The 
food for fishes in Lake Pepin depends on rainfall and varies in difi'er- 
mt years. The variation In the height of the water also makes condi- 
tions for breeding and shelter uncertain. 

The inland fisheries of the United States constitute great natural 
resources which ought to be as carefully and as scientifically conserved 
as farm lands, forests or water power. Yet in proportion to their value, 
they have received comparatively little attention. There are stations 
for hatching eggs, and cars for distributing young fishes for stocking 
inland waters. There are several well-equipped stations for the inves- 
tigation of problems relating to marine fisheries. For fresh-water 
there is only one station where scientific work concerned with fisheries 
is undertaken — on the Mississippi River at Fairport, Iowa. This paper 
attempts to point out that the fundamental problems relating to the 
conservation of lake fishes are different from dioee in rivers. 



3 BOATS ALL DAY LONG 



THE PROGRESS OP SCIESCE 



91 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



THE UTILIZATION AND COX- 

SERVATIOX OF THE NATURAL 

RESOURCES OF THE UNITED 

STATES 

No part of the world is more richly 
endowed by nature with all that is 
necessary for the building of a great 
nation than the United States; where 
have these natural resources been 
used in a more wasteful and prodigal 
manner? Our nation has prospered, 
but at the expense of a much larger 
consumption and loss of its resources 
than was necessary, and we are now 
actually confronted with the question 
as to how long that which remains 
will avail to maintain us. Our civili- 
zation is as dependent on power, 
light, heat, metals, lumber and other 
material supplies, as it is on the air 
we breathe, and, if it is to endure, 
we must quickly recognize that the 
utilization of these necessities must 
be based upon the greatest economy 
compatible with effectiveness. 

Reared in the midst of national 
abundance, the idea has become a mat- 
ter of common expression that when 
our present resources are gone 
"something else will be found to take 
their place," or that because we have 
not as yet suffered for the want of 
any of them, the time will never come 
when the nation will suffer in conse- 
quence of our past and present prodi- 
gality. But whatever may be the ad- 
vances of applied science, the re- 
sources that nature supplies will al- 
ways be needed. 

The natural wealth that we have 
inherited from the past is far from 
inexhaustible, and for this generation 
to pass away leaving a depleted herit- 
age for those to come, with which to 
maintain and advance the civilization 
that we have here developed, would 
be a folly and a grievous iniquity. 

Much that is called development is 



really destructive exploitation; much 
that we call production is really con- 
sumption; much that we call utiliza- 
tion is merely the sacrifice for small 
immediate profits of things that will 
be badly needed in the future. Nature 
has been so lavish with us that we 
have not felt the necessity of looking 
at these facts in their true light, but 
our nation and our civilization must 
have a future as well as a past. 

It seems, therefore, to be an im- 
portant duty of scientific men to dis- 
seminate information and instruction 
as to the real condition of our natural 
resources; to warn the nation where 
danger of exhaustion lies, and in the 
light of the best scientific and prac- 
tical knowledge that we now possess, 
and through new researches directed 
to this end, to teach the ways in 
which our resources may best be 
maintained. These great economic 
problems are so involved with indus- 
trial, financial and political questions 
that little direct influence can be ex- 
erted without a loog educational cam- 
paign. This will in time bear fruit, 
but the longer the time that will be 
required, the more important is an 
immediate beginning. Exact scientific 
knowledge alone can guide in this 
large field, but even science can not 
take care of industrial waste. Such 
correction can be made only by an 
enlightened moral sense. 

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 
ON NATURAL RESOURCES 

At the instance of the National 
Academy of Sciences, a committee of 
that body, and similar committees ap- 
pointed by the American Association 
for the Advancement of Science and 
the National Research Council have 
held two meetings at the American 
Museum of Natural History in New 









JAMES ROWLAND ANCELL 




JoH n „ Piddeil of Y.l. llDi-miiT. Dt. ADitU h.. !».» ;»(.». ri p.relu>1t«T 


•■Id d» of 




nifo-lxlr 





THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



93 



York City, to consider the status, 
utilization and protection of our nat- 
ural resources. This joint board, 
which has been authorized to assume 
the name of the Executive Commit- 
tee on Natural Resources, plans to 
promote the scientifically directed ef- 
fort and education for the most ef- 
ficient and advantageous use of our 
natural resources. 

The committee plans the appoint- 
ment of a paid executive and the nec- 
essary clerical force, with an office in 
Washington. Immediate steps will be 
taken to secure the cooperation of as 
many as possible of the educational 
and scientific institutions of the coun- 
try. The committee will not duplicate 
the work of any existing organiza- 
tion; its purpose is to help them in 
securing better support. In the mat- 
ter of correcting and furthering leg- 
islation that may bear on the subject 
of our natural resources, the commit- 
tee expects to provide the facts and 
information and furnish a broad sci- 
entific basis for State and Federal ac- 
tion, keeping free from specific legis- 
lative problems. 

This Executive Committee on Nat- 
ural Resources lays claim to public 
confidence, as it is composed of sci- 
entific men of standing, representing 
the leading scientific organizations of 
the country. It is hoped that among 
the great body of patriotic and pub- 
lic-spirited citizens, there will be 
many to join in ensuring the initiation 
and maintenance of the work of the 
committee by their moral and finan- 
cial support and encouragement, or 
by personal work for its success. 

The following is the present mem- 
bership of the committee : 

Representing the National Academy 
of Sciences 
John C. Merriam, President, the 
Carnegie Institution of Washington; 
John M. Clarke, Director, New York 
State Museum; J. McKeen Cattell, 
Editor, The Science Press. 

Representing the National Research 
Council 
John C. Merriam, John M. Clarke, 
J. McKeen Cattell, Vernon Kellogg, 



Secretary, National Research Council ; 
C. E. McQung, Director, Zoological 
Laboratory, University of Pennsyl- 
vania. 

Representing the American Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of Sci- 
ence 
John C. Merriam, Henry S. Graves, 
Former Chief, U. S. Forest Service; 
Isaiah Bowman, Director, American 
Geographical Society ; Harrington 
Moore, President, American Ecologi- 
cal Society; V. E. Shelford, Professor 
of Zoology, University of Illinois. 

Chairman, John C. Merriam. 

Vice-chairman, John M. Clarke. 

Secretary, Albert L. Barrows, Na- 
tional Research Council, 1701 Massa- 
chusetts Avenue, Washington, D. C. 

Assistant Secretary, Willard G. Van 
Name, American Museum of Natural 
History, New York, N. Y. 

MME. CURIE'S VISIT TO THE 
UNITED STATES 

The events arranged in honor of 
Mme. Curie have been fully reported, 
but it may be desirable to place them 
in consecutive order for permanent 
record. 

Mme. Curie first visited Smith and 
Vassar colleges. On May 17 she was 
given a luncheon in New York by 
the American Chemical Society, the 
American Electrochemical Society, 
the Chemists Club and American sec- 
tions of the Soci^te de Chimie in- 
dustrielle and the Society of Chemi- 
cal Industry. In the evening a recep.- 
tion in honor of Mme. Curie was 
given at the American Museum of 
Natural History by the New York 
Academy of Sciences and the New 
York Mineralogical Club. 

On Wednesday afternoon the 
American Association of University 
Women welcomed Madame Curie in 
Carnegie Hall. Addresses were made 
by Dr. Florence Sabin, professor of 
histology at the Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity, and Dr. Alice Hamilton, of 
the Harvard Medical School. Presi- 
dent Pendleton, of Wellesley College, 
announced the award to Mme. Curie 
of the special Ellen Richards Re- 
search Prize of $2,000. On Thursday 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



95 



evening, at a dinner given in her 
honor by the National Institute of 
Social Science, the gold medal of the 
society was presented to her. 

The gram of radium valued at 
$120,000, a gift from the women of 
America, was presented to Mme. 
Curie by President Harding on May 
20. M. Jusserand, the French Am- 
bassador, made a brief introduction. 
After the presentation Mme. Curie 
responded as follows: 

I can not express to you the emo- 
tion which fills my heart in this mo- 
ment. You, the chief of this great 
Republic of the United States, honor 
me as no woman has ever been hon- 
ored in America before. The destiny 
of a nation whose women can do 
what your countrywomen do to-day 
through you, Mr. President, is sure 
and safe. It gives me confidence in 
the destiny of democracy. 

I accept this rare gift, Mr. Presi- 
dent, with the hope that I may make 
it serve mankind. I thank your coun- 
trywomen in the name of France. I 
thank them in the name of humanity 
which we all wish so much to make 
happier. I love you all, my American 
friends, very much. 

In the evening at a meeting held 
under the auspices of the U. S. Na- 
tional Museum, Miss Julia Lathrop 
extended to Mme. Curie greetings, 
and Dr. Robert A. Millikan, of the 
University of Chicago, gave an ad- 
dress on radium, describing the re- 
searches that led to its isolation by 
Mme. Curie. On the following day 
Mme. Curie set in motion the 
machinery of the new low tempera- 
ture laboratory of the Bureau of 
Mines, which is dedicated to her. 

The following week Mme. Curie 
visited the laboratories at Pittsburgh 
where was refined the gram of 
radium presented to her. 

Subsequently Mme. Curie visited 
the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone 
Park. Returning to Chicago, the 
Wolcott Gibbs medal was conferred 
on her by the Chicago Section of the 
American Chemical Society, and she 
was entertained by the University of 
Chicago and by the Associated 
Women's Organizations. After a 
visit to Niagara Falls and a reception 



at Buffalo, she proceeded to Boston, 
where among other functions a din- 
ner was given in her honor by the 
American Academy of Arts and Sci- 
ences. Mme. Curie then planned to 
visit New Haven to be present at the 
installation of President Angell on 
June 22. She expected to sail with her 
daughters for France on June 25. 

EXCHANGE OF PROFESSORS 

OF ENGINEERING BETWEEN 

AMERICAN AND FRENCH 

UNIVERSITIES 

There has been for some time a 
regular annual exchange of profes- 
sors between individual universities 
in France and America in regular 
academic fields, such as literature, 
history, law, fine arts, economics, etc., 
but no such exchange in engineering 
or applied science. These subjects 
are taught in France under special 
faculties, not included in existing ex- 
changes with America. Furthermore, 
the French methods of teaching these 
subjects are unlike our American 
methods, for various reasons, based 
on the history, traditions and soci- 
ology of the two countries. The war 
showed the importance of engineer- 
ing in production and distribution, 
and the many ties of friendship 
which bind us to France depend in 
various ways upon applied science. 
It should therefore, be to the mutual 
advantage of France and America to 
become better acquainted with each 
other's ideals and viewpoints, in the 
study and in the teaching of these 
subjects. 

With these purposes in mind, the 
late Dr. R. C. Maclaurin, in 1919, as 
president of the Massachusetts In- 
stitute of Technology, consulted the 
presidents of six universities on or 
near the Atlantic seaboard, as to 
whether they deemed it desirable to 
cooperate in a joint exchange of 
professors with France, on a plan 
definitely outlined. Their replies be- 
ing favorable to the project, a com- 
mittee was appointed, with one mem- 
ber from each of the seven institu- 



« 96 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



tions, to report on the plan, and on 
methods of carrying it into efiFect. 
The . committee met in December, 
191 9, and ratified the cooperative 
plan with some few modifications. 
The present president of the commit- 
tee is Director Russell H. Chitten- 
den, of Yale University, and its sec- 
retary Dean J. B. Whitehead of the 
Johns Hopkins University. 

Since the Institute of International 
Education, in New York, concerns 
itself with the interchange of college 
students and teachers from all parts 
of the world, the committee request- 
ed the director. Dr. Stephen P. Dug- 
gan, to undertake the negotiations 
between the committee and the 
French university administration. The 
French administration responded 
cordially to the offer for the annual 
exchange of a professor. The 
French have selected, for their first 
representative, Professor J. Cavalier, 
rector of the University of Toulouse, 
a well-known authority on metallur- 
gical chemistry, to come to America 
this fall, and to divide his time dur- 
ing the ensuing academic year, among 
the seven cooperating institutions, 
namely, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, 
Johns Hopkins, the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, Pennsyl- 
vania and Yale. 

The American universities have se- 
lected as their outgoing representa- 
tive for the same first year (1921-22), 
Dr. A. E. Kennelly, professor of 
electrical engineering at Harvard 
University and the Massachusetts In- 
stitute of Technology. 



SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 

We record with regret the death 
of Edward Bennett Rosa, chief 
physicist of the Bureau of Standards 



and of Abbott Thayer, the distin- 
guished artist. Readers of this jour- 
nal will remember Dr. Rosa's recent 
article on the economic importance of 
the scientific work of the government 
and Mr. Thayer's articles on protec- 
tive coloration. 

The Royal Society has elected as 
foreign members Dr. Albert Calmette, 
of the Pasteur Institute; Dr. Henri 
Deslandres, of the Paris Observa- 
tory; Professor Albert Einstein, of 
the University of Berlin; Professor 
Albin Haller, of the University of 
Paris; Professor E. B. Wilson, of 
Columbia University, and Professor 
P. Zeeman, of the University of Am- 
sterdam. 

Professor Albert Einstein sailed 
for Liverpool on the Celtic on May 
30. He has since delivered the 
Adamson lecture of the University of 
Manchester and given lectures at 
King's College, London, and other in- 
stitutions. 

A COMMISSION of five engineers has 
been appointed to visit England in 
June to present the John Fritz medal 
to Sir John Hadfield, in recognition 
of his scientific research work. The 
members of the commission are as 
follows: Dr. Ira N. Hollis, president 
of Worcester Polytechnic Institute; 
Charles T. Main, of Boston, repre- 
senting the American Society of Civil 
Engineers ; Col. Arthur S. Dwight, of 
New York, representing the Ameri- 
can Institute of Mining and Metal- 
lurgical Engineers ; Ambrose Swasey, 
of Cleveland, of the John Fritz medal 
award board and the American So- 
ci:ly of Mechanical Engineers, and 
Dr. F. B. Jewett, of New York, of 
tlie American Institute of Electrical 
Engineers. 



VOL. XIII. NO. 2 kV'-**''''^*' AUGUST, 1921 



THE STflENTIFIC 

MONTHLY 



EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL 



CONTENTS 



THE SCIENTIFIC CAREER FOR WOMEN. Dr. Simon Flexner 97 

THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST. Dr. G. Stanley Hall 106 

SWISS GEODESY AND THE UNITED STATES COAST SURVEY. 

Professor Florian Cajori 1 17 

THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY. Professor John Johnston 130 

THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH— EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON THE DURATION 

OF LIFE. Professor Raymond Pearl 144 

ADAPTATIONS AMONG INSECTS OF FIELD AND FOREST. Dr. E. P. Felt— 165 

ft 

STUDIES OF THE OCEAN. H. S. H. the Prince of Monaco 171 

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE: 

The Second International Congress of Eugenics; The Edinburgh Meeting of 
the British Association for the Advancement of Science; Meetings of British 
and American Chemists; Edward Bennett Rosa; Scientific Items 186 



THE SCIENCE PRESS 

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ytrdTVTTY. Today, every walk in life has been divided and 
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cA selection of those recently issued. 

SPACE AND TIME IN CONTEMPORARY PHYSICS 

®7 MORITZ SCHUCK ^t fl30 

An adequate, yet dear account of Einstein's epoch-making theories of relatxvity. 

ON GRAVITATION AND RELATIVITY 

^y Ralph Allen Sampson 90c 

The Halley lecture delivered by the Astronomer Royal for Scotland. 

SOME FAMOUS PROBLEMS OF THE THEORY OF 

NUMBERS 

ajy G. H. Hardy ^1,15 

Inauguiml lecture by the Savilian Ptofcmr of Geometry at OifotnL 

TUTORS UNTO CHRIST 

*By Alfred E. Garvib "^ ^Z25 

An interesting introduction to the study of religions. 

FUNGAL DISEASES OF THE COMMON LARCH 

«7 W. E. HiLBT ^5.65 

An elaborate investigation into larch canker with descriptions of all other known 
tliff— fff of the larch and numerous fine illustrations. 

THE GEOGRAPHY OF PLANTS 

% M. E. Hardy ^3.00 

More advanced than the author's earlier work ^««^«T«'"g fully the conditions in which 
plants flourish and their distcibution throughout the eairth. 

SCHOOLS OF GAUL 

^y Theodore Haarhoff ^5.65 

An important study of Pagan and Christian education in the last century of the 
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THE ELEMENTS OF DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY 

Sy E. O. Tanoock ^1.35 

A simple and attractive description of the heavens calculated to arouse the interest 
of those who know little or nothing of the subject. 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN EUROPEAN THOUGHT 
Edited by F. S. Marvin "fslet ^3.06 

Twelve essays by noted sdiolats tummarizing the work of the leading European 
diinkcrt in the last 6fey years. 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC THEORY 

*By A. N. Mbldrum 70c 

A brief historical sketch attributing to William Higgins, not John Dalton aa 
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THE SCIENTIFIC 
MONTHLY 



AUGUST. 1021 



THE SQENTIFIC CAREER FOR WOMEN ' 
By DR. SIMON FLEXNER 

THE ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH 

MAY 18 of this year witnessed a notable public event. A gathering 
of several thousand persons, for the most part college women, 
filling throughout the huge auditorium of Carnegie Hall in New York, 
assembled to do honor to a woman who had added a great new fact 
to science, and that audience was only one of the many that have 
asseonbled during the past few weeks for the same purpose. Following 
as it did so closely on the great war and the homage being paid to 
military and diplomatic leaders of the victorious nations, the occasion 
stands forth by contrast as signalling a new and precious order in 
which the triumphs of the intellect, in this instance as embodied in 
Madame Curie, received a merited recognition and reward. The state- 
ment is often heard that the achievements which society most honors, 
even in times of peace, are not the laborious ones of learning, but 
rather the more spectacular ones of the military profession; and it is 
just this perversion of values which now perhaps more than in any 
previous period is so disheartening. And yet the event just mentioned 
by no means lends support to this common point of view, but may 
rather be locJced upon as affording a new hope and inspiring a new 
courage with which to meet the immeasurably important problems of 
society now pending. 

It is perhaps also permissible to find significance in the fact that 
the recipient of the high honors now being conferred everywhere in 
this country on the discoverer of raditim is a woman. In view of the 
discovery itself and the impetus given by it to physical, chemical, and 
even biological research, it may seem idle to ask the question I have 
so oftoi heard asked whether there exists a scientific career for women. 
But there are without doubt many people who will insist that one such 
achievement, great as it is, can not be taken as setting aside for once 
and all speculation on the subject They may continue to doubt. 

I An address given at the commencement exercises of Bryn Mawr 
College, on June 2, 1921. 
VOL. xiiL— 7. 



98 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

None the less one must admit that Madame Curie's example is a great 
and encouraging one for women. 

The scientific career is not under all circumstances one thing. 
Its opportunities adapt themselves rather to different times and differ- 
ent types of mind. One of Leonardo da Vinci's aphorisms was that 
truth is always the daughter of her period. We readily distinguish 
two main kinds of scientific achievement or discovery so called-— one of 
which is the outgrowth or the efflorescence of a line of investigation 
dealing with things predictable. The result accomplished may be new 
and impoitant, but having been foreshadowed by the march of scien- 
tific events, it lacks essential novelty. For this kind of discovery, 
knowledge— often deep and precise — and method, but not the highest 
talent, are demanded. The other partakes of the accidental rather than 
the incidental; it never comes as a direct, but rather as an unexpected 
result or side issue to some line of inquiry, as something for which 
there is no precedent, and hence it may be easily overlooked. Dis- 
covery in this field is more certainly the mark of that individuality to 
which the designation genius has been applied. Perhaps the qualities 
which distinguish it may be aptly defined under the phrase invented by 
Pasteur (A. the ^^prepared mind," that is, the mind so gifted with 
imaginative insight and so fortified by accurate training as to be alert 
to perceive and quick to seize upon the novel and essential, which is 
turned at once to unexpected uses. It has been well said that **the dis- 
covery which has been pointed to by theory is always one of profound 
interest and importance, but it is usually the close and crown of a long 
and fruitful period; whereas the discovery which comes as a puzzled 
surprise usually marks a fresh epoch and opens a new chapter of 
science." * 

T%e two kinds of adiievement are discernible in ihe work of more 
than one great investigator. Thus Pasteur^s laborious and ingenious 
studies which led first to the overthrow of the doctrine of the spootane* 
ous generation of life, and then by way of the all important demonstra- 
tion of the biological nature of the processes of fermentation and putre- 
faction to the secure founding of the germ origin of infectious disease, 
may be considered as having been previously foreshadowed; while his 
epochal discoveries in crystallography and in the domain of immunity 
were as c)early the harvests of the exceptionally brilliant and prepared 
mmd. 

The history of science contains not a few instances in which the 
line of investigation being carried on at a particular juncture by the 
master exerts a strong, often indelible and pennanently directive im- 
pression upon a pupil. Thus, for example, the life work of Professor 
Theodore Richards in this country, which has corrected and re- 

I Lodj|e, Oliver, Becqtterel Memorial Lecture, Journal of the Giemical 
Society. Transactions 1912, V. 101, II, p. 2005. 



THE SCIENTIFIC CAREER FOR WOMEN 99 

established the atomic weights of certain elements and for which he 
has received the highest honors in science, was b^un under his first 
professor of chemistry. In like manner Pasteur became imbued with 
his master Delafosse's enthusiasm for crystal structure, considered with 
reference to the relation of atoms to the rotatory power upon a beam 
of polarized light. Hence when Pasteur obtained his first position 
of ^'preparateur*' to the professor of chemistry, he set himself the task 
of studying crystal forms and by good chance chose the tartrates in 
which the phenomena he was seeking appear in the simplest form. Had 
he chosen other crystals, he would have had to search much longer to 
find Ae particular appearances so clear in them, but that in the end 
he would have succeeded may be assumed. What was constantly in 
Pasteur's mind at this early period was the correlation between a par- 
ticular crystalline form called hemihedrism and rotatory power. This 
relation is determined by little faces on one-half of the edges of the 
crystals, the existence of which had already been noted by two chem- 
ists, the one a conscientious observer without inspiration, or as the 
French say sans flamme^ and the other preoccupied with a theory 
which he endeavored to fit to all the facts which his studies revealed. 
Both thus failed to understand their significance. 

Pasteur's discovery, although strictly speaking a discovery in chem- 
istry, later had its percussion through the endre realm of science in a 
manner so profound that to-day, seventy years after the event, its re- 
verberations have not yet ceased. His biographer has described it as 
follows: 

"Pasteur noticed that the crystals of tartaric acid and the tartrates 
had little faces on one-half of their edges or similar angles (hemihed- 
rism). When the crystal was placed before a glass the image that 
appeared could not be superposed; the comparison of the two hands 
was applicable to it. Pasteur thought that this aspect of the crystal 
might be an index of what existed within the molecules, a dissym- 
metry of form corresponding with molecular dissymmetry. Therefore, 
he reasoned the deviation to the right of the plane of polarization pro* 
duoed by tartrate and the optical neutrality of the parataitrate would 
be explained by a structural law. Tlie first of these conclusions was 
confirmed, but when he came to examine the crystals of paratartrate 
hoping to find none of them with faces, he experienced a ke^i dis- 
appointment. The paratartrate was also hemihedral, but the faces of 
some of the crystals were inclined to the right, and those of others to 
the left. It then occurred to Pasteur to take up these crystals one by 
one and sort them carefuiUy, putting on one sidie those which turned 
to the left, and on the other those which turned to the right. He 
thovight that by obtaining dieir respective solutions in the polarizing 
apparatus, the two contrary hemihedral forms would give two contrary 



100 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

deviations; and then by mixing together an equal number of each kind, 
the resulting solution would be neutral and have no action upon light 
Widi anxious and beating heart he proceeded to the polarizing ap- 
paratus and exclaimed ^I have it' His excitement iivas such that he 
could not look at the apparatus again; he rushed out of the laboratory, 
not unlike Archimedes. In the passage he met a curator and embrac- 
ing him dragged him out with him into the Luxembourg gardens to ex- 
plain his discovery. Many confidences had been whispered under 
the shade of the tall trees of those avenues, but never was there greater 
or more exuberant joy on a young man's face. He foresaw all the con- 
sequences of the discovery.* • ♦ •»» 2 

In like manner there can be no doubt that the discovery by Pasteur 
in 1880 of the artificial immunity to fowl cholera, which opened up 
to exploitation the wide and varied field of immunity in medicine and 
which is to-day one of the main achievements of medical science end is 
holding out still greater promises of progress in the control of disease 
in the future, came not as a direct incident, but rather as an accidental 
circumstance to the experiments on infection being pursued. 

So it was also with the discovery of spontaneous radioactivity by 
Becquerel, to which are directly traceable the discovery of radium, and 
the superlative and successful e£Forts now being made to solve the age- 
long problem of the atomic constitutioo of matter; while Madame 
Curie's discovery of radium itself was not the result of a momentary 
inspiration on her part, but rather tfie consummation of a labor extend- 
ing over numy years, begun under conditions of great hardship and 
continued through obstacles and discouragements which only the great 
in spirit surmount. 

I shall not tarry on the threshold of the story to repeat to you 
the details of the preliminary steps in the great career of Madame 
Curie, during which she did what was virtually the menial service of 
the Sorbonne, in order to gain the pittance of support which enabled 
her to enter on her scientific training. But in the end her ability was 
detected and she was placed in the laboratory to conduct an investiga- 
tion leading to a thesis, and as it happened, under the young instructor 
who afterwards became her husband. 

The story begins about 1860, from which time on many obser- 
vations had been made on tlM passage of electricity through tubes 
from which nearly all the air had been pumped. These studies led in 
1879 to the discovery of the cathode rays of Sir William Crookes and 
in 1895 to the discovery of X-rays by Rontgen. A year later, or to be 
exact, on March 7, 1896, Becquerel, who was studying the general be- 
havior of i^iosphorescent bodies, examined uranium and its com- 
pounds, and dKscovered that these substances gave off rays wUch re- 

t Vallery-Radot, The Life of Pasteur, Eng. Trans. Vol. I, p. 50. 



.•J -'. ! 



THE SCIENTIFIC CAREER FOR WOMEN 101 

sembled the X-rays in their action on photographic plates. He also 
made die extremely important observation that the rays '^ionized" the 
air about them, or converted it from an insulator to a conductor <^ 
electricity. A gold-leaf electroscope, which had been previously 
charged with electricity so that its two leaves diverged, was discharged, 
with the consequent collapse of its leaves as soon as uranium was 
brought near it. 

The comparative ease and rapidity and metrical character of this 
method of examination induced Madame Curie to take as the subject of 
her doctorial thesis the measurement of the radioactive powers of an 
immenae number of minerals, and so led her gradually to one of the 
meet brilliant and striking discoveries of modem tknes, the whole 
representing a new epoch in our knowledge of atoms and therefore in 
physico-chemical •science. * Her initial momentous observation related 
to thie mineral pitchblende from which uranium is extracted, and which 
she found to be four or five times as radioactive as uranium itself. 
There was, of course, but one possible conclusion: the mineral con- 
tained another active element more powerful than uranium. At this 
point her husband joined in the quest and the mineral was converted 
into firactions, each of which was tested electroscopically. The 
bismuth fraction showed the presence of a powerful radioactive sub- 
stance finally separated, and in honor of Madame Curie's native 
country called polonium; but it was the barium fraction which was 
meet active and which finally yielded a salt of the new element called 
radium. Thus it was in 1902, or after four years of arduous and in- 
spiring work, that the researches leading to the doctor's degree but also 
unlocking a new door in physics were brought to a temporary con- 
clusion, and it was not until 1910, as you know, that Madame Curie 
actoally obtained the element radium in a pure state. It is of some 
interest to recall that the radium salt proved 2,500,000 times as active 
as the uranium, the point from which her studies started. 

Honors flowed in upon the discoverer. In 1903, she ^ared with 
Beoquerel and her husband the Nobel prize. Tlien in 1911, after the 
isolation of pure radium, Ae was a second time awarded that great 
prize and in the words of the President of the Swedi^ Academy, was 
the first laureate to be awarded diis distinction twice as ^^a proof of 'thie 
importance i^ch our Academy attaches to your discoveries * * *." 
And yet, because she was a woman, the French Institute declined to 
elect her to membership and the five French academies voted in favor 
of upholding ^an immutable tradition against the election of women 
which it seemed eminently wise to respect." 

Great discoveries never stand isolated and hence it frequently hap- 

3 Lodge, Oliver, op. cit. 



102 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

pens tbat their main effect is to set into motion as by-products, sec- 
ondary or new lines of research, the significance of which often eclipses 
the great discovery from which they took origin. Hence to-day it is 
especially in atomic physics and then in biology that the fructifying 
influence of the investigations in the field of radioactivity is note- 
worthy. It has happened that new and unimagined forces have been 
released suddenly for experiment and placed in the hands of the 
physicist and the biolc^ist. I am not capable of giving an account 
of the latest experiments on atomic constitution which are being con> 
ducted ynHh radium, and I stand filled with wonder and admiration as 
I read that the rapidity of the a-particle or helium atom derived from 
radium is about 20,000 times the speed of a rifle bullet, and that the 
energy of this motion is such that an ounce of helium moving with the 
speed of the a-particle is equivalent to 10,000 tons of solid shot pro- 
jected with the velocity of 1000 meters per second. After having 
been stunned by this statement, I can well imagine that the charged 
particle is able to penetrate deeply into the structure of all atoms, 
built up as they are now believed to be on a plan similar to that of 
die solar system with a central sun or nucleus, and a system of planets 
in form of n^ative electrons, and to pass through as many as 500,- 
000 of them before being deflected and turned back, and thus made to 
divulge the secrets of the electric fields near the center or nucleus of 
the atom. 

But I may be somewhat better able to explain the present status 
of biological research being carried out with radioactive substances 
derived both from X-ray and from radium. The studies are proceed- 
ing in two directions: the one being of theoretica>l and the other of 
practical nature. The latter excite the greater interest because they are 
already rendering a highly useful service, as in the treatment of a cer- 
tain class of cancers and in reducing excessive amounts of lymphatic 
tissue, even including recently the ubiquitous enlarged tonsils and 
adenoids. And yet, the former may in the end be of surpassing value 
in that they will serve to explain the manner in which radioactivity 
brings about the biological effects noted, and the means by which those 
which are desirable and useful may be intensified and those which are 
undesirable, because harmful, may be minimized or avoided altogether. 
Already we have learned that die radiations act quite directly on the 
lymphoid organs and, according to the amount or dosage employed, 
either stimulate to over-activity or bring about destruction; while the 
action on cancerous tissue is more indirect and bound up, in part at 
least, with the impression made upon the lymphatic system. But what 
I especially desire to emphasize is the connection which this class <^ 
investigations has established between the physicist and the biologist 
It happens that neither alone can compass the entire field; die one is 



THE SCIENTIFIC CAREER FOR WOMEN 103 

too little a physicist, the other too little a biologist in order to man- 
age on the one hand the rays and on the other the tissues. Together 
they make a workiog team, and already a new division of research in 
biophysics is beginning to appear to herald that oo-operation in 
scientific research which is to-day one of the necessities as it is the 
harbinger of progress. 

It should now be apparent bow impossible it is for mere accident 
to yield a discovery in science. Whether the investigator move in the 
lower OT the upper realm of experiment and observation, there are 
demanded as a minimum, knowledge of fact and familiarity with 
method, with which not even the most fortunately circumstanced are 
naturally endowed. Environment and possibly heredity also play 
parts, sometimes highly important parts, in giving the impulsion which 
leads into scientific careers and accomplishment Moreover it is a 
mistaken notion to suppose that the scientific intelligence can only be 
and always is trained in school or college as ordinarily defined. The 
history of science indeed contains illuminating pages recounting the 
successes of men without any real formal education who have sur- 
mounted all difficulties and written their names large in its story. Such 
a man was Michael Faraday, of whom it has been said that of all the 
men who have spent their lives in the search for experimental dis- 
coveries, no one has ever approached him in the number, variety, or 
the importance of the new facts disclosed by his labors; and yet he was 
led into the pursuit of science by reading the books which passed 
through his hands while he was a bookbinder's apprentice. 

Hitherto it has been men rather than women who have chosen the 
scientific career, and up to now the shining names on the banner of 
science are those of men and not of women. It could not have been 
otherwise; but now that the doors of opportunity have been thrown 
widely open to women, one may expect that many more will pass their 
portals and enter upon the career of science. Already they are feeling 
its lure and perceiving their aptitudes. But the lesson, can not be en- 
forced too emphatically that whether science is entered by the front 
door of the college or by the back door of the amateur or apprentice, 
in the end the material and means of science must be mastered if the 
votary aspires to enter paths never trodden before. To acquire that 
mastery to-day is no small undertaking, since the subject matter of the 
sciences is so voluminous and the methods often so intricate and pre- 
cise. But there is nothing in my opinion in either which the trained 
intelligence can not grasp and the trained senses execute. 

I do not recognize a line of demarcation between the sciences 
which men on the one hand and women on the other should choose as a 
career. With women as with men what should count are taste and 
aptitude and opportunity. It is common experience to find that a man 



104 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

is directed or diverted into a given scientific field by accidental circum- 
stances: a book falling into his hands at a critical meoment; a par- 
ticularly inspiring teacher who, like radium, transmutes his pupils as 
that does the elements; a region favorable say to geological study; a 
parent or other person with whom the impreseionable child chances to 
be thrown. Once fairly launched on a career, the native ability de- 
termiiiea the rest, just what particular road is followed and how far 
the traveller 10 carried along the road. 

Even earlier influences may come to play a deciding part in direct- 
ing the vrill and bent of the child. It does not take special insight to 
discern the differences in the intellectual atmosphere surrocmding boys 
and girk in the home. While the girl is complacently occupied widi 
dolls and mmiature dressmaking and millinery, the boy's imagination 
is being excited by mechanical toys which his aroused ii^erest impels 
him to destroy, in order that the inner mechanism may be laid bare. 
This is the period at which a youdiful Galileo and Newton will con- 
struct windmills and water clocks, and a future Herschel, aided per- 
haps by another siater Carolin, will fashion some sort of optical device, 
the forerunner of his first telescope. 

Then also custom and habit will determine that the father himself 
on science bent will endeavor to communicate his taste to his son rather 
than to his daughter. It took tfiree generations of the Becquerel 
family, all concerned with the study of light phenomena, to produce 
the discoverer of ^ontaneous radioactivity. Charles Darwin's son 
and now his grandson are pursuing at Cambridge with distinction the 
related fields of mathematical astronomy and mathematical physics. 
Perkins, the discoverer when only seventeen years of age of the aniline 
dyes, has been followed by a son, the eminent professor of chemistry at 
Oxford; and father and son of the Bragg family have recently shared 
the Nobel prize for discoveries in physics. 

The examples might be multiplied in which because of custom the 
boy, but not the girl, has been subjected to influences extending over 
many years calculated to prepare or to lead him, if cmly insensibly, 
into the paths of science. Moreover, the boy has other advantages to 
guide and spur him on: once launched on a scientific pursuit, he looks 
forward to a life's career and indulges the hope, if not the expectation, 
of being attended by some good woman. Now women have not yet 
been offered anything approaching a like opportunity to that put before 
men. The scientific career means too often for them, if consistently 
pursued, the denial of domestic companion^ps and c<mipensations 
which men easily win and enjoy. In how far this condition alone will 
operate to bar women from the higher pursuits and greater rewards of 
a scientific career only experience can show. But as one who would 
write himself down a lover of opportunity for women, I wish to ex- 



THE SCIENTIFIC CAREER FOR WOMEN 105 

press die hope that the difficulty may not prove insurmountahle. 
Already in thie country and in two fields of which I have personal 
knowlei^e. Doctor Florence Sabin of the Johns Hopkins Medical 
School and Doctor Louise Pearoe of the Rockefeller Institute for 
Mecfical Research have made themselves authorities in their respective 
branches of medical science. The latter has recently carried out a 
difficult mission to the Belgian Congo in connection with African 
sleeping sickness, such as formerly would have been entrusted to a man. 
A last word. I have not spc^en of the rewards^of the scientific 
caieer. As with other intellectual pursuits, they are to be reckoned 
only partly in the coin of the country. Science is now so far developed 
in the United States that in college, research institution, or industry a 
compeleooe can readily enough be found. In .the end the greater re- 
ward will be an inner satisfaction and happiness arising out of a 
conscious mastery of a field of human endeavor. But for this there 
must be a real mastery such as comes not easily but only after a 
period of years and as a result of a seriousness of purpose and a con* 
oentrotion of e£Foxt which alone devotion to a high cause will insure. 



106 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST 
By Dr. G. STANLEY HALL 

CLARK UNIVERSITY 

rACKERAY wished he could have been Shakespeare's bootblack, 
and many Englidii men of letters rank the Elizabethan above the 
Victorian age. Classicists have often wished they had lived in the day 
of Plato or Caesar, aa if their age were superior to our own. F. W. 
Roberteon said he would give all his life in exchange for an hour's talk 
with Jesus just after the Sermon on the Mount. Ruskin, William Morris 
and their group, since we can not turn the wheels of time badcward, 
would reconstruct our own industrial and social system on the pattern 
of the ancient guilds. For good Catholics, the apical blossom of the 
Tree of Life was found in the apostolic, patristic, or scholastic period, 
and all that has happened in the world since is of really far less im- 
port. For Max Miiller, the life of the primitive Aryan; for Schliemann, 
that of the Homeric age; for Tacitus, the ancient Germans, were nearest 
the ideal, while for Plato the golden age was in the lost Atlantb and 
belonged to another era. 

Christianity first in its doctrine of a millennium began the new 
fashion of looking to the future for Utopia when we sedc to escape the 
pressure of present reality, and to this tendency evolution has now given 
a great impulse, as seen in the writings of Bellamy, H. G. Wells, Pataud 
and Pouget, C. W. Woodbridge, Chapman, Cramm, Howe, Tangent and 
many other portrayers of the great and glorious things yet to come on 
earth or yet possible. For those who abandon themselves to such 
reveries, the present seems preparatory for something greater, if not 
again, a trifle mean compared with Altruria, Equitania, Sub-Coelum or 
even Meccania. During and since tfie war there has been a great 
revival of interest in what might, could, would, or should be, often in 
some vague or obscure place, perhaps at a time no less indeterminate, 
and sometimes our El Dorados have been projected to the center of the 
earth or to another planet — ^Mars — Saturn, etc. 

Now, my thesis is that all such fugues from actuality and what 
Desjardin made supreme, viz.^ le devoir present^ are now as never 
before in history, weak and cowardly, flights from the duty of the hour, 
wasteful of precious energy, and, perhaps worst of all, they are a 
symptom of low morale, personal or civic, or bodi. True greatness con- 
sists solely in seeing everything, past, future or afar, in terms of the 
Here and Now, or in the power of "presentification." 



THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST 107 

The equivalent of everythmg that ever was, ie, or can be made to 
happen, is not far off or in some other life, age, or plaoe, but within or 
about us. Creative processes take changing forms, but the energy that 
impels them is identical with that which started cosmic evolution. All 
thie Hebrew prophets did and said, we now know was inspired by the 
needs of the hour in which they lived, and they never strove to foretell 
the far future. Our time is just as ripe for a true Messiah as when the 
Star of Bethlehem appeared, and a new dispensation is just as needed 
and just as possible as when the Baptist heralded the advent of the great- 
est of all ^'presentifiers." Now, when all human institutions so slowly 
and laboriously evolved are impugned, every consensus challenged, every 
creed flouted, as much as and perhaps even more than by the ancient 
Sophists, the call comes to us as it did to Plato (all of whose work was 
inspired by the need he felt of going back to first prinoiples) to ex- 
plore, test, and if necessary reconstruct the very bases of conviction, for 
all open questions are new opportunities. Old beacon lights have 
shifted or gone out Some of the issues we lately thought to be minor 
have taken on cosmic dimensions. We are all ''up against" questions 
too big for us so that there is everywhere a sense of insufficiency which 
is too deep to be fully deployed in the narrow field of consciousness. 
Hence there is a new discontent with old leaders, standards, criteria, 
methods and values, and a demand everywhere for new ones, a realiza- 
tion that mankind must now reorient itself and take its bearings from the 
eternal stars and sail no longer into the unknown future by the dead 
reckonings of the past. We must find or make and ascend a new out- 
lodc tower high enough to command the whole earth and its history, and 
become familiar with the perspective and other phenomena of altitude, 
although this is perhaps the hardest of all things for our distracted, 
analytic, and specialist-ridden stage of culture. 

In a word, the world is sick and needs again a great physician for 
its soul just as it does for its body (one^ird of our youth being unfit 
to fight). Its (fistempers, however, we hope may prove to be those of 
youth and not of old age, but even if the latter, they are ominous for 
the maturity of the race. Many specialists have diagnosed and pre- 
scribed but they all deal with symptoms, and the real nature and true 
cause of the disease still baffle us. It may well seem preposterous to 
the whole guild of doctors for a layman in everything, whose only ad- 
vantage is his aloofness from all their works and ways, to suggest a 
deeper cause demanding a more radical therapy. In what follows, how- 
ever, I shall venture to attempt nothing less than this. Underlying 
almost everything else is the fact that man has now filled the whole 
eaith and that it will soon become even too full of his species. The 
human population has in nearly every nook of the globe been increasing 
in the last few generations at a prodigious rate, and its pressure upon 
the means of subsistence is already in many regions more acute than even 



108 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Malthus foresaw. Id this country almost within the memory of men 
now living, not only the Pacific coast but even the great Mississippi 
valley has been filled with a teeming and enterprising population. In 
1890 some of the great powers doubted the advantage of extensive colon- 
ies in remote regions, but since the great land scramble in the decade 
that followed, about every part of the inhabitable earth has been ap* 
propriated, explored, and is now being exploited. All Africa is ap- 
portioned, and not only Australia but Madagascar, Borneo, New Guinea, 
and all the smallest of islands opened up so that there are not only 
no new continents but practically no new acres to be discovered. The 
great era of diffusion and tenancy is practically ended. Man has not only 
taken- possession of every room but of every closet of his terrestrial 
habitation. 

In this expansion he has been wasteful of material resources to a 
degree so prodigal that we can now approximately date the exhaustion 
of many of them. Prospectii^ has been so extensive and careful that 
there will probably be no more great new finds of gold, silver, dia- 
monds, coal, natural gas, etc, like those of the past, and the lure and 
glamor of great new openings thus made is already abating; while the 
acreage that once yielded bumper crops widiout fertilization is losing its 
spontaneous fertility. 

The moral of all these trite facts is that henceforth the progress of 
the world must depend up<Mi quality, not quantity; trust more to nurture 
and less to nature; realize that it can reap only where and what it has 
soivn; must row where it has hitherto drifted with the current This 
country especially has grown to be the richest and greatest in the world 
by its natural resources, but it must henceforth not only conserve but 
kboriously cultivate. We have found that hereafter we must make and 
can not expect to find our ways. And no less important is the develop* 
ment of our human quality. 

In the geologic history of the globe the great epochs have been 
marked by the alternation of two periods: first, that of the emergence of 
vast areas of land from the primeval sea and its tenancy by species which 
populated it from the ocean, adjusted themselves to terrestrial condi- 
tions, and found a table spread for them so rich that they multiplied, 
varied, and spread with great rapidity. Then the tides turned and there 
were long periods of submergence and reduction of land areas during 
which many forms that had established themselves upon terra firma 
went back to their first love, the sea, like whales and dolphins; dwindled 
to insignificant size; or became extinct, like the great saurians, because 
they could not adapt to a new habitat. What makes our age great be- 
yond all historic comparisons is that it has seen ivithin the last few years 
the high tide of man's great processional over the earth and also the 
beginning of the recessional ebb when the world must have a new type 
y of both men and measures or else revert to a more primitive stage of 



THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST 109 

civilizatiQii. Already we see about us many alarming signs of re- 
gression. The great war itself, which marked so signally the turn of 
this all-dominating tide in human affairs, was only the inauguraticm of 
the colossal conflict between the old forces that expanded and the new 
ones now in the ascendant that would redirect the progress of man by 
adjusting to the new turn of fate. 

If our planet had doubled in* size while it has doubled in popu- 
lation; if a vast, rich, new continent had just been discovered, as in 
1492, or emerged from the sea; if the population of Europe had re- 
mained what it was in the days of Napoleon; if man's wants had not 
increased or the standards of Irving risra or surplus products and 
foreign markets had remained unknown, and there had been no sur- 
plus population anywhere, Germany would never have had her mad 
dream of subjecting Europe, for the world war marked the first impact 
and repercussion of the great current of expansion, which had behind 
it the whole momentum of cosmic evolution upon material limitations. 
Thus man has in a sense outgrown his world, so that it is now too 
snaall for hhn. From now on development must be intensive rather \ 
than extensive, and inward as well as outward. 

When a ship is wrecked on a savage island, passengers and crew 
are thrown back to primitive conditions and adapt to a new environ- 
ment and adopt new leaders, and often reverse all conventional dis- 
criminations; and Bolshevism is only an ostensive paradigm of what 
die Zeitgeist is doing, only more slowly and comprehensively, for the 
world, which is being thrown back to first principles, and finding 
these to be no longer political but chiefly economic and psychological 
so that even its past history has to be rewritten with a new perspective. 
If the wealth of any land were equally divided, everybody would 
be poor, not ridi, and there is not wealth enough in the world to 
satisfy one ono-hundredlh of the present demand for it. As civilization 
advances, it costs not only more money, but more time and effort to 
keep people happy. Thus there is a rapidly growing excess of demand 
for pleasure over the supply, so that the volume of discontent is con- 
stantly mounting. This life, which is all man now really believes in 
or cares for, can not begin to give what he asks of it. The average in- 
dividual now never thinly of the far future of the world or even of his 
ovm posterity for more than a generation or two, but wants all that is 
coming to him now and here, and uses every means in his power (fair 
and sometimes foul) to get it. Thus he plunges on toward the 
bankruptcy of his hopes in their present form and sagacious minds are 
now realizing that humanity can never be satisfied save by restricting 
its desires or by transforming and re-directing its aspirations to more 
attainable goals; or, in more technical language, by finding more in- 
ternal surrogates for their gratification. 



110 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Thi6 means nothing less than that the world is now squarely up 
against the problem of getting a deeper knowledge of human maiture 
and finding more eflFective ways of guiding it or of refitting Teufels- 
drodc's institutional clothes to his person, if not getting him a new suit. 
We must not forget that while our industrial system is less than two 
hundred years old and even our political institutions ^o back only a 
few thousand years, man is at least a hundred thousand years old, and 
that we must readjust to all better knowledge of him, just as we do 
to all the newly discovered laws of nature. Thus as man has reached 
and rebounded from his geographic and other limits, his ideals of 
material prosperity have also impinged upon adamantine limits, and 
the current of his psychic evolution must now finally make a new way 
in another direction. Just as there are now countless individuals who 
should never have been bom and who could in no way so benefit the 
world as by taking themselves out of it (but who will never do it, so 
that society and industry must find ways of utilizing them as best they 
can, trusting the slow processes of evolution to better the human 
stock), so there are innumerable sipurious hopes, ambitions and aspira- 
tions which fibould never have arisen, but which we must learn to 
utilize and sublimate, striving slowly to subject opportunity to social 
and human aims. 

Nature and Man — there is nothing else outside, above, or beyond 
these in the universe, and there never was «r will be anywhere any 
item of creative or conservative energy or influence either in nature or 
mansoul that is not just as active here and now as it ever was or will 
be anywhere. 

The way down the loog scale from cortex to cord or even from man 
to mollusc b as broad as the way up is straight and narrow, and many 
there be that walk therein. The lowest sixth of the population of 
England, we are told, produce one-half of the rising generation, and 
infra-men breed a hundred times as fast as really eugenic super-men. 
The forces that make for human degeneration were never so many, so 
active, or so ominous, and nothing less than civilization itself is at 
stake. It has never entered into the heait of even pessimists to ccmceive 
what might happen if anarchy should prevail. But as Christianity 
came in to save the world when Rome and the ancient order fell, by 
proclaiming immortality, so now the idea of plasmal, which comes by 
better breeding, and of influential immortality, that saves by contribut- 
ing new knowledge and power — these constitute our only hope of salva- 
tion. The promise is to those who sedc, knock, ask, and is still open 
to the investigator, who is its true heir. 

M^ had a most insignificant origin — a finger-long worm with a 
widiy spine; then a timid, tiny frugiverous creature for whom there 
was no safety save in trees. Then there was a long and doubtful 
struggle whether he or the great cam^vora should be lords of creation 



THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST lU 

for he was few and his enemies many. But during all this time he was 
acquiring unprecedented power of docility and adaptation, and the 
evolutionary urge focussed on his species as its own chosen son« For 
ages, too, he quailed before creatures of his own imagination which 
he fancied real and potent, and only now is he b^inning to realize that 
he is truly supreme in all the universe we know, and that there is 
nothing above or beyond him. Thus prepress consists solely in the 
subjection of nature to man and of his own instincts to reason and his 
selfish interests to the common good, and man sees his destiny, which 
is to rule the world within and without by the power that oomes from 
knowledge. He must go on learning to control where he has been 
controlled. This is his vocation as man. As the development of erect- 
ness and of the hand, which could grasp the club and impel the point 
of flint first made him man, so now science is both his organ« of ap- 
prehension and his tool by which he must make his sovereignty com- 
plete, come fully into his kingd<»n aiKi make his reign supreme. Thus, 
again, we see that research is his highest function. He is and always \ 
has been the investigator par excellence, and now he sees his calling 
and election more clearly, and in the new era which is upon us he has 
new and unprecedented motivation for mobilizing all his energies to 
make his title of conquisitor clear. 

If the spirit of research be the Paraclete, the native breath and vital 
air of all true leaders in the world now being bom, we ought to know 
more about it. What, then, is it? It is not sufficient to say it is crea- 
tion in its most modem active stage, impelled by the primal impulse by 
which worlds evolved out of chaos, ndbulae or any other mother-lye. 
This is true but trite. If any kind of superman is ever evolved, and 
the man of the present day is destined to become a missing link like 
the Java man, nurture must come to the aid of nature with every 
hebamic art that eugenics and education can supply, even though our 
remote posterity be as ashamed of having sprung from us as some 
still are of our simian ancestry. Curiosity, seen in all the higher forms 
of animal life, so strong in apes and so favored by their safe arboreal 
life, and which harks back to the original fiai lux, is surely one 
factor in the psychogenesis of the research urge. Strong as this 
noetic urge is, ambition, emulation and the desire to excel is surely 
another factor. Perhaps the hunting and collecting instinct made their 
contributions to it. Philanthropy or the desire to better the estate of 
man and to give him command of new resources is yet another element, 
and this has countless lower though always beneficent expressions in the 
impulse to alleviate suffering and in the amelioration of the tragedy in 
the grim struggle for survival. But the ultimate motivation of the in- 
vestigator, often deeper than his consciousness, is the will for power 
to dominate nature, and to make man ever more completely ruler and 
master of the world within and without. As man is the highest and 



vi 



112 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

best and as mind is the best thing in him, so research is the supreme 
function of mind, the true heir of the kingdcHU and of all the promises. 
Research specializes because it must divide in order to conquer. It 
makes such conditions for its experiments as can be controlled and 
excludes all others. We refine our methods and apparatus only in 
order to make such answers as we can extract from the menmonian lips 
of the sphinx more definite and explicit. Despite its baffling technique, 
science is, as Vahinger long ago so convincingly showed us, the quick- 
est and easiest way of grasping the universe. 

In view of all this we must regard nothing as quite so opportune 
or so true an expression of the Zeitgeist as the efforts to perfect the 
organization of the National Research Council in this country, the 
British Privy Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the 
international reorganization at Brussels to the same end. There are 
countless new problems in astronomy, geography, geology, archae* 
ology, anthropology, economics, and in many other fields that can 
be solved only by wide co-operative methods, which often also require 
large funds, wise administration, systematic publioatioo of results, and 
the spur, which pure science in a measure always lacks, of immediate 
utility, for every new discovery possible must be made serviceable. 

It is inspiring to be authoritatively told that whereas fifteen years 
ago there were only four thousand individuals in this country who 
could be called investigators, there are now more than ten thousand who 
would be called such, and also that there are yet possible ^^find^" 
sometimes of great value, that can still be made even by amateurs and 
non-experts whom chance or locality favor, and that more can be re- 
cruited for this army of advance by questionnaire or correspondence 
methods. The prospector, placer-miner, still has his place in any com- 
prehensive survey of research planning, and this work needs a con- 
sistorium of its own. 

But we must not forget that the true spirit of research at its best 
can never be organized or administered and that to do so suggests 
simony, the sin of the purchase of the gift of the Spirit with money. 
Its very essence is freedom, and we can no more organize it than we 
can love, art, literature, or piety. The investigator is a law unto him- 
self, and he must often shatter old tables of value and propound new 
ones. *The spirit goeth wherever it listeth" and we can not tell 
^whence it cometh or whither it goeth, such are they who ore bom of 
the spirit." 

Now, universities are to-day, or should be, true shrines of this 
spirit and nurseries of these supermen. Are they? Over two hun- 
dred of them have lately made ^Mrives'' that have brought generous 
and greatly needed increases of salary to their professors. Labor, too, 
has doubled its wage, but the complaint is universal that along with 
increased pay has very commonly gone a decrease in the quality and 



THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST 113 

quantity of efficient work or aervice rendered. The worker '^sojers'* 
more on hia job, and not only the hours but the amount of work per 
hour has decreased; as also has the quality of many kinds of goods 
along with the rise in Cheir price. The bricklayer is now penalized by 
his union if he lays more than one-fourth the number of bricks per day 
he did when his wage was half its present amount. 

Are our Faculties to illustrate the same tendency? In a number 
of presidential reports I have lately looked over. I find no word of 
wamii^ against this danger, no hint that to whom more is given 
will more be required, no exhortation to investigation, but 
usually the old cry for more, ever more gifts. Not content to sftand hat 
u hand on the street comer, academic agents and presidents appeal 
to every graduate, poor as well as rich, to give, until they are made to 
feel that they are ingrates or disloyal if they are unable to do so. 
These reports often complain of a great influx of students, and all our 
larger institutions are already too full for efficiency so that some have 
even forowom new departments or set a limit to the rush of students. 
Two reports express the fear that the average quality of the latter is de- 
clining, and one deplores the increase of mechanism, bookkeeping, and 
deans' functions generally, which are necessary for the regimentation of 
the mob of new applicants^ One very competent expert has studied the 
programs of the meetings of various scientific societies during last 
Christmas week, with the result that several show in recent years a very 
marked increase in the percentage of papers read by non-academic men 
(80% now in one of the largest and oldest of them), which is not sur- 
prising when we consider the great nimiber of professors n^w being 
lured away from colleges and universities by larger salaries offered 
them to become experts in industry, which has apparently just now 
awakened to the need of specialists. 

Now, if there is any one general lesson of these tumultuous times, 
any ooncluaion that underlies and conditions all others — ^as I msist 
there is — ^it may be stated very simply as follows. Henceforth, as never 
before, progress is committed to the hands of the intellectuals and they 
must thmk harder, realizing to the full the respMisibilities of their new 
leaderdiip. Science in its largest sense is from this time forth to rule^ 
the world. The age of laissez fmre is ended and research, discovery, 
investigation, and inventioii, vrfaich have done so much alreaidy, must 
now take the helm and be our pioneers in this new era. In everything 
It is the expert who must say the final word. Thus our prime duty is 
to inventory and eqpecially develop and devise every poseS>le new 
w«y of fostering the spirit of original research in this new day that is 
now dawning npoo the world, and in which it is the inesdmaUe privil* 
^ge of diis generaCioD to live. We can not too clearly realize or too 
often repeat that research is in the very center of the current of creative 

VOL. xin.— 8. 



114 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

evolution and has the momentum of all the developmental urge behind 
it. Its spirit is to the new era what the Holy Ghost was to the early 
church. Once it made prophets and apostles, inspired visions, sent 
men to waste places to meditate as hermits, anchorites, ascetics 
crucifying the flesh, or impelled them to challenge rulers or to become 
martyrs. Now it inspires men to seclude themselves in laboratories, 
museums, studies, libraries; sends them to remote and perhaps hoetile 
and dangerous corners of the earth to observe, collect, excavate, de- 
cipher, reconstruct extinct animals from fossils or fragments of* bones 
and teeth, or to restore prehistoric life from vestiges and utensils in 
caves, cromlechs, relics of pile-dwellers; or to reconstruct temples, 
palaces, dwellings, and even huts fr<Hn their buried foundations; per- 
haps to explore the sources of mineral, agricultural, and industrial 
wealth; or to study and control the ways of and antidotes for new 
microbes, insect pests and toxins. Human culture began with the at- 
tempt of man to understand his 0¥m soul, its nature and destiny; and to 
this was soon added interest in his body and its diseases. Now we are 
studying his relations to his home and his mother. Nature, and his 
social, industrial, and family life. 

When I lately asked my dentist why he hurt me so cruelly now 
when the same operation on the other side eight years ago was painless, 
he replied that now he had to use American instead of German 
novocain and we have not learned to make the pure article. In looking 
over Kahlbaimi's catalogue of hundreds of chemical compounds neces- 
sary for every research laboratory, I was told that only a very few of 
them can even yet be produced outside of Germany and that our 
chemical industries have focussed upon nitrates, dyes, and other large- 
scale products that bring great profits. 

Turning to other departments, ever since the Reformation German 
scholarship has led in all Biblical studies, giving us the higher 
criticism, and its preeminence has been do less in the study of classical 
texts and history. Our professors of philoeojAy have largely con- 
cerned themselves with problems of German origin from Kant to 
Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Biological woric has for two decades 
focussed on die theories of Weismann and Mendel, both Teutonic In 
every psychological laboratory the name of Wundt outranks all others, 
while Freud has more lately given us another group of great ideas 
whidi are woricing as leaven not only in the studies of mind normal 
and abnormal, but in our conceptions of art, literature, daily life, 
history, and religion. Students of die exact sciences are agog over the 
theories of relativity as represented by Einstein and the even more 
revolutionary concept of quanta, also of German origin. For decades 
our best graduates who desired to specialize studied there and a large 
part of our professors have been trained there, so that the apex of 
our educational system was loi^ found beyond the Rhine. 



THE MESSAGE OF THE ZEITGEIST 115 

All this was in accordanoe with the policy laid dovm by Fichte only 
a little more dian a century ago in his famous address to the German 
nation when Napoleon had annihilated the Teutonic armies, crushed 
the German spirit, and his spies were scattered through the very hall. 
Fichte's thesis was that Germany must become the educational leader 
of the world and most thus rehabilitate herself from bottom to top and 
understand that her only possible way of escaping obscurity, if not 
annihilation, was research, her only asset was in the truth to be dis- 
covered and new powers to be utilized. In a word, her soil was poor, 
her armies gone, her finances ruined, her spirit near despair, and the 
gospel of Fichte, the ^*presentifier'* dF his day, was that all the pow^ 
she oould ever expect in the future mu^ come from knowledge — that 
her specialty must be in its creation and diffusion. And the world 
knows the result of diis policy, which in a century made his country 
the strcmgest in all history, which never saw so brief and great a 
national regeneration in the same short span of years. 

To-day this leadership is gravely impaired, and possibly forever 
shattered, and it is craven and imbecile not to see that the situation 
brings a new call to this country, now the richest and most prosperous 
in the world — spending more money for education, we have just been 
told, than all Europe combined — ^to aspire to this succession, to pay 
back our intellectual debt, and possibly to bring the keystone of die 
educational arch again to this country. Of course we must not forget, 
as Kuno Francke reminds us, that Germany in her present distress may 
again hark back to the gospel of Fichte and seek to renew her strength 
by a yet more intensive development of culture and hope to some- 
time achieve a new intellectual conquest of the world, such as she 
was so far on the way toward achieving when she turned from 
culture to Kultur and, at length, not content with this, made her 
supreme error of appealing to the sword. Of course science is universal 
and knovra no national boundaries, but our nationality, whatever it is 
and is worth, has here a new opportunity undreamed of before. 

Not only does democracy, if it is to be made safe for the world, 
require education of its citizenry much above the mental age of 
tfaiTtem and a half, which was the average of our soldiers tested, (and 
we have even been called a nation of sixth-graders), but every land 
— and this most of all — ^is now crying out for new leaders in every 
department. Our statesmen need broader training in international re- 
latkms and show every symptom which alienists find in all minds 
grappling with problems too large for their powers. Our captains of 
industry need to look farther afield and farther ahead. The waste of 
incompetency and the curse of mediocrity are upon us. We have ut- 
teriy lost all power of discriminating between the best men, things, 
ideas, books, and the second ot even the tenth best. 



116 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

The psychology of the whole matter is that we love knowledge be- 
cause we love power. As man has domesticated some two hundred 
species of animals, using for his own benefit their strength, instincts, 
keener senses, etc., so he strives to command the powers of nature and 
to really become the captain of his own soul. Competent engineers 
tell us that the average individual to-day commands some thirty-three 
man-power besides his own, whereas a century ago all inventions gave 
him command over only two and a half times his own strength. But 
ever more is and will be needed although waste also iocreaaes, and all 
we have known and controlled is only the beginning. Man is really 
only just starting on his career as an investigator so that thus research' 
is not only the apex of creative evolution and the higlieBt vooation of 
man but is the greatest joy that life affords to mortals. He who reveals 
and teaches us to command more of the world without and within 
is the chief benefactor of the race, the true prophet, priest, and king in 
our day. 

Now, probably the university should be the chief shrine and also 
the power-house of this spirit, which ought to be for the neiw poet- 
helium epoch now opening what the Holy Ghost was to the early 
church, for in it the higher powers of man have their diief deployment 
There is a final Iess<m from the church that we ought to lay to heait. 
Beside and above all its elaborate medieval organization, even when it 
was at tfaie height of its power and aspired to universal dominion, ks 
greatest leaders always felt that above and beyond it was the larger 
Church Invisible, eternal, not made iridi hands, the membersiiip <^ 
which consisted of everybody, everywhere, who strove supremely for 
righteousness and trutL To-day we should give a similar place in our 
scheme of things to the University Invisible, composed of all those 
everywhere who are smitten with the passion of adding something to 
die sum of the world^s knowledge, even ever so tiny a bride to the 
splendid temple of sdenoe, which is the supreme creation of man, but 
who realise that of this temple only the foundations are yet actually 
laid and that the most imposiiq; part of tlie structure is not only not 
built bat can not even be ccmipletely planned. The members of due 
new church of science are those who feel the call to make some original 
CMitribotion of their own toward either ito plan or its further structure, 
for the true university is, after all, only found in the investigalor's state 
of mind. All through the history of the church, as Renan has shown, 
ran a faith generally sulMnerged but which had many timid out-crops 
diat in the fullness of time there was to come a. new, third dispensation 
superseding the old, vir., the disp ensation of the Spirit It is that into 
which we aie now sunmumed to enter. Have we the virtue to hear and 
heed the call? 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY HI 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE UNITED STATES 

COAST SURVEY^ 

By Professor FLORIAN CAJORI 

UNIVERSITT OF CALIFORNU 

rE influence of the intellect transcends mountains and leaps across 
oceans. At the time when George Washington warned his fellow 
countrymen against entangling political alliances with European coun- 
tries, there was started a movement of far reaching scientific im- 
portance in a small country in the heart of the Alps which (as we diall 
see) exerted a silent, yet potent scientific influence upon the young 
republic on the eastern shores of North America. Our govenlment 
executives can restrict the movements of troops and can abstain from 
making hazardous treaties, but these policies can not permanently 
check the subtler movonents of intellectual thought which often, like 
aerial waves, encircle the world. 

In 1785 a gifted and enthusiastic young German named Johann 
Georg Tralles became professor of mathematics and physics at Berne 
in Switzerland. Interested in applied as well as pure mathematics, 
Tralles was active as a metrologist and geodesist. Maps of that part 
of Switzerland had been altogether unreliable. He entered upon re- 
fined surveys of the triangulation type. In this work he was assisted 
by one of his pupils, Ferdinand Rudolf Hassler of Aarau, a young 
man who belonged to a well-to-do family. His father had mapped 
out for him a bureaucratic career which would have brought a good 
competence. But the mathematics and the surveying instrum^its of 
Tralles exerted an attraction impossible for him to resist. In 1791 
Tralles and Hassler measured a base-line together, using a steel-chain 
manufactured by the English mechanic Ramsden. The base line was 
40,000 feet long; its ends were marked on blocks of stone four feet 
high, vrith steel points held in position by cast lead. Not satisfied with 
the accuracy reached, a few years later they remeasured this base with 
improved apparatus. Carefully standardized rods now took the place 
of chains. A net of triangles was adopted, the principal points of 
which were the several summits of the Jura mountain range. For the 
great distances between stations the instruments were found to be 
inadequate. Tralles wrote to a friend about his angular measure- 

1 Sigma Xi address delivered at Northwestern University on December 
13, I9». 



U8 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

ments: ^I have tortured them out irith a theodolite — measurement I 
can not call this, when the telescope is so weak that one can not see 
the signals, but only guess their position. You can readily see that 
diey are not small, for the telescope of die theodolite reveals them 
at a distance of 100,000 feet" The government of the Canton of Berne 
was appealed to for financial aid in die purchase of a more powerful 
instrument. Six hundred dollars were voted inunediately. Mr. Rams- 
den in London, then the most celd>rated instrument*maker living, for a 
sum s<Hnewhat exceeding this amount, promised to supply in 1794 a 
complete azimuth circle, at least three feet in diameter. Due to various 
delays the great instrument did not reach Berne until 1797. Mean- 
while some smaller instruments had been secured from England; 
Tralles and Hassler had been active in perfecting their tedmique. 
Young Hassler received the commission to determine die boundary 
line between the Cantons Berne and Solothum. Ramsden's three-foot 
theodolite was a wonderful instrument; only two odier instruments of 
that size and precision are said to have been manufactured by Ramsden. 
What a privilege for young Hassler to become practically acquainted 
with the use of an instrument of the high type that very few surveyors 
then living had ever seen! 

Hassler repeatedly took trips to Paris and one trip to Germany; 
he attended lectures and became personally acquainted vritfa leading 
scientists — among them Lalande, Borda, Delambre and Lavoisier in 
Paris; Von Zach and Bohnenberger in Germany. With funds liberally 
supplied by his father, Hassler purchased many instruments and 
scientific books. He astonished Von Zach late one afternoon by meas- 
uring with a five-inch English reflecting sextant and mercury horizon 
the latitude of Zach*s observatory and differing only five seconds from 
previously known determinati<»s. We see Hassler occupied with 
serious studies and becoming familiar with the practical operadon of 
the most refined mathematical instruments in existance at the time. 

Geodetic work in Sivitzerland was stopped by revolutionary events. 
In 1798 French soldiers marched into Berne. Fricdon arose between 
Franch and Swiss goedesists. A few years passed without bringing 
relief. Hassler who meanwhile had married and had held various 
official positions of responsibility in his canton of Aargau became weary 
of European turmoil, and decided to seek his fortune in the New World. 
Strange to say we find him engaged in the organizadon of a stock com- 
pany for the purchase of large tracts of land in South Carolina. In 
1805 he departed with wife, children, servants and 96 trunks, boxes 
and bales, and travelled down the Rhine, having previously chartered 
in Amsterdam die ship ""Liberty" (350 tons) for Philadelphia. He 
was accompanied on his trip by over 100 laborers to form a Svriss 
colony in the Soudi. Unfortunately Hassler*s agent speculated with 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY 119 

the funds entrusted to him and Hassler sustained heavy financial loss. 
He arrived in Philadelphia without means to support his family. While 
waiting for remittances from his father, he sold some of his books 
and instruments. He received financial assistance also from John 
Vaughan, a prosperous and public spirited Philadelphian. 

Hassler soon got in touch with scientific men in Philadelphia. He 
attended meetings of the American Philosophical Society. On Decem* 
her fith, 1805, he donated to this Society a model of Mont Blanc, 
two chamois horns, and a specimen of feldspar. Hassler was elected 
a member of the Society on April 17th, 1807. The year previous he 
had sold to the Philosophical Society "the volumes necessary to com- 
plete the transactions of die French Academy of Science of which the 
Society possessed eigfaty*nine volumes, the bequest of Dr. Franklin." 
Hassler sold also some volumes of the transactions of the Berlin Acad* 
emy. I mention these items to indicate the kind of books Hassler 
brought to America. 

He brought also a number of instruments and standard weights 
and measures, such as had never before been carried to the American 
shores. Among these were a standard meter, made at Paris in 1799 by 
the Committee of Weights and Measures, a standard kilogram, an iron 
toise, made by Cavinet in Paris, two toises of Lalande. All of these 
were acquired by the American Philosophical Society and were loaned 
to Hassler twenty-six years later when he was acting in Washington 
as superintendent of weights and measures. 

In 1806, Professor Robert Patterson and John Vaughan in Philadel- 
I^iia, John Gamett of New Brunswick and others were deeply im- 
pressed by the ability and enthusiasm for science displayed by Hassler. 
Patterson was then director of the United States Mint. Feeling no 
doubt that the services of this talented young man of 36, whose long 
course of special training secured in Switzerland, France and Germany, 
made him one of the very foremost living practical geodesiats, should 
be enlisted by the American Government, Professor Patterson gave 
President Jefferson an account of Hassler's life. *'He would willingly 
engage," said Patterson, '*in an exploring expedition, such as those you 
have already set on foot." 

As neither Patterson's letter to President Jefferson, nor Hassler's 
brief autobiography enclosed with it, has ever appeared in print, it 
may be interesting to present these documents, at least in part^ Pro- 
fessor Patterson wrote: 

2 For copies of these documents, and of the letters written by President 
Jefferson and President Madison which we quote later, we are indebted to 
the kindness of Dr. Anita Ncwcomb McGce of Washington, D. C. The 
originals are in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Dr. 
McGee is a great granddaughter of Hassler. 



120 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

(From Robert Patterson, Director of the Mint, to JefiFerson.) 

Philad. March 3d 1806. 

^I beg leave to introduce to your notice Mr. Hassler, a gentlonan 
lately from Switzerland. He is a man of science & education; and, as 
will appear from the enclosed paper, written by himself at my request, 
was a character of considerable importance in his 0¥m country. It is 
his wish to obtain some employment from the United States, which 
would require the practice of surveying or astronomy. He would will- 
ingly engage in an exploring expedition, such as those you have already 
set on foot; for which, I have no doubt, he would be found well 
qualified. 

^In his education he paid perticular attention to the study of 
astronomy, and statistical surveying; & from ike enclosed paper you 
will see, that he is well versed in the practice. He is a man of a sound, 
hardy constitution, about 35 years of age, & of the most amiable con- 
ciliating manners. Besides his knowledge of the Latin language, he 
speaks the German, French, Italian & English. To his acquaintance 
with mathematics in general, which, as far as I am capable of judging 
from a short though not slight acquaintance, is very extensive, he adds 
a good knowledge of chemistry, mineralogy, and all the other branches 
of natural philosophy. In short. Sir, I believe his services may be 
rendered useful to this his adopted country. He possesses a very val- 
uable library, and a set of surveying & astronomical instruments, 
scarce inferior to any I ever saw. 

**I shall only add, that the cause for which he struggled in hia 
native country, and the reasons for his seeking an asilum here, will not, 
Sir, I am sure, detract from his merit in your estimation. 

**I have the honour to be, 

**with sentiments of the 
'^greatest esteem, — 

"Your most obedient servt. 

R. Patterson. 

"P. S. I forgot to mention, that Mr Hassler is at present settled 
with his family (a wife & three children with a few domestics) on a 
small farm near the banks of the Schuylkill, and that he proposes very 
shortly to pay a visit to the seat of govemment** 

Hassler's sketch of his life which was enclosed in the letter that 
Patterson sent to President Jefferson, is reproduced here widi all its 
orthographic peculiarities: 

"Feb. 27, 1806. 
"After my first education in public and private schools at Arau» 
my native town, I went in my 16th Year 1787 as a Voluntary in an 




SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY 121 

office of the government of Berne, appointed for all kind of surveyings 
and the care of the ardiives of the state, in which businesses I worked; 
foUovring at the same time the lessons of the College, then newly es- 
tablished under the name of political institute, and the private instruc- 
tions of Mr. Tralles Professor of Mathematics, (now member of the 
Academy of Berlin) aplying chiefly to practical geometry & astronomy. 
As a practical exercise of these instructions Mr Tralles & I undertoock 
in 1791. (on my expenses) the trigonometrical mesurements for a map 
of the country, and mesured a base of 7% Miles length and some 
triangles, with proper means and instruments, till the season inter- 
rupted the further prosecution. 

*The Government of Berne, seeing the various advantages of this 
Woric, undertook to follow it, and appointed proper funds for the in- 
struments; which were comitted to Mr Ramsden in London. 

'*In 1792 I went to the university of Gottinguen, (staying a short 
time in my passage at the Observatory of Mr de Zach at Seeberg) where 
I continued my studies in mathematics and natural Philosophy, under 
Kastner and Ldchtenberg; (with whom I was particularly acquainted) : 
Obliged nevertheless by the wishes of my father, to give some time to 
the study of Diplomatics under Gatterer. 

In 1796, I went to Paris applying half a Year chiefly to Mineralogy & 
Chymistry under Haiiy, Vauquelin, Fourcroy &c. (being already ac- 
quainted by a former Voyage there with LaLande & Borda.) 
In 1797. a large Theodalite of Ramsden beeing arrived at Berne Mr 
Tralles & I endeavoured to prosecute now for the Government the Geo- 
graphical Operations begun in 1791. but ware soon sloped again by 
the Revolution of Switzerland early in 1798. which event changed 
at the same time my position by annulating a post of my father the 
succession of which was secured to me since my 16th Year. 
Though the ministry of Finances of the Helvetic Republic, desireous 
of an accurate mape of the country gived me on a new the commission 
to follow the Work and I worked at it a short time in 2 Seasons the 
perpetual changes & finally extinction of the unitary Government 
put an end to this Work for which I could neither get my advances 
repayed nor my Labour. On my leaving the Country I left the un- 
finished Work to one of my friends to be sold for a trifle to the new 
Government 

Though I took no trouble to get any public office I was early in 1798. 
elected to the Court of appeal of the Canton of Argovia for the direc- 
tion of criminal affairs, (accusateur public) from which place I was 
called in 1799. by the Central Government to the same functions at 
the Supreme Court of the Helvetic Republic, after the extinction of 
which in 1803, 1 went at home were I was elected by the representatives 
of the Canton a member supleant of the Court of Appeals, and by my 



122 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

fellow-Citizens a member of the Counsel of the town, in which I was 
trusted with the chief Direction of pul>lic buildings and Arduves. 
But foreseeing the constant oscillations in the state of the Country in- 
volving always my position according to past experiences (intrigues 
and ambition, which are wanted in such circumstances, beeing out 
of my Caracter) I took with seme of my friends the resolution to 
come over to America in search of more solidity in a peaceable 
Country. 

Though I shall be one of the Directors of a Society of my countrymens 
intending to come over in this Country my presence beeing not always 
nor absolutely wanted, I could and wished to be employed in some 
business where practical Geometry & Astronomy would be the requisites, 
by preference. 
Philadelphia 27th Fd>r: 1806: F:R:Hassler.'' 

In addition to Professor Patterson's letter and enclosure. President 
Jefferson received a letter from Dr. C. Wistar of Philadelphia, recom- 
mending Hassler. President Jefferson's reply to Dr. Wistar, which 
has never been printed, is as follows: 

'Tours of the 19th, [February 19th 1807] has been received, as 
was a former one proposing Mr. Hassler to be employed in the survey 
of the coast. I have heard so much good of him as to feel a real wish 
diat he may find the employment of the nature to which his physical 
constitution & habits may be equal. I doubt if. in yielding this as to Mr. 
Hassler, I transgress a principle I have considered as important in mak- 
ing appointments. Hie foreigners who come to reside in this country, 
bring with them an almost universal expectation of office. I recieve 
more applications from them than would fill all the offices of the U. S. 
* * * It is true there are some employments * * * into which 
meritorious foreigners & of peculiar qualifications may sometimes be 
introduced, such is the present case." 

It appears that the starting of the survey of the coast of the United 
States was taken under consideration by members of the American 
Philosophical Society at Philadelphia for the reason that there had 
come into their midst a man preeminently qualified to undertake such 
a survey. In other words, had Hassler not come to the United States, 
probably no effort would have been made at that time to organize such 
a survey. Upon President Jefferson's recommendation. Congress 
passed a law, authorizing a survey on Fd>ruary 10th, 1807, and made 
an appropriation of $50,000. Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Trea&* 
ury, addressed a circular letter to scientific men, asking for plans for 
carrying the survey into effect. Among the replies were letters from 
Robert Patterson of the U. S. Mint, James Madison, then President of 
William and Mary College, Andrew Ellicott who had long been active 
as a surveyor in the United States, John Gamett of New Brunswick who 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY 128 

was interested in astronomic and geodetic affairs. Hassler's reply was 
written in the French language; it carefully outlined a trigonometric 
survey and the use of chronometers in localities where trigon<Hnetric 
surveys would be very difiicult. At President Jefferson's direction, a 
conunission passed upon these plans. That Hassler's plans would be 
chosen seemed to be a foregone conclusion in the minds of most scien- 
tists interested. The commission was formed of the very men who had 
submitted plans, with the omission of Hassler, who was then at West 
Point In rejection of their own plans, they recommended Hassler's. 
On account of political disturbances in Europe and America the sur- 
vey was not begun in 1807. Meanwhile Hassler had been appointed 
acting professor of madiematics at West Point, where he served two 
years. Later he was for one year professor at Union College at Sche- 
nectady. 

During his residence at West Point and Schenectady he had occa- 
sional correspondence with Patterson regarding details for the coast 
survey, especially the necessary instruments. On September 2, 1807, 
Patterson asked him by letter whether he would be willing to go to 
London to direct the construction of the instruments there. Hassler 
expressed his willingness to undertake the mission, but not until 
August, 1811, was the government able to send him. Hassler embarked 
with his large family for England. 

After the death of Ramsden, Edward Troughton came into ascend- 
ency as a skilled mechanic. It was his ambition in life to surpass 
Eamsden as an instrument maker. Hassler set Trou^ton and others 
to work, manufacturing under his direction instruments for the United 
States Coast Survey. Some of the principal instruments were of Hass- 
ler's own design. He secured instruments and books also from Paris. 
Politically the time was unfavorable; the war of 1812 broke out. 
Hassler was in the country of the enemy. Once he was refused a 
passport in London until after a personal application was made to 
the foreign secretary, who granted the passport with the generous re- 
mark **that the British' Government made no wars on science." 

The total amount expended for instruments during four years in 
England and France was $37,500; including books, Hassler's salary 
and travelling expenses, the outlay exceeded $55,000. Troughton, the 
celd>rated London instrument maker, remarked that there was not so 
complete and useful a collection of instruments in the possession of 
any government in Europe. 

On October 16, 1815, Hassler informed Mr. Dallas, then Secretary 
of the Treasury, of his safe arrival with the instruments, in Delaware 
Bay; they were deposited at the University of Pennsylvania. Some of 
the instruments were intended for use in two astronomical observa- 
tories that were to be established according to Hassler's plans which 



124 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

had been matured some time in the interval 1807-1811. He brought 
back all the instruments then deemed essential for the astronomical 
observatories except a mural circle and zenith sector, which he **did 
not venture to order, as their absolute necessity, in connection with 
the survey of the coast, was not so obvious as that of die instruments 

procured." 

^To procure the greatest advantage to the survey,** continued Hass* 
ler, ^their positions [positions of the observatories] should be as far 
North East and South West as the very favorable position of the 
United States admits** — one in the district of Maine, the other in Lower 
Louisiana. ^'Nearly every celestial phenomenon observable from the 
tropic to the arctic circle and within about two hundred degrees of 
difference of longitude, could be observed at one or the other of them.** 
Little did Hassler realize at that time that over a quarter of a century 
would elapse before Congress would authorize a national astronomical 
observatory. 

Not until May 2, 1816, did Congress pass appropriations for the 
survey of the coast. In August of the same year Hassler was appointed 
Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast. In his eagerness to begin 
work Hassler had gone to Long Island and reconnoitered the neighbor- 
hood during the month before his regular appointment. At first he 
had only three inexperienced cadets from West Point to help him; in 
September, Major Abert, one of his West Point acquaintances, was 
detailed to assist him. Great difficulty was experienced in finding a 
satisfactory locality for the measurement of a base line. Bad weather 
caused further delays. Once his work was interrupted by a law-suit 
brought by a man who charged that Hassler had cut off some branches 
of a cedar bush, to make the remaining part of the bush answer as a 
temporary signal. There were no railroads in diose days; public hi^- 
ways were few. Hassler*s work took him to localities not easily reached. 
For conveying of himself, his men and his delicate instruments, he had 
constructed early in 1817 a spring carriage, of special design, to be 
pulled by two or four horses. This carriage became famous because 
of its odd appearance and because political opponents of Hassler 
charged that he indulged in luxurious travel, such as was enjoyed by 
no other government official. 

Delays occurred also because of tardiness on the part of the Gov- 
ernment in sending the necessary funds. At times Hassler advanced 
money of his own, to prevent interruption of the work. The difficulties 
experienced from wooded marshes and the absence of sharp points near 
the coast made it necessary for him to plan for a full chain of triangles 
back from the shore. The proper locality for a base was not found 
until April, 1817. In February the Secretary of the Treasury asked 
Hassler to state the probable time required for the execution of the 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY 125 

survey. This was a disquieting question; as yet, the survey had hardly 
begun! In the Canton of Berne, Switzerland, four years had been con- 
sidered none too long a period for a much smaller project With 
Major Abert as his only trained assistant, Hassler worked during 1817 
from the opening of the season in April until the end of December, 
when none but Hassler 'bought it possible to stand it any longer^ on 
account of the cold. He worked early and late, whenever weather per- 
mitted, and displayed an enthusiasm seldom equalled. At that time 
Hassler knew little about American politics. He proceeded on the 
supposition that if he maintained high scientific standards, if he worked 
hard and faidifully, his services would be appreciated. He learned by 
sad experience that this is not necessarily the case, that the head of a 
government scientific bureau must take pains to keep in touch with 
political leaders and through personal contact and courtesies extended 
must endeavor to secure the interest and good will of these leaders; 
in other words, that political leaders must be educated to the apprecia- 
tion of science. Hassler did not work in Washington at that time. In 
irinter, when work in the field was impossible, he resided in Newark, 
New Jersey. Even if he had tried, it would have been difficult to have 
kept in touch ivith Congressmen. 

In 1817 eight triangles were fonned, determining the distances of 
about forty points with great accuracy; two bases were measured; lati- 
tudes and azimuths were ascertained. After December, the winler was 
passed in perfonning the necessary computations. On April 6, 1818, 
the Secretary of the Treasury apprised Hassler of the fact that the little 
progress made in the survey had caused general dissatisfaction in Con- 
gress. This was a bolt bom an almost clear sky. Hassler replied by 
telling what had been accomplidied — ^more than double what had been 
achieved in the English survey in the same time. After sending this 
reply, Hassler, who was in Newark, concluded that he had better go to 
Washington with all his documents, so diat he could offer any explana- 
tion desired. His explanations to the Secretary of the Treasury were 
of no avail; on April 14, 1818, the law audiorizing the survey was so 
modified by Congress as to exclude Hassler, a civilian, and leave 
the survey in charge of military and naval oflEcers. 

Tlie fundamental difference between Hassler and Congress was that 
Hassler aimed to make a triangulation survey that would be a credit 
to America in the eyes of scientific men of the world; such a survey 
requires time. Congress, on the other hand, had no intention of aiding 
science; they wanted a map of die coast and that widiout delay. 

Terrific as this blow must have been to Hassler, he took it calmly. 
Defeats never subdued him; diey spurred him on to renewed efforts. 
Kmseniteni wrote him from St Petersburg, ^In Russia your talents 
would have been better appreciated.^* 



126 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

For fourteen years nothing creditable was done on the coast sur- 
vey. No one connected with it had the training, experience and vision 
to carry it on successfully. These years constitute the dark ages of 
the United States Coast Survey. 

For Hassler these fourteen years from the age of 48 to 62 should 
have been scientifically the most productive years of his life; but 
eleven of the fourteen were the most barren. We pass in silence his 
years of struggle to support his large family, years during which the 
operation of a farm in northern New York proved financially disas- 
trous, years during part of which his energy was dissipated by school 
teaching in small private academies and in the compilation of elemen- 
tary text-books; years of mental anguish over the breaking of family 
ties. I may add parenthetically that Hassler had nine children, several 
of whom died in chilcBiood. Hassler's eldest son has many descendants 
in this country. Hassler's son, Qiarles Augustus, was a surgeon in the 
U. S. Navy and was the father of Mary Caroline, wife of the late Simon 
Newcomb, the astronomer. Mrs. Newcomb is now living in Wash- 
ington. 

In 1830 Hassler was placed at the head of the work of weights and 
measures — a scientific department of the Federal Government organ- 
ized by him. His ten years of preparation in Switzerland and his trips 
to France and Germany fitted him admirably for such work. Finally 
in 1832, when Hassler was 62 years old. Congress experienced a lucid 
interval and re-enacted the law of 1807 on the Coast Survey. Hassler 
was reinstated as superintendent. For eleven years he labored assidu- 
ously, until deadi claimed him. During that time the Coast Survey ad- 
vanced with rapid strides, notwithstanding continual interference by 
government officials and members of Congress. 

Hassler remained mentally alert to the very last. He kept in touch 
with geodesists and astronomers of Europe. He was in correspondence 
with Gauss of Gottingen. He was in touch with Bessel who wrote a 
critical yet very appreciative review of Hassler's description of his plans 
and instruments for the U. S. Coast Survey, printed in 1825. Bessel 
saw in thos» plans original features which placed them higher than any 
plans then in operation in other countries. Hassler was in regular 
correspondence with Schumacher, the editor of Astronomiscke Nach- 
richten; with Admiral Krusenstem and the elder Struve in Russia; 
Hassler communicated with the astronomer Tiarks and with Edward 
Troughton in England; occasionally he contributed papers to European 
journals. He was an associate of the London Royal Astronomical So- 
ciety. In our country he kept in correspondence with Thomas Jefferson 
and James Madison. Thus, instead of living a submissive, passive life, 
of vegetating, he kept his mind alert, young and creative. 

Tlie reader may be interested in an unpublished letter which ex- 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY 127 

President Madison wrote Hassler on February 22, 1832, when Madison 

was in his eighty-first year: 

Montpelier, f ebruary 22, 1832. 
Dear Sir: 

I have received your favor with the accompanying copies of your report 
on weights and measures. I have forwarded the two, one for Professor 
Patterson and one for the University of Virginia, and shall dispose of the 
others as you desire. For the copy allotted to myself, I return you my thanks. 
The decrepit state of my health, added to my great age and other causes, 
have prevented me from looking much into the work. My confidence in your 
aptitude for it, takes the place of a positive proof of its merits. 

I am glad to learn that you are to resume the important labor of sur- 
veying the coast I hope you will be able to complete it; and to your own 
satisfaction, in which case I doubt not it will be to the satisfaction o^ those 
who invite you to the undertaking. 

I tender you sir my esteemed friendly salutations. 

(Signed) James Madison. 

The creative side of Hassler is seen mainly in the design of new 
instruments. He put forth an improved repeating theodolite. For 
signals at geodetic stations, Hassler, in 1806, reconomended spherical 
reflectors, such as he had used in Switzerland, but later introduced 
truncated cones of tin which could be manufactured easily and cheaply 
and under ordinary and easy conditions, possessed advantages over 
the heliotrope invented later by Gauss. Hassler appears to be the 
earliest geodesist who thought of using the bright reflection of solar 
light from a gilt ball or cone. After 1836 Hassler used Gauss' helio- 
trope for great distances to be pierced under bad atmospheric condi- 
tions. Most original was Hassler's base line apparatus which involved 
an idea worked out by him in Switzerland and perfected in this coun- 
try. Instead of bringing different bars in actual contact during the 
progress of base-measurements, he used only one bar and optical con- 
tact Each end of the bar was marked by a spider web; a compound 
microscope standing upon a separate support was placed at the forward 
end, right over the spider-web. As the place of this end of the bar 
was determined by the microscope the bar could be moved forward and 
its back end placed under the microscope. This was truly an ingenious 
procedure. 

It is interesting that Hassler's plans for an observatory in the United 
States which were presented to the Government in 1816 and published 
in 1825 should resemble those actually carried out later by Schumacher 
in the Altona Observatory in 1826. From obvious principles both 
scientists deduced independently of one another, plans closely resem- 
bling each other. 

In the making of maps, Hassler used what is now called the Ameri- 
can polyconic projection. This projection was well adapted for the 
eastern coast of the United States which is a narrow strip extending ap- 



128 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

proximately north and south. Mr. C. H. Deetz of the Coast and Geodetic 
Survey, says that **Hassler*s polyconic projection possesses great popu- 
larity on account of mechanical ease of construction and the fact that 
a general table for its use has been calculated for the whole spheroid.** 
^It has/* adds Mr. O. S. Adams, **been extensively used by the United 
States Coast and Geodetic Survey.** 

When Hassler resumed work on the Coast Survey in 1832 his health 
was somewhat broken, but his mind was clear and his spirit unbroken 
and defiant of his opponents, to the very last. "Difficulties have never 
subdued me in my life,*' "I have worked in sick days and in well days** 
are statonents the more impressive, when we recall his struggles 
against poverty, the large family dependent upon him, the illness of 
his children, his serious family vicissitudes, the advantages taken of 
him by supposedly personal friends, the limitations placed upon him 
by government red tape, and the political attacks hurled against him. 
In these respects his career resembles that of the immortal Kepler. 

In his struggles vrith government officials, Hassler insisted that for 
the greatest success of the Coast Survey, the Superintendent must be 
given liberty to hire men whenever the work required it, to arrange 
for transportation of instruments by land or water, the purchase of 
instruments and books vrithin the limits set by the appropriations made 
by Congress. This liberty, said Hassler, the Superintendent of the Coast 
Survey diould have, just as a sea-captain is allowed ^o set the sails 
of his vessel according to the wind and sea.** Hassler*8 signing the 
list of accounts with the statement "these expenses were incurred in 
consequence of my direction for the survey of the coast** were objected 
to by auditors of the treasury department as insufficient. Hassler en- 
tered a vigorous protest and in this struggle won out on many points. 

A bone of contention was Hassler's salary. An anecdote became 
current about 1836 that Secretary Woodburry and Hassler could not 
agree on this point, and that Hassler was referred to President Jackson. 
^So Mr. Hassler, it appears the Secretary and you cannot agree about 
diis matter,** remariwd President Jackson, when Hassler had stated 
his case in his usual emphatic style. "No sir, we can*t**. "Well, how 
much do you really think you oug^t to have?** "Six thousand doUarSv 
Sir.** "Why, Mr. Hassler, that is as much as Mr. Woodbury himself 
reoeives.** "Mr. Voodburry!** declared Hassler, rising from his chair, 
"there are plenty of Voodbnrrys, plenty of Everybodys who ean be 
made Secretary of the Treasury. But,** said he, pointing his forefinger 
toward himself, ^ere is only one, one Hassler for the head of the 
Coast Survey.** President Jackson, sympathizing with a character 
having some traits in common with his own, granted Hassler^s demand. 

One objection raised to Hassler in Congress was that his snrvef 
was too slow and expensive; a modified, less scientific, more expedi- 



SWISS GEODESY AND THE U. S. COAST SURVEY 129 

tious plan was advocated. As we look back now after the passage of 
four score years, Hassler stands out greatest in perceiving and singling 
out what was best in the practical goedesy of his time, in making im- 
provements upon what he found, and then clinging to his plan, which 
was a triangulation scheme, as being the best that the science of his day 
brou^t forth-— clinging as a mother does to her child in danger. What 
looms highest is his moral quality and strength to resist compromises, 
to resist hazardous alterations suggested by engineers and statesmen, 
to maintain this opposition against the adoption of ^^cheaper'* yet ^just 
as good*' plans, and to persist in this opposition year after year, 
decade after decade, from young manhood to old age. The services of 
Hassler to the Nation loom larger and larger with the lapse of tijne. 
Hassler scorned pretensions and shams. Says a recent writer: ^'Due 
to his far sightedness the best foundation was thus laid for geodetic 
operations." 

Svritzerland, at the close of the eighteenth century, embodied in its 
triangulation surveys the best that European science could offer. 
Tralles and Hassler introduced some novelties of their own. The 
Swiss science and art of geodesy were carried by Hassler to the 
United States. Keeping in constant touch with European progress, 
Hassler exercised his gaiius in adopting European practice to Ameri- 
can conditions and adding improvements of his own. Thus, Switzer- 
land became the mother of American Geodesy. 



VOL. xm.- 



130 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 




THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY— H. 

By Professor JOHN JOHNSTON 
tale universitt 

Development of Organic Chemistry in the Last Fifty Years 

TIE sdenoe of organic chemistry developed, as we have seen, very 
slowly until consistent ideas as to the mode of combination of the 
elements, and consequently as to the structure of c<Hnpounds, were 
established; but since then its growth has been by leaps and bounds. 
To-day the organic chemist has prepared, described, and ascertained 
the constitution of compounds numbering 150,000 or more; amongst 
these, in addition to a large number which had previously been isolated 
from natural products, are a vast number never known until built up 
in the laboratory. Indeed as soon as he established the structural prin* 
ciples upon which organic compounds are built up, he became an 
architect and designer of chemical structures, using as units the radicles 
or groups, and proceeded in his laboratory to learn how to build up 
such structures. And so it is now possible to synthesize in the labor- 
atory a relatively complex substance such as uric acid from its ele- 
ments; or, starting from benzene or napthalene, the chemist may finish 
with a dye-stu£P, a regular skyscraper of a compound whose structural 
formula fills half a page and whose systematic name requires several 
lines of type in more than one font. 

In this connection it may be remarked that the so-called coal-tar 
or aniline dyes bear about the same relation to coal-iar or aniline as 
a steel battleship does to a heap of iron ore, the latter being merely 
the raw material fr<Hn which the former is fashioned. Moreover, an 
artificial or synthetic substance is no imitation or substitute, but b 
the real thing and indeed is often purer and better than the natural 
product; synthetic indigo is real indigo, a synthetic ruby is a real ruby, 
the only di£Perence being that one is produced by what we are pleased 
to call natural processes, whereas in the other the process is controlled 
so as to yield a pure product 

The successful synthesis of a substance is usually not possible until 
its structure has been established, a matter whidi may require long- 
continued laborious effort and analysis; even then it may be realized 
very slowly, for one must learn how to make his units combine to form 
the structure desired. Successful synthesis in the laboratory does not 
imply that this synthesis will directly be carried out on a large scale; 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 131 

the development of an economically feasible scheme of operations 
requires a time measured in years rather than in months^-even in war- 
time, when considerations of financial economy are secondary and 
when more effective co-operation can be secured, the interval between 
preparation by the gram and production by the ton is a matter of many 
months. Indeed in some cases— e. g., sugar and rubber — there is no 
immediate prospect of synthetic production on any large scale, be- 
cause the material can be built up in the growing plant — the sugar 
cane or the rubber tree — at a cost comparable with that of the basic 
raw material required in its artificial production. 

The story of even a single achievement in synthesis would be so 
long and would involve so many technical details and explanations that 
it cannot be given here; we shall have to limit ourselves to a mention 
of some of the outstanding examples, premising that these achieve- 
ments became possible only because of knowledge slowly accumulated 
by the efforts of many men possessed by a curiosity with respect to 
the inwardness of things. 

Aniline, discovered first in 1840 as a decomposition product of 
indigo, was found in coal-tar by Hofmann in 1843; in 1845, after his 
discovery of benzene in coal-tar, Hofmann could make aniline in large 
quantities from benasene. In 1856 Perkin, a student of Hofmann, while 
oxidizing some crude aniline, obtained a dye; this was mauve, the first 
of the aniline dyes, the starting-point of an industry which has since 
grown to enormous proportions. In 1868 alizarin, hitherto prepared 
from madder root, was synthesized, and, within a few years, was being 
made on a large scale, to the complete displacement of the natural 
product Indigo was prepared first in 1870, made from accessible coal- 
tar derivatives in 1880, but it was not until 1890 that the process was 
discovered which ultimately proved successful commercially; about 
1902 the synthetic indigo came on the world-market, and by 1914 Ger- 
many was selling over a million pounds a month at about fifteen cents 
a pound, as compared with a price four times as great ten years earlier. 
This list of materials made from coal-tar derivatives could be extended 
indefinitely to include a whole host of compounds, many of which were 
not known at all until built up by the chemist, used as dyes or drugs, 
antiseptics or anaesthetics, perfumes or flavors, and now indeed ccm- 
sidered indispensable. 

About a hundred years ago, Biot observed that a ray of light polar- 
ized in one plane has that plane twisted in passing throu^ certain 
organic substffiices; and that the direction and extent of this rotation 
of the plane of polarization is different for different substances. In 
1848, Pasteur — ^who later elucidated the whole question of fermenta- 
tion and became the father of the science of bacteriology — observed 
that ordinary tartaric acid rotates the polarized ray strongly to the 
ri^it, but that certain tartars yielded an acid called racemic add, iden- 



132 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

deal with tartaric acid in every respect except that it was optically in- 
active. On further investigation he discovered that this racemic acid is a 
mixture of two kinds of tartaric acid in equal quantities and having 
equal but opposite effects on polarized light; and that the crystals of the 
dextro form and of the laevo form differ only as the right hand differs 
fr<Hn the left or an object from its mirror-image. Pasteur also found 
that any organic optically active substance will yield two forms of 
crystal, left-handed and right-handed, and concluded that in such pairs 
of substances die arrangement of atoms must in one case be the inverse 
of the other. There the interpretation of the matter rested undl 1874, 
when van*t Hoff and Le Bel correlated the obseryadons by the dis- 
covery that the molecule of an optically acdve organic compound con- 
tains at least one so-called asynunetric carb<m atom — that is, a carbon 
atom linked to four different groups — showing that optical acdvity 
vanishes as soon as the carbon atom ceases to be asymmetric. This 
type of isomerism cannot be readily visualized through structural 
formulae written in one plane; but van't Hoff made it clear by pictur- 
ing the carbon atom as a regular tetrahedron with linkages extending 
outwards from the four apices, and by using solid models to represent 
the compounds. On this basis it is apparent that a molecular struc- 
ture comprising an asymmetric carbon atom may be either right- or 
left-handed and that there will be two such stereoisomers for each 
asymmetric carbon atom present; and the facts have been found to be 
in complete accordance with these deducdons. 

The phenomenon of opdcal acdvity and its interpretation on a 
stereo-chemical basis have proved of great usefulness, for it has been 
to the chemist a very powerful tool in ascertaining the constitution of 
many organic compounds. Particularly is this so in the case of the 
sugars which have the general empirical formula C^H^jOs* When Emil 
Fischer started systematic work upon the sugars, in 1883, practically 
nothing was known as to their constitution; in 1908, when his col- 
lected papers on sugar were published, the c<HnpIex relationships had 
been resolved. Fischer had succeeded in determining the structural 
formula, and in synthesizing, each of the important sugars; he had 
prepared many of the possible stereoisomers, thereby confirming the 
usefulness of van*t Hoff*s theory, and had, indeed, systematized the 
whole matter. This is only one of his great achievements; for he had 
simultaneously established the constitution of many compounds of the 
so-called purin group, a group which includes substances such as 
caffeine and uric acid. His work on sugars brought in its train the 
necessity for examining further the nature and properties of substances 
which bring about the process of fermentation; from this it is but a 
short step to the proteins, a class of substances more directly connected 
with life processes than any other. And in this field likewise, which at 
the outset presented unparalleled difliculties, Fischer progressed a long 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 133 

way; he was able to break down the complex substances into simpler 
amino-acids and other nitrogenous compounds, to ascertain the struc- 
ture of these decomposition products, and by bringing about recom- 
bination of these units to prepare synthetic peptides which approximate 
to the natural products. 

The measure of Fischer's achievement in this matter is brought out 
by a quotation from a short history of chemistry published as recently 
as 1899:" 

Not only the simple formic and acetic acids, but complex vegetable acids, 
such as tartaric, citric, salicylic, gallic, cinnamic; not marsh gas and ethylic 
alcohol only, but phenols, indigo, alizarin, sugars, and even alkaloids identical 
with those extracted from the tissues of plants, are now producible by purely 
chemical processes in the laboratory. It might appear that such triumphs 
would justify anticipations of still greater advances, by which it might be- 
come possible to penetrate into the citadel of life itself. Nevertheless tlie 
warning that a limit, though distant yet, is certainly set in this direction 
to the powers of man, appears to be as justifiable now, and even as necessary, 
as in the days when all these definite organic compounds were supposed to 
be producible only through the agency of a "vital force." Never yet has 
any compound approaching the character and composition of albumen or any 
proteid been formed by artificial methods, and it is at least improbable that 
It ever will be without the assistance of living organisms. 

This illustrates again the danger of prophecies as to the limitation 
of mm's powers; for the limitations set are continually being trans- 
cended by the genius, and he would be rash who would now set a limit 
to what may be learned from biochemical investigations, in view of 
the extraordinary progress made within the present century; but to 
discuss this fascinating subject is beyond the scope of this sketch 
of the development of the principles of chemistry. 

General and Inorganic Chemistry Since 1860 

Compared with the enormous growth of organic chemistry, that of 
inorganic chemistry was for a long time insignificant. It remained for 
many years largely in the hands of the so-called practical man, who 
has been defined as the man who practices the errors of his grand- 
father; and contented itself largely with descriptions of substances 
rather than with their interrelations and structure. As one instance 
among many, it may be m^itioned that there has been no real technical 
improvement in the Chamber Process of making sulphuric acid — 
which is the key substance, made by the millions of tons yearly, in all 
chemical manufacture — since Gay-Lussac invented his absorption tower 
nearly one hundred years ago; nor does this mean that there is no room 
for improvement, but merely that it was not sought properly. Indeed 
as late as 1900, many chemists considered that but little more, and 
that UtUe not of the first importance, remained to be done in inorganic 
chemistry; the truth being the exact opposite — that we had then barely 

"W. T. Tilden, "A Short History of the Progress of Scientific Chem- 
istry," p. 154. 



134 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

scratched the surface of this enormous field. It had not been ade* 
quately recognized that chemistry had been dealing in the main with 
the behavior of a rather restricted range of substances over a narrow 
range of temperature (say, from somewhat below the freezing point up 
to 400°) and, practically, at a single pressure — ^with a mere slice of 
the whole field, in fact — and that these conditions are quite arbitrary 
when we consider the whole subject-matter of chemistry. 

Nor is the development of inorganic chemistry of subsidiary im- 
portance, from any point of view. If judged with respect solely to the 
monetary value of its products it would be far ahead of organic chem- 
istry, as will be obvious if we recall that it is concerned with the produc- 
tion of all our metals, of building materials such as brick, cement, 
glass, and with the manufacture of all kinds of articles in every-day 
use. One reason for its comparative neglect for so many years is that 
inorganic chemistry is in a sense the more difficult in that, whereas 
organic compounds usually stay put and behave regularly— one might 
say that organic radicles are conservative and conventional — ^the be- 
havior of many inorganic compounds is more complex, somewhat 
analogous to that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; another is that the great 
successes of organic chemistry attracted a majority of the workers. 
But the main reason is that the proper theories for the interpretaticm 
of the phenomena had not been available, consequently proper tools 
and adequate methods of investigation had not been developed. 

The fundamental idea which was lacking is the conception of chem- 
ical equilibrium, the importance of which was not really grasped until 
about thirty years ago and is not yet adequately apprehended by many 
chemists. The first contribution to this question we need notice dates 
from 1865, when Guldberg and Waage published the so-called law of 
mass-action. This paper may be said to inaugurate the quantitative 
study of chemical equilibrium, though progress for many years was 
quite slow. Indeed at that time the conception of equilibrium was very 
recent; of the few cases then known, the majority were certain gases 
which had been observed to expand with rise in temperature in an 
apparently anomalous manner as compared to the so-called permanent 
gases; this anomaly was accounted for on the basis that a progressive 
dissociation of the gas, e. g. ammonium chloride (NH4CI) into simpler 
molecules of anmionia (NHg) and hydrochloric acid (HCl), takes 
place on heating and that the constituents recombine on subsequent 
cooling. Hundreds of instances are now known, all of which are in 
quantitative accord with the law of mass-action. 

Accotding to this law, the extent of diemical action within a homo- 
geneous gaseous system is determined by the ^'active mass",— or better, 
the effective concentration — of each species of molecule taking part in 
the reaction; this implies that an apparently stationary condition, a 



L 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 135 

state of equilibrium, is finally reached, at which point the tendency 
of the reaction to go forward is just counterbalanced by the tendency 
of the reverse reaction. This may be made more objective by an actual 
example. By the equati<m 

CO + H,0 -<=> H^ + CO, 

carbon monoxide steam hydrogen carbon dioxide 

we symbolize the fact that under appropriate conditions in any mix- 
ture of the ^ses CO and HjO some proportion of the gases H, and CO, 
will be formed, and conversely, in any mixture of Hj and COg some 
proportion of CO and H^O will be formed; and the law of masa-action 
states that the concentrations of the several gases will always adjust 
themselves so that ultimately 

[M [">»] ^^ 

[00] [H,0] 

where the symbols [Hj], etc., denote the concentrations of the several 
reacting species, and K is a constant, the equilibrium constant, the value 
of which depends upon the temperature but not upon the original 
amounts of any of the substances. From this it is obvious that, if we 
know the value of K corresponding to any temperature, we are in posi- 
tion to predict exactly what will happen in any mixture in which this 
reaction may take place, and consequently to select the conditions under 
which the maximum yield of any one of the substances may be expected. 
The usefulness of this is so apparent as to require no ccxnment. 

The law of mass-action is but a special case of the general question 
of equilibrium treated so comprehensively by Willard Gibbs, at that 
time Professor of Mathematical Physics at Yale, on the general basis 
of the laws of thermodynamics. These two laws now underlie so much 
of the reasoning upon which advances in chemistry and physics have 
been based that we must go back a little to consider them. 

The doctrine that heat is an imponderable became finally untenable 
about 1860, when the work of Mayer in Germany and of Joule in Eng- 
land had finally convinced everybody that heat is a form of energy, 
and that heat and work are quantitatively interchangeable. This leads 
directly to the First Law of Thermodynamics, the doctrine of the con- 
servation of energy, that energy is indestructible and uncreatable, that 
energy, though apparently disappearing, is simultaneously reappearing 
in another form. The second law in its briefest form is that a ther- 
modynamic perpetual motion is impossible; perhaps I can best convey 
an idea of it by means of the picturesque analogies of a recent writer:^ 

There is one law that regulates all animate and inanimate things. It 
is formulated in various ways, for instance: Running down hill is easy. 
In Latin it reads, facUis descensus Averni, Herbert Spencer calls it the dis- 
solution of definite coherent heterogeneity into indefinite incoherent homo- 

i^Slosson, Creative Chemistry, page 145. 



136 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

geneity. Mother Goose expresses it in the fable of Humpty Dumpty, and 
die business man extracts the moral as, "You can't unscramble an egg." The 
theologian calls it the dogma of natural depravity. The physicist calls it 
the second law of thermodynamics. Clausius formulates it as "The entropy 
of the world tends toward a maximum." It is easier to smash up than to 
build up. Children find that this is true of their toys; the Bolsheviki have 
found diat it is true of a civilization. 

These two laws, which had been established largely by the work of 
Mayer, Joule, Clausius and William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin), 
have only been confirmed by all subsequent work; uid they are now 
considered as fundamental as any laws in physical science. The great 
advance in applying them generally to chemical processes is due to 
Gibbs, who in 1876 and 1878 printed in the Transactions of the Con- 
necticut Academy the two parts of his epoch-making paper '^On the 
Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances." Gibbs was, however, so 
far in advance of his time and his paper was moreover so inaccessible, 
that the importance of his work was not recognized for tm years, when 
it was proclaimed by Roozeboom and began to be used as a guide — 
almost entirely by Hollanders and Germans — in the interpretation of 
chemical phenomena. It is hardly too much to say that the very large 
number of subsequent advances in this field are merely applications 
and variations of Gibbs' fundamental considerations; that his paper 
mapped out the lines of advance in a new field of chemical science 
comparable in importance to that uncovered by Lavoisier. The concep- 
tion of equilibrium in chemical processes constitutes the central idea 
of what is commonly called physical chemistry, which however would 
be better termed theoretical or general chemistry since it deals with 
the general principles of the science. 

To many Gibbs' name is familiar only as the formulator of the 
phase rule, a general principle, derived from his thermodynamic dis- 
cussion of chemical equilibrium, which enables one to sort chemical 
systems tending to equilibrium into categories, and to state qualita- 
tively what behavior may be expected in each type of system. The 
phase rule has been of indispensable service in the elucidation of prob- 
lems as apparently diverse as the constitution of alloys (another large 
field in which we have done little more than scratch the surface 
hitherto) ; the origin of salt-deposits in the earth; the separation of 
potash or other valuable salts from the waters of saline lakes; the rela- 
tion between different crystal forms of the same chemical substance, 
as exemplified in many minerals and in the so-called allotropic modifi- 
cations of the elements themselves (e. g. diamond and graphite; phos- 
phorus, white and red, etc.). Indeed the service which these doctrines 
with respect to chemical equilibrium have rendered is but a fraction of 
what they will render to chemical science, and hence to the people 
at large. 

For a long time there had been investigations looking towards a 



k 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 137 

relation between physical properties and chemical constitution. An 
early instance is the work of Dulong and Petit, who discovered that 
equal amounts of heat are required to raise equally the temperature of 
solid and liquid elements, provided quantities are taken proportional 
to the atomic wei^ts; and this was frequendy used as a criterion in 
fixing upon the proper atomic weight. This is an instance of the neces- 
sity of comparing quantities which are really comparable chonically, 
instead of equal weights; that r^;ularitie8 which otherwise would re- 
main hidden will be apparent when an equal number of chemical units 
— ^molecules — are considered. Hence it is obvious that few such regu- 
larities would be observed so long as there was confusion with respect 
to atoms and molecules; but since 1860 there has been continuous prog- 
ress in this direction, though until very recently chemists had in their 
comparisons often made insufficient use of chemical units, as compared 
with the arbitrary unit of weight, the gram. As examples of this type of 
relationship we may mention: the heat capacities (specific heats) of 
gases; the molecular volume, the heat-change accompanying combus- 
tion, formation, or melting, particularly as applied to homologous 
series of organic compounds; the relation between constitution and 
color and otl\,er optical properties, etc. 

Along with this went naturally the question of the properties of a 
substance as affected by mixture with another, of solutions in particu- 
lar. The fact that the boiling-point of a solution is higher than that 
of the solvent itself had long been known, and measurements of the 
rise in boiling point caused by equal weights of dissolved material had 
been made; but it was not until 1884 that Ostwald pointed out that this 
rise is approximately the same, for any one solvent, when computed 
for equal numbers of molecules dissolved in the same amount of the 
solvent. The measurements had been mainly of solutions of a salt 
in water; but in 1886 Raoult extended the observations to other sub- 
stances and stated what is now known as Raoult's law, which may be 
considered as the fundamental law formulating the dependence of the 
general properties of a perfect solution upon its composition; namely, 
the lowering of the vapor pressure of the solvent is proportional to the 
number of dissolved molecules per unit of solvent, or as now fre- 
quently phrased, the partial pressure of a component of a solution is 
proporticmal to its molar fraction, the molar fraction being defined as 
the ratio of the number of molecules of that component to the total 
number of molecules present. Soon thereafter van't Hoff gave the 
thennodynamic relationships between lowering of vapor pressure and 
raising of boiling-point, lowering of freezing-point, and osmotic pres- 
sure; by means of which any one of these may be deduced from another 
provided that certain constants characteristic of the solvent are known. 
It was then possible, from such measurements, to calculate the mole- 



138 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

oular weight of the substance m solution; when this was done, many of 
the results were anomalous — in particular, the apparent molecular 
weight of a salt in solution in water was little more than half what one 
would expeot from its formula. 

Now it had long been known that certain classes of substances dis- 
solved in water yield a solution which is a good conductor of electricity, 
and that aqueous solutions of other substances are poor conductors; 
the former class, called electrolytes by Faraday, comprises salts, acids 
and bases (alkalies) , whereas the typical non-electrolyte is an organic 
substance such as sugar. And it was precisely these electrolytes which 
exhibited the anomalous molecular weight To account for this ano- 
maly Arrhenius propounded the theory of electrolytic dissociation, the 
basic idea of which is that the electrolytes, when dissolved in water, 
dissociate into two or more constituent particles, that these constituents 
are the ions, or carriers of electricity through the solution, and that 
each ion afiPects the general properties of the solution just as if it 
were an independent molecule. This theory is another landmark in 
the field of chemistry, for it has served to correlate and systematize a 
very large number of apparently diverse facts. 

It would lead too far to go into the consequences and applications 
of the theory of ionization; how it enables us to choose the optimum 
conditions under which to carry out many analytical operations; how 
it leads to the view that acidity is determined by the actual concentra- 
tion of hydrogen-ion (H+), and basicity (alkalinity) by hydroxyl-ion 
(0H~~), etc Its usefulness and importance in aiding us towards a real 
knowledge of aqueous solutions — a knowledge so essential to progress 
in many lines — ^is so great as to require no emphasis. And yet the 
theory is not completely satisfactory, there being still some outstanding 
an<Hnalies, particularly in connection with the so-called strong electro- 
lytes as typified by ordinary salts; but there is hope that these dis- 
crepancies will disappear with the growth of knowledge of electro- 
diemistry. 

The fundamental law of electrochemistry was discovered by Fara- 
day prior to 1840, namely: that one unit of electricity transports one 
diemical equivalent of an ion, irrespective of voltage, temperature, con- 
centration or other ccmditions. Later, it was established that these ions 
move independently of one another, and with characteristic velocities, 
facts which, with others, were satisfactorily coordinated by the theory 
of ionization; which in turn led to greatly improved control of prac- 
tical electrochemical processes, such as electroplating. Again, it had 
long been known that an electromotive force is set up whenever there 
is a di£Perence of any kind at two electrodes immersed in an electrolyte, 
and when two similar electrodes are placed in different solutions, or in 
solutions of the same substance at different OMicentrations. The next 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 139 

step in advance was taken by Nemst, in 1889, who, from thermodyna- 
mical reasoning confirmed by direct experiment, deduced the relation 
between the electro-motive force and the ratio of effective concentra- 
tion of the active ion in one solution to that in the other. Measure- 
ment of electromotive force, therefore, under appropriate conditions, 
yields independent information as to the effective concentration, or 
activity, of the ions. Nor is this the only application of this princi- 
ple to the development of chemistry; for it also affords a measure of 
chemical affinity. 

One of the characteristic phenomena accompanying a chemical 
change is an evolution or absorption of heat; in other words, the 
amount of heat contained by the reacting system changes with the 
diemical change. The measurement of this heat change, which may 
range from a large n^ative quantity through zero to a large positive 
quantity, is the province of thermo-chemistry. Our knowledge of these 
heats of reaction is largely due to Thomsen and to Berthelot, each of 
whom started from the supposition that the heat effect is a direct meas- 
ure of relative affinity; and it was with this end in view that 
they carried out the very laborious work involved in these determina- 
tions. It is now clear that this supposition is erroneous, that the maxi- 
mum work producible by a reaction, or its free energy, is a truer meas- 
ure of affinity, the heat effect being an important factor in this maxi- 
mum work or free energy. The systematic determination of the free 
energy of reactions, one of the most potent methods being the electrical 
method outlined above, is an outstanding task of modem chemistry, of 
consequence to the progress of the science as well as to mdustrial 
progress. 

Graham, the discoverer in 1829 of the law relating the rate of diffu- 
sion of a gas to its density, later made experiments on the rate of diffu- 
sion of dissolved substances through animal membranes; this woik led 
him to divide substimces into two categories — ^the rapidly moving 
crystalloids, typified by salt, and the slow moving colloids, typified by 
gum arabic or gelatine. For a long time this distinction* persisted, 
colloids being regarded as somewhat mysterious, rather messy, sub- 
stances; and it was apparently considered a good explanation of some 
ill-understood phenomenon to attribute it, if possible, to a colloid. This 
whole matter received little systematic attention for forty years and 
only after 1900 did it become evident that we should not speak of a col- 
loid as a distinct class of substances, but may speak only of the colloidal 
state. The characteristic phencHuenon is the dispersion of one sub- 
stance in another, the system being therefore heterogeneous; and the 
properties of the colloidal system depend upon the kind of particle, 
and upon their fineness, — in short, upon the nature and extent of the 
surface of separation of the two phases. In an outline (m the present 



140 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

scale one cannot go further into colloid chemistry, except to say that 
nearly everything remains to be done and that increased knowledge td 
the subject is fundamental to progress along many lines in biology and 
medicine, and is also of inestimable importance to all manner of in- 
dustries, ranging from tanning to pottery. 

Closely connected with this, since they also are surface effects, are 
the phenomena of adsorption and of catal3^is, both known in more or 
less isolated instances for a long time, and both very ill understood. 
Their importance has been demonstrated recently, the f onn^ in con- 
nection with the provision of a satisfactory gas-mask, the latter as a 
means of making certain products — for instance, edible fats out of 
inedible oils, — in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen, etc. And there 
is no question that both phmomena will be made use of increasingly, 
and that this increase will be accelerated as soon as we begin to under- 
stand the principles underlying these phenomena, a matter upon which 
we are still in die dark. Indeed, even as it is, extension of the use of 
catalytic mediods is proceeding so rapidly that predictions are being 
made that we are entering upon what might be called a catalytic age 
in so far as the making of many chemical products is concerned. 

As we have already noted, practically all chemical work, until very 
recently, had been carried out within a temperature range extending 
only from 0° up to 400° and at pressures ranging fr<Hn atmospheric 
dovm to, say, 0.01 atmosphere. But the recent extension of these 
ranges has had so many practical consequences as to require some men- 
tion. This extension, thou^ it hardly involves any important new 
chemical principle, has in a sense been equivalent to one, in that it 
has forced chemists to consider the subject more broadly and to re- 
member that ^ordinary conditions*' are quite arbitrary in reference to 
the subject as a whole. To illustrate, the chemistry at the 1000° hori- 
zon, though subject to the same general principles, has to deal with 
only a small fraction of the compounds familiar to us at the 25° 
horizon, and is incomparably simpler; at the 2000° horizon it would be 
still simpler, and at still higher temperatures — ^as in many of the stars 
— the elements, at that temperature all gaseous, in place of being com- 
bined with one another, would probably be in part themselves disso- 
ciating. 

Before 1845 Faraday had succeeded in liquefying, by cooling and 
compressing, many of the gases then known; but a few of the most 
common gases — ^viz., nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, 
nitric oxide, methane — ^resisted all his efforts, wherefore they were often 
alluded to as the "permanent gases." The clue was given in 1861 by 
Andrews, who showed that there is for each gas a critical temperature 
above which it cannot be liquefied by any pressure whatever ;i^ and 
the reason for lack of success with the permanent gases was that the 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY Ul 

lowest tanperature employed had been above tbe critical point of those 
gases. With appreciation of this point and with improvements of 
tedmique, resukmg in part from theory and in part from practice, 
success was finally achieved in all cases; all known gases have there- 
fore now been liquefied, and there is only a difference in degree of 
**permanence** between hydrogen which condenses to liquid at 30*^ 
absolute and water vapor (steam) which condenses at 373° absolute. 
The main victories in conquering this r^ion are given in the follow- 
ing table: 

UQUEFACTION OF THE *T£RMANENT" GASES 

Sulkttftnee Data wImb Observer Liquid 

liquid firat Critical Temperature Boiling Temperature Frees*f Temp, 

obuiaed C. aba. C. aba. C. aba. 

Oxygen 1883 Wroblewski — 118° 155 —181° 92 — 23S 38 

Nitrogen 1883 Wroblewski —146 127 —195 78 —215 58 

Hydrogen 1898 Dewar —243 30 —252 21 -:-248 17 

Helium 1908 Onnes —268 S —269 4 2.5 

To this may be added that liquid air was first obtained by Wroblew- 
ski in 1885, was available for research purposes in 1891, and since 
1895, with the development of the conmiercial machine for producing 
it, has become an industry; it is now indispensable to several lines of 
work — for instance, wherever very low pressures are required. Inci- 
dentally, too, its development resulted in the invention of the vacuum- 
jacketed, or Dewar, tube which is now a necessary tool in all work at 
low temperatures and a convenience to the community generally. 

With the command of low temperatures, it is now possible to make 
accurate measurement, e. g. of specific heats, at temperatures not so 
far removed from the absolute zero. And there is reason to believe 
that this type of work is going to furnish very valuable information 
on some moot questions; for instance, on the entropy of substances 
at the lowest temperatures and on the applicability of the Nemst heat 
theorem, called by some the third law of thermodynamics — questions 
which bear a very intimate relation to the problem of the nature of 
chemical affinity. 

Apart fr<Hn mainly qualitative work, such as that of Moissan with 
his arc-furnace on the carbides, little accurate high-iemperature work 
was done until about 1900. In the meantime methods of control and 
measurement have been developed to such an extent that many types 
of measurement may be made just as accurately at 1000° as at 100°. 
This has enabled many equilibria, both homogeneous (usually in gas 
systems) and heterogeneous (.that is, essentially solubilities), to be 
determined carefully over a wide range of temperature. Such knowl- 
edge is essential for many purposes, both practical and theoretical — 
from the nature of ccHubustion to the constitution of alloys and the 
mode of formation of minerals and rocks. Very recently high tem- 

i^Though, as we now know, it may be solidified bv application of sufficient 
f>ressure at temperatures higher than the critical end-point of the liquid. 



142 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

peratures have been coppled with minimal pressures in experimental 
work on electron emission and related topics; but this is at the m<Hnent 
usually considered a part of the domain of physics, which has not yet 
received adequate attention from a chemical point of view. In the field 
of high pressures, as in that of high temperatures, recent technical 
progress has made it possible to follow many types of changes with 
as high accuracy at a pressure of 10,000 atmospheres (i. e. 150,000 
pounds to the square inch) ae at 10 atmospheres. This is bringing to 
light phenomena hitherto unsuspected; thus, whm the whole range is 
considered, it appears to be the rule, rather than the exception, that a 
substance whm solidified exists in more than one crystalline form, each 
stable within a definite range of temperature and pressure. As an in- 
stance of this, there are in addition to ordinary ice, at least four other 
forms of crystalline water, stable at high pressure; and under increas- 
ing hi^ pressure the freezing temperature of water steadily rises until 
at, for instance, a pressure of 20,000 atm. it freezes about 73° (centi- 
grade) higher than its ordinary freezing point 

The phenomena observed at high and low temperatures and at 
high and low pressures all illustrate the fact that chemistry should not 
be looked upon as a collection of isolated things which can be manipu- 
lated in a sort of magical way, but is to be thought of as, in a sense, 
almost a ccmtinuum all parts of which are subject to definite laws, still 
incompletely elucidated; the relative behavior of all substances being 
controlled by these laws in the same sense as the relative motions of 
the heavenly bodies are controlled by the law of gravitation. 

In this brief sketch of the developmmt of chemical science, many 
things must remain unmentioned. Yet it must not be supposed that 
these things are intrinsically unimportant; indeed an explanation of 
scnne puzzling phenomenon may arise out of work in another field, ap- 
parently entirely unrelated, each advance in knowledge of any field 
being that much vrrested fr<Hn the domain of ignorance, and reacting 
in favor of advances at other points of the line. In particular it has 
not been practicable to mention the several branches of applied chem- 
istry, for instance, the study of the substances and reactions involved 
in life-processes, with its remarkable advance within the last few years, 
which would require a chapter to itself; or even analytical chemistry, an 
essential branch of the subject, which develops with each development of 
principle, and is to be r^arded as including all mediods of analysis 
and not merely the semi-traditional mediods applied to a s<Hnewhat re- 
stricted group of salts of certain metallic bases. The growth of the 
whole subject-matter may perhaps be gauged fr<Hn the fact that the 
1920 volume of Chemical Abstracts, which gives merely brief ab- 
stracts of papers of interest to chemists published within the year, con- 
tains more than 4,000 pages, and that the index to this volume alone 



THE HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY 143 

will cover more than 600 pages closely printed in double column. 
From this it is obvious that, even though a large proportion of these 
papers contain little of real value, one cannot keep abreast of advances 
in the whole subject but can only hope to have a general knowledge 
of principles and to acquire a special knowledge of some restricted 
field. 

lliese principles of chemical science are of its essence and consti- 
tute its philosophy; only with development of this philosophy will it 
be possible to progress in the correlation and systematization of the 
multitudinous facts of chemistry. The progress of this philosophy, 
which indeed demands the services of the physicist as much as those 
of the chemist, is obliterating the line of demarcation between these 
two sciences. Initially physics dealt mainly with changes which affect 
matter independently of its composition, whereas chemistry was con- 
cerned mainly with the change of composition; but the physicist and 
chemist came to meet on common ground for the reason that the quanti- 
tative measures of most of the so-called physical properties are inti- 
mately connected with the constitution of the substance. And it may 
be said that the recent very significant advances— dating, say from the 
discovery of the X-rays — concern the chemist just as much as the physi- 
cist, and that each of them should be conversant with the general mode 
of thought of the other. Indeed the several sciences have in the past 
been too far apart from one another, and we should now seek in- 
creased co-operati(Ni, for it is precisely in the boundary regions be- 
tween them that the most valuable advances in the immediate future 
will be made. 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH— VI. EXPERIMENTAL 
STUDIES ON THE DURATION OF LIFE' 

By Profenor RAYMOND PEARL 

the johns hopkins university 

1. Inheritance of Duration of Life in Drosophila 

IN the last paper there was presented indubitable proof that in- 
heritance is a major factor in determining the duration of life in 
man. The evidence, while entirely convincing and indeed in the writ- 
er's opinion critically conclusive, must be, in the nature of the case, 
statistical in its nature. Experimental inquiries into the duration of 
human life are obviously impossible. Public opinion frowns upon them 
in the first place, and even if this difBculty were removed man wonld 
furnish poor material for the experimental study of thb particular 
problem because he lives too long. It is always important, however, 
as a general principle, and particularly so in the present instance, to 
chedc one's statistical conclusions by independent experimental evi- 
dence. This can be successfully done, when one's problem is longevity, 
only by choosing an animal whose life-span relative to that of man is 
a ^ort one, and in general the briefer it is the better suited will the 
animal be (or the purpose. 



no. 1. HALE AND FEHALE FRUIT FLY (Arm 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 146 

An organism which rather completely fulfils the requirements of 
the caae, not only in respect of the shortness of the life span, but also 
in other ways, such as ease of handling, feeding, housing, etc., is the 
common '*f ruit'' or ^^vinegar" fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This crea- 
ture, which every one has seen hovering about bananas and other fruit 
in fruit shops, has lately attained great fame and respectability as a 
laboratory animal, as a result of the brilliant and extended investiga- 
tions of Morgan and his students upon it, in an analysis of the 
mechanism of heredity. Drosophila is a small fly, perhaps one fourth 
as large as the common house fly. It has striking red eyes, a brownish 
body, and wings of length and form varying in different strains. It 
lives normally on the surface of decaying fruit of all sorts, but because 
of a more or less well marked preference for banana it is sometimes 
called the **banana'' fly. While it lives on decaying fruit surfaces its 
food is mainly not the fruit itself, but the yeast which is always grow- 
ing in such places. 

The life cycle of the fly is as follows: The ^g laid by the female 
on some fairly dry spot on the food develops in about 1 day into a 
larva. This larva or maggot squirms about and feeds in the rich 
medium in which it finds itself for about 3 to 4 days and then forms a 
pupa. From the pupa the winged imago or adult form emerges in 
about 4 or 5 days. The female generally begins to lay eggs within the 
first 24 hours after she is hatched. So then we have about 8 to 10 days 
as the minimum time duration of a generation. The whole cycle from 
egg to egg, at ordinary room temperature, falls within this 10-day 
period with striking accuracy and precision. 

The duration of life of the adult varies in an orderly manner from 
less than 1 day to over 90 days. The span of life of Drosophila quan- 
titatively parallels in an extraordinary way that of man, with only 
the difference that life's duration is measured with different yardsticks 
in the two cases. Man's yardstick is one year long, while DrosophUcls 
is one day long. A fly 90 days old is just as decrepit and senile, for a 
fly, as a man 90 years old is in human society. 

This parallelism in the duration of life of Drosophila and man is 
well shown in Fig. 2, which represents a life table for adult flies of 
both sexes. The survivorship, or Ix figures, are the ones plotted. The 
curves deal only with flies in the adult or imago stage, after the com- 
pletion of the larval and pupal periods. The curve is based upon 3,216 
female and 2,620 male flies, large enough numbers to give reliable and 
smooth results. We note at once that in general the curve has the 
same form as the corresponding Ix curve from human mortality tables. 
The most striking difference is in the absence from the fly curves of the 
heavy infant mortality which characterizes the human curve. There is 
no specially sharp drop in the curve at the beginning of the life cycle, 

VOL. xm.— 10. 



146 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



lOOO 




O 6 u' e £4 .yO J6 *i 46 A4 60 6t 7^ ?0 34 30 



AOL IN Q^YS 
FIG. 2. LIFE LINES FOR DroMophOm mmUmotMUr, SHOWING THE SURVIVORS AT DIFFERENT 

AGES OUT OF 1000 BORN AT THE SAME TIME 

such as has been seen in the Ix curve for man in an earlier paper in this 
series. This might at first be thought to be accounted for by the fact 
that the curve begins after the infantile life of the fly, but it must be 
remembered that the human Ix line begins at birdi, and no account is 
taken of the mortality in utero. Really the larval and pupal stages of 
the fly correspond rather to the foetal life of a human being than to the 
infant life, so that one may fairly take the curves as covering compar- 
able portions of the life span in the two cases and reach the conclusion 
that there is not in the fly an especially heavy incidence of mortality in 
the infant period of life, as there is in man. The explanation of this 
fact is, without doubt, that the fly when it emerges from the pupal stage 
is completely able to take care of itself. The baby is, on the contrary, 
in an almost totally helpless condition at the same relative age. 

It is further evident that at practically all ages in Drosophila the 
number of survivors at any given age is higher among the females than 
among the males. This, it will be recalled, is exactly the state of the 
case in human mortality. The speed of the descent of the Drosophila 
curve slows off in old age, just as happens in the human life curve. 
The rate of descent of the curve in early middle life is somewhat more 
rapid with the flies than in the case of human beings, but as will 
presently appear there are some strains of flies which give curves almost 
identical in this respect with the human mortality curves. In the life 
curves of Figure 2, all different degrees of inherited or constitutional 
variation in longevity are included together. More accurate pictures 
of the true state of affairs will appear when we come, as we presently 
shall, to deal with groups of individuals more homogeneous in respect 
of their hereditary constitutions. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 147 

Having now demonstrated that the incidence of mortality is in 
general similar in the fly Drosophila to what it is in man, with a suit- 
able change of unit of measure, we may proceed to examine some of the 
evidence regarding the inheritance of duration of life in this organism. 
The first step in such an examination is to determine what degree of 
natural variation of an hereditary sort exists in a general fly popula- 
tion in respect of this characteristic. In order to do this it is necessary 
to isolate individual pairs, male and female, breed them together and 
see whether, between the groups of offspring so obtained, there are 
genetic differences in respect of duration of life which persist through 
an indefinite number of generations. This approaches closely to the 
process called by geneticists the testing of pure lines. In such a process 
the purpose is to reduce to a minimum the genetic diversity which can 
possibly be exhibited in the material. In a case like the present, the 
whole amount of genetic variation in respect of duration of life which 
can appear in the offspring of a single pair of parents is only that 
which can arise by virtue of its prior existence in the parents them- 
selves individually, and from the combination of the germinal varia- 
tion existing in the two parents one with another. We may call the 
o£Espring, through successive generations, of a single pair of parents a 
line of descent If, when kept under identical environmental conditions 
such lines exhibit widely different average durations of life, and if 
these differences reappear with constancy in successive generations, it 
may be justly concluded that the basis of these differences is hereditary 
in nature, since by hypothesis the environment of all the lines is kept 
the same. In consequence of the environmental equality whatever dif- 
ferences do appear must be inherently genetic. 

The manner in which these experiments are performed may be of 
interest An e3q>eriment starts by placing two flies, brother and sister, 
•elected from a stock bottle, together in a half -pint milk bottle. At the 
bottom of the bottle is a solidified, jelly-like mixture of agar-agar and 
boiled and pulped banana. On this is sown as food some dry yeast. 
A bit of folded filter paper in the bottle furnishes the larvae opportun- 
ity to pupate on a dry surface. About ten days after the pair of flies 
have been placed in this bottle fully developed offspring in the imago 
stage begin to emerge. The day before these offspring flies are due to 
appear, the original parent pair of flies are removed to another bottle 
precisely like the first, and the female is allowed to lay another batch 
of eggs over a period of about nine days. In the original bottle there 
will be offspring flies emerging each day, having developed from the 
eggs laid by the mother on each of the successive days during which 
she was in the bottle. Each morning the offspring flies which have 
emerged during the preceding twenty-four hours are transferred to a 
small bottle. This has, just as the larger one, food material at the 



148 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



bottom and like the larger one is closed with a cotton stopper. All of 
the offspring flies in one of these small bottles are obviously of the 
same age, because they were bom at the same time, using this term 
'*bom" to denote emergence from the pupal stage as imagines. E^ach' 
following day these small bottles are inspected. Whenever a dead fly 
is found it is removed and a record made in proper form of the fact 
that its death occurred, and its age and sex are noted. Finally, when 
all the flies in a given small bottle have died that bottle is discarded, as 
the record of the duration of life of each individual is then complete. 
All the bottles are kept in electric incubators at a constant temperature 
of 25° C, the small bottles being packed for convenience in wire 
baskets. All have the same food material, both in quality and quantity, 
so that the environmental conditions surrounding these flies during 
their life may be regarded as substantially constant and uniform for 
all. 



tpoo 



900 



900 



TOO 



«oo 



SOQ 



4O0 



JOO 



zoo 



too 




ABC iv aws 

nC. 3. LIFE LINES FOR DIFFERENT INBRED LINES OF DESCENT IN DntophUm 

Fgure 3 diows the survival frequency, or Ix line of a life table, 
for six different lines of Drosophila^ which have been bred in my 
laboratory. Each line represents the survival distribution of the off- 
spring of a single brother and sister pair mated together. In forming 
a line a brother and sister are taken as the initial start because by so 
doing the amount of genetic variation present in the line at the begin- 
ning is reduced to the lowest possible minimum. It should be said that 
in all of the curves in Figure 3 both male and female offspring are 
lumped together. This is justifiable for illustrative purposes because 
of the small difference in the expectation of life at any age between 
the sexes. The line of descent No. 55 figured at the top of the diagram 
gives an Ix line extraordinarily like that for man, with the exception of 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 14» 

the omission of the sharp drop due to infantile mortality at the begin- 
ning of the curve. The extreme duration of life in this line was 81 
days, reached by a female fly. The Ix Hue drops off very slowly until 
age 36 days. From that time on the descent is more rapid until 72 days 
of age are reached when it slows up again. Lines 50, 60, and 58 show 
2z curves all descending more rapidly in the early part of the life 
cycle than that for line 55, although the maximum degree of longevity 
attained is about the same in all of the four first curves. The general 
shape of the Zx curves changes however, as is clearly seen if we contrast 
line 55 with line 58. The former is concave to the base through nearly 
the whole of its course, whereas the Ix curve for line 58 is convex to 
the base practically throughout its course. While, as is clear from 
the diagram, the maximum longevity attained is about the same for all 
of these upper four lines, it is equally obvious that the mean duration 
of life exhibited by the lines falls off as wd go down the diagram. The 
same process, which is in operation between lines 55 and 58, is con- 
tinued in an even more marked degree in lines 61 and 64. Here not 
only is the descent more rapid in the early part of the Ix curve, but the 
maximum degree of longevity attained is much smaller, amounting to 
about half of that attained in the other four lines. Both lines 61 and 
64 tend to show in general a curve convex to the base, especially in the 
latter half of their course. 

Since each of these lines of descent continues to show through suc- 
cessive generations, for an indefinite time, the same types of mortality 
corves and approximately the same average durations of life, it may 
safely be concluded that there are well marked hereditary differences 
in different strains of the same species of DrosophUa in respect of 
duration of life. Passing from the top to the bottom of the diagram 
the average expectation of life is reduced by about two-thirds in these 
representative curves. For purposes of experimentation, each one of 
these lines of descent becomes comparable to a chemical reagent They 
have a definitely fixed standard duration of life, each peculiar to its 
own line ^and determined by the hereditary constitution of the in- 
dividual in respect of this character. We may, with entire justification, 
speak of the flies of line 64 as hereditarily and permanently short-lived, 
and those of line 55 as hereditarily long-lived. 

Having established so much, the next step in the analysis of the 
mode of inheritance of this character is obviously to perform a 
Mendelian experiment by crossing an herecfitarily short-lived line with a 
hereditarily long-lived line, and follow through in the progeny of suc- 
cessive generations the duration of life. If the character follows the 
ordinary, coarse of Mendelian inheritance, we should expect to get in 
the second offspring generation a segregation of different types of flies 
in respect of their duration of life. 



150 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



iOOO 




J& 4£ 46 ,54 60 66 7£ 10 M 90 

AGL IN DAVS 

FIG. 4. LIFE LINES SHOWING THE RESULT OF IIENDELIAN EXPERIMENTS (Ml THE 

DURATION OF UFE IN DroMopHiU, Espbaadon la t«st 

Figure 4 shows the result of such Mendelian experiment performed 
on a large scale. In the second line from the top of the diagram, labe- 
led *Type I Ix^ we see the mortality curve for an hereditarily long- 
lived pure strain of individuals. At the bottom of the diagram the 
*Type IV /x" line gives the mortality curve for one of our hereditarily 
short-lived strains. Individuals of Type I and Type IV were mated 
together. The result in the first offspring hybrid generation is shown 
by the line at the top of the diagram marked ^F^ Zx-" The F^ denotes 
that this is the mortality curve of the first filial generation from the 
cross. It is at once obvious that these first generation hybrids have a 
greater expectation of life at practically all ages than do either of the 
parent strains mated together to produce the hybrids. This result is 
exactly comparable to that which has for some time been known to 
occur in plants, from the researches particularly of Professor E. M. 
East of Harvard University with maize. East and his students have 
worked out very thoroughly the cause of this increased vigor of the 
first hybrid generation and show that it is directly due to the mingling 
of different germ plasms. 

The average duration of life of the Type I original parent stock is 
44.2 :± .4 days. The average duration of life of the short-lived Type IV 
flies is 14.1 ± .2 days, or only about one third as great as that of the 
other stock. The average duration of life of the first hybrid generation 
shown in the F^ Ix line is 51.5 d: .5 days. So that there is an increase 
in average duration of life in the first hybrid generation, over that of 
the long-lived parent, of approximately 7 days. In estimating the 
significance of this, one should remember that a day in die life of a 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 161 

fly corresponds, as has already been pointed out, almost exactly to a 
year in the life of a man. 

When individuals of the first hybrid generation are mated together 
to get the second, or V^ hybrid generation we get a group of flies which, 
if taken all together^ give the mortality curve shown in the line at about 
the middle of the diagram, labelled *^A11 Fj Ix*^ It, however, tells us 
little about the mode of inheritance of the character if we consider all 
the individuals of the second hybrid generation together, because really 
there are several kinds of flies present in this second hybrid generation. 
There are sharply separated groups of long-lived flies and of short- 
lived flies. These have been lumped together to give the ^All Fj l^ 
line. If we consider separately the long-lived second generation group 
and the short-'lived second generation group we get the results shown 
in the two lines labelled ^'Long-lived Fj Segregates /x*" and **Short-lived 
F2 Segregates /x-" It will be noted that the long-lived Fj s^regates 
have a mortality curve which almost exactly coincides with thait of the 
original parent Type I stock. In other words, in the second generation 
after the cross of the long-lived and short-lived types a group of 
animals appears having almost identically the same form of mortality 
curve as that of one of the original parents in the cross. The mean 
duration of life of this long-lived second generation group is 43.3 d: .4 
days, while that of the original long-lived stock was 44.2 dr .4 days. 
The short-lived Fj segregates shown at the bottom of the diagram give 
a mortality curve essentially like that of the original short-lived parent 
strain. The two curves wind in and about each other, the Fj flies show- 
ing a more rapid descent in the first half of the curve and a slower 
descent in the latter half. In general, however, the two are very clearly 
of the same form. The average duration of life of these short-lived 
second generation segregates is 14.6 zh .6 days. Tliis, it will be re- 
called, is almost identically the same average duration of life as the 
original parent Type IV gave, which was 14.1 + .2 days. 

It may occur to one to wonder how it is possible to pick out the 
long-lived and short-lived segregates in the second generation. This 
is done by virtue of the correlation of the duration of life of these flies 
with certain external bodily characters, particularly the form of the 
wings, so that this arrangement of the material can be made with per- 
fect ease and certainty. 

These results show in a clear manner that duration of life, in 
Drosophila at least, is inherited essentially in accordance with Men- 
delian laws, thus fitting in with a wide range of other physical charact- 
eiB of the animal which have been thoroughly studied, particularly by 
Morgan and his students. Such results as these just shown constitute 
the best kind of proof of the essential point which we are getting at — 
namely, the fact that duration of life is a normally inherited character. 



152 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

I do not wish at this time to go into any discussion of the details of the 
Mendelian mechanism for this character, in the first place, because it 
is too complicated and technical a matter for discussion here,' and in 
the second place, because the investigations are far from being com- 
pleted yet I wish here and now merely to present the demonstration 
of the broad general fact that duration of life is inherited in a normal 
Mendelian manner in these fly populations. The firdt evidence that this 
was the case came from some work of Dr. R. R. Hyde with DrosophUa 
some years ago. The numbers involved in his experiment, however, 
were much smaller than those of the present experiments, and the pre> 
liminary demonstration of the existence of pure strains relative to 
duration of life In DrosophUa was not undertaken by him. Hyde's re- 
sults and those here presented are entirely in accord. 

With the evidence which has now been presented regarding the in- 
heritance of life in man and in DrosophUa we may let that phase of 
the subject rest. The evidence is conclusive of the broad fact, beyond 
any question I think, coming as it does frcmi such widely different types 
of life, and arrived at by such totally different methods as the statis- 
tical, on the one hand, and the experimental, on the other. We may 
safely conclude that die primary agent concerned in the winding up 
of the vital dock, and by the winding determining primarily and funda- 
mentally how long it shall run, is heredity. The best insurance of 
longevity is beyond question a careful selection of one's parents ana 
grandparents. 

2. Bacteria and Duration of Life in Drosophila 

But clocks may be stopped in other ways than by running doivn. 
It will be worth while to consider with some care a considerable mass 
of most interesting, and in some respects even startling, experimental 
data, r^arding various ways in which longevity may be influenced by 
external agents. Since we have just been considering Drosophila it 
may be well to consider the experimental evidence r^arding that form 
first. It is an obviously well-known fact that bacteria are responsible 
in all higher organisms for much organ breakdown and consequent 
death. An infection of some particular organ or organ system occurs, 
and the disturbance of the balance of the whole so brought about 
finally results in death. But is it not possible that we overrate the im* 
portance of bacterial invasion in determining, in general and in the 
broadest sense, the average duration of life? May it not be that when 
an organ system breaks do¥ai under stress of bacterial toxins, that it is 
in part at least, perhaps primarily, because for internal organic reasons 
the resistance of that organ system to bacterial invasion has normally 

3 Full technical details and all the numerical data regarding these and 
other DrosophUa experiments referred to in this and other papers in the series, 
will shortly be published elsewhere. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 168 

and naturally reached such a low point that its defenses are no longer 
adequate? All higher animals live constantly in an environment far 
from sterile. Our mouths and throats harbor pneumonia germs much 
of the time, but we do not all or always have pneumonia. Again it 
may fairly be estimated that of all persons who attain the age of 35, 
probably at least 95 per cent, have at some time or other been infected 
with the tubercle bacillus, yet only about one in ten breaks down with 
active tuberculosis. 

What plainly is needed in order to arrive at a just estimate of the 
relative influence of bacteria and their toxins in determining the aver- 
age duration of life is an experimental inquiry into the effect of a 
bacteria-free, sterile mode of life. Metchnikoff has sturdily advocated 
the view that death m general is a result of bacterial intoxication. Now 
a bacteria free existence is not possible for man. But it is poesible for 
certain insects, as was first demonstrated by Bogdanow, and later con- 
firmed by Delcourt and Guyenot. If one carefully washes either the 
egg or the pupa of Drosophila for 10 minutes in a strong antiseptic 
solution, say 85 per cent alcohol, he will kill any germs which may be 
upon the surface. If the bacteria-free egg or pupa is then put into a 
sterile receptacle, containing only sterile food material and a pure 
culture of yeast, development will occur and presently an adult imago 
will emerge. Adult flies raised in this way are sterile. They have no 
bacteria inside or out. Normal healthy protoplasm is normally 
sterile, so what is inside the fly is bound to be sterile on that account, 
and by the use of the antisq>tic solution what bacteria were on the out- 
side have been killed. 

The problem now is, how long on the average do such sterile speci- 
mens of Drosophila live in comparison with the ordinary fly, whidi is 
throughout its adult life as much beset by bacteria relatively as is man 
himself, it being premised that in both cases an abundance of proper 
food is furnished and that in general the environmental conditions 
other than bacterial are made the same for the two sets? Fortunately, 
there are some data to throw light upon this question from the experi- 
ments of Loeb and his associate Northrop on the duration of life in this 
form, taken in connection with experiments in the writer's laboratory. 

Loeb and Northrop show that a sample of 70 flies, of the Drosophila 
with wiiich they worked, which were proved by the most careful and 
critical of tests to have remained entirely free of bacterial ccmtam- 
ination throughout their lives, eidiibited, when grown at a constant 
temperature of 25^ C. an average duration of life of 28£ days. In our 
experiments 2620 male flies, of all strains of Drosophila in our cultures 
taken together, thus giving a fair random sample of genetically the 
whole Dro^phUa population, gave an average duration of life at the 
same constant temperature of 25'' C. of 31.3 d: .3 days, and 3216 



164 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



females under the same temperature lived an average of 33.0 d: J2 
days. These were all non-sterile flies, subject to all the bacterial con- 
tamination incident to their normal laboratory environment, which we 
have seen to be a decaying germ-laden mass of banana pulp and agar. 
It 18 thought to be fairer to compare a sample of a general population 
with the Loeb and Northrop figures rather than a pure strain because 
probably their Drosophila material was far from homozygous in re- 
spect of the genes for duration of life. 

The detailed comparisons are shown in Table 1. 

TABLE 1 
Average duration of life of Drosophila in the imago stage at 25 ^ C. 



Experimental group 



Sterile (Loeb and Northrop) 

Non-sterile, males, all genetic lines (Pearl) 
Non-8terile. females, " 
Non-sterUe, both sexes. " 

Difference in favor of non-stearile 

Probable error of difference about 



Mean durar 

tion of life 

in days 

28^5 
31.3 
33.0 
32.2 



± 



3.7 
1.0 



Number of 
flies 



70 
2620 
3216 
5836 



We reach the conclusion that bacteria-free Drosophila live no 
longer on the average, and indeed perhaps even a little less l<Hig, under 
otherwise the same constant environmental conditions, than do normal 
non-sterile — indeed germ-laden — ^flies. This result is of great interest 
and significance. It emphasizes in a direct experimental manner that 
in a broad biological sense bacteria play but an essentially accidental 
role in determining length of the span of life in comparison with 
the influence of heredity. There is every reason to believe that if the 
same sort of experiment were possible with man as material, somewhat 
the same sort of result in broad terms would appear. 

3. Poverty and Duration of Life 

But we must take care lest we seem to convey the impression that no 
sort of environmental influence can affect the average duration of life. 
Such a conclusion would be manifestly absurd. Common sense tells 
us that envircmmental conditions in general can, and under some cir- 
cumstances, do exert a marked influence upon expectation of life. A 
recent study of great interest and suggestiveness, if perhaps some lack 
of critical soundness, by the eminent Swiss statistician, Hersch, well 
illustrates this. Hersch became interested in the relation of poverty 
to mortality. He gathered data from the 20 arrondissements of the City 
of Parb in respect of the following points, among others: 

a. Percentage ot families not paying a personal property tax. 

b. Death rate per 1000 from all causes. 

c. StiU births per 1000 living births. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



165 



PCRSONAL PfiOPOrrY 

WYMB 



TAK IN fy^RIS 



1911' 1913 

CJCCMPT 



h 







e IS 9 



13 19 ZO 




I n 6 1023 54 12 141518 11 
ARfONOSSEMD/rS 

FIG. 5. DISTRIBUTION OF POVERTY IN PARIS (1911.13) AS INDICATED BY EXEMPTION 

FROM PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX. (After Heneh) 



CLAS5CS or 

AI^HONDlSSCMOfTS 



n^m 



Figure 5 shows in the black the percentage of families too poor 
to have any personal property tax assessed, first for each arrondissement 
separately, then at the right in broader bars for the four groups of 
arrondisseinents separated by wider spaces in the detailed diagram, and 
finally for Paris as a whole. It will be seen that the poverty of the 
population, measured by the personal property yardstick, is least at 
the lefthand end of the diagram, where the smallest percentages of 
families are exempted from the tax, and greatest at the right hand end, 
where scarcely any of the population is well enough to do to pay this 
tax. 

MORTAUry IN PA^IS 1911 - 1913 



25 



r 



39 - 



$ 



g 



J - 





77«T7/rd 7io3i»it4siii5» 19 a o J D m s fwts 

CLASSES cr 

ARUOtOSSOtm ARtiOfCISXf€ffTS 

FIG. 6. DEATH RATES IN PARIS (1911.13) FROM ALL CAUSES. (After Herwli) 

• Figure 6 shows the death rates from all causes for the same ar- 
rondissements and the same groups. It is at once apparent that the 
black bars in this group run in a parallel manner to what they did 
in the preceding one. The poorest districts have the highest death rates, 
the richest districts the lowest death rates, and districts intermediate in 
respect of poverty are also intermediate in respect of mortality. On 
the face of the evidence there would seem to be here complete proof of 



166 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



the overwhelmiiigly important influence upon duration of life of d^;ree 
of poverty, which is perhaps the most potent single environmental 
factor affecting civilized man to-day. But, alas, pitfalls proverbially 
luik in statistics. Before we can accept this so alluring result and go 
along with our author to his final somewhat stupendous conclusion 
that if there were no poverty the death rate from certain important 
causes, as for example tuberculosis, would forthwith become zera, we 
must exercise a little inquisitive caution. What evidence is there that 
the inhabitants of the districts showing a high poverty rate are not 
biologically as well as economically differentiated from the inhabitants 
of districts with a low poverty rate? And again what is the evidence 
that it is not such biological differentiation rather than the economic 
which determines the death rate differences in the two cases? Un- 
fortunately, our author gives us no whit of evidence on these obviously 
so important points. He merely assumes, because of the facts shown, 
that if some omnipotent spook were to transpose all the inhabitants 
of the Memlmcmtant arrondissement to the Elysee arrondissement, and 
vice versa for example, and were to permit each group to annex the 
worldly goods of the dispossessed group, then the death rates would 
be forthwith interchanged. There is no real evidence that any such 
result would follow at all. Probably from what we know from more 
critical studies than this of the relation of social and economic condi- 
tions to mortality, each group would exhibit under the new circum- 
stances a death rate not far different from what it had under the old 
conditions. One can not shake in the sli^test degree from its solidly 
grounded foundation the critically determined fact of the paramount 
importance of the hereditary factor in determining rates of mortality, 
which have been summarized in this and the preceding paper, by any 
such evidence as that of Hersch. 



TABLE 2 

Still births in Paris (1911-13) by cUisses of arrondisscments (Hersch) 



Classes of Arrondlssements 



I 

n 
III 

IV 



Paris 



Absolute figures 



stm 

births 



1.004 
1,390 
7.279 
3.024 



Living 
births 



12.679 



12,313 
19.998 
82,821 
30.853 



145.985 



Still births 

per 100 llv. 

ing births 

7.0 

8.8 
98 

8i7 



This, indeed, he himself finds to be the fact when he considers the 
extremely sensitive index of hereditary biological constitution furnished 
by the still-birth rate. Table 2 gives the data. We see at once that 
there is no such striking increase in the total mortality as we pass from 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



167 



the richest class of districts, as was shown in the death rate from all 
causes. Instead there is practically no change, certainly none of 
significance, as we pass from one class of districts to another. The rate 
is 8.2 per 100 living births in the richest class and 9.8 in the poorest. 

4. Experiments on Temperature and Duration of Life 

Altogether it is plain that we need another kind of evidence than 
the simple unanalyzed parallelism which Hersch demonstrates between 
poverty and the general death rate if we are to get any deep understand- 
ing of the influence of environmental circumstances upon the duration 
of life or the general death rate. We shall do well to turn again to 
the experimental method. About a dozen years ago Loeb, 

starting from the idea that chemical conditions in the organisms are one 
of the main variables in this case, raised the question whether there was a 
definite coefficient for the duration of life and whether this temperature 
coefficient was of the order of magnitude of that of a chemical reaction. The 
first experiments were made on the unfertilized and fertilized eggs of the 
sea urchin and could only be carried out at the upper temperature limits of 
the organism, since at ordinary temperatures this organism lives for years. 
In the upper temperature region the temperature coefficient for the duration 
of life was very high, probably on account of the fact that at thb upper zone 
of temperature death is determined by a change of the nature of a coagulation 
or some other destructive process. Moore, at the suggestion of Loeb, in- 
vestigated the temperature coefficient for the duration of life for the hydranth 
of a tubularian at the upper temperature limit and found that it was of the 
same order of magnitude as that previqusly found for the sea urchin egg. 
In order to prove that there is a temperature coefficient for the duration of 
life throughout the whole scale of temperatures at which an organism can 
live experiments were required on a form whose duration of life was short 
enough to measure the duration of life even at the lowest temperature. * 

A suitable organism was found in Drosophila, This was grown 
under aseptic conditions, as already described. The general results are 
shown in Table 3. 



TABLE 3 

Effect of temperature on duration of life of Drosophila, 
(After Loeb and Northrop) 







Duration 


(in days) of 


Temperature 








Total duration 




Larval stage 


Pupal stage 


Life of 
imago 


of life from egg 
to death 


oC 










10 


57 


Pupae die 


120.5 


177.6 + X 


15 


17.8 


13.7 


92.4 


123.9 


20 


7.77 


6.33 


40.2 


54.3 


26 


5.82 


4.23 


28.6 


38.6 


27.5 


(4.16) 


320 


.... 


• • ■ • 


30 


4.12 


3.43 


13.6 


21.16 



158 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

From this table it is seen that at the lowest temperature the duration 
of life is longest, and the highest temperature shortest. Cold slows up 
the business of living for the fly. Heat hastens it. One gathers, from 
the account which Loeb and Northrop give of the work, that at low 
tonperature the flies are sluggish and inactive in all three develop- 
mental stages and perhaps live a long time because they live slowly. 
At high temperatures, on the other hand, the fly is very active and lives 
its life through quickly at the ^*pace that kills." These results are 
exactly comparable to the effect of a regular increase of temperature 
upon a chemical reaction. Indeed, Loeb and Northrop consider that 
their results prove that 

With a supply of proper and adequate food the duration of the larval 
stage is an unequivocal function of the temperature at which the larvae are 
raised, and the temperature coefficient is of the order of magnitude of that of 
a chemical reaction, L e., about 2 or more for a difference of lo^' C. It in- 
creases at the lower and is less at the higher temperatures. The duration of 
the pupal stage of the fly is also an unequivocal function of the temperature 
and the temperature coefficient Is for each temperature practically identical 
with that for the larval stage. The duration of life of the imago is, with 
proper food, also an unequivocal function of the temperature and the tempera- 
ture coefficient for the duration of life is within the normal temperature limits 
approximately identical with that for the duration of life of the larva 
and pupa. 

How are these results to be reconciled with the previous finding 
that heredity is a primary factor in the determination of duration of 
life of DrosophUa? We have here, on first impressicm at least, an 
excellent example of what one always encounters in critical genetic 
investigations: the complementary relations of heredity and environ- 
ment In our experiments a general mixed population of Drasophila 
kept under consuau enuironmeni was shown to be separable by selec- 
tion into a number of very diverse strains in respect of duration of life. 
In Loeb and Northrop*s experiments a general mixed population of 
DrasophUa^ but of presumably constant genetic constitution, at least 
approximately such, throughout the experiment, was shown to exhibit 
changes of duration of life with changing environments. It is the old 
familiar deadlocL Heredity constant plus changing environment 
equals diversity. Environment constant plus varying hereditary con- 
stitution also equals diversity. 

Can we penetrate no farther than this into the matter? I think in 
the present case we can. In Lod) and Northrop*s experiments, 
temperature and duration of life were not the only two things that 
varied. The different temperature groups also differed from each 
other — because of the temperature differences to be sore but not less 
really — ^in respect of goieral metabolic activity, expressed in mnscolar 
movement and every other way. In the genetic ejqperiments metabolic 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 159 

activity was substantially equal in all the hereditarily different lines. 
The idea suggests itself, both on a priori grounds and also upcm the 
basis of certain experimental data presently to be in part reviewed, that 
possibly duration of life may be an implicit function of only the two 
variables 

a. Genetic constitution 

b. Rate of metabolic activity. 

The functional relations of metabolic activity with temperature, 
food, light and other environmental factors are all well known. For 
present purposes we do not need to go into the question of their exact 
form. The essential point is that all these environmental factors stand 
in definite functional relations to rate of metabolic activity, and do not 
so stand in relation to genetic constitution. Genetic constitution is not 
a function of the enviroinment, but is for any individual a constant, 
and only varies between individuals. 

This may be thought merely to be an involved way of saying what 
one knows a priori; namely, that duration of life, in general and in 
particular, depends only upon heredity and environment. So in one 
sense it is. But the essential point I would make here is that the 
manner in which the environmental forces (of sub-lethal intensity, of 
course) chiefly act in determining duration of life appears to be by 
changing the rate of metabolism of the individual. Furthermore one 
would suggest, on this view, that what heredity does in relation to 
duration of life is chiefly to determine, within fairly narrow limits, the 
total energy output which the individual can exhibit in its life time,. 
This limitation is directly brought about presumably through two 
general factors; viz, (a) the kind or quality of material of which this 
particular vital machine is built, and (b) the manner in which the 
parts are put together or assembled. Both of these factors are, of 
course, expressions of the extent and character of the processes of 
organic evolution which have given rise to this particular species about 
which we may be talking in a particular instance. 

There is some direct experimental evidence, small in amount to be 
sure, but exact and pertinent, to the effect that the duration of life of 
an animal stands in inverse relation to the total amount of its metabolic 
activity, or put in other words, to the work, in the sense of theoretical 
mechanics, that it as a machine does during its life. Slonaker kept 4 
albino rats in cages like the old fashioned revolving squirrel cages, with 
a properly calibrated odometer attached to the axle, so that the total 
amount of running which they did in their whole lives could be 
recorded. The results were those shovm in Table 4. 



160 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



TABIaE 4 

Relation of longevity to muscular activity in rats iSlonaker) 

Total number of miles ran daring life 



Age in months 
at death 


Rat No. 1 

Miles 


No. 4 
Miles 


No. 2 
MUes 


No. 3 

Miles 


26 


1266 


1391 


2098 




26 




32 




34 


6447 







It will be perceived that the amount of exercise taken by these rats 
was astonishingly large. For a rat to run 5,447 miles in the course of 
its life is indeed a remarkable performance. Now these 4 rats attained 
an average age at death of 29.5 months. But three control rats confined 
in stationary cages so that they could only move about to a limited 
degree, but otherwise under conditions, including temperature, identical 
with those in the revolving cages, attained an average age at death of 
40.3 months. All were stated to have died of ^*old age." From this ex- 
periment it appears clearly that the greater the total work done, or 
total energy output, the shorter the duration of life, and tdce versa. Or, 
put in another way, if the total activity per unit of time is increased by 
some means other than increasing temperature, the same results appear 
as if the increased activity is caused by increased temperature. It ap- 
pears, in short, to be the activity per se, and not the temperature per se 
that is of real significance. There is other evidence, for which ^ace 
lacks here, pointing in the same direction. 

If we may be permitted to make a suggestion regarding the interpret 
taticm of Loeb and Northrop*s results in conjunction with our ovm on 
Drosophilay it would be to this effect Any given genetically pure 
strain of Drosophila is made up of individual machines, constructed to 
turn out before breaking down a definite limited amount of energy in 
the form of work, mechanical, chemical, and other. This definitely 
limited total energy output is predetermined by the hereditary consti- 
tution of the individual which fixes the kind of physicochemical ma- 
diine that that individual is. But the rate per unit of time of the energy 
output may be influenced between wide limits by environmental circum- 
stances in general and temperature in particular, since increased 
temperature increases rate of metabolic chemical changes in about the 
same ratio, as demonstrated by a wealth of work on temperature co- 
efidents, as it increases other chemical changes. But if the rate of 
energy output per unit of time is changed, the total time taken for the 
total output of a predetermined amount of energy as work must change 
in inverse proportion to the change of rate. So we should expect just 
precisely the results on duration of life that Loeb and Northrop got, 
and so far from these results being in contradiction to ours upon 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 161 

heredity they may be looked upon as a necessary consequence of them. 
Loeb and Northrop's final c<Hiclu8ion is: 'The observations on the 
temperature coefficient for the duration of life suggest that this duration 
is determined by the production of a substance leading to old age and 
natural death or by the destruction of a substance or substances which 
normally prevent old age and natural death." The view whfch I have 
here suggested completely incorporates this view within itself, if we 
suppose that the total amount of hypothetical ^'substance or substances 
which normally prevent old age and natural death" was essentially de* 
termined by heredity. 

5. Gonads and Duration of Life 

There is another and quite different line of experimental work on 
the duration of life which may be touched upon briefly. The daily 
press has lately had a great deal to say about rejuvenation accom- 
plished by means of various surgical procedures undertaken upon the 
primary sex organs, particularly in the male. This newspaper notoriety 
has especially centered about the work of Voronoff and Steinach. The 
only experiments which at the present time probably deserve serious 
consideration are those of Steinach. He has worked chiefly with white 
rats. His theory is that by causing through appropriate operative pro- 
cedure an extensive regeneration, in a senile animal about to die, of 
certain glandular elements of the testis, senility and natural death will 
for a dme be postponed because of the internal secretion poured into 
the blood by the regenerated ^'puberty glands" as he calls them. The 
operation which he finds to be most effective is to ligate firmly the 
efferent duct of the testis, through which the sperm normally pass, close 
up to the testis itself and before the coiled portion of the duct b 
reached. The result of this, according to Steinach's account, is to bring 
about in highly senile animals a great enlargement of all the sex organs, 
a return of sexual activity previously lost through old age, and a 
general loss of senile bodily characteristics and a resumption of the 
conditions of full adult vigor in those respects. 

Space is lacking to go into the many details of Steinach's work, 
much of which is indeed chiefly of interest only to the technical biolo- 
gist, and from a wholly different standpoint than the present one. I 
should, however, like to present one example from his experiments. 
Aa control a rat was taken in the last degree senile. He was 26 months 
old when the experiment began. He was obviously emaciated, had lost 
much of his hair, particularly on the back and hind quarters. He was 
weak, inactive and drowsy, as indicated by the fact that his eyes were 
closed, and were, one infers from Steinach, kept so much of the time. 

A litter brother of this animal had the efferent ducts of the testes 
ligated. This animal, we are told, was at the time of the operation, in 

VOL. XIII.— 11. 



162 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

so much worse condition of senility than his brother above described 
that it was not thought worth while even to photograph him. His con- 
dition was considered hopeless. To the surprise of the operator, how- 
ever, he came back, slowly but surely after the <^peration, and after 
three and a half months presented a perfect picture of lusty young rat- 
hood. He was in full vigor of every sort, including sexual. He out- 
lived his brother by 8 months, and himself lived 10 months after the 
operation, at which time he was, according to Steinach, practically 
nK)ribund. lliis represents a presumptive lengthening of his expected 
span of life by roughly a quarter to a third. It is to be remembered^ 
however, that Slonakei^'s rats to which nothing uxis done lived to an 
average age of 40 months. 

The presumption that Steinach's experiments have really brought 
about a statistically significant lengthening of life is large, and the 
basis of ascertained fact small. After a careful examination of Stein- 
ach's brilliant contribution, one is compelled to take the view that 
however interesting the results may be from the standpoint of functional 
rejuvenation in the sexual sphere, the case is not proven that any 
really significant lengthening of the life span has occurred. In order 
to prove such a lengthening we must first of all have abundant and ao> 
curate quantitative data as to the normal variation of normal rats in 
respect of duration of life, and then show, having regard to the prob- 
able errors involved, that the mean duration of life after the operation 
has been significantly lengthened. This Steinach does not do. His 
paper is singularly bare of statistical data. We may well await ade- 
quate quantitative evidence before attempting any general interpreta- 
tion of his results. 

6. The Pituitary Gland and Duration of Life 

Robertson has been engaged for a number of years past on an ex- 
tensive series of experiments regarding the effect of various agents upon 
the growth of white mice. The experiments have been conducted with 
great care and attention to the proper husbandry of the animals. In 
consequence the results have a high degree of trustworthiness. In the 
course of these studies he found that the anterior lobe of the pituitary 
body, a small gland at the b^se of the brain, normally secretes into the 
blood stream minute amounts of an active substance which has a 
marked effect upon the normal rate of growth. By chemical means 
Robertson was able to extract this active substance from the gland in 
a fairly pure state and gave to it the name tethelin. In later experi- 
ments the effect of tethelin given by the mouth with the food was tried 
in a variety of ways. 

In a recent paper Robertson and Ray have studied the effect of this 
material upon the duration of life of the white mouse with the results 
shown in Table 5. 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



163 



TABLE 5 
Effect of tethelin on duration of life in days of white mice, 

{Robertson and Ray) 



CkM of 
animala 



Ploimal 

Tethelin 





MALES 






FEMALES 




Average 

dnratiOB 

of life 


Dot. 

from 

normal 


Dev. 
P. E. 


Chance 

dev. waa 

acciden* 

Ul 


Average 

duration 
of life 


Dev. 

from 
normal 


De9. 
P. E. 


Chance 

dev. waa 

acciden* 

Ul 


767 
866 


4-99 


3.00 


1 -.22.25 


719 
800 


+ 81 


2.25 


1:6.75 



Both 
aexea 

together 

Chance 
dev. waa 
aecl* 
denul 



1:150.2 



From this table it is apparent that the administration of tethelin 
with the food from birth to death prolonged life to a degree which in 
the case of the males may be regarded as probably significant statis- 
tically. In the case of the females where the ratio of the deviation to 
its probable error (Dev. / P. E.) falls to 2.25 the case is very doubtful. 
The procedure by which the chance of 1 : 150.2 that results in both sexes 
together were accidental, was obtained is of doubtful validity. Putting 
males and females together from the original table I find the following 
results. 

TABLE 6 

Duration of life of white mice, both sexes taken together 
(From data of Robertson and Ray) 







No. of deatha 


Ag« 


No. of deatl&a 


of tethelin 


Croup 


of normala 


fed 




(Both SnM) 


(Both Sexes) 


200-299 


3 


• • 


300-399 


2 


• • 


400-499 


2 


I 


500-599 
600-^ 


9 

7 


3 
9 


700-799 

8oo-«99 


15 
10 


• • 

10 


900-999 


10 


6 


1000-1099 


6 


9 


1100-1199 


• • 

64 


I 




39 



Tethelin fed : Mean age at death 
Normal fed : Mean " " " 

Difference 
Difference = 3.7 



839 
743 



20 
17 



= 96±26 



RE. 



Diff. 



One concludes from these figures that tethelin can be regarded as 
having lengthened the span of life to a degree which is just significant 
statistically. One would expect from the variation of random sampling 
alone to get as divergent results as these about 1^ times in every 100 
trials with samples of 64 and 39, respectively. 

In any event it is apparent that, making out the best case possible, 
the differences in average duration of life produced by administration 
of tethelin are of a wholly different and smaller order than those which 



164 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

liave been shown in the earlier portion of die paper to exist between 
pure strains of DrosophUa which are based upon hereditary differences. 
Putting together all the results which have been reviewed in this 
«nd the preceding paper, it appears to be clearly and firmly established 
that inheritance is the factor of prime importance in determining the 
normal, natural duration of life. In comparison with this factor the 
influence of environmental forces (of sub-lethal immediate intensity of 
course) appears in general to be less marked. 



ADAPTATIONS AMONG INSECTS OF FIELD AND FOREST 165, 



ADAPTATIONS AMONG INSECTS OF FIELD AND 

FOREST 

By Dr. E. R FELT 

STATE ENTOMOLOGIST OF NEW YORK 

IT is well known that there are more kinds or species of insects in 
the world than of all other animals, llie number has been placed 
by various authorities at from one to ten million and careful estimates 
indKcate that we have in the State of New York some 20,000 kinds or 
species of insects, all differing from each other by more or less striking, 
characters and in the great majority of species, there are also recogniz- 
able variations between the ^gs, the maggots, larvae or caterpillars, 
and the pupae or chrysalids, not to mention striking differences between 
die life habits of these varied forms. 

Summarizing, we have among insects an immense complex exhibit- 
ing innumerable variations, some large, many minor and practically all 
significant It is proposed to examine briefly some of the more striking 
of diese differaices in the hopes of reaching a he/tter understanding of 
the insect problem as a whole. 

It happens that some years ago a list of all the insects known to 
occor in the State of New Jersey was prepared and a careful analysis 
of this shows that nearly one-half of all the insects dierein recorded are 
plant feeders, about one-sixth are predaceous, living mostly upon other 
insects, another one-sixth are scavengers and live mostly upon decaying 
organic matter and one-eighth are parasitic upon other animals, mostly 
insects. 

Among plant feeders we find one or more species living at the 
expense of practically every growing plant. It may be that some 
plants, sodi as oak and apple trees, are particularly adapted to insect 
requirements and support a very large number of species. It may also 
be observed that practically all parts of the plant are liable to attack, 
including the roots, the wood or bark of the trunk, of the larger limbs, 
of the smaller limbs, the buds, the developing leaves and flowers in the 
buds, the fully developed flowers, the expanded leaves, die immature 
fruit and the mature fruit; and broadly speaking there are insects which 
confine themselves exclusively or nearly so to the parts designated. 
This restriction is so marked that we have a large series of small 
beetles known as seed weevils, because they live almost entirely in seeds 
of various plants. There is one entire family, the members of which' 



166 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

bore almost exclusively in the bark and outer sap wood of trees and 
because of this habit they are commonly known as bark beetles. Many 
of the plant feeders, it might be added, are considered injurious be- 
cause of the extensive losses they cause in cultivated crops; but it should 
be remembered that comparatively few of the many plant feeders are 
numerous enough to be of economic importance. 

The predaceous insects, approximately one^sixth of all the species, 
habitually prey upon smaller animals, mostly insects, and are indirectly 
beneficial because they destroy iirtentionally or otherwise many 
destructive forms. The rapid, active, brightly colored tiger beetles, 
many of the ground beetles, the ferocious dragon flies, the peculiar 
aphis lions (the young of the lazy golden-eyed fly), all come in this 
category together with many others. 

The scavenger insects, comprising the burying beetles, many flies, 
etc., are nearly as numerous as the predatory forms and, like other 
insects, exhibit marked variations in structure and habits. 

The parasites, somewhat less numerous than the two preceding 
groups, are in many cases indirectly beneficial since they prey upon in- 
jurious forms and incidentally hunt their prey under conditions idiich 
would frequently seem to promise immunity from attack. Here we 
find hyperparasitism which may involve three or even four of these 
pirates working in the same host and each attacking the one ahead, as 
it were. 

Semi-aquatic and even aquatic insects are not protected by the sur- 
rounding water from parasites and also borers inhabiting deep 
galleries in hard wood by no means escape many enemies of this 
character. Even the caterpillars of the pitch moth, living and moving 
about readily in pitch and covered with this medium for a large propor- 
tion of their existence succumb to the attacks of these vigilant enemies. 
There is one entire family of small parasites which specialiase upon in- 
sect eggs, some being so minute that they can develop successfully in 
the extremely small codling moth egg, which latter has a diameter only 
about one-half that of the head of an ordinary pin and is furthermore 
very flat and scale-like. 

A general survey of insects as a whole shows all manner of varia- 
tions from the minute midge approximately one^fiftieth of an inch in 
length to our largest moths or grass-hoppers with a wing spread of 
some eight inches. There are endless modifications in form from the 
oval body of certain beetles or even scale insects to the extremely at- 
tenuated forms such as dragon flies and walking sticks. The principal 
organs of the body, such as the antennae or feelers, the eyes, the legs 
and the wings are modified in innumerable ways and in some insects 
have disappeared entirely while in others they have been developed to 
an extraordinary degree. 



ADAPTATIONS AMONG INSECTS OF FIELD AND FOREST 167 

We have been taught that insects have heads, wings, and legs and 
pass through four stages of development, namely, the egg, the larva or 
the caterpillar, the pupa or chrysalis and the adult; and yet modifica- 
tion has proceeded to such an extent that it is possible to find some 
insects where both structures and stages have been eliminated or con- 
cealed to such an extent that, in a broad sense, there are species or 
stages with and without such important accessories as heads, wings, legs, 
mates, ^gs, larvae, pupae or chrysalids and adults. 

There is also a very great variation in the time required to pass 
through the various transformations or what is knovm as the life-cycle, 
this ranging from approximately 7 days in certain species of plant lice 
or aphids to 17 years in the case of the periodical cicada, sometimes 
known, though improperly, as the 17 year looust. 

Insects and warm weather are synonymous so to s]>eak and yet snow 
fleas may be found by the millions on snow in late winter, canker worm 
moths fly and deposit eggs under equally adverse conditions and at 
this season a peculiar wingless crane fly as well as the odd Boreus may 
be found crawling upon the snow. The Arctic regions fairly swarm 
with mosquitoes which have adapted themselves to the rigors of exist- 
ence in the far north and issue in clouds in the cool, Arctic spring; 
nevertheless it is true that most insects abound during warm weather 
and the midsummer months of the temperate zone and the tropical 
regions are remarkable for their abundance. Some thrive best under 
humid conditions and others have adapted themselves to the arid 
wastes of desert regions. These are simply suggestions regarding 
climatic diversities endurable by insects. 

Turning from the general to special instances, aphids or plant lice 
illustrate in a striking manner the possibilities of relatively defenseless 
forms maintaining themselves under adverse conditions. These are all 
soft bodied insects with indifferoit powers of flight and slow movement 
on foot; nevertheless there are something over 300 species living upon 
a considerable variety of plants and frequently occurring in enormous 
numbers. Individually, they are not particularly prolific, they are 
preyed upon by a considerable series of aggressive parasites and pre* 
dators; but in spite of these handicaps are able to maintain themselves, 
because many of them produce a generation within a very short time, 
some 7 days, and in addition certain species at least periodically 
migrate to other plants. One migration is from birch to witchhazel 
and vice versa. This change enables the aphids to escape, for a time at 
least, from the frequently abundant natural enemies on the infested trees 
and it also provides the insects with fresh and more acceptable food, 
since badly infested plants soon become unsuitable for the maintenance 
of the insects. 




168 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

The indirect effect of climate is well illustrated among aphids since 
a rise in temperature in warm weather in the spring is favorable to the 
development of a number of efficient enemies and consequently sudi 
conditions are very likely to result in a speedy control of a plant louse 
outbreak through natural agencies. 

Certain gall making aphids exhibit very striking adaptations. Some 
q>eoie8 only curl the leaves and through such dbtortion obtain con* 
siderable protection from the elements and presumably also from 
parasites, while certain of these forms simply establish themselves upon 
the part of the plant selected and apparently, as a result of the with* 
drawal of sap due to its feeding, the adjacent plant cells grow up 
around the insect and eventually inclose it with protective walk, 
within which the mother plant louse and her young develop in security. 
There is sudi a close adaptation between plant. and insect in some oases 
that the aphid is dependent upon finding a given species of plant and 
being able to establish itself upon a certain developing part, such as a 
leaf stem, the base of the leaf or the developing shoot. 

Biological modifications among plant lice have gone farther than 
this and we not only find an alternation of food plants with a more or 
less well defined migration but also, in some species, well marked 
alternations of series of generations, these series being so different that 
before the connection was established, they were supposed to belong to 
entirely different species. 

There is a very intimate relation between many insects and the host 
plant and this is especially close in the case of the oaks and the long 
series of gall wasps, a large and peculiar group, naostly confined to the 
oaks, remarkable because of the varied forms of the numerous galls 
they produce and noteworthy on account of the fact that a considerable 
series presents a peculiar phenomenon knoMrn as alternation of genera* 
tions. This may be briefly described as a series of unlike alternate 
generations; in other words parents and children are unlike, while 
parents and grandchildren are alike. It appears to be a special adapta- 
tion due to the fact that one generation frequently develops upon the 
leaves while the other lives in galls on the twigs or even roots. The 
adults of one appear in warm, midsummer weather and those of the 
other issue under the inclement conditions of late fall or early spring. 

The long series of plant feeding insects mentioned above show 
marked specialization in the case of some forms which actually live 
upon a peculiar fungus cared for and grown by themselves. This may 
easily be seen in the case of a number of our timber beetles, insects 
which make deep galleries* in the dying wood of trees and utilize the 
moist conditions there present for the growing of a small fungus known 
as Ambrosia, which they carry from one tree to another. Certain 
species of ants, mostly tropical or sub-tropical, cultivate fungi in under* 



ADAPTATIONS AMONG INSECTS OF FIELD AND FOREST 169 

ground chambers to which they carry portions of leaves cut from 
trees, using this material as a stratum upon which to grow the fungus. 

It should be noted in addition that insects may be found in almost 
every environment. There are the salt marsh mosquitoes, for example, 
represented by several species, each with distinct limitations and yet 
so well adapted to the struggle for existence that one species, at least, 
may be found breeding in saline pools hundreds of miles from salt 
marshes. The series of fresh water mosquitoes is larger, exhibits even 
wider and more varied adaptations than the salt marsh forms and as an 
extreme case we may mention the peculiar mosquito which lives only, 
so far as known, in the water of pitcher plants. The silted bottom of 
shallow pool^ affords a suitable habitat for small midge larvae, one 
species of which may be utilized to render milk waste from creameries 
and cheese factories inoffensive. The maggots of another small fly 
are important agents in rendering sewage innocuous. The quieter 
portions of fresh water streams are inhabited by many caddis wonns 
with their peculiar cases, the rapids in such streams support large 
patches of black fly larvae and between the adjacent stones, there may 
be found the delicate silken webs of fishing caddis worms. Some 
aquatic forms have developed to such an extent that they thrive by the 
millions in the very saline or alkaline lakes of the west and in at least 
one case the maggots of a small fly develop in pools of petroleum, a 
product frequently used for the destruction of insect life. 

The same varied life conditions obtain among terrestrial forms. 
Insects are found in almost every conceivable situation, though abun- 
dance is dependent to a very great extent upon environment. One of 
the most remarkable cases of adaptation is found in the buffalo carpet 
beetle and its close allies. One species has been able to maintain itself 
for 17 years in an ear of very dry popcorn kept in a practically 
hermetically sealed fruit jar. More remarkable than this, an investi- 
gator has recently demonstrated that grubs of these beetles react to 
conditions so perfectly that the normal process of molting to permit 
increase in size and development to maturity may be reversed and in 
the prolonged absence of suitable nourishment these grubs may actually 
moU and decrease in size; and not only this but the process may be 
continued in either direction in individual cases through a series of 
molts by simply providing or withholding suitable nourishment. This 
behavior may well be considered an extreme illustration of adaptability 
so commonly found among insects. 

A general knowledge of insects suggests that they have developed in 
such varied forms and abundance because of an inherent adaptability 
which has enabled them to exist under a great variety of conditions. 
This adaptability to environment has been sealed as it were by per- 
sistent tendencies toward structural variations, which latter incline to 



170 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

become more defined wlienever a group is scHnewhat isolated, a condi- 
tion very likely to follow variations in habit It is difficult otherwise 
to explain the almost endless structural modifications found among 
insects, because it would severely tax human ingemiity to defend them 
all on the ground of their bestowing a distinct advantage upon the 
possessor, except possibly, as suggested above, in more firmly estab* 
lishing specific distinctions and the usual accompanying variations in 
habits. The relatively long series of similar species of such well s^re- 
gated units as the cut worms and grass web worms in the Lepidoptera 
and the June beetles in the Coleoptera, indicate very material advant- 
ages in biological adaptations, subsequently confirmed by minor 
structural variations, since deviations from the normal mean a wider 
field for the unit as a whole and consequently a greater probability of 
the type persisting. 

Consideration of the general problem compels the admission that 
insects have gained their present important position in the natural 
world through an adaptability unequalled in other groups. This has 
been accomplished by variations favorable to the invasion of unoc- 
cupied territory rather than by forcing other organisms into the back- 
ground, aside from the inevitable limitations, in many cases important, 
which insects have imposed upon plant life. It is noteworthy that this 
status should be occupied by a group of comparatively weak, defense- 
less creatures and the fact that this has been done indicates the pos- 
sibilities of adaptation. Insects have succeeded where apparently better 
endowed forms failed, largely because of their greater adaptability. 




STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 171 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN ' 

By H. S. H. THE PRINCE OF MONACO 

AFTER exploring for five and twenty years all the levels of the North 
Atlantic Ocean, from the tropical to the polar regions, chiefly 
in order to enlarge our knowledge of zoological and physical oceano- 
graphy, I was commencing more especially such studies as concern 
physiology, when the German war came and upset the lives of all 
workers. Eight years were then wasted in the activities of those men 
who devote themselves primarily to the chief interests of humanity. 

Yet such is to-day the power of human thought that in the whole 
course of the war my oceanographical laboratories never desisted com- 
pletely from this appointed task; and I was gratified with the sight 
of two hundred thousand boys of your army visiting the Museum at 
Monaco while staying on our sunny shore either to heal their wounds 
or to improve their strength. 

When I gave more prominence in my scientific undertakings to 
physiology, I enjoyed the cooperation of such noted scientists as 
Qiarles Richet and Portier, or a few younger men who were thus 
preparing for their future. Joubin and Bouvier had previously visited 
with me the awful spaces of the ocean, which almtost daily yielded tons 
of beings unknown to science — ^abyssal cephalopods or pelagic Crus- 
tacea. Buchanan and Thoulet, those veterans of the early great 
labors dealing with the sea, have been for thirty years closely con- 
nected with my investigations. And the head of that pleiad, the like 
of which is hardly likely to be seen again in the laboratory of any 
ship, was Richard, director of the Oceanographical Museum at 
Monaco, the faithful fellow-laborer in all my voyages and conse- 
quently of all oceanographers, the best versed in our science as a whole. 

Owing to Dr. Richard's ingenious ideas and to those of Com- 
mandant Bouree, there have been of late years made available large 
nets with extremely small meshes with which I have explored the inter- 
mediate depths of the ocean from the surface down to over 5000 
meters. In some instances it has been possible, by means of a special 
bathometer attached to the net, to ascertain at about what level the 
capture has taken place. 

It was already known that there exists between the great depths 
and the surface of the seas a fauna consisting of many species and 
wearing a unique aspect. A sample of that singular worid is sometimes 

1 Address before The National Academy of Sciences, April 25, 1921. 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE MONACO OCEANOCRAPHICAL UUSEUH FBOM THI CAKDENS OF SAINT UAlTDf 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 178 

found floating as a corpse in the very early morning before the sea- 
birds have pidced up these remnants of nightly struggles for life. 
After the improvements in our operations, unexpected facts were 
gradually brought to light and confirmed by other oceanographers. 
And in 1912 I obtained, by turning to account the bathometer above 
mentioned, which had been manufactured in Germany with great 
difficulty, the true curve of the levels the net had passed through in 
one operation. 

Shortly after, I was able to make a net the opening and closing of 
which could be controlled on board the ship. This ensemble of im- 
provements enabled us to establish, by means of operations carried out 
by day and by night at various depths, that there exists in those vast 
spaces a whole bathypelagic world undergoing vertical oscillation by 
whkh some individuals ^e dragged up from the lowest level at which 
they live to within fifty meters of the surface, the process occurring 
only at night. Consequently, we now find at about mi<inight, quite 
close to the surface, strange animals which we formerly, when opera- 
ting in broad daylight, had to seek through most elaborate means at a 
depth of several thousand meters; Hence we know that those animals 
live in a state of perpetual vertical oscillation the period of which is 
twenty-four hours. We have also found that such animals as are able 
to undergo this enormous displacement more frequently belong to the 
species provided with luminous organs. 

Of the broad researches to which I have applied myself for over a 
quarter of a century in order to throw light on the problems concern- 
ing the science of the sea, I will mention here my investigation of the 
currents in the North Atlantic Ocean. Those motions of the sea 
waters, so varied and at times so extensive, which are chiefly brought 
about by meteorological influences, in their turn exercise a consider- 
able influence over life in the seas. This occurs through the distri- 
bution of the plankton, which is an entire fauna of forms extremely 
minute and therefore unable to direct themselves among the sea-forces. 

The plankton — the miniature animal and plant forms of the sea 
world — ^is, consequently, swept about by currents over special regions 
of the sea and is followed by troops of stronger animals that feed upon 
it and are themselves fed upon by a yet mightier fauna. So it comes 
about that there has been established in the living sea-world, from 
the plankton masses to the biggest cetaceans, a broad cycle wherein 
we see life constantly arising out of death, amid the waters striving for 
their equilibrium. Currents thus exercise supreme influence over the 
shoals of sardine or herring, as well as a good many other fish which 
they supply with food under such conditions, that once upon ex- 
amining the stomach of one of those fish, we could calculate the num- 
ber of peridinians lying there at twenty million. 

Out of the ensemble of the facts concerning the history of sea- 



THE SCiE.STlFlC MONTHLY 



organisms I see more convincing grounds arise for regarding the >ea 
as the cradle of life. Looming on the horizon of human knowledge, I 
descry the line of the species sprung one fr<xn another as they axe dis- 
trihuted between surface and bottom. And while I compare that world, 
which has remained homogeneous through the ages, with those more 
£atinct animals held on one plane on the earth's surface as though they 
had fled from the ocean, it seems to me that the whole of this terrestrial 
fauna because of its slower evolution tends to speedier disappearance, 
owing to the unstable light environment. A few groups, the pinnipedes 
and cetaceous mammalians, for instance, have not been able to gain 
even the requisite fitness and have remained half and half, with im- 
perfect means of breathing and Ioc<Hnotion. 

Having for a score of years observed the currents of the North 
Atlantic Ocean by means of extensive experiments based on organized 
flotation method?, I was, when the German war broke out, quite 
prepared for the question of what becomes of the wandering minn 
drifting from the mine fields which were soon placed near the coasts 
of both continents. I again took up my previous formulae which had 
enabled me to draw a chart of the ^reat curretits sweeping along or con- 
necting Europe and America, and owing to the similarity h^ween the 
drifting of mines and the method I had used during my earlier investi- 
gations it became possible for me recently to present the navigators 
on the North Atlantic Ocean with a very accurate chart of the course 
followed by those formidable engines. On this chart one can see an 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 



AIMING AT A WHALE (1901) 

inunense cycle, whose center is indicated by the Azores, described by 
the mines in a period of about four years, such being the space of 
time necessary for the completion of their voyage from the Engli^ 
Channel to the Canaries, the West Indies and back. 

My calculations for this woric are accurate with respect to the di- 
rection and the velocity of the currents, for the hydr<^raphical and 
meteorological officers on both sides of the ocean observe the passing 
by or meeting of mines in the manner I had announced to navigators. 
The two sets of results mutually confirm each other after thirty-five 
years* interval. 

I will content myself with quoting here some phenomena connected 
with orientaticHi in animals in their relation to the sea. 

One of my operations, carried out with a large fish-pot at a depth 
of about 1500 meters, brought up not only very large Gerytm crabs, 
which had been caught inside, but a number of the same clinging to 
the outside. Thus I witnessed the perplexity the latter must harve . 
been in through want of resolution when the fish-pot was just leaving 
the bottom. They were merely crawlers, unable to swim ; and a sudden 
separation from the bottom whereon the apparatus was lying prevented 
them from being resolute enough to drop back to their environment 
by simply falling down the very anall height by which at first they 
were separated from it. They allowed themselves — for they were 
found to be thoroughly alive — to be lifted through a height of 1500 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



\ VHALE t» TEE ARCTIC OCEAH. 
Boom 

meters up to the surface in spite of the inc<Hivenience tbey inust have 
felt owing to the chaise in temperature and the decrease in pressure. 

Another time, in the Mediterranean bMween Corsica and France, 
] met with a large whale which was apparently repairing to a pre- 
jJetermined goat, and accompanied it with iny ^ip the "Princesae- 
^ice," keeping cloae to its flank. For six hours it went on the same 
•compass-route, without departing from it more'than two or three de- 
igreea, covering about 40 kilometers without a deviation although there 
-was no visible object to guide it. Moreover, its divings and surface 
breathings, as measured with a chronometer, ^owed do marked (Hffer- 
ences, 10 minutes under water akeniating with 6 to 8 breathings. 

Lastly, with respect to terrestrial birds flying over the sea in their 
migrations, I have always found facts showing complete lack of 
orientation under definite circumstances. Thus they swerve from their 
northward or southward route when there is no more land in either of 
these directions. The migratory birds swept by some storm away 
from continental Europe at length drop down to the sea, lacking the in- 
stinct which would help them to find the lands that sometimes lie a 
short distance eastward. 

On the other hand those birds which in their chance-guided 
endeavors have been so lucky as to reach the Azores never afterwards 
teft tbem. Several of these islands are therefore peopled with wood- 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 



A HETEOROLOCICAL kITE FROM THE EXPLORING YACHT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN 

codt and quail and wood-pigeons, which never depart; and there can 
be visited at Sao Miguel de Ponta Delgsdo a large collection of 
species captured under ihoee circumstances. 

With regard to phenomena relating to light, Messrs. Bertel and 
Grein have pursued very important investigations at the Monaco 
Ocean o graphical Museum concerning the penetration of the various 
light radiations into the depth of sea-water. Mr. Grein in particular 
has succeeded in securing a phott^raphic print on highly sensitive 
plates exposed between 10 a. m., and 1 p. m., at a depth of 1500 meters. 

The main results may be staled as follows: If we set down as 1000 
the amount of light radiations reaching 1 meter down, we find that 
ibere remains at 5 meters but 3.7 of red and at 50 meters but 0.0021 ; 
at 5 meters there remains but 2.5 of orange-yellow and at 100 meters 
but 0.001. For green the figures are 230 at 5 meters and 0.0003 at 
1000 meters; for blue they are 450 at 5 meters and 0.0001 at 1000 
meters; for violet blue, 866 at 5 meters, 0.003 at 1000 meters, and 
0.00001 at 1500 meters. 

It was already known that the li^t radiations were absorbed in the 
above order but in wiiat ratios they reach various depths was not 
known. M. Grein has moreover stated the ratios of the various per- 
cmlages of radiations at any given depth: thus at a depth of 1 meter 
there are 96.7 per 1000 of red; 165.7 of orange yellow, green and 



THE SCIENTIFIC MOSTHLY 



PRINCE-S YACHT. THE "PKINCESSE AUCE," 

green blue; 19a9 of blue; and 207.3 of violet blue. Below 1000 
meters only blue remains and below 1500 meters only violet blue. 

But there is still one question of biology that offers a very great 
deal of interest. On my ship Dr. Charles Richet, assisted by Dr. 
Portier, brought to light the following facts: The tentacles of certain 
marine animals like Physalia provoke by simple contact local irritatitKi 
and bypeslhesia. When injected with the extracts from these tentacles 
the dog, the pigeon, and other animals are plunged into a state of 
conscious seini-narcosb more or less prolonged during which they re- 
main absolutely insensible to pain. Richet and Poitier have named 
this benumbing substance "hypnotoxine." 

In experimenting with extracts from the tentacles of certain sea- 
anemones, Richet and Portier found that dogs after having received 
one injection became excessively susceptible to the action of a second 
dose. These dogs could be killed by a quantity representing only a 
fraction of the dose that would be fatal for a dog not previously 
treated. They gave the Ttame "anaphylaxis" to this state of abnormal 
sensitiveness of a subject to the action of certain substances, which 
might be foreign albumens of any kind, animal or vegetable; for ex- 
ample, the blood-serum of an animal of a different species, egg- 
alburoen, substances usually harmless like milk, the extracts of 
various organs, bacteria or the extracts from bacteria (bacterial 
proteins) etc. 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 



a THE '-PBINCESSE 

If, for example, a small amount of serum from the horse, even one 
ooe-tmndredth of a cubic centimeter, is injected into a guinea-pig, the 
latter is rendered hypersensitive to horse serum. This hypersensitive- 
neas goes completely unnoticed unless after a certain lapse of time the 
guinea-pig is again injected with scrum from the horse; under these 
c<MKlitions the anaphylactic state reveals itself by a condition of 
"shock*' with grave symptoms and sometimes even death in a few 



There was at first considerable surprise and incredulity because 
scimtists had hitherto been accustomed to r^ard the reaction of im- 
momzation or of diminution of sensitiveness as the appropriate re- 
sponse of an oi^nism to the injection of foreign substances. It was 
therefore astoni^ing that exactly the opposite phenomenon could 
result. Thus the laws of immunity were completely upset. 

Though but a few years have passed since the condition of anaphy- 
laxis was studied for the first time, it has now become cme of the sub- 
jects which have brought forth the most work in the domain of im- 
munity. The amount of research carried out upon anaphylaxis is 
enormous, and every day its literature increases. It is a field of the 
highest importance not alone oa account of its practical application in 
serum therapy hut because as a mystery it enfolds within its depths 
the secret of many deep-seated questions relating to mankind; also 



THE SCIE.\TIFIC MONTHLY 



EXAMINING A CATCH OF THE eOUREE NET 

because the researches already performed upon anaphylaxis give great 
hopes for the elucidation of these questions and for the ctiscovery of 
a method of rendering the human hody insusceptible. 

Among the things which contribute to the harmony of our ter- 
restrial sphere we should observe the role played by the marine plants 
as frequently intermediaries between the living and the lifeless realms 
of our planet. While on the one hand they furnish for many organisms 
both protection and nourishment, still another important function falls 
to their lot: they fix certain mineral substances which are more or less 
abundant in the bosmn of the ocean and deliver them up for exploita- 
tion by human activity. Thus it would be eminently fitting to cmi- 
serve and (o cultivate these products of the sea which are to-day our 
auxiliaries in obtaining iodine, bromine, algine, chloride of sodium, 
and the salts of potassmm, magnesium, lime, iron and manganese. 
Unfortunately in some places they are already the victims of waste. 
Finding himself in the presence of wealth, one might say, man loses 
completely the idea of providence. He seems then to suffer from a 
vertigo which drags him to the radical destruction of things for there 
is no gift of iMture that can survive the ill-considered eitterprlses of 
human industry. 

Paul Gloess has said: "It is in the marine plants that we find, 
and shall always find with more certainty than elsewhere, that which 
thus far in our carelessness we have neglected to ask of them or whidi 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 



A FISHINC SCENE ON BOARD THE "HIRONDELLE." THE YACHT BUILT BY THE PRINCE 
OK MONACO FOR OCEANIC EXPLORATION, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT ARE PRINCE ALBERT I 
OF MONACO; L TINAYRE. AhTIST: DH. RICHARD. DIBECTOR OF THE MONACO MUSEUM; 

in our exlravagance we have squandered. • • • The fertile soil of 
the earth is conatantly becotning poorer while the nourishing fluid of 
the sea is growing richer and richer." 

All ihese data are valuable for the study of the beings living at 
various depth-levels in the ocean. 

A professor at my Occano graphical Institute, Monsieur Joubin, has 
lately suggested the use of seaplanes to help open-sea fishermen by 
guiding than towards the shoals of the fish they are seeking while the 
latter in their turn are pursuing large shoals of such Crustacea as serve 
them for food. For instance, it has been found that the germon (the 
blue tunny in the Bay of Biscay) is plentiful in the places tenanted by 
certain red-colored amphipodous cruslacea I Eitlkemisto } of which the 
germon is fond. Seaplanes would have no difficulty in signalling to 
fishermen those red fields which distinctly mark oFT certain spaces in 
the sea and move about as they are swept by the currents. Again, they 
could signal the presence of various other shoals recognizable by dif- 
ferent signs. Thanks to this cooperation, fishermen might save time 
and much undue wear of their nets. 

Now I shall take up a matter which 1 have had in hand for sonw 
time and which is one of a really serious nature. 1 mean fishing 
geiterally, the destructive eiTetts of which are becoming grealer and 
greater in the seas where more and more powerful and numerous \m- 
plements such as steam trawlers are being used. The\aU« ivo'w ^ai* 



THE SCIESTIFIC MO.STHLY 



F LA PA51ECO. NEAR 



jKiic (Onosphere free from dust and water-vapor. This same limpid- 

j^ penniited me one day to follow easily all the actions of 4 men 
i^^f^ 1 had sent on a mission to a snowfield situated at a distance of 

^ tilomeiere towards the interior of Spitzbergen. 

Tt>^f. therefore, I can release in the open ocean a balloon of 2- 
3^„cler site furoisbed with instruments and can find it mathe- 

* V ^lv after il has made a long journey in a direction of which we 



KlAeni's^ 



would have to remain totally ignorant. 



I jball close my all too brief survey of the mighty domain created 
k . the science of oceanography by speaking to this distinguished 
^L^ly of the bathymetric chart of all the seas of the globe the 
J^^tion of which I undertook at the time of the International Con- 
'"'''^1 Berlin in ^^99. I realized then that this task was necessary 
^'**b»si6 W«l a P'**"™ f*' *^ great work to which I have conse- 
^\j n« life. To Commandant Bouree I entrusted the direction of 
"*^erpri»" "^ ^^^^ '** imperativenese is already evidenu All 
•*"* ^^drogrtp'"'^ "^^ oceanographic centers of the world have ap- 
*^ rLi.Ai, fid and are now sending me abundant data bearing on 

a Kale 1 to 1,000,000, occupies 24 ^eets and meas- 
leporale polar circles, 2 meters 40 cm. by 4 meters. 
i are those of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 meters, and so on. 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN * 185 

The surfaces contained between succeeding contours are colored in 
blues becoming prc^ressively deeper in shade. The oceanic regions of 
which the depth still remains unknown are immediately disclosed. 

If we had no more rapid system for taking soundings than that 
which requires each time the stopping of the ship to send a lead to the 
bottom, many years would still be required for the completion of such 
a task; but the method of M. Marti, a hydrographic engineer in the 
French navy, will doubtless soon enable us to take lines of soundings 
with almost the usual speed of a ship under way. 

M. Marti obtains the marking upon a very sensitive recorder of a 
slight explosion produced always under the same conditions. This 
record being repeated in like manner by the echo sent back from the 
submarine floor allows of a measurement of depth with greater precision 
than by any other procedure. The principal experiments have been 
carried on at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and it is to 
be hoped that M. Marti's method of sounding will be employed every- 
where. When applied to slight depths it would render great services 
to navigation; and as for my bathy metric map, it would very soon be 
completed. 

I have already told you that my life has been occupied in anthro- 
pological research as well as in oceanographic studies. My conjectures 
on the origin of life in the sea carried with them as a necessary 
corollary the formation of a group of beings susceptible to the laws of 
evolution in such a way as to be led toward the synthetic whole that 
has become the human form. Hence it was necessary to se^ in the 
series of marine animals, either among the living or among the fossils 
which led the same life, whatever indications might shed light upon 
such a question. From what marine ancestors has come the stem of 
anthropoids from which one may ask the secret of the drama in which 
we are now taking part? 

In the midst of these reveries came the desire to found, under the 
conditions of independence necessary for the development of scientific 
truth, a home where anthropology could grow freely in the solicitude 
accorded by the most trusited disciples of this science. So I created 
beside the Oceanographic Institute of Paris the Institute of Human 
Paleontology, where Ae professors without gathering cumbersome col- 
lections study all the materials with which excavations supply us. 

I come among you the better to express my happiness and my 
pride in the great favor you have done me by bestowing upon me this 
medal which commemorates the work of oceanographers. Nothing 
could honor more the efforts to which I have consecrated my life that 
the spirit of men might no longer be left ignorant of all that concerns 
the science of the sea when it had already penetrated so many secrets 
of the earth, this infinitesimal portion of the universe. 



182 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the very soil of continental plateaux, plucking off the sea-weeds and 
ruining the bottoms that are fittest for the breeding as well as the 
preservation of a great many species. So mudi so that in a few years* 
time the means of maintenance of hundreds of thousands of fishennen 
and their families on the coasts of Europe will have disappeared. 

The trawlers steadily work farther and farther, deeper and deeper, 
in ever increasing numbers; and wherever their devastation is possible 
a waste is involved which certainly exceeds 50 per cent, of the ediUe 
produce they seek. For we must include in this summary valuation die 
young the trawl maims and kills as it passes and those that reach' the 
ship in such condition that they are useless and in some cases untrans- 
portable. Near the Arguin bank on the west African coast a still more 
intensive waste occurs which is owing to purely conunercial causes. 

In order to check this evil, I suggest the meeting of- intemational 
conferences possessing the most drastic powers to enforce the decisions 
that are to be arrived at. I would reconmiend the adoption of the 
reserved district principle, which has always been very efficient for 
die preservation of wild terrestrial species, because it rests on logic and 
simplicity. Besides, it is now showing its value in those parts of the 
sea where the war raged and fishing was held up for a few years; as 
soon as fisihing was resumed plenty of fish has been found, some speci- 
mens being of a size unheard of for thirty years. 

I have included within the domain of oceanography, for the present 
at least, the study of phenomena observed in the upper atnaosphere 
floating over the oceans. That these expanses receive from the sea the 
principal elements of their activity seems evident when one remembers 
the effects of evaporation on an immense scale and of the winds \^di 
sweep continually over the surface of the waters. 

Only with a great deal of difficulty have we succeded in obtaining 
observations on the speed and direction of the wind and the temper- 
ature and humidity of the air up to altitudes of 25,000 meters. 
During several years I pursued, by means of aluminum instruments 
weighing very little, the delicate experiments which these researches 
entail. In the construction of these instruments Professor Hergesell, 
who now accompanied me, had participated. Just as the Americans, 
Edy and Rotch, had already done, I at first entrusted my instruments 
to kites which carried thetn up to 4500 meters. But soon I abandoned 
this means and adopted a new one which, on land, furnished satis- 
factory results to the French investigators Hermite and Bezancon. This 
was an arrangement of two linked balloons unequally filled, of which 
the one less inflated carried the instruments. On reaching a certain 
height the better filled balloon would be burst by the expansion of the 
gas it contained, whereas the second, not sufficient alone to carry the 
weight of the instruments, redescended toward the surface of the sea. 
/ fvas able to make such apparatus reach an altitude of 14,000 meters. 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 



'. PHINCE OF MONACO VISITING THE CKOTTO DEL CASTILLO. SPAIN. VH1CH HE 
'LOBED FOR ""'■—'""•"■'• ■—•■■- ~r....... .^..^ ......r^ ,o c^.^.,^ «.. ^-c 

HT OF THE C 
OR, THE ABI 
lOl'IS TIN A V HE 

The most serious difficulty presented in these operations was 
always that of recovering the balloon that carried the instruments after 
its descent to the sea, since the point of its fall was sometimes 50 to 
100 mites distant from that of its ascent and in a direction quite differ- 
ent from what the wind at lower levels would indicate. Moreover, the 
whole apparatus, though followed by the ship and located repeatedly as 
long as it remained visible, would finally disappear without our being 
able subsequently to judge the effect of the wind which carried it. 

On board the "Princesse-Alice 11" we solved this problem by 
q>ecial calculations which allowed us to mark on a map, as soon 
as the balloon had disappeared from view, an approximate point to- 
ward which to direct the course in order to rediscover it without fail. 
Thanks to an ingenious idea of Professor Hergesell, this balloon left 
to itself remains floating with Us instruments at a height of 50 meters 
above the water, its lifting power being recovered through a weight 
suspended below which has only to touch the surface. 

By using much smaller balloons, of about 1-meter eize. which 
carried no instruments but the movements of which were measured with 
the theodolite as long as it was possible to observe them, we succeeded, 
in arctic regions, in determining the velocity and direction of the wind 
in the upper layers of the atmosphere, even up to 25,000 meters, as 
before mentioned. Then our balloon was 80 kilometer? from us in a 
Straight line; that such a visibility is possible results [Tom VW Vmy^^ 



THE SCIIiSTIFIC MOXTHLY 



THK PRINCE OF MONACO AND HIS PARTY VISIT THE GROTTO OF LA PASIF.CO. \EA1 
PlIENTF VIESGO, NOT FAR FROM SANTANDER 

arctic atmosphere free from dust, and wat«r-vapor. This sanie limpid- 
ity permitted me one day to follow easily all the actic^s of 4 men 
whom I had sent on a mission to a snowjield situated at a distance of 
40 kilometers towards the interior of Spitzbergen. 

To-day, therefore, I can release in the open ocean a balloon of 2> 
or S^neter size furnished with instruments and can find it mathe- 
matically after it has made a long journey in a direction of which we 
otherwise would have to remain totally ignorant. 

I ^all close my all too brief survey of the mighty domain created 
by the science of oceanography by speaking to this distinguished 
assembly of the bathyraetric chart of all the seas of the globe the 
preparation of which I undertook at the time of the International C<m- 
gress at Berlin in 1899. I realized then that this task was necessary 
as a basis and a program for the great work to which I have conse- 
crated my life. To Commandant Bouree I entrusted the direction of 
this enterprise and to-day its imperativeness is already evident. All 
the hydrographic and oc«anographic centers of the world have ap- 
preciated this fact and are now sending me abundant data bearing on 
the subject. 

This chart, on a scale 1 to 1,000,000, occupies 24 sheets and meas- 
ures, without its separate polar circles, 2 meters 40 cm. by 4 meters. 
Tie isobathic lines are those of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 meters, and so on. 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN 185 

The surfaces contained between succeeding contours are colored in 
blues becoming progressively deeper in shade. The oceanic regions of 
which the depdi still ronains unknown are immediately disclosed. 

If we had no more rapid system for taking soundings than that 
which requires each time the stopping of the ship to send a lead to the 
bottom, many years would still be required for the completion of such 
a task; but the method of M. Marti, a hydrographic engineer in the 
French navy, will doubtless soon enable us to take lines of soundings 
with almost the usual speed of a ship under way. 

M. Marti obtains the marking upon a very sensitive recorder of a 
slight explosion produced always under the same conditions. This 
record being repeated in like manner by the echo sent back from the 
submarine floor allows of a measurement of depth with greater precision 
than by any other procedure. The principal experiments have been 
carried on at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and it is to 
be hoped that M. Marti's method of sounding will be employed every- 
vriiere. When applied to slight depths it would render great services 
to navigation; and as for my bathy metric map, it would very soon be 
completed. 

I have already told you that my life has been occupied in anthro- 
pological research as well as in oceanographic studies. My conjectures 
on the origin of life in the sea carried with them as a necessary 
corollary the formation of a group of beings susceptible to the laws of 
evolution in such a way as to be led toward the synthetic whole that 
has become the human form. Hence it was necessary to seek in the 
series of marine animals, either among the living or among the fossils 
which led the same life, whatever indications might shed light upon 
such a question. From what marine ancestors has come the stem of 
anthropoids from which one may ask the secret of the drama in which 
we are now tideing part? 

In the mi(fet of these reveries came the desire to found, under the 
conditions of independence necessary for the development of scientific 
truth, a home where anthropology could grow freely in the solicitude 
accorded by the most trusted disciples of this science. So I created 
beside the Oceanographic Institute of Paris the Institute of Human 
Paleontology, where the professors without gathering cumbersome col- 
lections study all the materials with which excavations supply us. 

I come among you the better to express my happiness and my 
pride in the great favor you have done me by bestowing upon me this 
medal which commemorates the work of oceanographers. Nothing 
could honor more the efforts to which I have consecrated my life that 
the spirit of men might no longer be left ignorant of all that concerns 
the science of the sea when it had already penetrated so many secrets 
of the earth, this infinitesimal portion of the universe. 



186 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL 
CONGRESS OF EUGENICS 

Arrangements are well advanced 
for the International Congress of Eu- 
genics which will be held at the 
American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, beginning September 22. The 
officers are: Honorary president, 
Alexander Graham Bell, Washing- 
ton, D. C. ; president, Henry Fairfield 
Osborn, Columbia University and the 
American Museum; honorary secre- 
tary, Mrs. C. Neville Rolfc, Lon- 
don; treasurer, Madison Grant, 
chairman of the Zoological Society, 
New York; secretary-general, C. C. 
Little, Department of Grenetics, Car- 
negie Institution of Washington. 

The congress is organized in four 
sections. In the first section will be 
presented, on the one hand, the re- 
sults of research in the domain of 
pure genetics in animals and plants, 
on the other, studies in human 
heredity. The application to man of 
the laws of heredity and the physiol- 
ogy of reproduction as worked out on 
some of the lower animals will be 
presented. The leading address will 
be by Dr. Lucien Cu6not, Nancy, 
France. 

The second section will consider 
factors which influence the human 
family and their control; the rela- 
tion of fecundity of different strains j 
and families and the question of so- 
cial and legal control of such fecun- 
dity ; also the differential mortality of 
the eugenically superior and inferior 
stocks and the influence upon such 
mortality of special factors, such as 
war and epidemics and endemic dis- | 
eases. First in importance among the \ 
agencies for the improvement of the | 
race is the marriage relation, with its I 
antecendcnt mate selection. Such se- I 
lection should be influenced by nat- ! 
ural sentiment and by a knowledge of 



the significant family traits of the 
proposed consorts and of the meth- 
od of inheritance of these traits. 
In this connection will be brought 
forward facts of improved and unim- 
proved families and of the persist- 
ence, generation after generation, of 
the best as well as of the worst char- 
acteristics. The leading address will 
be by Dr. Herman Lundborg, Upsala, 
Sweden. 

The third section will concern itself 
with the topic of human racial differ- 
ences, with the sharp distinction be- 
tween racial characteristics and the 
unnatural associations often created 
by political and national boundaries. 
In this connection will be considered 
the facts of the migration of races, 
the influence of racial characteristics 
on human history, the teachings of 
the past with bearings on the policies 
of the future. The results of research 
upon racial mixture in relation to hu- 
man history will be presented. Also 
the topics of racial differences in dis- 
eases and psychology will be taken up. 
The history of race migrations and 
their influence on the fate of na- 
tions, especially modern immigrations, 
should be set forth. The leading ad- 
dress will be by Dr. M. V. de La- 
pouge, Poitiers, France. 

The fourth section will discuss eu- 
genics in relation to the state, to so- 
ciety and to education. It will in- 
clude studies on certain practical ap- 
plications of eugenic research and on 
the value of such findings to morals, 
to education, to history, and to the 
various social problems and move- 
ments of the day. In this section will 
be considered the bearing of genetical 
discoveries upon the question of hu- 
man differences and upon the desir- 
ability of adjusting the educational 
program of such differences. Here 
will be considered the importance of 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



187 



family history studies for the better 
understanding and treatment of va- 
rious tjrpes of hospital cases and those 
requiring custodial care. The bear- 
ings of genetics on sociology, eco- 
nomics and the fate of nations may 
be considered in this section. The 
leading address will be by Major 
Leonard Darwin, London. 

In connection with this congress a 
Eugenics Exhibition will be held from 
September 22 to October 22, in the 
Forestry Hall of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History. It is de- 
sired to secure the most striking ex- 
hibits available or which can be pre- 
pared for this purpose. While the ex- 
hibits must be able to withstand the 
test of professional scrutiny, still 
they should be of a nature which the 
man of ordinary intelligence and edu- 
cation, but without special scientific 
training, may readily comprehend and 
appreciate. Provision will be made 
for exhibiting displays of highly tech- 
nical work, but the popular aspect 
will be given the preference. 

THE EDINBURGH MEETING OF 
THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION 
FOR THE ADVANCE- 
MENT OF SCIENCE 

The British Association holds its 
eighty-ninth annual meeting at Edin- 
burgh, from September 7 to 14. Ac- 
cording to an announcement in the 
London Times, the president. Sir 
Edward Thorpe, will address the as- 
sociation on aspects and problems of 
post-war science, pure and applied. 
An evening discourse will be given 
by Professor C. E. Inglis on a com- 
parison of the Forth and Quebec 
Bridges, and there will be an oppor- 
tunity to visit the former. Another 
discourse will be given on Edinburgh 
and oceanography by Professor \V. 
A. Herdman, who, it will be remem- 
bered, as president of the association 
at Cardiff last year, pressed for a new 
exploration of the oceans like that of 
the Challenger, nearly 50 years ago. 



Some presidents of sections will in- 
troduce discussions on their ad- 
dresses. Hitherto all addresses have 
been formally read, and never dis- 
cussed, but in the present program 
the following addresses are announc- 
ed to initiate debates: Sir W. Mor- 
ley Fletcher, on the boundaries of 
physiology; Professor Lloyd Morgan, 
on consciousness and the uncon- 
scious, opening the newly established 
section of psychology; Dr. D. H. 
Scott, on the present position of the 
theory of descent in relation to the 
early history of plants; Sir Henry 
Hadow, on the place of music in a 
liberal education; and Mr. C. S. Or- 
win, on the study of agricultural eco- 
nomics. Other addresses will be 
given on problems of physics by Pro- 
fessor O. W. Richardson, on the lab- 
oratory of the living organism by Dr. 
M. O. Forster, by Dr. J. S. Flett on 
experimental geology, by Professor 
E. S. Goodrich on some problems in 
evolution, by Dr. D. G. Hogarth on 
the application of geography, by Mr. 
W. L. Hichens on principles by which 
wages are determined, and by Pro- 
fessor A. H. Gibson on water power. 

This year the council called all sec- 
tional committees to meet together to 
consider common action, and out of 
many suggestions then received sev- 
eral topics of first-rate importance 
were selected to be debated by ap- 
propriate groups of sections, at joint 
meetings which will form the princi- 
pal items of the sectional programs. 
These topics include the structure of 
molecules, the age of the earth, bio- 
chemistry, the proposed Mid-Scot- 
land canal, the origin of the Scottish 
people, vocational training and tests 
and the relation of genetics to agri- 
culture. 

Among the other promised fea- 
tures there is a popular exposition of 
Einstein's theory of relativity by Pro- 
fessor A. S. Eddington ; and the usual 
public lectures will be given to the 




182 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the very soil of continental plateaux, plucking o£F the sea-weeds and 
ruining the bottoms that are fittest for the breeding as well as the 
preservation of a great many species. So much so that in a few years* 
time the means of maintenance of hundreds of thousands of fishermen 
and their families on the coasts of Europe will have disappeared. 

The trawlers steadily work farther and farther, deeper and deeper, 
in ever increasing numbers; and wherever their devastation is possible 
a waste is involved which certainly exceeds 50 per cent, of the edible 
produce they seek. For we must include in this summary valuation the 
young the trawl maims and kills as it passes and those that reach the 
ship in such condition that they are useless and in some cases untrans- 
portable. Near the Arguin bank on the west African coast a still more 
intensive waste occurs which is owing to purely ctmunercial causes. 

In order to check this evil, I suggest the meeting of- international 
conferences possessing the most drastic powers to enforce the decisions 
that are to be arrived at. I would recommend the adoption of the 
reserved district principle, which has always been very efficient for 
the preservation of wild terrestrial species, because it rests on logic and 
simplicity. Besides, k is now showing its value in those parts of the 
sea where the war raged and fishing was held up for a few years; as 
soon as fisAiing was resumed plenty of fish has been found, some speci- 
mens being of a size unheard of for thirty years. 

I have included within the domain of oceanography, for the present 
ait least, the study of phenomena observed in the upper atmosjdiere 
floating over the oceans. That these expanses receive from the sea the 
principal elements of their activity seems evident when one renmnbers 
the effeots of evaporation on an immense scale and of the winds which 
sweep continually over the surface of the waters. 

Only wiith a great deal of difficulty have we succeded in obtaining 
observations on the speed and direction of the win<d and the temper- 
ature and humidity of the air up to altitudes of 25,000 meters. 
During several years I pursued, by means of aluminum instruments 
weighing very little, the delicate experiments which these researches 
entail. In the construction of these instruments Professor Hergesell, 
who now accompanied me, had participated. Just as the Americans, 
Edy and Rotch, had already done, I at first entrusted my instruments 
to kites which carried them up to 4500 meters. But soon I abandoned 
this means and adopted a new one which, on land, furnished satis- 
factory results to the French investigators Hermite and Bezancon. This 
was an arrangement of two linked balloons unequally filled, of which 
the one less inflated carried the instruments. On reaching a certain 
height the better filled balloon would be burst by the expansion of the 
gas it contained, whereas the second, not sufficient alone to carry the 
weight of the instruments, redescended toward the surface of the sea. 
I was able to make such apparatus reach an altitude of 14,000 meters. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



189 



citizens of Edinburgh. The speakers 
will include Sir Oliver Lodge on 
speech through the ether, Professor 
A. Dendy on the stream of life, and 
Professor H. J. Fleure on countries 
as personalities, and a special lecture 
will be arranged on market day in 
Edinburgh for the agricultural com- 
munity by Dr. E. J. Russell on science 
and crop production. 

The association, having failed to 
regain its former concession of re- 
duced railway fares for members, 
proposes that they shall be offered fa- 
cilities for traveling by motor coach 
to Edinburgh from most of the uni- 
versity and many other principal 
towns in England, at fares substan- 
tially less than those of the railways. 
Full particulars of membership may 
be had from the office of the asso- 
ciation at Burlington House, or from 
the local secretary at the University 
of Edinburgh. 

MEETINGS OF BRITISH AND 
AMERICAN CHEMISTS 

Joint meetings will be held this 
autumn by chemists of Great Britain, 
Canada and the United States. Mem- 
bers of the Society of Chemical In- 
dustry of Great Britain will join with 
the Canadian branch of their organ- 
ization in sessions in Montreal late 
in August. The scientific and busi- 
ness sessions will center at McGill 
University, where there will be a spe- 
cial convocation. The Canadian and 
British chemists will inspect numer- 
ous plants and will proceed to Ot- 
tawa and Toronto, where they will be 
entertained by the local sections. On 
September 5, they will reach Niagara 
Falls, where they will view the vast 
establishments which modern physics 
and chemistry have created. 

The members will then cross the 
border, being met by a committee of 
the American section of their society 
and conducted through the industrial 
plants on this side of the Falls. Din- 
ner will be served at Buffalo, and on 



their arrival at Syracuse, they will 
have luncheon with the Solvay 
Process Company. The chemists will 
then go to Albany and New York 
City, where they will be welcomed by 
the American Section of the Society 
of Chemical Industry. Elaborate ar- 
rangements for the reception of the 
chemists will be carried out, through 
the co-ordinating committee, of which 
Dr. B. C. Hesse is chairman and Dr. 
Allen Rogers is secretary. The fes- 
tivities, meetings and entertainments 
which will follow are designed to 
bring into closer bonds all chemists 
of Anglo-Saxon stock. 

The fall meeting of the American 
Chemical Society, with its 15.500 
members, is to be held in New York 
City from September 6 to 10, inclu- 
sive. The first contact will be at a 
lawn party, to be given on the after- 
noon of September 7 to foreign 
guests and to scientific societies at 
Columbia University. Other so- 
cieties asked to participate in the 
welcoming of the visitors from 
abroad are: The American Electro- 
chemical Society; the American In- 
stitute of Chemical Engineers; the 
American Section of the Societe 
de Chimie Industrielle ; and the Man- 
ufacturing Chemists' Association of 
the United States. The foreign 
guests have also been invited to the 
smoker and entertainment of the 
American Chemical Society, which 
will be held on the evening of Wed- 
nesday, September 7. 

Scientific sessions of the American 
Chemical Society, in which many 
matters concerning chemical research 
and applied chemistry will be dis- 
cussed, are to be held at Columbia 
University. To these meetings the 
British and Canadian guests have 
been bidden. They will also be pres- 
ent at the banquet of the American 
Chemical Society on the evening of 
September 9 at the Waldorf-Astoria. 

The fortnight beginning September 
12 will be dedicated to American 



182 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the very soil of continental plateaux, plucking o£F the sea-weeds and 
ruining the bottoms that are fittest for the breeding as well as the 
preservation of a great many species. So much so that in a few years* 
time the means of maintenance of hundreds of thousands of fishermen 
and their families on the coasts of Europe will have disappeared. 

The trawlers steadily work farther and farther, deeper and deeper, 
in ever increasing numbers; and wherever their devastation is possible 
a waste is involved which certainly exceeds 50 per cent, of the edible 
produce they seek. For we must include in this summary valuation the 
young the trawl maims and kills as it passes and those that reach the 
ship in such condition that they are useless and in some cases untrans- 
portable. Near the Arguin bank on the west African coast a still more 
intensive waste occurs which is owing to purely ctmmiercial causes. 

In order to check this evil, I suggest the meeting of- international 
conferences possessing the most drastic powers to enforce the decisions 
that are to be arrived at. I would recommend the adoption of the 
reserved district principle, which has always been very efficient for 
the preservation of wild terrestrial species, because it rests on logic and 
simplicity. Besides, it is now showing its value in those parts of the 
sea where the war raged and fishing was held up for a few years; as 
soon as fis/hing was resumed plenty of fish has been found, some speci- 
mens being of a size unheard of for thirty years. 

I have included within the domain of oceanography, for the present 
at least, the study of phenomena observed in the upper atmosphere 
floating over the oceans. That these expanses receive from the sea the 
principal elements of their activity seems evident when one renmnbers 
the effects of evaporation on an inunense scale and of the winds wfaidi 
sweep continually over the surface of the waters. 

Only with a great deal of difficulty have we succeded in obtaining 
observations on the speed and direction of the wind and the temper- 
ature and humidity of the air up to altitudes of 25,000 meters. 
During several years I pursued, by means of aluminum instruments 
weighing very little, the delicate experiments which these researches 
entail. In the construction of these instruments Professor Hergesell, 
who now accompanied me, had participated. Just as the Americans, 
Edy and Rotch, had already done, I at first entrusted my instruments 
to kites which carried them up to 4500 meters. But soon I abandoned 
this means and adopted a new one which, on land, furnished satis- 
factory results to the French investigators Hermite and Bezancon. This 
was an arrangement of two linked balloons unequally filled, of which 
the one less inflated carried the instruments. On reaching a certain 
height the better filled balloon would be burst by the expansion of the 
gas it contained, whereas the second, not sufficient alone to carry the 
weight of the instruments, redescended toward the surface of the sea. 
I was able to make such apparatus reach an altitude of 14,000 meters. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



191 



chemistry in all its phases, for it 
marks the holding of the National 
Exposition of Chemical Industries, 
which is to be held in the Coast Ar- 
tillery Armory in the Bronx. There 
will be brought together under one 
roof a demonstration of what has 
been accomplished in this country 
since the European War in adapting 
the resources of the United States to 
national needs. 

EDWARD BENNETT ROSA 

The death of Dr. Edward Bennett 
Rosa, chief physicist of the Bureau 
of Standards, Washington, D. C, is 
a serious loss to science and to the 
government service. Born in Rogers- 
ville, N. v., in 1861, he was a grad- 
uate of Wesleyan University in the 
class of 1886, receiving the degree of 
doctor of philosophy from the Johns 
Hopkins University in 1891. For 
a short time he was instructor at 
the University of Wisconsin, leaving 
there to become professor of physics 
M Weslesran University. He became 
the chief physicist at the Bureau of 
Standards in 1901. 

He did notable work in science and 
electrical engineering. At Wesleyan 
University he developed the physical 
side of the respiration calorimeter 
with Professor W. O. Atwater. This 
apparatus was of great value in the 
pioneer investigations on the value of 
foods and the study of nutrition prob- 
lems. He took a leading part in the 
researches to establish the funda- 
mental electrical units after going to 
the Bureau of Standards and served 
as secretary of the International 
Committee on Electrical Units and 
Standards. He has developed the 
electrical work of the Bureau of 
Standards from small beginnings 
into an organization covering the 
scientific and engineering aspects of 
a great national laboratory. 

When Dr. Rosa began his work in 
the Electrical Division it was his am- 
bition to determine a number of the 



fundamental electrical constants. In 
conjunction with Dr. Dorsey he im- 
mediately undertook the determina- 
tion of the ratio of the electromag- 
netic and electrostatic units. About 
1907 they started their work on the 
determination of the ampere. This 
was followed by work on the silver 
voltameter and apparatus for deter- 
mining the absolute value of the 
ohm. 

During his early years at the bu- 
reau, Dr. Rosa published a large 
number of papers on the computing 
of inductance, and later, with Dr. 
Grover, he collected together prac- 
tically all the known formulae for 
computing inductance. In 1910, there 
was instituted under Dr. Rosa's di- 
rection an exhaustive investigation 
into the subject of electrolytic corro- 
sion of underground gas and water 
pipes, and lead cable sheaths due to 
stray currents from electric railways. 

During the war. Dr. Rosa directed 
the development of a number of 
scientilic instruments which were of 
inestimable value to the American 
Forces in France. Among these 
might be mentioned a sound-ranging 
device for locating big guns ; the geo- 
phone for the detection of mining op- 
erations, the development of aircraft 
radio-apparatus, and the improve- 
ment of radio. 

In addition to his diversified work 
in the field of electrical research, Dr. 
Rosa was keenly interested in the 
prevention of industrial accidents 
and in the promulgation of safety 
standards for use by state, municipal 
and insurance organizations. He 
conceived the idea of a National 
Electrical Safety Code several years 
ago, and the present code is largely 
the result of his efforts. Similarly 
the bureau has undertaken a number 
of other national safety codes, the 
Safety Code Section working under 
his direction. 

His broad vision showed him the 
need of a central clearing house for 



182 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the very soil of continental plateaux, plucking o£F the sea-weeds and 
ruining the bottoms that are fittest for the breeding as well as the 
preservation of a great many species. So much so that in a few years' 
time the means of maintenance of hundreds of thousands of fishermen 
and their families on the coasts of Europe will have disappeared. 

The trawlers steadily work farther and farther, deeper and deeper, 
in ever increasing numbers; and wherever their devastation is possible 
a waste is involved which certainly exceeds 50 per cent, of the edible 
produce they seek. For we must include in this summary valuation the 
young the trawl maims and kills as it passes and those that reach the 
ship in such condition that they are useless and in some cases untrans- 
portable. Near the Arguin bank on the west African coast a still more 
intensive waste occurs which is owing to purely ctmmiercial causes. 

In order to check this evil, I suggest the meeting of* international 
conferences possessing the most drastic powers to enforce the decisions 
that are to be arrived at. I would reconunend the adoption of the 
reserved district principle, which has always been very efficient for 
the preservation of wild terrestrial species, because it rests on logic and 
simplicity. Besides, it is now showing its value in those parts of the 
sea where the war raged and fishing was held up for a few years; as 
soon as fis^hing was resumed plenty of fish has been found, some speci- 
mens being of a size unheard of for thirty years. 

I have included within the domain of oceanography, for the present 
at least, the study of phenomena observed in the upper atmosphere 
floating over the oceans. That these expanses receive from the sea the 
principal elements of their activity seems evident when one renmnbers 
the effects of evaporation on an immense scale and of the winds which 
sweep continually over the surface of the waters. 

Only with a great deal of difficulty have we succeded in obtaining 
observations on the speed and direction of the wind an<d the temper- 
ature and humidity of the air up to altitudes of 25,000 meters. 
During several years I pursued, by means of aluminum instruments 
weighing very little, the delicate experiments which these researches 
entail. In the construction of these instruments Professor Hergesell, 
who now accompanied me, had participated. Just as the Americans, 
Edy and Rotch, had already done, I at first entrusted my instruments 
to kites which carried them up to 4500 meters. But soon I abandoned 
this means and adopted a new one which, on land, furnished satis- 
factory results to the French investigators Hermite and Bezancon. This 
was an arrangement of two linked balloons unequally filled, of which 
the one less inflated carried the instruments. On reaching a certain 
height the better filled balloon would be burst by the expansion of the 
gas it contained, whereas the second, not sufficient alone to carry the 
weight of the instruments, redescended toward the surface of the sea. 
I was able to make such apparatus reach an altitude of 14,000 meters. 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN * 185 

The surfaces contained between succeeding contours are colored in 
blues becoming progressively deeper in shade. The oceanic regions of 
which the depth still ronains unknown are inunediately disclosed. 

If we had no more rapid system for taking soundings than that 
which requires each time the stopping of the ship to send a lead to the 
bottom, many years would still be required for the completion of such 
a task; but the method of M. Marti, a hydrographic engineer in the 
French navy, will doubtless soon enable us to take lines of soundings 
with almost the visual speed of a ship under way. 

M. Marti obtains the marking upon a very sensitive recorder of a 
slight explosion produced always under the same conditions. This 
record being repeated in like manner by the echo sent back from the 
submarine floor allows of a measurement of depth with greater precision 
than by any other procedure. The principal experiments have been 
carried on at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and it is to 
be hoped that M. Marti's method of sounding will be employed every- 
where. When applied to slight depths it would render great services 
to navigation; and as for my bathy metric map, it would very soon be 
completed. 

I have already told you that my life has been occupied in anthro- 
pological research as well as in oceanographic studies. My conjectures 
on the origin of life in the sea carried with them as a necessary 
corollary the formation of a group of beings susceptible to the laws of 
evolution in such a way as to be led toward the synthetic whole that 
has become the human form. Hence it was necessary to sedc in the 
series of marine animals, either among the living or among the fossils 
which led the same life, whatever indications might shed light upon 
such a question. From what marine ancestors has come the stem of 
anthropoids from which one may ask the secret of the drama in which' 
we are now taking part? 

In the midst of these reveries came the desire to found, under the 
conditions of independence necessary for the development of scientific 
truth, a home where anthropology could grow freely in the solicitude 
accorded by the most trusted disciples of this science. So I created 
beside the Oceanographic Institute of Paris the Institute of Human 
Paleontology, where die professors without gathering cumbersome col- 
lections study all the materials with which excavations supply us. 

I come among you the better to express my happiness and my 
pride in the great favor you have done me by bestowing upon me this 
medal which commemorates the work of oceanographers. Nothing 
could honor more the e£Forts to which I have consecrated my life that 
the spirit of men might no longer be left ignorant of all that concerns 
the science of the sea when it had already penetrated so many secrets 
of the earth, this infinitesimal portion of the universe. 



THE SCIEXTIFIC MOSTHLY 



THK PRirVCE OF MONACO AND HIS PAR 

arctic atmosphere free from dust, and water-vapor. This same limpid* 
ky permitted me one day to follow easily all the actions of 4 men 
whom I had sent on a mission to a snowfieid situated at a distance of 
40 kilometers towards the interior of Spitzbergen. 

To-day, therefore, I can release in the oprai ocean a balloon of 2- 
or S^neter size furnished with instruments and can find it mathe* 
matically after it has made a long journey in a direction of which we 
otherwise would have to remain totally ignorant. 

I shall close my all too brief survey of the mighty dtmiain created 
by the science of oceanography by speaking to this distinguished 
assembly of the bathymetric chart of all the seas of the globe the 
preparation of which I undertook at the time of the International Con- 
gress at Berlin in 1899. I realized then that this task was necessary 
as a basis and a program for the great work to which 1 have conse- 
crated my life. To Commandant Bouree I entrusted the direction of 
this enterprise and to-day its imperativeness is already evident All 
the hydrographic and oceanographic centers of the world have ap- 
preciated this fact and are now sending me abundant data bearing on 
the subject. 

This chart, on a scale 1 to 1,000,000, occupies 24 sheets and meas- 
ures, without its separate polar circles, 2 meters 40 cm. by 4 meters. 
The jsobathic lines are those of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 meters, and so on. 



STUDIES OF THE OCEAN * 185 

The surfaces contained between succeeding contours are colored in 
blues becoming progressively deeper in shade. The oceanic regions of 
which the depth still r^nains unknown are immediately disclosed. 

If we had no more rapid system for taking soundings than that 
which requires each time the stopping of the ship to send a lead to the 
bottom, many years would still be required for the completion of such 
a task; but the method of M. Marti, a hydrographic engineer in the 
French navy, will doubtless soon enable us to take lines of soundings 
with almost the usual speed of a ship under way. 

M. Marti obtains the marking upon a very sensitive recorder of a 
slight explosion produced always under the same conditions. This 
record being repeated in like manner by the echo sent back from the 
submarine floor allows of a measurement of depth with greater precision 
than by any other procedure. The principal experiments have been 
carried on at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and it is to 
be hoped that M. Marti's method of sounding will be employed every- 
where. When applied to slight depths it would render great services 
to navigation; and as for my bathy metric map, it would very soon be 
completed. 

I have already told you that my life has been occupied in anthro- 
pological research as well as in oceanographic studies. My conjectures 
on the origin of life in the sea carried with them as a necessary 
corollary the formation of a group of beings susceptible to the laws of 
evolution in such a way as to be led toward the synthetic whole that 
has became the human form. Hence it was necessary to sedc in the 
series of marine animals, either among the living or among the fossils 
which led the same life, whatever indications might shed light upon 
such a question. From what marine ancestors has come the stem of 
anthropoids from which one may ask the secret of the drama in which' 
we are now taking part? 

In the midst of these reveries came the desire to found, under the 
conditions of independence necessary for the development of scientific 
truth, a home where anthropology could grow freely in the solicitude 
accorded by the most trusted disciples of this science. So I created 
beside the Oceanographic Institute of Paris the Institute of Human 
Paleontology, where 'die professors without gathering cumbersome col- 
lections study all the materials with which excavations supply us. 

I come among you the better to express my happiness and my 
pride in the great favor you have done me by bestowing upon me this 
medal which commemorates the work of oceanographers. Nothing 
could honor more the efforts to which I have consecrated my life that 
the spirit of men might no longer be left ignorant of all that concerns 
the science of the sea when it had already penetrated so many secrets 
of the earth, this infinitesimal portion of the universe. 



186 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE PROGRESS OF SQENCE 




THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL 
CONGRESS OF EUGENICS 

Arrangements are well advanced 
for the International Congress of Eu- 
genics which will be held at the 
American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, beginning September 22. The 
officers are: Honorary president, 
Alexander Graham Bell, Washing- 
ton, D. C; president, Henry Fairfield 
Osborn, Columbia University and the 
American Museum; honorary secre- 
tary, Mrs. C. Neville Rolfc, Lon- 
don; treasurer, Madison Grant, 
chairman of the Zoological Society, 
New York; secretary-general, C. C. 
Little, Department of Genetics, Car- 
negie Institution of Washington. 

The congress is organized in four 
sections. In the first section will be 
presented, on the one hand, the re- 
sults of research in the domain of 
pure genetics in animals and plants, 
on the other, studies in human 
heredity. The application to man of 
the laws of heredity and the physiol- 
ogy of reproduction as worked out on 
some of the lower animals will be 
presented. The leading address will 
be by Dr. Lucien Cu6not, Nancy, 
France. 

The second section will consider 
factors which influence the human 
family and their control; the rela- 
tion of fecundity of different strains 
and families and the question of so- 
cial and legal control of such fecun- 
dity ; also the differential mortality of 
the eugenically superior and inferior 
stocks and the influence upon such 
mortality of special factors, such as 
war and epidemics and endemic dis- 
eases. First in importance among the 
agencies for the improvement of the 
race is the marriage relation, with its 
antecendent mate selection. Such se- 
lection should be influenced by nat- 
ural sentiment and by a knowledge of 



the significant family traits of the 
proposed consorts and of the meth- 
od of inheritance of these traits. 
In this connection will be brought 
forward facts of improved and unim- 
proved families and of the persist- 
ence, generation after generation, of 
the best as well as of the worst char- 
acteristics. The leading address will 
be by Dr. Herman Lundborg, Upsala, 
Sweden. 

The third section will concern itself 
with the topic of htunan racial differ- 
ences, with the sharp distinction be- 
tween racial characteristics and the 
unnatural associations often created 
by political and national boundaries. 
In this connection will be considered 
the facts of the migration of races, 
the influence of racial characteristics 
on human history, the teachings of 
the past with bearings on the policies 
of the future. The results of research 
upon racial mixture in relation to hu- 
man history will be presented. Also 
the topics of racial differences in dis- 
eases and psychology will be taken up. 
The history of race migrations and 
their influence on the fate of na- 
tions, especially modern immigrations, 
should be set forth. The leading ad- 
dress will be by Dr. M. V. dc La- 
pouge, Poitiers, France. 

The fourth section will discuss eu- 
genics in relation to the state, to so- 
ciety and to education. It will in- 
clude studies on certain practical ap- 
plications of eugenic research and on 
the value of such findings to morals, 
to education, to history, and to the 
various social problems and move- 
ments of the day. In this section will 
be considered the bearing of genetical 
discoveries upon the question of hu- 
man differences and upon the desir- 
ability of adjusting the educational 
program of such differences. Here 
will be considered the importance of 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



187 



family history studies for the better 
understanding and treatment of va- 
rious types of hospital cases and those 
requiring custodial care. The bear- 
ings of genetics on sociology, eco- 
nomics and the fate of nations may 
be considered in this section. The 
leading address will be by Major 
Leonard Darwin, London. 

In connection with this congress a 
Eugenics Exhibition will be held from 
September 22 to October 22, in the 
Forestry Hall of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History. It is de- 
sired to secure the most striking ex- 
hibits available or which can be pre- 
pared for this purpose. While the ex- 
hibits must be able to withstand the 
test of professional scrutiny, still 
they should be of a nature which the 
man of ordinary intelligence and edu- 
cation, but without special scientific 
training, may readily comprehend and 
appreciate. Provision will be made 
for exhibiting displays of highly tech- 
nical work, but the popular aspect 
will be given the preference. 

THE EDINBURGH MEETING OF 
THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION 
FOR THE ADVANCE- 
MENT OF SCIENCE 

The British Association holds its 
eighty-ninth annual meeting at Edin- 
burgh, from September 7 to 14. Ac- 
cording to an annotmcement in the 
London Times, the president. Sir 
Edward Thorpe, will address the as- 
sociation on aspects and problems of 
post-war science, pure and applied. 
An evening discourse will be given 
by Professor C. E. Inglis on a com- 
parison of the Forth and Quebec 
Bridges, and there will be an oppor- 
tunity to visit the former. Another 
discourse will be given on Edinburgh 
and oceanography by Professor W. 
A. Herdman, who, it will be remem- 
bered, as president of the association 
at Cardiff last year, pressed for a new 
exploration of the oceans like that of 
the Challenger, nearly 50 years ago. 



Some presidents of sections will in- 
troduce discussions on their ad- 
dresses. Hitherto all addresses have 
been formally read, and never dis- 
cussed, but in the present program 
the following addresses are announc- 
ed to initiate debates: Sir W. Mor- 
ley Fletcher, on the boundaries of 
physiology; Professor Lloyd Morgan, 
on consciousness and the ' uncon- 
scious, opening the newly established 
section of psychology; Dr. D. H. 
Scott, on the present position of the 
theory of descent in relation to the 
early history of plants; Sir Henry 
Hadow, on the place of music in a 
liberal education; and Mr. C. S. Or- 
win, on the study of agricultural eco- 
nomics. Other addresses will be 
given on problems of physics by Pro- 
fessor O. W. Richardson, on the lab- 
oratory of the living organism by Dr. 
M. O. Forster, by Dr. J. S. Flett on 
experimental geology, by Professor 
E. S. Goodrich on some problems in 
evolution, by Dr. D. G. Hogarth on 
the application of geography, by Mr. 
W. L. Hichens on principles by which 
wages are determined, and by Pro- 
fessor A. H. Gibson on water power. 

This year the council called all sec- 
tional committees to meet together to 
consider common action, and out of 
many suggestions then received sev- 
eral topics of first-rate importance 
were selected to be debated by ap- 
propriate groups of sections, at joint 
meetings which will form the princi- 
pal items of the sectional programs. 
These topics include the structure of 
molecules, the age of the earth, bio- 
chemistry, the proposed Mid-Scot- 
land canal, the origin of the Scottish 
people, vocational training and tests 
and the relation of genetics to agri- 
culture. 

Among the other promised fea- 
tures there is a popular exposition of 
Einstein's theory of relativity by Pro- 
fessor A. S. Eddington ; and the usual 
public lectures will be given to the 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



189 



citizens of Edinburgh. The speakers 
will include Sir Oliver Lodge on 
speech through the ether, Professor 
A. Dendy on the stream of life, and 
Professor H. J. Fleure on countries 
as personalities, and a special lecture 
will be arranged on market day in 
Edinburgh for the agricultural com- 
munity by Dr. E. J. Russell on science 
and crop production. 

The association, having failed to 
regain its former concession of re- 
duced railway fares for members, 
proposes that they shall be offered fa- 
cilities for traveling by motor coach 
to Edinburgh from most of the uni- 
versity and many other principal 
towns in England, at fares substan- 
tially less than those of the railways. 
Full particulars of membership may 
be had from the office of the asso- 
ciation at Burlington House, or from 
the local secretary at the University 
of Edinburgh. 

MEETINGS OF BRITISH AND 
AMERICAN CHEMISTS 

Joint meetings will be held this 
autumn by chemists of Great Britain, 
Canada and the United States. Mem- 
bers of the Society of Chemical In- 
dustry of Great Britain will join with 
the Canadian branch of their organ- 
ization in sessions in Montreal late 
in August. The scientific and busi- 
ness sessions will center at McGill 
University, where there will be a spe- 
cial convocation. The Canadian and 
British chemists will inspect numer- 
ous plants and will proceed to Ot- 
tawa and Toronto, where they will be 
entertained by the local sections. On 
September 5, they will reach Niagara 
Falls, where they will view the vast 
establishments which modem physics 
and chemistry have created. 

The members will then cross the 
border, being met by a committee of 
the American section of their society 
and conducted through the industrial 
plants on this side of the Falls. Din- 
ner will be served at Buffalo, and on 



their arrival at Syracuse, they will 
have luncheon with the Solvay 
Process Company. The chemists will 
then go to Albany and New York 
City, where they will be welcomed by 
the American Section of the Society 
of Chemical Industry. Elaborate ar- 
rangements for the reception of the 
chemists will be carried out, through 
the co-ordinating committee, of which 
Dr. B. C. Hesse is chairman and Dr. 
Allen Rogers is secretary. The fes- 
tivities, meetings and entertainments 
which will follow are designed to 
bring into closer bonds all chemists 
of Anglo-Saxon stock. 

The fall meeting of the American 
Chemical Society, with its 15,500 
members, is to be held in New York 
City from September 6 to 10, inclu- 
sive. The first contact will be at a 
lawn party, to be given on the after- 
noon of September 7 to foreign 
guests and to scientific societies at 
Columbia University. Other so- 
cieties asked to participate in the 
welcoming of the visitors from 
abroad are: The American Electro- 
chemical Society; the American In- 
stitute of Chemical Engineers; the 
American Section of the Societe 
de Chimie Industrielle ; and the Man- 
ufacturing Chemists* Association of 
the United States. The foreign 
guests have also been invited to the 
smoker and entertainment of the 
American Chemical Society, which 
will be held on the evening of Wed- 
nesday, September 7. 

Scientific sessions of the American 
Chemical Society, in which many 
matters concerning chemical research 
and applied chemistry will be dis- 
cussed, are to be held at Columbia 
University. To these meetings the 
British and Canadian guests have 
been bidden. They will also be pres- 
ent at the banquet of the American 
Chemical Society on the evening of 
September 9 at the Waldorf-Astoria. 

The fortnight beginning September 
12 will be dedicated to American 



EDWAEID BENNETT ROSA 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



191 



chemistry in all its phases, for it 
marks the holding of the National 
Exposition of Chemical Industries, 
which is to be held in the Coast Ar- 
tillery Armory in the Bronx. There 
will be brought together under one 
roof a demonstration of what has 
been accomplished in this country 
since the European War in adapting 
the resources of the United States to 
national needs. 

EDWARD BENNETT ROSA 

The death of Dr. Edward Bennett 
Rosa, chief physicist of the Bureau 
of Standards, Washington, D. C, is 
a serious loss to science and to the 
government service. Born in Rogers- 
ville, N. Y., in 1861, he was a grad- 
uate of Wesleyan University in the 
class of 1886, receiving the degree of 
doctor of philosophy from the Johns 
Hopkins University in 1891. For 
a short time he was instructor at 
the University of Wisconsin, leaving 
there to become professor of physics 
at Wesleyan University. He became 
the chief physicist at the Bureau of 
Standards in 1901. 

He did notable work in science and 
electrical engineering. At Wesleyan 
University he developed the physical 
side of the respiration calorimeter 
with Professor W. O. Atwater. This 
apparatus was of great value in the 
pioneer investigations on the value of 
foods and the study of nutrition prob- 
lems. He took a leading part in the 
researches to establish the funda- 
mental electrical units after going to 
the Bureau of Standards and served 
as secretary of the International 
Committee on Electrical Units and 
Standards. He has developed the 
electrical work of the Bureau of 
Standards from small beginnings 
into an organization covering the 
scientific and engineering aspects of 
a great national laboratory. 

When Dr. Rosa began his work in 
the Electrical Division it was his am- 
bition to determine a number of the 



fundamental electrical constants. In 
conjunction with Dr. Dorsey he im- 
mediately undertook the determina- 
tion of the ratio of the electromag- 
netic and electrostatic units. About 
1907 they started their work on the 
determination of the ampere. This 
was followed by work on the silver 
voltameter and apparatus for deter- 
mining the absolute value of the 
ohm. 

During his early years at the bu- 
reau, Dr. Rosa published a large 
number of papers on the computing 
of inductance, and later, with Dr. 
Grover, he collected together prac- 
tically all the known formulae for 
computing inductance. In 191 o, there 
was instituted under Dr. Rosa's di- 
rection an exhaustive investigation 
into the subject of electrolytic corro- 
sion of underground gas and water 
pipes, and lead cable sheaths due to 
stray currents from electric railways. 

During the war. Dr. Rosa directed 
the development of a number of 
scientific instruments which were of 
inestimable value to the American 
Forces in France. Among these 
might be mentioned a sound-ranging 
device for locating big guns ; the geo- 
phone for the detection of mining op- 
erations, the development of aircraft 
radio-apparatus, and the improve- 
ment of radio. 

In addition to his diversified work 
in the field of electrical research. Dr. 
Rosa was keenly interested in the 
prevention of industrial accidents 
and in the promulgation of safety 
standards for use by state, municipal 
and insurance organizations. He 
conceived the idea of a National 
Electrical Safety Code several years 
ago, and the present code is largely 
the result of his efforts. Similarly 
the bureau has undertaken a number 
of other national safety codes, the 
Safety Code Section working under 
his direction. 

His broad vision showed him the 
need of a central clearing house for 



192 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



engineering standards. For years he 
worked whole-heartedly to bring 
about the formation of such an or- 
ganization. It was due in no small 
measure to his efforts that the Amer- 
ican Engineering Standards Com- 
mittee is now functioning. 

The broader aspects of the scien- 
tific and engineering work of the 
Federal Government were clearly 
presented in a series of papers by Dr. 
Rosa. His analysis of government 
expenditures, printed in this journal, 
was largely quoted by leading period- 
icals as well as in both Houses of 
Congress. 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 
We record with regret the death 
of Dr. Francis Bacon Crocker, the 
electrical engineer, formerly profess- 
or at Columbia University; of Dr. 
Marshman Edward Wadsworth, dean 
emeritus of the School of Mines of 
the University of Pittsburgh, and of 
Dr. Gabriel Lippman, professor of 
physics in the University of Paris. 

Dh. Frank Pierrepont Graves, 
dean of the school of education of 
the University of Pennsylvania, has 
been appointed commissioner of edu- 
cation of the state of New York and 
president of the University of the 
State of New York. 

The Adamson lecture was deliv- 
ered at the University of Manches- 



ter on June 9 by Professor Einstein, 
who had been invited by the council 
in accordance with a senate recom- 
mendation passed on February 3. At 
the opening of the proceedings the 
honorary degree of D.Sc. was con- 
ferred on him. Professor Einstein 
lectured on June 13 at King's Col- 
lege, London, on "The development 
and present position of the theory of 
relativity." After the public lecture 
Professor Einstein was the guest of 
the principal of King's College at a 
dinner given in the college. 

The Louisiana State University 
will receive $7,500,000 for new build- 
ings and equipment as a result of the 
action of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion which has just adjourned, this 
sum having been set apart for the 
purpose from funds accruing from 
the newly established severance tax 
on oil and other natural resources. 
Plans are now being made for the 
erection of the new buildings on a 
tract of two thousand acres near 
Baton Rouge, Olmstead Brothers, of 
Brookline, Mass., having been secured 
as landscape architects. The new con- 
stitution, which has just gone into 
effect, also provides for a half-mill 
tax, which it is estimated will yield 
an annual income of approximately 
a million dollars for the mainten- 
ance of the university. 



v» 






SEPTEMBER, 1921 



THE SCIENTIFIC 

MONTHLY 



EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL 



CONTENTS 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH— NATURAL DEATH, PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE 

POPULATION PROBLEM. Professor Raymond Pearl 193 

IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS. Professor Irving Fisher 214 

A FEW QUESTIONABLE POINTS IN THE HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS. 

Professor G. A. Miller 232 

THE EARUEST PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY. 

Professor William A. Locy 238 

GETTING MARRIED ON FIRST MESA. ARIZONA. Dr. Elsie Clews Parsons 259 

HARMONIZING HORMONES. Professor B. W. Kunkel 266 

GRAZING PRACTICE ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS AND ITS EFFECT ON 

NATURAL CONDITIONS. Clarence F. Korstian 275 

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE: 

HelmKoItz and VircKovr; The International Institute of Agriculture; The Na- 
tional Geographic Society's Gift of Big Trees; Field Work of the Smithsonian 
Institution; Birds Banded by the Biological Survey; Scientific Items 282 



THE SCIENCE PRESS 

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EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFnCE: GARRISON, N. Y. 

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COPYRIGHT 1921 BY THE SCIENCE PRESS 
Eatcnd •• Mcond-elaM natter Febraar^ 8, 1921. at tb« Pott Oflic« at Utica, N. Y., under the Act of Afarch S, IC 



^^CnVrrY. Today, every walk in life has been divided and 
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q4 selection of those recently issued, 

SPACE AND TIME IN CONTEMPORARY PHYSICS 

^y MoRiTz ScHUCK *2\^/ ;{230 

An adequate, yet dear aooount of Einstein's epoch-making theories of relativity. 

ON GRAVITATION AND RELATIVITY 

"By Ralph Allen Sampson 90c 

The Hailey lecture delivered by the Astronomer Royal for Scotland. 

SOME FAMOUS PROBLEMS OF THE THEORY OF 
NUMBERS 
®y G. H. Hardy ^1.15 

Inaugutal lecture by the Savilian PtofieMor of Geometijr at Oxfixd. 

TUTORS UNTO CHRIST 

®7 Alfred E. Garvie "^t p.a5 

An interesting introduction to the study of religions. 

FUNGAL DISEASES OF THE COMMON LARCH 

S7 W. E. HiLBY ^5.65 

An elaborate investigation into larch canker with descriptions of all other known 
^t«»a»«»« of the larch and numerous fine illustrations. 

THE GEOGRAPHY OF PLANTS 

Sy M. E. Hardy ^3.00 

More advanced than the author's earlier work disnissing fiilly the conditions in which 
plants flourish and their distribution throughout the earth. 

SCHOOLS OF GAUL 

By Theodore Haarhoff ^3.65 

An important study of Pagan and Christian education in the last century of the 
Western empire. 

THE ELEMENTS OF DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY 

By E. O. Tancock ^135 

A simple and attractive description of the heavens calculated to arouse the interest 
of those who know litde or nothing of the subject. 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN EUROPEAN THOUGHT 

Edited by F. S, Marvin f^et ^3.00 

Twelve essays hf noted scholars summariring the work of the leading European 
thinkers in the last fifty years. 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC THEORY 

By A. N. Mbldrum 70c 

A brief historical sketch attributing to William Higgins, not John Dalton as 
generally supposed* priority in the discovery of the theory. 

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^S^t5!^t5^t3^t5^t^^^^>^t:?J^t?!^^t?^t^^i^^ 




THE SCIENTIFIC 
MONTHLY 



SEPTEMBER. 1921 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH— VH. NATURAL DEATH, 
PUBLIC HEALTH, AND THE POPULATION 

PROBLEM^ 

By Professor RAYMOND PEARL 
the johns hopkins university 

1. Summary of Results 

IN this series of papers I have attempted to review some of the im- 
portant biological and statistical contributions which have been 
made to the knowledge of natural death and the duration of life, and 
to synthesize these scattered results into a coherent unified whole. In 
the present paper I shall endeavor to summarize in the briefest way the 
scattered facts which have been passed in review in the series, and to 
follow a presentation of the general results to which they lead with 
some discussion of what we may reasonably regard the future as hav- 
ing in store for us, so far as may be judged from our present knowl- 
edge of the trend of events. 

What are the general results of our review of the general biology 
of death? In the first place, one perceives that natural death is a 
relatively new thing which appeared first in evolution when differentia- 
tion of cells for particular functions came into existence. Unicellular 
animals are and always have been immortal. The cells of higher 
organisms, set apart for reproduction in the course of differentiation 
during evolution, are immortal. The only requisite conditions to 
make their potential immortality actual are physico-chemical in nature 
and are now fairly well understood, particularly as a result of the 
investigations of Loeb upon artificial parthenogenesis and related 
phenomena. The essential and important somatic cells of the body, 
however much differentiated, are also potentially immortal, but the 
conditions necessary for the actual realization of the potential im- 
mortality are, in the nature of the case, as has been shown by the 
brilliant researches of Leo Loeb, Harrison and Carrel on tissue culture, 

I Paper from the Department of Biometry and Vital Statistics, School of 
Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, No. 34. 

VOL. xin.— IS. 



f. 



194 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

such as can not be realized so long as these cells are actually in and a 
part of the higher metazoan body. The reason why this is so, and 
why in consequence death results in the Metazoa, is that in such organ- 
isms the specialization of structure and function necessarily makes the 
several parts of the body mutually dependent for their life upon each 
other. If one organ or group breaks down, the balance of the whole 
is upset and death follows. But the individual cells themselves could 
go on living indefinitely if they were freed, as they are in cultures, of 
the necessity of depending upon the proper functioning of other cells 
for their food, oxygen, etc. 

So then we see emerging, as our first general result, the fact that 
natural death is not a necessary or inevitable consequence of life. It 
is not an attribute of the cell. It is a by-product of progressive evo- 
lution — the price we pay for differentiation and specialization of 
structure and function. 

The first result leads logically to the attachment, in any particular 
organism such as man, of great importance to the quantitative analysis 
of the manner in which different parts of the body break down and lead 
to death. Such an analysis, carefully worked through, demonstrates 
that this breaking down isi not a hapha^rd process, but a highly 
orderly one resting upon a fundamental biological basis. The progress 
of the basic tissue elements of the body along the evolutionary path- 
way is the factor which determines the time when the organ systems 
in which they are chiefly involved shall break down. Those organ 
systems that have evolved farthest away from original primitive con- 
ditions are the soundest and most resistant, and wear the longest under 
the strain of functioning. So then, the second large result is that it is 
the way potentially immortal cells are put tc^ether in mutually de- 
pendent organ systems that inunediately determines the time relations 
of the life span. 

But it was possible to penetrate more deeply into the problem than 
this by finding that the duration of life is an inherited character of an 
individual, passed on from parent to offspring, just as is eye color or 
hair color, though not with the same degree of precision. This has 
been proved in a variety of ways, first directly for man (Pearson) and 
for a lower animal, Drasophila^ (Hyde, Pearl) by measuring the de- 
gree of hereditary transmission of duration of life, and indirectly by 
showing that the death rate was selective (Pearson, Snow, Bell, Ploetz) 
and had been since nearly the beginning of recorded history, at least. 
It is heredity which determines the way the organism is put together — 
the organization of the parts. And it is when parts break down and 
the organization is upset that death comes. So the third large result 
is that heredity is the primary and fundamental determiner of the 
length of the span of life. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 195 

Finally, it is possible to say probably^ though not as yet definitely 
because the necessary mass of experimental evidence is still lacking, 
but will I believe be shortly provided, that environmental circum- 
stances play their part in determining the duration of life largely, if 
not in principle entirely, by influencing the rate at which the vital 
patrimony is spent. If we live rapidly, like Loeb and Northrop's 
Drasophila at the high temperatures, our lives may be gayer, but they 
will not be so long. The fact appears to be, though reservation of 
final judgment is necessary till more returns are in, that heredity de- 
termines the amount of capital placed in the vital bank upon which 
we draw to continue life, and which when all used up spells death, 
while environment, using the term in the broadest sense to include 
habits of life as well as physical surroundings, determines the rate at 
which drafts are presented and cashed. The case seems in principle 
like what obtains in respect of the duration of life of a man-constructed 
machine. It is self-evident that if of two automobiles of the same make 
leaving the factory together new at the same time, one is run at the 
rate of 1,000 miles per year and the other at the rate of 10,000 miles 
per year, the useful life of the former is bound to be much loiter in 
time than that of the latter, accidents being excluded in both cases. 
Again, a very high priced car, well-built of the finest materials, may 
have a shorter duration of life than the shoddiest tin bone-shaker, pro- 
vided the annual mileage output of the former is many times that of 
the latter. 

The first three of these conclusions I believe to be as firmly 
grounded as any of the generalizations of science. The last rests at 
present upon a much less secure footing. Because it does, it offers an 
extremely promising field for both statistical and experimental re- 
search. We need a wide variety of investigations, like those of Loeb 
and Northrop and of Slonaker, on the experimental side. On the 
statistical side, well-conceived and careful studies, by the most refined 
of modem methods, upon occupational mortality seem likely to yield 
large returns. 

2. Public Health Activities 

Fortunately, it is possible to get some light on the environmental 
side from existing statistical data by considering in a broad general 
way the results of public-health activities, so-called. Any public-health 
work, of course, deals and can deal in the present state of public senti- 
ment and enlightenm^it only with environmental matters. Attempts at 
social control of the germ-plasm — the innate inherited constitutional 
make-up— of a people, by eugenic legislation^ have not been con- 
spicuously successful. And there is a good deal of doubt, having 
regard to all the factors necessarily involved, whether they have always 



196 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

been even well-conceived. As an animal breeder of some years' ex- 
perience, I have no doubt whatever that almost any breeder of average 
intelligence, if given omnipotent control over the activities and destinies 
of human beings, could in a few generations breed a race of men on 
the average considerably superior — by our present standards — to any 
race of men now existing in respect of many of his qualities or at- 
tributes. But, as a practical person, I am equally sure that nothing 
of the sort is going to be done by l^islative action or any similar dele- 
gation of powers. Before any sensible person or society is going to 
entrust the control of its germ-plasm to science, there will be demanded 
that science know a great deal more than it now does about the vagaries 
of germ-plasms and how to control them. Another essential difficulty 
is one of standards. Suppose it to be granted that our knowle<%e of 
genetics was sufficiently ample and profound to make it possible to 
make a racial germ plasm exactly whatever one pleased; what in- 
dividual or group of individuals could possibly be trusted to decide 
what it should be? Doubtless many persons of uplifting tendencies 
would promptly come forward prepared to undertake such a responsi- 
bility. But what of history? If it teaches us anything, it is that social, 
moral and political standards change, and change radically, with the 
passing of time. What a group of omnipotent thirteenth century 
geneticists — all well-meaning, sincere, and, for their time, enli^tened 
individuals — would have thought to be an ideal race of human beings 
would be very far from what we should so regard to-day. One can not 
but feel that man's instinctive wariness about experimental interfer- 
ences with his germ plasm is well-founded. 

But because of the altogether more impersonal nature of the case, 
most men individually and society in general are perfectly willing to 
let anybody do anything they like in the direction of modifying the 
environmoit, or trying to, quite r^ardless of whether science is able to 
give any slightest inkling on the basis of ascertained facts as to whether 
the outcome will be good, bad or indifferent. Hence many kinds of 
weird activities and propaganda flourish like the proverbial bay tree, 
and with a singularly unanimous and outspdcen manifestaticm of that 
unenlightened self-indifference, which is so charming a characteristic 
of the highest descendants of the anthropoids collectively, we go on 
paying out large sums of money to the end that they may continue to 
flourish. 

Of all activities looking towards the direct modification of the 
environment to the benefit of mankind, that group comprised under 
the terms sanitation, hygiene and public health have by all odds the 
best case when measured in terms of accomplishment. Man's expecta- 
tion of life has increased as he has come down throng the centuries 
(cf. Pearson and Macdonell.) A very large part of this improvement 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



197 



must surely be credited to his improved understanding of how to 
cope with an always more or less inimical environment and assuage its 
asperities to his greater comfort and well-being. To fail to give this 
credit would be manifestly absurd. 

But it would be equally absurd to attempt to maintain that all 
decline in the death-rate which has occurred has been due to the efforts 
of health officials, whether conscious or unconscious. The open-minded 
student of the natural history of disease knows perfectly well that a 
large part of the improvement in the rate of mortality can not possibly 
have been due to any such efforts. To illustrate the point, I have pre- 
pared a series of illustrations dealing with conditions in the Registra- 



ifiOO r=z 



CONTROLLABLE CAUSES OF DEATH 



lOO 







lO 



I 



OJ 



FUr. 1. 



SS^S2^!^OF THC uJNes 



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I I I I I I ' I I I I I I I I I I I I 



190001 0Z0304O506C70d09tO 

YEAR 



n IE 13 14- 15 16 rr te 



TREND OF DEATH RATES FOR FOUR CAUSES OF DEATH AGAINST WHICH PUBUC 
HEALTH ACTIVniES HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY DIRECTED 




198 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

don Area of the United States in the immediate past. All these 
diagrams (Figures 1, 2, and 3) give death rates per 100,000 from 
various causes of death in the period of 1900-1918, inclusive, both 
sexes for simplicity being taken together. The lines are all plotted on 
a logarithmic scale. The result of this method of plotting is that the 
slope trend of each line is directly comparable with that of any other, 
no matter what the absolute magnitude of the rates concerned. It is 
these slopes, measuring improvement in mortality, to which I would 
especially direct attention. 

In Figure 1 are given the trends of the death rates for four diseases 
against which public health and sanitary activities have been par- 
ticularly and vigorously directed, with, as we are accustomed to say, 
most gratifying results. The diseases are: 

1. Tuberculosis of the lungs. 

2. Typhoid fever. 

3. Diphtheria and croup. 

4. Dysentery. 

We note at once that the death rates from these diseases have all 
steadily declined in the 19 years under review. But the rate of drop 
has been slightly unequal. Remembering that the slopes are compar- 
able, wherever the lines may lie, and that an equal slope means a 
relatively equally effective diminution of the mortality of the disease, 
we note that the death-rate from tuberculosis of the lungs has decreased 
slightly less than any of the other three. Yet it may fairly be said that 
so strenuous a warfare, or one engaging in its ranks so many earnest 
and active workers, has probably never in the history of the world been 
waged against any disease as that which has been fought in the United 
States against tuberculosis in the period covered. The rates of decline 
of the other three diseases are all practically identical. 

Figure 2 shows entirely similar trends for four other causes of 
death — ^namely: 

1. Bronchitis (Acute and Chronic). 

2. Paralysis without specified cause. 

3. Purulent infection and septicemia. 

4. Softening of the brain. 

Now it will be granted at once, I think, that public health and sani- 
tation can have had, at the utmost, extremely little if anything to do 
with the trend of mortality from these four causes of death. For the 
most part they certainly represent pathological entities far beyond the 
present reach of the health officer. Yet the outstanding fact is that their 
rates of mortality have declined and are declining just as did those in 
the controllable group shown in Figure 1. It is of no moment to say 
that the four causes of death in the second group are absolutely of 
less importance than some of those in the first group, because what we 
are here discussing is not relative force of mortality from different 
causes, but rather the trend of mortality from particular causes. The 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



199 



JPOO CT 



NON - CONTROLLED CAUSES OF DEATH 



100 



o 

o 
o 

o 



5 






^ 
§ 



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riG. 2. 






— ^"^-/^U^, 








c^k/s^ 







' I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 



1900 0l0e03O405O6070dO9/0ti IZ 13 14- 15 16 r7 Id 

YEAR 

TREND OF DEATH RATES FROM FOUR CAUSES OF DEATH UPON WHICH NO 
DIRECT ATTEMPT AT CONTROL HAS BEEN MADE 



rate of decline is just as significant, whatever the absolute point from 
which the curve starts. 

It is difficult to carry in the mind an exact impression of the slope 
of a line, so, in order that a comparison may be made, I have plotted 
in Figure 3, first, the total rate of mortality from the four controllable 
causes of death taken together and, second, the total rate of mortality 
from the four uncontrolled causes taken together. The result is in* 
teresting. The two lines were actually nearer together in 1900 than 
they were in 1918. They have diverged because the mortality from the 
uncontrolled four has actually decreased faster in the 19 years than 
has that from the four against which we have been actively fighting. 



200 

1,000 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



too 



B 



S: to 



^ 
^ 



^ 
§ 



0.1 



■l-^i2i:^^ c^axs 






I I I I I I I I ' I I I I I I I I I ' 



/9000I 020304-050607 03 O9/0 II IE 13 /4 15 16 17 IB 

YEAR 



nC. 3. TREND OF COMBINED DEATH RATE FROM THE FOUR CAUSES SHOWN IN 
FIGURE 1 AS COMPARED WITH THE FOUR CAUSES SHOWN IN HGURE 2 

The divergence is not great, however. Perhaps we are <»ily justified in 
saying that the mortality in each of the two groups has notably de- 
clined, and at not far from identical rates. 

Now the four diseases in thia group I chose quite at random from 
among the causes of death whose rates I knew to be declining, to use as 
an illustration solely. I could easily pick out eight other causes of 
death which would illustrate the same point. I do not wish too much 
stress to be laid upon these examples. If they may serve merely to 
drive sharply home into the mind that it is only the tyro or the reckless 
propagandist long ago a stranger to truth who will venture to assert 
that a declining death-rate in and of itself marks the successful result 
of human effort, I shall be abundantly satisfied. 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 20.1 

There is much in our public health work that is worthy of the 
highest praise. When based upon a sound foundation of ascertained 
fact it may, and does, proceed with a step as firm and inexorable as 
that of Fate itself, to the wiping out of preventable mortality. Some 
of the work, one regrets to say, has no such foundation, but is built 
upon the exceedingly shifty sands of ignorance. Having jumped with- 
out the slightest real evidence to an unsupported conclusion, the pub- 
lic health propagandist puts into active practice and at great public 
expense measures which totally lack any scientific validity. I am in 
great sympathy with the words of the distinguished English pathologist; 
William Bulloch, who said, in discussing tuberculosis, that he vdshed 
^to enter a protest against the wild statements now being made in the 
lay and medical press, that the whole problem of phthisis was one of 
infection. Medical history showed that in tuberculosis, as also in the 
case of other diseases, the most extreme views were taken, not by those 
who had contributed the actual advancement in knowledge, but by those 
whose business it was to apply those advancements for the needs of the 
public. There were a large number of well-ascertained facts which 
were not entirely explicable on the doctrine that disposition was not 
an important factor in the genesis of the disease, and that before rigor- 
ous measures were applied on a wide scale the actual facts should be 
ascertained. He did not agree that public health authorities must 
always 'do something.' This Moing something' should be put a 
stop to until there was a reasonable supposition that it was going to 
achieve its end. He did not wish it to be understood that the tubercle 
bacillus was not a potent factor. What he did refuse to believe was 
diat it was the only factor. He considered that the disposition, th^ 
power of the individual to resist the aggressive inroads of the bacillus, 
was greater than many people held at the present day." 

While this statement of Bulloch's turns upon a controverted issue 
in the etiology of clinical tuberculosis, namely, as to the relative in- 
fluence of heredity and environment, the same principle applies to 
some other phases of public-health work. We shall save a good deal 
of money and human energy, if we first take the trouble to prove that 
¥diat we are undertaking to do is in any degree likely to achieve any 
useful end. 

3. The Population Problem 

Turning to another phase of the problem, it is apparent that if, 
as a result of sanitary and hygienic activities and natural evolution, 
the average duraticm of human life is greater now than it used to be and 
is getting greater all the time, then clearly there must be more people 
on the earth at any time out of a given number bom than was formerly 
the case. It is furthermore plain that if nothing happens to the birth- 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

rate there must eventually be as many persons living upon the habitable 
parts of the globe as can possibly be supported with food and the other 
necessities of life. Malthus, whom every one discusses but few take 
the trouble to read, pointed out many years ago that the problem of 
population transcends, in its direct importance to the welfare of human 
beings and forms of social organization, all other problems. Lately 
W€ have had a demonstration on a ghastly gigantic scale of the truth 
of Malthus' contention. For in last analysis it can not be doubted diat 
the underlying cause of the great war through which we have juBt 
passed was the ever-growing pressure of population upon subsistence. 

Any system or form of activity which tends by however slight an 
amount to keep more people alive at a given instamt of time than would 
otherwise remain alive adds to the difficulty of the problem of popula- 
tion. We have just seen that this is precisely what our public-health 
activities aim to do, and in which they succeed in a not inconsiderable 
degree. But someone will say at once that while it is true that the 
death-rate is falling more or less generally, still the birth-rate is falling 
concomitantly, so we need not worry about the population problem. 
It is evident that if we regard the population problem in terms of 
world-area, rather than that of any particular country, its degree of im- 
mediacy depends upon the ratio of births to deaths in any given time 
unit. If we examine, as I have recently done, these death-birth ratios 
for different countries, we find that they give us little hope of any so- 
lution of the problem of population by virtue of a supposed general 
positive correlation between birth rates and death rates. 

The relation of birth-rate and death-rate changes to population 
changes is a simple one and may be put this way. If, n^leoting migra- 
tion as we are justified in doing in the war period and in considering 
the world problem, in a given time unit the percentage 

100 Deaths 
Births 

has a value less than 100, it means that the births exceed the deaths 
and that the population is increasing within the specified time unit. 
If, on the other hand, the percentage is greater than 100, it means that 
the deaths are more frequent than the births and that the population 
is decreasing, again within the specified time unit. The ratio of deaths 
to births may be conveniently designated as the vital index of a popula- 
tion. 

From the raw data of births and deaths, I have calculated the per- 
centage which the deaths were of the births for (a) the 77 n<m-invaded 
departments of France; (b) Prussia; (c) Bavaria; and (d) England 
and Wales, from 1913 to 1920 by years. The results are shown in 
Table 1. 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



203 



TABLE 1 

Percentage of Deaths to Births 



Year 



1913 
1914 
1915 
1916 

1917 
1918 

1919 
1920 



77 non -invaded 

departments 

of France 


Prussia 


97 per cent 




1 10 " " 

169 " " 
193 " " 

179 " " 
198 " " 
154 " " 


66 per cent. 
lOI " " 
117 " " 
140 " " 
132* " " 





Bavaria 



58 per cent 

74 " 
98 " 

131 
127 

146 



it 

a 

If u 

It tt 

u It 



England and 
Wales 



57 per 


cent 


59 




M 


69 




ff 


65 




It 


75 




It 


92 




It 


73 




tt 



42 



♦ " 



II 



* First three- fourths of year only. 



The points to be especially noted in Table 1 are: 

1. In all the countries here dealt with the death-birth ratio in 
general rose throughout the war period. This means that the pro- 
portion of deaths to births increased so long as the war continued. 

2. But in England it never rose to the 100 per cent, niark. In 
other words, in spite of all the dreadful effects of war, England's net 
population went on increasing throughout the war. 

3. Immediately after the war was over, the death-birth ratio began 
to drop rapidly in all countries. In England in 1919 it had dropped 
back from the high figure of 92 per cent, in 1918 to 73 per cent. In 
France it dropped from the high figure of 198 in 1918 to 154 in 1919, 
a lower figure than France had shown since 1914. In all the countries 
the same change is occurring at a rapid pace. 

Perhaps the most striking possible illustration of this is the 
history of the death-birth ratio of the city of Vienna, shown in Figure 
4, with data from the United States and Bjigland and Wales for com- 
parison. Probably no single large city in the world was so hard hit 
by the war as Vienna. Yet observe what has happened to its death- 
birth ratio. Note how sharp is the decline in 1919 after the peak in 
1918. In other words, we see how promptly the growth of population 
tends to regulate itself back towards the normal after even so disturb- 
ing an upset as a great war. 

In the United States, the death-birth ratio was not affected at all 
by the war, though it was markedly so by the influenza epidemic llie 
facts are shown in Figure 4 for the only years for which data are avail- 
able. The area covered is the United States birth r^istration area. 
We see that with the very low death-birth ratio of 56 in 1915, there was 
no significant change till the influenza year 1918, when the ratio rose 
to 73 per cent. But in 1919, it promptly dropped back to the normal 
value of 57.98, almost identical vdth the 1917 figure of 57.34. 

In England and Wales, the provisional figure indicates diat 1920 



204 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



Z50 




I9IZ 1913 t9f^ ^i5 ^Afl 



1917 



1010 



&» 1920 



nC. 4. SHOWING THE CHANCE IN PERCENTACE WHICH DEATHS WERE OF BIRTHS IN 

EACH OF THE YEARS 1912 TO 1919 FOR \IENNA ( ) ; 1915 TO 1919 FOR THE UNITED 

STATES ( ) : AND 1912 TO 1980 FOR ENGLAND AND WALES ( ) 

will show a lower value for the vital index than that country has had 
for many years. 

So we see that neither the most destructive war the modern world 
has ever known nor the most destructive epidemic since the Middle 
Ages serves more than to cause a momentary hesitation in the steady 
onward march of population growth. 

The first thing obviously needed in any scientific approach to the 
problem of population is a proper mathematical determination and 
expression of the law of population growth. It has been seen that the 
most devastating calamities make but a momentary flicker in the steady 
progress of the curve. Furthermore, population grovrth is plainly a 
biological matter. It depends upon, in last analysis, only the basic 
biological phenomena of fertility and mortality. To the problem of 
an adequate mathematical expression of the normal growth of popula- 
tions, my colleague, Dr. Lowell J. Reed, and I have addressed ourselves 
for some time past. The known data upon which we have to operate 
are the population counts given by successive censuses. Various at- 
tempts have been made in the past to get a mathematical representa- 
tion of these in order to predict successfully future populations, and 
to get estimates of the population in inter-censal years. The most 
noteworthy attempt of this sort is Pritchett's fitting of a parabola of 
the third order to the United States population from 1790 to 1880 in- 



V 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



205 



elusive. This gave a fairly good result over the period, but was 
obviously purely empirical, expressed no real biological law of 
change, and in fact failed badly in prediction after 1890. 

We have approached the problem from an a priori basis, set up a 
hypothesis as to the biological factors involved, and tested the result- 
ing equation against the facts for a variety of countries. The hy- 
pothesis was built up around the following considerations: 

1. In any given land area of fixed limits, as by political or natural 
boundaries, there must necessarily be an upper limit to the number of 
persons that can be supported on the area. To take an extreme case, 
it is obvious that not so many as 25,000 persons could possibly stand 
upon an acre of ground, let alone live on it. So similarly there must 
be for any area an upper limiting number of persons who can possibly 
live upon it. In mathematical terms this means that the population 
curve must have an upper limiting asymptote. 

2. At some time in the more or less remote past the population of 
human beings upon any given land area must have been nearly or 
quite zero. So the curve must have somewhere a lower limiting 
asymptote. 

3. Between these two levels we assume that the rate of growth of 
the population, that is, the increase in numbers in any given time unit, 
is proportional to two things, namely: 

a. The absolute amount of growth (or size of population) already 

attained ; 

b. The amount of as yet tmutilized, or reserve, means or sources of 

subsistence still available in the area to support further population. 



i^ ' 



7^ 



*C 




^'ir kyc -^ 



nc. 5. SHOWINC THE THEORETICAL CURVE OF POPULATION GROWTH 



206 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

These hypotheses lead directly to a curve of the form shown in 
Figure 5, in which the position of the asymptotes and of the point of 
inflection, when the population is growing at the most rapid rate, are 
shown in terms of the constants. It is seen that the whole history of a 
population as pictured by this curve is something like this: In the 
early years following the settlement of a country the population 
growth is slow. Presently it begins to grow faster. After it passes the 
point where half the available resources of subsistence have been 
drawn upon and utilized, the rate of growth becomes slower, until 
finally the maximum population which the area will support is 
reached. 

This theory^ of population growth makes it possible to predict 
what the maximum population in a given area will be, and when it 
will be attained. Furthermore, one can tell exactly when the popula- 
tion is growing at the maximum rate. To test the theory, we have only 
to fit this theoretical curve to the known facts of population for any 
country by appropriate mathematical methods. If the hypothesis fits 
well all the known facts for a variety of countries in different stages 
of population growth, it may well be regarded as a first approximation 
to a substantially correct hypothesis and expressive of the biological 
law according to which population grows. In making this test the 
statistician has somewhat the same kind of problem that confronts the 
asteonomer calculating the complete orbit of a comet. The astronomer 
never has more than a relatively few observations of the position of 
the comet. He has, from Newtonian principles, a general mathematical 
expression of the laws of motion of heavenly bodies. He must then 
construct his whole curve from the data given by the few observations. 
So similarly the statistician has but a relatively few population ob- 
servations because census taking has been practiced along present lines 
only a little more than a century. According to the stage in historical 
development of the country dealt with he may have given an early, a 
late, or a middle short piece of the population ^^orbit'* or history. 
From this he must construct on the basis of his general theory of 
"population orbits" the whole history, past and future, of the popula- 
tion in question. 

To demonstrate how successful the population curve shown in 
Figure 5 is in doing this, three diagrams are presented, each illustrat- 
ing the growth of the population in a different country. The heavy 

2 The mathematical hypothesis here dealt with is essentially the same as 
that of Verhulst put forth in 1844. As Pearl and Reed pointed out in this 
first paper on the subject it is a special case of a much more general law. 
A comprehensive general treatment of the problem we are publishing shortly 
in another place. The generalization in no way alters the conclusions drawn 
here from a few illustrative examples. 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



207 



i97.JP74 


/I 


---' 


r"* 










y 




150 




UNfTLD STATES . 


/ 


















/ 


















Its 
lOO 

98 






/ 


















-y 


7 


/ 


SO 

15 




I.. 


1 ,.L-u-+-+'<r 


/ 


/ 

























ffOO to 40 60 BO BOO £0 40 60 60 OOO tO 40 OO 60 lOOO £0 <0 to go tlOO 

yCARS 
FIG. 6. SHOWING THE CURVE OF GROWTH OF THE POPULATION OF THE UNITED 
STATES. For further explanation of this and the two following diagrams, see text. 

solid portion of each curve shows the region for which census data 
exist. The lighter broken part of the curve shows the portions outside 
this observed range. The circles show the actual, known observations. 
The first curve deals with the population of the United States. Here 
the observations come from the first part of the curve, when the popula- 
tion was leaving the lower asymptote. First should be noted the extra- 
ordinary accuracy with which the mathematical theory describe the 
known facts. It would be extremely difficult by any process to draw a 
curve through the observed circles and come nearer to hitting them 
all than this one does. 

Before considering the detailed consequences of this United States 
curve in relation to the whole population history of the country, let us 
first examine some curves for other countries where the observed data 
fell in quite different portions of the ^'population orbit." Figure 7 

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FIG. 7. SHOWING THE CURVE OF GROWTH OF THE POPULATION OF FRANCE 



208 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



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FIG. 8. SHOWING THE CURVE OF GROWTH OF THE POPULATION OF SERBIA 

gives the curve for France. Since before the time when definite 
census records began France has been a rather densely populated 
country. All the data with which we had to work belong therefore 
towards the final end of the whole population history curve. The 
known population data for France and for the United States stand at 
opposite ends of the whole historical curve. One is an old country 
whose population is nearing the upper limit; the other a new country 
whose population started from near the lower asymptote only about a 
century and a half ago. But it is seen from the diagram that the 
general theory of population grovrth fits very perfectly the knovm facts 
regarding France's population in the 120 years for which records exist. 
While there are some irregularities in the observation, due principally 
to the effects of the Franco-Prussian war, it is plain that on the whole 
it would be practically impossible to get a better fitting line through 
the observational circles than the present one. 

We have seen that the general theory of population describes with 
equal accuracy the rate of growth in a young country with rapidly 
increasing population and an old country where the population is ap- 
proaching close to the absolute saturation point. Let us now see how 
it works for a country in an intermediate position in respect of popula- 
tion. Figure 8 shows the population history of Serbia. Here it will 
be noted at once that the heavy line, which denotes the region of knovm 
census data, lies about in the middle of the whole curve. Again the 
fit of theory to observation is extraordinarily close. No better fit by 
a general law involving no more than 3 constants could possibly be 
hoped for. 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 



209 



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SHOWING THE GROWTH OF A DROSOPHILA POPULATION KEPT UNDER 
CONTROLLED EXPERIMENTAL CONDITIONS 



I think that these three examples, which could be multiplied to in- 
clude practically every country for which accurate population data 
exist, furnish a cogent demonstration of the essential soundness and ac- 
curacy of this theory of population growth. Indeed, the facts warrant, 
I believe, our regarding this as a first approximation to the true 
natural law of population growth. We now have the proper mathe- 
matical foundation on which to build sociological discussions of the 
problem of population. 

As a further demonstration of the soundness of this theory of 
population growth, let attention be directed for a moment to an ex- 
ample of its experimental verification. To a fruit fly {Drasophila) in 
a half pint milk bottle such as is used in experimental work on these 
organisms, the interior of the bottle represents a definitely limited uni- 
verse. How does the fly population grow in such a universe? We 
start a bottle with a male and a female fly, and a small sample, say 
10, of their offspring of different ages (larvae and pupae). The re- 
sults are shown in Figure 9. The circles give the observed population 
growth, obtained by census counts at 3-day intervals. There can be 
no doubt that this population has grown in accordance with our law. 
The two final observations lie below the curve because of the difficulty 
experienced in this particular experiment of keeping the food supply 
in good condition after so long a period from the start. 

Let us return to the further discussion of the population problem 
of the United States in the light of our curve. 

The first question which interests one is this: When did or will 
the population curve of this country pass the point of inflection and 
exhibit a progressively diminishing instead of increasing rate of 
growth? It is easily determined that this point occurred about April 
1, 1914, 'on the assumption that our present numerical values reliably 
represent the law of population growth in this country. In other 



VOL. Xm.— 14. 



210 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

words, so far as we may rely upon present numerical values, the United 
States has already passed its period of most rapid population growth, 
unless there comes into play some factor not now known and which 
has never operated during the past history of the country to make the 
rate of growth more rapid. The latter contingency appears improb- 
able. The 1920 census confirms the result, indicated by the curve, that 
the period of most rapid population growth was passed somewhere in 
the last decade. The population at the point of inflection works out 
to have been 98,637,000, which was in fact about the population of the 
country in 1914. 

The upper asymptote given by our equation has the value 197,274,- 
000 roughly. This means that the maximum population which con- 
tinental United States, as now areally limited, will have will be 
roughly twice the present population. This state of affairs will be 
reached in about the year 2,100, a little less than two centuries hence. 
Perhaps it may be thought that the magnitude of this number is not 
sufficiently imposing. It is so easy, and most writers on population 
have been so prone, to extrapolate population by geometric series or 
by a parabola or some such purely empirical curve and arrive at 
stupendous figures, that calm consideration of real probabilities is 
most difficult to obtain. While we regard the numerical results as 
only a rough first approximation, it remains a fact that if anyone will 
soberly think of every city, every village, every town in this country 
having its present population multiplied by 2, and will further think 
of twice as many persons on the land in agricultural pursuits, he will 
be bound, we think, to conclude that the country would be fairly 
densely populated. It would have about 66 persons per square mile 
of land area. 

It will at once be pointed out that many European countries have 
a much greater density of population than 66 persons to the square 
mile, as, for example, Belgium with 673, the Netherlands with 499, 
etc. But it must not be forgotten that these countries are far trom 
self-supporting in respect of physical means of subsistence. They are 
economically self-supporting, which is a very different thing, because 
by their industrial development at home and in their colonies they 
produce money enough to buy physical means of subsistence from less 
densely populated portions of the world. We can, of course, do the 
same thing, provided that by the time our population gets so dense as 
to make it necessary there still remain portions of the globe where 
food, clothing material and fuel are produced in excess of the needs 
of their home populations. 

Now 197,000,000 people will require on the basis of our present 
food habits about 260,000,000 million calories per annum. The United 
States, during the seven years 1911-1918, produced as an annual aver- 




THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 211 

age, in the form of human food, both primary and secondary (i. e., 
broadly v^etable and animal), only 137,163,606 million calories per 
year. So that, unless our food habits radically change, and a man 
is able to do with less than 3,000 to 3,500 calories per day, or unless 
our agricultural production radically increases, which it appears not 
likely to do for a variety of reasons which can not be here gone into, 
it will be necessary when even our modest figure for the asymptotic 
population is reached to import nearly or quite one-half of the calories 
necessary for that population. It seems improbable that the popula- 
tion will go on increasing at any very rapid rate after such a condition 
is reached. East, in what appears to be the most able and penetrating 
discussion of population of this generation, has shown that the United 
States has already entered upon the era of diminishing returns in 
agriculture in this country. Is it at all reasonable to suppose that by 
the time this country has closely approached the asymptote here in- 
dicated, with all the competition for means of subsistence which the 
already densely populated countries of Europe will then be putting 
up, there can be found any portion of the globe producing food in 
excess of its own needs to an extent to make it possible for us to find 
the calories we shall need to import? 

Altogether, we believe it will be the part of wisdom for any one 
disposed to criticize our asymptotic value of a hundred and ninety- 
seven and a quarter millions because it is thought too small, to look 
further into all the relevant facts. 

The relation of this already pressing problem of population to the 
problem of the duration of life is obvious enough. For every point 
that the death rate is lowered (or, what is the same thing, the average 
duration of life increased) the problem of population is made more 
immediate and more difficult unless there is a corresponding decrease 
in the birth-rate. Is it to be wondered at that most thoughtful students 
of the problem of population are ardent advocates of birth-control? 
Or is it remarkable that Major Leonard Darwin, a son of Charles 
Darwin and president of the Eugenics Education Society in England, 
diould say in a carefully considered memorandum to the new Briti^ 
Ministry of Health: **In the interests of posterity it is most desirable 
that parents should now limit the size of their families by any means 
held by them to be right (provided such means are not injurious to 
health, nor, like abortion, an offence against public morals) to sudi an 
extent that the children could be brought up as efficient citizens and 
without deterioration in the standards of their civilization; and that 
parents should not limit the size of the family for any other reasons 
except on account of definite hereditary defects, or to secure an ade- 
quate interval between births.^ 

It seems clear that the problem of population can not be com- 



212 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

pletely or finally solved by limitation of the birth-rate, however much 
this may help to a solution. There are two ways which have been 
thought of and practiced, by which a nation may attempt to solve its 
problem of population after it has become very pressing and after the 
efifects of internal industrial development and its creation of wealth 
have been exhausted. These are, respectively, the methods of France 
and Germany. By consciously controlled methods France endeavored, 
and on the whole succeeded, in keeping her birth-rate at just such 
delicate balance with the death-rate as to make the population nearly 
stationary. Then any industrial developments simply operated to raise 
the standard of living of those fortunate enough to be born. France's 
condition, social, economic and political, in 1914 represented, I think, 
the results of about the maximum efficiency of what may be called the 
birth-control method of meeting the problem of population. 

Germany deliberately chose the other plan of meeting the problem 
of population. In fewest words, the scheme was, when your own popu- 
lation pressed too hard upon subsistence, and you had fully liquidated 
the industrial development asset, to go out and conquer some one, 
preferably a people operating under the birth-control population plan, 
and forcibly take his land for your people. To facilitate this operation 
a high birth-rate is made a matter of sustained propaganda and in 
every other possible way encouraged. An abundance of cannon fodder 
is essential to the success of the scheme. 

Now the morals of the two plans are not at issue here. Both are 
regarded, by many people, on different grounds to be sure, as highly 
immoral. Here we are concerned only with actualities. There can be 
no doubt that in general and in the long run the bandit plan is bound 
to win over the birth-control plan if the issue is joined between the 
two and only the two, if its resolution is purely military in character, 
and if there is no international police force of a magnitude and cour- 
age adequate to cope with bandit and othermse criminal nations. As 
between two nations, allowed free rein to "fight it out** by themselves 
without help or hindrance, the decisive element is a mathematically 
demonstrable one. A stationary population where birth-rate and 
death-rate are made to balance is necessarily a population with a 
relative excess of persons in the higher age groups, not of much use 
as fighters, and a relative deficiency of persons in the lower age groups 
where the best fighters are. On the contrary, a people with a high 
birth-rate has a population with an excess of persons in the younger 
age groups. 

So long as there are on the earth aggressively minded peoples who 
from choice deliberately maintain a high birth-rate, no people can 
afford to put the birth control solution of the population problem into 
too extensive operation until such time as the common-sense of man- 



THE BIOLOGY OF DEATH 218 

kind decides that peace is in fact a more desirable state of society than 
war and implements this decision to practical realization through 
some international equivalent of a police force, which will restrain by 
force, and plenty of it, the activities of disturbers of the peace. *'Dis- 
turbance of the peace*' is not tolerated in our domestic affairs. It is 
no more a virtue in international relations. The only effective method 
which society has yet devised to secure that our home peace shall not 
be seriously disturbed is that of an adequate police force. There ap- 
pears no insuperable difficulty in applying the same principle inter- 
nationally. And any competent economist can easily show that its 
cost as compared with war would be extremely small. Because some- 
thing of the sort is not done, one seems bound, however reluctantly, to 
conclude that nations as nations prefer wars and the opportunities for 
wars to a state of enduring peace. What a long way the average human 
intellect has still to proceed on its evolutionary pathway! 



214 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS ' 

By Professor IRVING FISHER 

YALE UNIVERSITY 

Ifeel a double sense of my unworthiness of the honor which you 
have bestowed upon me by electing me president of this associa* 
tion. On the one hand, I feel that eugenics is incomparably the most 
important concern of the human race and, on the other, I am pain- 
fully aware of the fact that I can bring to you no original contribution. 
All that I can hope to do is to point out from my viewpoint as a student 
of economics, and to some extent of hygiene, the opportunities which 
would seem to mark out some of the paths which eugenists should ex* 
plore more fully. 

My main thought is that there is now a golden opportunity for 
eugenists to *^gear in,** so to speak, with the great world of events. It 
was the dream of Galton that eugenics should not forever remain 
academic but that, being the vital concern of us all, it should become 
a sort of religion. Hitherto eugenics has been largely studied 
^^microscopically,'* that is, by special technical laboratory investiga- 
tions. The next step is to study it more "telescopically,'* that is by 
observations of the general facts of human history. 

I do not mean, of course, that eugenists should drop their study 
of the inheritance of finger prints or of the inheritance of musical 
capacity, eye defects, skeleton abnormalities and twinning. The woric 
of Pearson in Londcm and of Davenport here and of their co-workers 
and colleagues everywhere must go on uninterruptedly. But in addi- 
tion to all these, steps should be taken to organize a study of the 
eugenics or dysgenics of such historical events as war, immigration, 
colonization, prohibition, hygiene, birth control, feminism, capitalism, 
industrialism, democracy, socialism, bolshevism, population growth, 
urbanization and diminishing returns; in agriculture. 

It is interesting to observe in passing that these historical occur- 
rences are due in large part to the inventions and discoveries of civiliza- 
tion, including especially those of rapid transportation, military 
science, hygienic knowledge and devices for birth control. These in- 
ventions are generally regarded as landmarks of progress. They have, 
thus far, undoubtedly caused progress in economic well-being and 
permitted an ever increasing number of people to subsist in a given 
area. 

1 Address of the president of the Eugenics Research Association, Cold 
Spring Harbor, June 24. 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 215 

Mechanical inventions, particularly those which abridge distance, 
have given us more and more room for expansion and we have mis- 
taken this progressive conquest of nature for a progressive improve- 
ment in ourselves. A few years ago the then president of the American 
Economic Association cited the increase of population as the best ob- 
tainable criterion of '^progress/' 

But the eugenist is interested in the quality of human beings rather 
than their quantity, and one of the great problems to be seriously con- 
sidered, is whether our boasted '^progress*' is not an illusion and 
whether after all the human race, in spite of its rapid multiplication 
and its increase in per capita wealth, may not be deteriorating. The 
discovery that this is the case would doubtless surprise and shock the 
country just as did the discovery that one man out of every three in 
our army draft was unfit The common opinion is undoubtedly that 
we have made great progress and are making great progress now. 
The same opinion was held, so historians tell us, just before the down- 
fall of Rome and of other civilizations which have failed. 

We know that affluence often ruins men and women, and history 
has at least produced a strong suspicion that it was the cause, or a 
cause, of ruin of many civilizations now dead. As Goldsmith says: 

111 fares the land to hastening ills a prey, 
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay. 

The economist has shown that wealth accumulates. The eugenist 
may show that men decay. Dr. Pearce Bailey states that in the army 
examinations mental defectives amounted to two thirds of one per cent, 
and he concluded that a greater proportion existed in the general 
population. 

The statistics of the feeble-minded, insane, criminals, epileptics, 
inebriates, diseased, blind, deaf, deformed and dependent classes are 
not reassuring, even though we keep up our courage by noting that the 
increasing institutionalization of these classes gives the appearance of 
an increase which in actual fact may be non-existent because institu- 
tionalization makes it possible to collect these statistics. 

In Massachusettes thirty-five per cent, of the state income goes in 
support of state institutions and Mr. Laughlin, the secretary of this 
association, who compiled the government report on defectives, delin- 
quents and dependents, estimates that seventy-five per cent, of the 
inmates have bad heredity. The cost of maintaining these institutions 
in the United States in 1915 was eighty-one millions of dollars. This 
takes no account of the town and county care, while all the official costs 
fail to take into account the cost to families and associates, the keeping 
back of school childreD by the backward children, the cost from fires 
of pyro-maniacs, the cost from thievery of kleptomaniacs, the cost from 
crime, vice, etc, of paranoiacs, maniacs and paretics and the loss of 



216 THE SCIENTIFIC MOSTHLY 

services of able men and women drained away from other use to take 
care of the defectives, delinquents and dependents. 

I believe that any one who has worked in these statistios with the 
sincere desire to get the truth has an uneasy feding that degeneracy 
may be really increasing and increasing fast. Several competent 
students in eugenics and related fields have already reached strong 
convictions on the subject. 

As I write, I find Professor William McDougalFs new book, ^*Is 
America Safe for Democracy?" in which he says: **As I watch the 
American nation speeding gaily, with invincible optimism, down the 
road to destruction, I seem to be contemplating the greatest tragedy in 
the history of mankind.** Research should make our conclusions on 
this subject beyond question. A great load of degeneracy is certainly 
upoTi Ud, whether it be true or not that it is increasing in weight. It is 
incumbent upon us to reduce it. The first step is to measure it. 

There are many startling evidences of racial decay. One is that 
the war has damaged the potential fatherhood of the race by destroy- 
ing over seven million young men, medically selected for fighting but 
thrreby prevented from breeding. In quantity the loss of seven million 
men by war is not great. If numbers were really our criterion of 
\iTO'fX,rvf^n we could take comfort in the fact that the world as a whole 
to-day has undoubtedly more inhabitants than before the war. The 
|(np mnde by the war has been more than filled. This was mostly out- 
filde of Europe, In a few years Europe itself will catch up. 

Hut Nmall as is the number of lives lost as a fraction of population, 
their loM may nevertheless be the loss of most of the good male germ 
plaMn of the nations concerned, particularly in Europe. In the United 
Mtateni of course, the war has been less injurious. 

tlffrbert Spencer, David Starr Jordan, Vernon Kellogg and others 
hav^ urged with convincing force this reason for believing that war, in 
ffi^fiftfttli i» dysgenic. 

Profefifior Roswell H. Johnson maintains that war may sometimes 
bn #u^mic, that it is always partly so, although he has no hesitation in 
(foniiluding that the recent world war has left a big net dysgenic 
baUnre. 

W^ all agree, I think, that the destruction of seven million picked 
young men in their prime is not only an irretrievable loss for this gene- 
mi lort but for all succeeding generations — increasingly rather than 
rt|lti«rwlf»r. A little reflection will show the argument. In the first 
iflH«'r« to apply the argument backward, let us consider that our parents 
Wf*f^ probably above the average of their generation. This is evidenced 
Ji y ibn vfry fart that they were parents. None of them died in infancy; 
"^"^'•r If tli*«y hiid they could not have been parents. They all had enough 
lalMy to havr gone through childhood and enough vitality and at- 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 217 

tractiveness to become married and to have children. To put their sup- 
posed superiority in figures, let us, to fix our ideas, assume that they 
constituted the upper fifty per cent, of their generation. The other 
half of the people in their generation have left no living descendants. 

Our grandparents were, in turn, presumably a still more select 
class of the generation in which they lived, for they not only had the 
vitality to become parents but, in every single case they possessed the 
vitality to have had at least some children strong enough themselves to 
become parents. These grandparents, therefore, unlike our parents 
were not simply the upper fifty per cent, of their generation but, let us 
say, the upper foTty per cent. Some of the remaining sixty per cent, 
had children but their progeny ceased there and did not last to the 
second generation. Likewise our great grandparents were still more 
select, forming, let us say, the upper thirty per cent, of their gene- 
ration, the other seventy per cent, having no descendants surviving 
through three generations to the present day. And so the further back 
we go the more select must have been our ancestors, until when we 
reach one thousand years back it may be that (if there were only a 
Eugenics Record Office to tell us) we should find, say, but ten per 
cent, of that generation who had left any descendants in ours. Had that 
ten per cent been medically selected out and conunissioned to shoot 
each other to death none of us to-day would be here but instead there 
would be the descendants of inferior stock. And that would seem to 
be what must happen a thousand years hence. Europe will be in- 
habited by the descendants of second-rate men of to-day simply because 
they can not be descendants of those who now sleep in Flanders Fields. 

But such pessimistic conclusions are apt to be rejected as too ter- 
rible to be believed. Hope and optimism spring eternal in the human 
breast Jeremiahs and Cassandras are always unpopular. If the 
eugenic argument against war is fallacious it should be disproved, 
while if it is correct it should be fortified by further research. 

During the next decade there should be a wealth of statistical ma- 
terial on this subject, which should enable us not only to demonstrate 
further the truth but to bring the truth, whatever it be, home to the 
men and, more particularly, to the women of all lands. 

It may be, of course, that the bad results of the war in other coun- 
tries will be neutralized by some counterbalancing good results. It 
is one of the fundamental laws of human behavior to react so to an 
evil as to convert it into a good. We did not have safety at sea until 
the TiUmic disaster had opened our eyes to the need. New York City 
did not have a good health department until afflicted by an epidemic. 
We have still reason to hope that the world war and the prospect of 
another, tenfold more horrible, as portrayed in Will Irwin's book 
*Tlie Next War,'* may supply the needed stimulus to organize the 



218 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

nations into an ^^association,'' or a league, or the league, to abolish war 
or at least to minimize, localize and control it. 

And I have the further hope that the results of the eugenic research 
in this field, may in the not distant future, give so great an impetus 
to eugenics as a great social movement as ultimately to neutralize the 
dysgenic effect of the great war. 

If nothing of the sort happens and there should be ladcing the 
brains and energy to accomplish at least some of these things, then 
surely the dark ages lie lahead of us. The Nordic race will, as 
Madison Grant says, vanish or lose its dominance if, in fact, the whole 
human race does not sink so low as to become the prey, as H. G. Wells 
imagines, of some less degenerate animal ! 

With this thought in view we should perhaps shudder as well as 
laugh at the reflections of Clarence Day in his entertaining phantasy 
This Simian World," where he observes what a different place this 
world would be if its masters, instead of being the descendants of 
anthropoid apes, were the descendants of lions or elephants, or other 
types of the animal kingdom! 

But the obvious direct effect of war in destroying so much of the 
best germ plasm from which our race would otherwise be largely bred 
is by no means the only possible dysgenic effect of the war. Hrdlicka 
thinks that the roar of artillery and the other excitements of battle may 
make sudi an impression on the nervous system of soldiers as to affect 
injuriously their children. 

Similarly there should be considered the possible effects on future 
generations of the undernourishment and general undercare of the 
^ children and other noncombatants who will be the parents of the next 
generation. 

Dr. Lorenz, of Vienna, was recently quoted as saying that the aver- 
age child of Vienna is about four inches below the normal height and 
sixteen and a half pounds below the normal weight, that thousands are 
suffering from rickets and not infrequently from broken bones which 
have given way because of their unhealthy condition. 

We are apt to shut our eyes to these possibilities of race damage 
from the unsanitary environment and unhygienic mode of life brought 
about in Europe by the war because of the vridely accepted dictum that 
acquired characters are not inherited. On this assumption we are in 
danger of jumping to the conclusion that the stunted, rickety or 
generally decrepit individuals now constituting a large part, probably 
a majority, of the European population will have children just as large 
and healthy a» these particular parents could have had under ordinary 
circumstances. We are severely told that rickets and broken bones are 
not inherited. 
\ Conklin says: ^^How could defective nutrition, which leads to the 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 219 

production of rickets, affect the germ cells, which contain no bones, 
so as to produce rickets in subsequent generations, although well 
nourished?" 

But granted all this as ^'gospel truth," its complacent application to 
the existing European conditions would be altogether unjustified and 
misleading. 

Conklin himself, on the very next page after that from which I have 
quoted, expresses an important qualification. He says ''that unusual 
conditions of food, temperature, moisture, etc., may affect the germ 
cells so as to produce general and indefinite variations in offspring is 
probable, but this is a very different thing from the inheritance of 
acquired characters." 

For our present purposes, however, the difference is small and the 
similarity great. If the depleted vitality of Europe is to show in 
future generations it is just as much depletion whether general or 
specific, whether the rickets of this generation will be followed in the 
next by rickets or by tuberculosis or neuro-pathic conditions or feeble- 
mindedness or any other manifestation of damage done. From a 
practical point of view the question is whether damage to the present 
generation will still be damage in succeeding generations, and not the 
technical question of whether the specific form of that later damage 
will be the same as of the present damage. Biologists are in danger 
of deluding themselves by clinging to form rather than substance in 
this instance however technically correct is the insistence that acquired 
characters are not inherited. 

In this insistence they often give the impression, if in fact they do 
not receive it themselves, that the sins and misfortunes of this gene- 
ration are not visited on the next Observations and experiments on 
the mutations of the primrose, of yeast and of insects indicate that 
environment often does leave permanent marks on the species. Gy 
in France has found that tobacco not only damaged the animals on 
which he experimented but their offspring as well. Van der Wolk 
found that maple trees injured by bacterial infection (rot) gave rise 
to leaves of a changed color and to flowers which, unlike the original, 
were monosexual; also that these changes were transmitted. The bac- 
terial infection thus originated a new species! 

One great field, therefore, for eugenic research is the study of the 
extent to which future generations are damaged because of damage re- 
ceived by their parents of the present generation, in other words the 
extent to which hygienic or unhygienic condition^ for the individual 
are eugenic or dysgeniq for his offspring — in short, the extent to whidi 

hygiene is eugenic. 

If it be true, as I have little doubt, that the recent unhygienic con- 
ditions of war are sfure to crystallize into permanent dysgenic condi- 




220 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

tions of peace, it is, by the same token, also true that in general and 
quite irrespective of the war eugenics must take account of hygiene. 

Now if what is poison to the individual is in general poison to the 
race, if what helps or hurts the individual in his own life leaves, to 
some extent, a beneficial or harmful impress on posterity, then the im- 
portance of eugenics is greatly extended and it becomes a task of 
eugenic research to study the extent to which the indiscretions and bad 
environment, on the one hand, or the good habits and good environ- 
ment, on the other, affect our descendants. And it becomes a mission 
of the eugenics movement to discover and set itself against race poisons. 
These may include not only alcohol, habit-forming drugs and infec- 
tions but, if Gy is right, tobacco and, if Kellogg is right, even tea and 
coffee. We have no right, in the present state of our knowledge, to 
assume that these are harmless to the race, if they are harmful to the 
individual. 

I would emphasize this partly because, so far as I have any right 
at all to speak as a eiigenist, it is on account of studies in the neighbor- 
ing field of hygiene. 

Civilization has thrown the daily life of the individual out of bal- 
ance, so that not one person in a hundred lives what might be called a 
biologic life. He is insufficiently exposed to the air, he eats too fast 
and often too much. In America he eats far too much protein and 
far too little bulk. His food is far too soft. It is usually lacking in 
vitamines. His evacuations are too infrequent, his posture is usually 
abnormal and unhealthful. His activities are too one-sided. His mind 
is too excited, worried and hurried. Worst of all, he is the unconscious 
victim of many physical poisons and infections. The examinations of 
the Life Extension Institute show some physical imperfections in 
practically every person examined. And the average man is blissfully 
unconscious of the damage he thus does himself, cumulatively, day 
after day and year after year. Yet this damage keeps on like a creep- 
ing fire under the leaves in the woods. 

Hygiene and eugenics should go hand in hand. They are really both 
hygiene — one individual hygiene and the other race hygiene — ^and both, 
eugenics — one indirectly through safeguarding the quality of the germ 
plasm and the other directly through breeding. 

I do not mean to assert that hygiene, as practiced, is necessarily 
eugenic. It may well be true that misapplied hygiene — ^hygiene to help 
the less fit — ^is distinctly dysgenic. I remember being astonished at the 
attitude of a university president, who became very enthusiastic over 
the triumph of hygiene saying, "I know of a girl who had many dis- 
abilities. She had a surgical operation to remedy one difficulty and a 
of hygiene to remedy others, so that finally she was so repaired 
d improved as to be converted into quite a respectable human being 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 221 

and now she is married^ Schools for tubercular children give them 
better air and care than normal school children receive. Institutional 
care of defectives often surpasses that in the home. 

Eugenic research can help the eugenic cause by showing the folly 
of such differential care of the biologically unfit, especially when such 
differential care is not accompanied by safeguarding against the mar- 
riage of the unfit. Undoubtedly the rule of eugenics should be ^'to 
those that have shall be given" and this maxim will have added eugenic 
worth the more it can be shown that biologic gifts belong not only to 
the present generation, but to all that come after. 

The picture of this world and especially of Europe suggested to 
our minds by what has thus far been said is that population is increas- 
ing in quantity but declining in quality. 

At present the world contains seventeen hundred million people 
and, according to Professor East, its population is increasing by about 
fifteen millions per annum. It is fast filling up the empty spaces of 
the globe. The rapid filling up of North America during the last 
century will surely be followed by the filling up of South America and 
Africa in the next century. 

In a few generations as Thompson and East emphasize, the ex- 
pansion in numbers must itself approach an end. Within the life time 
of many living there will, in all probability, come a realization such 
as at present scarcely exists of the profound truths set forth by Malthus 
at the beginning of the nineteenth century. We must not be deceived 
by the exceptional conditions under which we have been living in the 
last two or three centuries. The opening up of America gave a new 
outlet for population and reduced and postponed the operation of 
Malthus' checks to population. Mechanical inventions, which increased 
physical productivity, had the same effect. But after the lands now 
empty are full and those now waste are reclaimed no increase of the 
food-producing area of the globe is conceivable. Nor is it likely that 
inventions which have made two blades of wheat grow where one grew 
before can go on at a gecmietrical progression and so keep pace with 
the biologically possible growth of population. And unless this be 
possible population must necessarily in a few generations come prac- 
tically to a halt, either by the relentless check of an increased death 
rate or by the more preventive check of a decreased birth rate. 

What will be the eugenic significance of this future limiting of 
population? This is one of the great questions for eugenic research. 
The answer will doubtless depend largely on which of the two checks 
will be put on population, whether it is to be the check from an in- 
creased death rate operating through lack of subsistence or the check 
from a decreased birth rate operating by volition of parents. 

The former check shown by Malthus led Darwin to conceive his 



222 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

theory of natural selection, which in turn led Calton to suggest 
eugenics. 

In so far as the future check on population is to be of this kind, 
even though an increased death rate involve much misery, the presump- 
tion is that, on the whole, it will be eugenic rather than dysgenic in its 
efifects. Those should survive who are best fitted to earn a livelihood. 
But this is, as the critics of Malthus complained, a dismal outlook. 

The operation of the other check is not so obvious. To-day we 
have, in a way and to a degree of which Malthus probably never dream- 
ed, the exercise of this prudential check under the title of neo- 
Malthusianism or birth-control. 

Until recently this subject was not discussed in the open, partly 
because the movement had not gained sufficient momentum, partly be- 
cause of the conventional reticence on all matters of sex and partly 
because of the continual existence (in this country alone among the 
nations of the earth) of laws passed at the instigation, chiefly, of 
Anthony Comstock, forbidding the dissemination of information on 
birth-control. 

But the subject is one especially deserving eugenic research; for, of 
all human inventions, those relating to birth-control probably have the 
most direct bearing on the birth rate and its selective possibilities. 

It is startling to think that the sex impulse whidi hitherto has been 
the unerring reliance of nature to insure reproduction can no longer 
be relied upon. Some insects sacrifice their lives to reproduction. 
Nature relies on their blind instinct to reproduce regardless of any 
consequences to themselves. If we could suppose such an insect sud- 
denly to be given an option in the matter so Chat it could satisfy its 
sex impulse without the consequences of offspring or of immediate 
death to itself, its instinct of self-preservation would presumably refuse 
to make the ancient sacrifice and the species would perbh from off the 
earth. 

In the case of the human species nature demands no such extreme 
sacrifice of the mother; if this were the case birth control would almost 
surely mean the ultimate extinction of the human race. But the human 
mother has nevertheless had to sacrifice personal comfort and both 
parents have had to sacrifice some economic well-being and some social 
ambitions to meet the obligations of parenthood. Hitherto the only 
effective ways to avoid this and still satisfy the sex instinct have been 
infanticide and abortion. Birth-control offers another way, easier, 
less objectionable and therefore destined to be far more widely prac- 
ticed among civilized peoples. 

This is largely a development of ^'feminism" in the interests of 
women. It opens up amazing possibilities of race extinction or, on the 
other hand, of race betterment. 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 223 

If the birth-control exercised by individual parents could itself be 
controlled by a eugenic committee it could undoubtedly become the 
surest and most supremely important means of improving the human 
race. We could breed out the unfit and breed in the fit. We could in 
a few generations and, to some extent even in the life time of us of 
to-day conquer degeneracy, dependency and delinquency, and develop a 
race far surpassing not only our own but the ancient Greeks. 

Thus birth-control is like an automobile. It can convey us rapidly 
in any direction. As now practiced which way is it carrying us? 
Where will birth-control really take us? This is a matter for eugenic 
researdi to settle. There are three possibilities: (1) it may cause 
depopulation and ultimately bring about the extinction of the human 
race; (2) it may reduce the reproduction of the prudent and intelligent 
and the economically and socially ambitious, leaving the future race to 
be bred out of the imprudent, unintelligent and happy-go-lucky people, 
thus resulting in race degeneration; or (3) it may out off the strain of 
the silly and selfish, the weak and inefficient who will dispense with 
children for the very good reason that they lack the physical stamina 
or the economic ability to support a large family. 

The advocates of birth-control maintain, ivith much show of reason, 
that it diminishes poverty, increases efficiency, prevents damage to the 
mother's health, and improves the health and education of the children. 

What does history tell us so far? The best opinion seems to be that 
in Holland birth-control has reduced infant mortality by making better 
intervals between successive children and by increasing their size and 
vigor as well as the per capita wealth of the country. In countries 
where birth-control has been exercised only a short time the reduction 
in the total number of births has been accompanied by an almost equal 
reduction in the total number of deaths. There is a distinct correlation 
between the death rate and the birth rate so that a moderate amount of 
birth-control need not reduce much, if at all, the rate of increase of 
population. In Russia, Roumania, Bulgaria and Serbia, presumably 
without birth-control and where the birth rates are forty or fifty per 
thousand, there is an increase of population between fifteen and twenty 
per thousand, and in Australia and New Zealand, with birth control 
and where the birth rates are from twenty-five to thirty per thousand, 
there is substantially the same rate of increase. Wh^ birth-control 
in these last named countries has been in use longer and more generally 
the same effects as in France may peibaps be expected. In France 
population was actually declining before the war, a situation realized 
in no other country, except in the time of the World War, mdien it was 
temporarily true of England, Serbia and some other countries. 

It is worth noting here that if feminism is to have a depopulating 
effect the first element it will extinguish is the feminist element itself. 




224 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

So far as it elevates woman, feminism is to be commended. But friends 
of womankind should heed well the warning of some other movements 
which contained the seeds of their own destruction. ^Shakerism'* killed 
itself because it shunned marriage. Feminism may kill itself if it shuns 
children. A bragging feminist recently referred to the old child- 
bearing women as a type which has disappeared below the historical 
horizon. If it has, then the type which will not bear children will 
surely disappear in its turn just because it will have no children in its 
own image. 

The world's experience with birth-control thus far does seem to 
show chat the average family which practices it does not practice it in 
the required moderation. Dublin has shown that, under present condi- 
tions, it takes an average of about four children in the family for the 
ui^ceep of population. An average of three means decrease of popula- 
tion and an average of five means increase of population. 

But aside from the danger of depopulation as shown in France is 
the question of the kind of selective birth rate which birth-control will 
bring about. Will this be a good or a bad selection? As birth-control 
leaves births to human choice instead of to instinct, many jump to the 
conclusion that this is necessarily a step forward. But whether it is or 
not depends on how this human choice will actually operate. 

Professor McDougall has given reason to believe that the present 
occupational stratification of society corresponds roughly to the 
stratification of intelligence; diat the four classes, (1) professional 
men and business executives, (2) other business men, (3) skilled work- 
men and (4) unskilled workmen represent on the whole four classes of 
human beings graded as to innate mental ability. The college gradu- 
ate means the professional man and business executive. 

Cattell finds that the average Harvard graduate is the father of 
three-fourths of a son and the average Vassar graduate the mother of 
one-half of a daughter and that the average family of American men 
of science is only 2.22 as compared with an average of 4.66 for the 
country. Popenoe and Johnson give similar results summarizing many 
statistical studies of Yale, Harvard, and other educati<Mial institutions. 

At present, then, our educational system seems to be destroying the 
very material on which it works! Colleges seem to be engines for the 
mental suicide of the human race! Are the colleges of to-day steriliz- 
ing our scholars as did the monasteries and nunneries of the middle 
ages? Such race suicide of scientific and educated men and of the well- 
to-do classes means that their places will speedily be taken by the un- 
intelligent, uneducated and inefficient. 

Up to the present time, so far as I can see, birth-control has dcHie 
harm to the race, exactly in the same way as has the war. 

But it is plain that t)ie extension of birth-control to all classes will 
tend to rectify this condition. At present it is practiced only in the 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 225 

upper one or two of the four strata which McDougall distinguishes in 
bis statistics. Its extension is rapidly going on, thanks to the propa- 
ganda of Sanger, Drysdale and others and will inevitably include all 
classes eventually. It is therefore too early to condemn utterly birth- 
control. It may still prove to be a great instrument for eugenic im- 
provement. 

It will probably require long years of research to determine what 
the ultimate effect will be. The hypothesis which now seems to be 
probable is that there will be three stages. 

The first effect of birth-control seems, as has been said, distinctly 
bad because it is first practised by the intelligent class and is, for that 
class, as Mr. Roosevelt said, ''race suicide." 

The second effect will be that where birth-control is practised among 
all classes, as has almost been the case in France, an actual decline in 
population will occur which will seem alarming. 

The third effect may then follow. It is a rapid repopulation from 
the small minority of the strongest, most efficient, and the most child- 
loving and altruistic persons of the population. We all know people 
who, though fully aware of the possibilities of birth-control, never- 
theless do not practise it or do not practise it to excess, but rear large 
old-fashioned families because they love children, can afford to have 
them, and have no physical or economic difficulties in bearing and rais- 
ing them. These vigorous champions of humanity will doubtless 
possess not only physical strength but the intelligence necessary to earn 
a sufficient livelihood to justify their choice of having large families. 

Whenever civilizations have decayed, and many probably have done 
so from race suicide, their places have been taken by strong and 
fecund invaders. In the case of birth-control the invasion need not 
come from outside. It may come from inside the decadent nation 
itself. It is said that, in this way, the Breton portion of the French 
population is replacing the other portions. Multiplying by geometrical 
progression, a tenth part of our population can in a few generations of 
large families fill up all the gaps made by birth-control and make a 
stronger race than we ever have had. Should this rosy prospect 
actually work out in the twenty-first or twenty-second century, birth- 
control would go down in human history, like the flood in the Bible, as 
a means first of wiping out the old world and then replacing it by a 
new, from the best seeds of the old. 

At any rate, while there are undoubtedly grave possibilities of evil 
facing us in birth-control, we must not be misled by averages. The 
average Harvard graduate may not reproduce his kind, but among 
thousands of college graduates there will almost certainly be found a 
few who do and by geometrical progression the few can become the 
majority. 

VOL. XIU.— 15. 



226 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

An apparent objection to this forecast is that the most reckless 
will practice birth-control the least and so will have the greatest num- 
ber of children. But this objection may possibly be answered by the 
fact that such people will soon become public charges, as paupers for 
instance, and that we may then stop their reproduction by enforcing 
celibacy, segregating the sexes. 

But the truth is that we can not yet tell what will ultimately happen 
as the net result of birth-control, whether race degeneracy, depopula- 
tion, or race improvement or, as I have suggested, all three in 
succession. 

One of the claims of enthusiastic advocates of birth-control is that 
it will help save us from further war because it will save us from that 
pressure of population which results in imperialistic ambitions. Hux- 
ley and others are quoted to support the view that pressure of popula- 
tion and the need of an outlet for surplus population lie behind emigra- 
tion, colonization, conquest and war. It is inferred that the real remedy 
for the yellow peril or the "rising tide of color" must consist in the 
extension of birth-control to the Orient How much truth there is in 
this view is a matter for eugenic research to determine. The same 
argument for extending birth-control to other nations applies as for 
extending it to other races within our own. 

At present the white race is still increasing faster than the other 
races but it is easy to see that birth-control will soon put an end to 
this unless birth-control is extended from the white race to the colored. 
Birth-control, war and immigration are certainly associated problems. 

Economically, immigration of cheap labor is beneficial (initially at 
least) to capital and injurious (initially at least) to native labor. 
The conflict between these two interests^ of capital and of labor, consti- 
tutes most of what is ordinarily included ib the immigration problem. 

The core of the problem of inunigration is, however, one of race 
and eugenics, despite the fact that in the eighteen volumes of the report 
of the Immigration Conmiission scarcely any attention is given to this 
aspect of the inunigration problem. If we could leave out of account 
the question of race and eugenics I should, as an economist, be in- 
clined to the view that unrestricted immigration, although injurious to 
some classes, is economically advantageous to a country as a whole, 
and still more to the world as a whole^ But such a view would ignore 
the supremely important factors. 

The character of the present inunigration will make a great differ- 
ence in the character of our future inhabitants. 

Between 1788 and 1840 England sent many of its undesirables to 
Botany Bay, near Sydney, Australia, and to-day the excessively large 
slums of Sydney are, according to the findings of Dr. Davenport, to a 
large extent the progeny of those undesirables. At present the United 




IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 227 

States inherits, both socially and biologically, probably as much from 
the eighty thousand original immigrants, who, Benjamin Franklin 
said, had come to this country up to 1741, as from all the other im- 
migrants since that time. Our problem is to make the most of this 
inheritance. We can not do so if that racial stock is overwhelmed by 
the inferior stock which "assisted" immigration has recently brought. 
If we allow ourselves to be a dumping ground for relieving Europe 
of its burden of defectives, delinquents and dependents, while such 
action might be said to be humane for the present generation, it would 
be quite contrary to the interests of humanity for the future. Not 
only should we be giving these undesirable citizens far greater oppor- 
tunity to multiply than they had at home, but we would be taking away 
the checks on the multiplication of those left at home. It would 
be a step backward, a step towards populating the earth with defectives, 
delinquents and dependents. That the foreign bom multiply faster 
than the native stock has been ^own by the Immigration Commission 
and by East, Dublin, Baker and others. There is great danger, there- 
fore, not only to this country, but to the whole world, of injuring the 
germ plasm of the human race by the indiscriminate immigration of 
recent times. The best service we can render, not only to ourselves, but 
in the end to those very nations which would feign empty dieir alms- 
houses, asylums and prisons on us, is to prevent their doing so. In 
the words of Professor Ross in *The Old World in the New": 

1 am not of those who consider humanity and forget the nation, who 
pity the living but not the unborn. To me, those who arc to come after us 
stretch forth beseeching hands as well as do the masses on the other side of 
the globe. Nor do I regard America as something to be spent quickly and 
cheerfully for the benefit of pent-up millions in the backward lands. What 
if we become crowded without their ceasing to be so ? I regard it (America) 
as a nation whose future may be of unspeakable value to the rest of man- 
kind, provided that the easier conditions of life here be made permanent by 
high standards of Irving, institutions, and ideals which finally may be appro- 
priated by all men. We could have helped the Chinese a little by letting 
their surplus millions swarm in upon us a generation ago; but we have 
helped them infinitely more by protecting our standards and having some- 
thing worth their copying when the time came. 

What has been said applies to immigration even from countries of 
our own race. 

The problem of Oriental inunigration has a somewhat special 
character. It involves race prejudice and impossibility of assimilation, 
socially and racially. The arguments usually brought forward in this 
connection are largely partisan and inconsistent. The Japanese immi- 
grant in California is hated as belonging to an inferior race, on the one 
hand, and, on the other because his industry, frugality and intelligence 
arc such that the native laborer can not compete with him. In other 
words he is hated both because he is inferior and because he is superior. 



22S THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Of him I would say, as of immigrants generally, that from a narrow, 
shortsighted economic point of view, his immigration should be en- 
couraged, but if we should let down the bars for Oriental immigration, 
under modern conditions of rapid transportation, the country might be 
inundated with Chinese, Japanese and Hindoos. We should then lose 
even that modest degree of political solidarity which we now possess. 
There would probably be a demoralization and disintegration of our 
general social structure and, what most concerns us, we should add 
to our present southern and black race problem a western and yellow 
race problem; race wars, lynchings and massacres, such as we have 
just been witnessing would ensue. Ultimately, if not speedily, actual 
war with a United Asia would undoubtedly be brought about. What 
Japan has done in one generation, China can do in the next And when 
China is fully equipped with battleships, machine guns, aeroplanes and 
poisonous gases, she and Japan could possibly conquer the whole 
white world. 

We have often laughed at the yellow ^^peril" especially when it was 
the nightmare of the Kaiser. But later he showed us what peril may 
be in even one comparatively small nation. To-day the yellow 
color peril is the subject of a seriously alarming book by Lothrop Stod- 
dard, 'The Rising Tide of Color.** It is in the thoughts of many far- 
seeing people on the Pacific coast Under unrestricted immigration, 
within a century a majority of this country might become Oriental, 
especially if we commit race suicide. It would require only a few 
years for millions to enter and by geometrical progression it requires 
only a few generations for millions to become scores or hundreds of 
millions. 

What has been said is from the point of view of our own white race 
and American nationality. Theoretically and academically it may be 
that true eugenics for the human race as a whole may favor some other 
race than ours, and that, say, yellow domination rather than white 
domination, may, in some distant future, be the ideal domination. But 
we can not be expected, especially in the absence of any proof that we 
are an inferior race, to act on that assumption and quietly lie down and 
let some other race run over us. 

Again, it is possible that the ideal for remotely future ages may be 
a human race which is a mixture of all existing human races. That is 
also a subject for eugenic research. The solution, for instance, of the 
Jewish problem, if such exists, may be their racial assimilation. But 
if such a mixture is ever efifected, especially a mixture of widely dif- 
ferent races, it must come slowly. We can not ignore race prejudice, 
and any sudden mixture is sure to produce an unstable compound, 
which will blow up in race war and social demoralization. Professor 
East believes that the black and white mixture in Africa will be one of 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 229 

the greatest of race problems three generations hence. The obvious 
safeguard at present is restriction of immigration of a drastic kind. 
This should be done tactfully and reasonably. As Stoddard points out, 
if the white world does not wish to be dominated by the world of color 
it ought to cease its own attempts at dominating the latter. 

Of the great problems which I mentioned at the outset, I have 
sketched briefly the problems of war, hygiene, birth-control and im- 
migration in their relations to eugenics. 

The results of a cursory bird's eye view seem to indicate that much 
of what we call progress is an illusion and that really we are slipping 
backwards while we seem to be moving forwards. Human ambitions 
under the opportunities afiforded by civilization seem to sacrifice the 
race to the individual. We congregate in great cities and pile up great 
wealth but are conquered by our very luxury. We seek imperial power 
and not only damage but destroy our germ plasm in war. We sedc 
social status and education but limit motherhood. Like moths attracted 
by a candle, we fly toward the glamour of wealth and power and 
destroy ourselves in the act 

In concluding this telescopic review of big eugenic problems, I may 
be permitted to point out the directions in which it seems to me we may 
hope for r^nedies. 

If k be granted that war is dysgenic, then a League or Association 
of Nations which will prevent or minimize war is an important eugenic 
device. 

If it be true that birth-control among the intelligent is due, to a 
certain extent, to the fact that children are an economic handicap, 
Professor McDougalFs suggestion of putting an economic premium on 
large families among the fit ought not to be overlooked. A millionaire 
like Carnegie, in^ead of pensioning professors or rewording heroes, 
might subsidize children among a specific group of biologically fit to 
be determined by a committee of award. Ultimately when public opin- 
ion is ripe, the government might subsidize the children of school 
teachers also instead of, as is at present sometimes the practice, dis- 
charging women school teachers if they marry. 

Coeducation In colleges ought not to go unmentioned as promising 
somewhat to increase the marriage rate among college graduates. 

Segr^ation of the sexes in public institutions is a eugenic device 
of undoubted value. It does no violence to our humanitarian ideas to 
take care of the present crop of undesirables on condition that they 
shall not act as seeds for future crops. 

If it be granted that, from our standpoint at least, indiscriminate 
immigration b dysgenic, a discriminating exclusion must be eugenic. 
Laughlin's proposal of having aliens examined in their home town for 
mental and other defects is full of promise. The proposal of registra- 



230 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

tion of immigrants and then deporting and purging the country of the 
most undesirable among them as soon as these undesirables turn up 
later at feeble-minded and other institutions is likewise full of promise. 

Doubtless much can be added to this meager program as a conse- 
quence of eugenic research and some things may be subtracted from it. 

But, in order to lead to anything practical and efifective eugenic re- 
search must be followed by, and in fact accompanied by, some far- 
reaching publicity. I mean that there must be a dififusion of the knowl- 
edge gained and, what is far more important from the standpoint of 
securing action, a diffusion of a sense of the pre-eminent importance of 
eugenics. Finding ourselves in the shadow of the Great War, in a 
world damaged by that war and by the other causes of degeneracy 
which have been mentioned, we can not stand silently by and see the 
general public enjoying a fool's Paradise. In the bliss of ignorance 
they mistake economic production and expansion for genuine progress 
and, with the best of intentions are, we fear, paving the road to hell. 

There are millions of people in the world to-day whose enthusiastic 
support for eugenics could probably be obtained at the price of a little 
publicity. We now have a golden opportunity that should not be 
missed. 

One means of enlightening the public is through increasing in- 
terest in hygiene, especially individual hygiene. Charity b^ins at home 
and, psychologically, the only route to race hygiene is through indi- 
vidual hygiene. 

The teaching of both hygiene and eugenics in schools and colleges 
merely enough to show the elements of both, including the Mendelian 
principles of heredity and the responsibility of each person to the race, 
will appeal alike to self interest and to that idealism which b always 
present in young people whose lives lie ahead of them. Just as the 
Catholic church proselytes by getting children at the formative age, 
just as prohibition got its grounding in the public schools, so hygiene 
and eugenics can become the life-long possession of the next generation 
if inserted in the school books of the present generation. 

In our public schools should also be included educational and 
mental measurements. They are rapidly coming into use in our col- 
leges and universities throughout the nation. They emphasize indi- 
vidual differences and will serve to correct the view that ^'men are 
created equal" in the biological sense while leaving them equal in op- 
portunity before the law. 

We may hope that the proposed national Department of Public 
Welfare will spread knowledge in regard to scientific ^'humanicultttre** 
as knowledge of scientific agriculture has been spread through the De- 
partment of Agriculture. 

Another vehicle or starting point which should not be forgotten is 



IMPENDING PROBLEMS OF EUGENICS 231 

the coining International Congress of Eugenics in the fall. Extraordin- 
ary pains should be taken to see that the newspaper, magazine and 
moving picture publicity in regard to that congress may be adequate 
and effective. This congress should be followed up by an organized 
movement for general publicity on eugenics. This may, or may not, 
be the proper function of the Eugenics Research Association. If it is 
not, a new association should be started as a go-between to connect 
scientific research with the public. 

Needless to say, in any propaganda care must be exercised to pre- 
vent the hasty endorsement of unproved methods and theories. But 
there is ample basis already for a movement the initial purpose of 
which will not be so much a detailed specific program as a general 
spread of the idea that eugenics is the hope of the world. Details can 
wait. Where there is a will there is a way and without a will there is 
ceiFtainly no way at all. While eugenic science is painfully finding 
the way there is ample work for a propaganda organization to secure 
the will. 

I believe in Galton's idea that eugenics must be a religion. It will 
prove a wonderful touchstone by which to distinguish between what is 
racially and radically right and what is racially and radically wrong. 
It will bring home to parents the thought that much, if not all, of their 
conduct may be fraught with future significance for their children 
and children's children. It will throw its searchlight into every nook 
and cranny in the life of the individual and of society. 

Therefore it will help mould all human institutions. Especially will 
it help mould that fundamental institution, human marriage. While 
marriage is a most intensely individual and private matter, it has 
been regarded, from time inamemorial, as of vital concern to society. 
Around this great institution of human marriage have always clustered 
many sorts of folkways. In civilized times the law has made legitimate 
marriage a binding contract and religion has given it its divine blessing. 
It now remains for science which in so many other ways is remodeling 
the whole modern world, to aflh its seal of approval. 

And just as law and religion discriminate and refuse their seal of 
approval to alliances which are found to be improper from their re- 
spective viewpoints, so must science discriminate. Dysgenic marriages 
must be discountenanced just as bigamous or incestuous marriages are 
discountenanced. 

In thus withholding or giving a coveted approval eugenic science 
will elevate marriage in its way as greatly as have law and religion in 
theirs. It will shed the light of reason on the primeval instinct of re- 
production. It will exalt vdiat is already a ^'legal contract** and "holy 
matrimony" into a dedication of all we are to what we want posterity 
to be. 



222 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



A FEW QUESTIONABLE POINTS IN THE fflSTORY 

OF MATHEMATICS 

By Professor G. A. MILLER 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 

MOST of the professional mathematical historians have been base- 
ment builders and many of our general histories of mathe- 
matics remind one of the church buildings which consist of a basement 
roofed over while funds for completing the structure are being awaited. 
In some cases, such as Cantor's ndted Vorlesungen uber GescfUchte der 
Mathematik, the basement is not even roofed over. 

In fact, the work of Cantor might remind one in a mild way of the 
following statement in the Scriptures: 'This man began to build and 
was not able to finish/' If it is true that about fifteen volumes would 
be required in order to cover the developments of the nineteenth 
century as completely as Cantor covered the period up to the begin- 
ning of this century, as is suggested in the preface to Volume 1 of 
Didcson's "History of the Theory of Numbers," 1919, it results that 
Cantor did not complete one-fifth of the job of writing a general history 
of mathematics up to the end of his scientific activity. 

It seems questionable whether a basement history, even when the 
basement is roofed by slight attention to the developments of the 
nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, is the most suitable history to 
place in the hands of the young student. Present day activities in 
mathematics have received entirely too little attention even on the part 
of the students who specialize in this subject. 

A considerable number of questions in the history of mathematics 
have been answered dififerently by different writers and hence this sub- 
ject offers unusual opportunities for the exercise of judgment and for 
argumentation. To some this may appear to be an attractive feature 
since disputation has long been recognized as a useful educational 
exercise and elementary mathematics presents comparatively few ques- 
tions to which different answers have been given by good recent writers. 
Hence the student of this subject is inclined to confine his attention 
too closely to questions which can be answered definitely. 

It is not the object of the present paper to give a definite answer 
to some of the questions which have been in dispute for a long time 
but rather to direct attention to a few more questions which seem to be 



QUESTIONABLE POINTS IN HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS 233 

open to dispute, in the hope that the interest in these questions may 
thereby be increased and the interest in the history of our subject 
may thus be fostered. In the main the present writer will present here 
arguments exhibiting a point of view which is not in accord with the 
one presented in the second edition of Cajori's "History of Mathe- 
matics,*' 1919, and our references to pages relate to this work. 

On page 142 it is stated that "the foremost French mathematician 
before Vieta was Peter Ramus (1515-1572), who perished in the 
massacre of St. Bartholomew." It can not be assumed that the fact that 
Ramus perished during the massacre of St. Bartholomew constitutes a 
a claim to mathematical fame since thousands of others were then slain, 
but one consults the index of Cajori's history in vain for other reasons 
for calling Ramus the foremost French mathematician before Vieta. 

It is interesting to note that in the history of many a country there 
is a record of some mathematician who is very much better known than 
any of his predecessors in the same country. As instances we may cite 
Newton in England, Leibniz in Germany, Napier in Scotland, Abel in 
Norway, etc. In some cases very little is known about any of the 
predecessors of such a man in the country in question. For instance, 
G. A. Gibson stated that before Napier (1550-1617) Scotland made not 
a single contribution to mathematical science ^. In case more is known 
about the predecessors of such a man it is a question of some interest 
to inquire into the relative merits of their contributions. 

Hence one is naturally interested in knowing something about the 
work of the French predecessors of Vieta who is doubtless much better 
known than any of these predecessors. Among these there are, in addi- 
tion to Ramus, such favorably known men as N. Oresme and N. 
Chuquet. The reader who recalls the many references to the works of 
the last two mathematicians (e. g., on page 14 of tome 3, volume 3, of 
the "Encyclopedie des Sciences Mathematiques" G. Enestrom notes diat 
a work by Oresme serves as a graphic preamble to the introduction of 
analytic geometry) will naturally wonder why Ramus is placed ahead 
of them in both editions of Cajori's "History of Mathematics." 

It is true that Ramus is better known in general than Oresme or 
Qiuquet, but Ramus is known principally on account of his attacks on 
the accepted views of his day and not on account of his contributions 
towards the advancement of mathematics. In mathematics he also 
exhibited his quarrelsome disposition but be failed even to understand 
the more subtle points involved in some of the mathematical methods 
which he attacked. He emphasized the importance of teaching the 
practical methods of calculation employed by the merchants of the 
street and his mathematics was of the business college type rather than 
of the university type. 

J "Napier Tercentenary Celebration Handbook," 191 4, p. 2. 




234 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

His contention that the method of giving a collection of definitions 
first, as is done in Euclid's ^'Elements/* is unnatural since a forest 
was not created by growing the roots of the trees first may have had 
considerable influence on later textbooks on elementary mathematics. 
It is, however, a question whether a quarreling and quarrelsome 
dialectician, such as Ramus was, should be placed ahead of Oresme 
and Chuquet as a mathematician even if his activities had a wholesome 
influence on mathematical instruction and may have been largely re- 
sponsible for the early and radical departure from Euclid's ^Elements" 
on the part of French textbooks on geometry. 

As the names of Oresme and Chuquet are prominent in the history 
of exponents in elementary mathematics, the former having used frac- 
tional exponents and the latter the exponent zero, their work naturally 
calls in question the following statement found on page 149: '^It is 
one of the greatest curiosities in the history of science that Napier con- 
structed logarithms before exponents were used" The notion of 
exponents and not the formal use of them in the modem way is related 
to the development of logarithms, and this notion was much older 
even than the work of Oresme, who lived more than two centuries 
before Napier. 

In view of the great mathematical influence of the Ecole Normale 
of Paris it may be of interest to refer to the statement found in various 
places to the effect that its first students were young pupils. For 
instance, on page 256, it is stated that '*at the establislmient of the 
Ecole Normale in 1795 in Paris, he (Lagrange) was induced to accept 
a professorship. Scarcely had he time to elucidate the foundations of 
arithmetic and algebra to young pupils, when the school was closed.'' 

While the term "young pupils" is not very definite, yet few people 
would be likely to associate it with students whose ages varied from 21 
to 66. In fact, according to "Le Centenaire de I'Ecole Normale," 
1895, page 125, nearly half of these "young pupils" were from 30 to 
60 years old, and among them was Bougainville, a celebrated navigator, 
who was 66 years old. The law prescribed that none of these students 
should be less than 21 years old but it did not fix an upper limit to 
their ages as the best prepared available students were desired. 

In view of the great influence which this ephemeral experimei^ had 
on the teaching of mathematics and other sciences in the secondary 
schools of France and the fact that the professors of mathematics 
(Lagrange, Laplace and Monge) were eminent mathematicians, it is 
of interest to know that these early students, who were paid to come 
to Paris from various parts of France, were not "young pupils" in 
the sense in which this term is commonly understood, but were, in the 
main, mature men who could derive much profit from a profound pre- 
sentation of the elements of various educational subjects. Some of 



QUESTIONABLE POINTS IN HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS 235 

Lagrange's lectures prepared for these students were translated by T. 
J. McCormack and published in 1901 under the title ^^Lectures on Ele- 
mentary Mathematics by Joseph Louis Lagrange," The Open Court 
Publishing Company. 

It may be noted here that the official journal of this normal school 
during the first brief period of its existence was entitled Seances des 
Ecoles NormaleSy and not Journal des Ecoles Norrnales as is stated in 
various places including the Encyklopddie der McUhenuUischen 
Wissenschaften^ volume 3, page 519, and on page 274 of the history 
noted above. In the latter work we find also on page 204 the title 
Transactions of the London Mathematical Society instead of Proceed- 
ings of this society. In this case the title is the more misleading since 
the number of the volume is also incorrectly stated as 20 instead of 22. 

It is true that the said Seances really were a journal and the said 
Proceedings really involve what is commonly called transactions, but 
the work of the beginner is apt to be greatly increased by a failure to 
give exact references and it is the beginner who should be Specially 
encouraged to look up references. If such a reader fails to find a 
journal which bears the exact title given in the reference he seldom 
looks further. 

While a study of the history of mathematics doubtless tends towards 
the formation of clearer mathematical concepts it is evidently neces- 
sary for the student of this history to distinguish carefully between 
the good and the bad in ancient methods. Some of the ancient methods 
which may appear to be praiseworthy for the time when they originated 
would be questionable and perhaps even intolerable if they were used 
in our modem textbooks. Possibly the ancient Greek proof of the fact 
that V2 is not a rational number belongs to this category since it is 
special and does not appear any easier than the following more general 
proof, which is based upon the elementary fact that if a rational frac- 
tion is reduced to its lowest terms than every integral power of this 
fraction is also in its lowest terms. 

Suppose that \jTn^=^c/d^ where c/d is reduced to its lowest 
terms and d is not equal to 1. By raising both members of this equa- 
tion to the n** power it results that c"/rf'=m, ' and since c"/«/* \s re- 
duced to its lowest terms m can not be an integer. This known proof 
establishes at one stroke the existence of an infinite number of ir- 
rational numbers if we assume the existence of at least one real n*^ root 
of every positive integer. To the extent that a knowledge of the history 
of madiematics leads us to prefer old historic methods to equally 
simple more general methods it is positively injurious. 

Young teachers who study the history of mathematics with the 
laudable purpose of increasing their efficiency in the class-room should 



236 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

bear in mind that there are exceptions to the rule that the mathe- 
matical development of the student is similar to the mathematical de- 
velopment of the human race. The modern student can not afford to 
acquaint himself with all the special and crude methods of the ancients 
before becoming familiar with the more powerful modem methods. 
The history of our subject is useful to the teacher provided he uses it 
to suggest methods rather than to supply these methods. 

One of the most important questionable points in a general history 
of mathematics is the emphasis, or the lack of emphasis, on mathe- 
matical insight into the questions under consideration. It is evident 
that statements which have no mathematical sense such as the follow- 
ing: "In 1869 C. F. Geiser showed that 'the projection of a cubic sur- 
face from a point upon it on a plane of projection parallel to the 
tangent plane at that point, is a quartic curve; and that every quartic 
curve can be generated in this way,'* which is found on page 318 of 
the history noted above, should be avoided as far as possible. 
Similarly, authors should aim to avoid statements which are apt to be 
misunderstood because additional data must be supplied before they 
have any real significance, such as the following: ^'Newton uses his 
formulas for fixing an upper limit of real roots; the sum of any even 
power of all the roots must exceed the same even power of any one of 
the roots,*' which is found on page 202 of the same work. 

There are, however, many statements which are perfectly accurate 
and yet fail to bring out the real mathematical situation. As regards 
modem developments some such statements can scarcely be avoided in 
view of the fact that details would involve an almost endless amount of 
explanations, but such details can be more easily supplied as regards 
ancient mathematics. For instance, the following theorem relating to 
the addition of the digits of a positive integer is found in various general 
histories of our subject. If any three consecutive positive integers, of 
which the largest is divisible by 3, are added together there results a 
number which is either 6 or reduces to 6 by the successive addition of 
its digits. The full significance of this theorem becomes clear only 
after considering it as a special case of the theorem that numbers 
which are congruent modulo 9 constitute an invariant with regard to 
the operation of adding digits, and observing the connection between 
this theorem and the ancient mles relating to ^'casting out the 9^" 

We shall direct attention here to only one more questionable his- 
torical statement whidi appears on page 175 of the history to which 
we referred several times above, and reads as follows: *The new 
feature introduced by Descartes was the use of an equation with mare 
than one unknown^ so that (in case of two unknowns) for any value of 
one unknown (abscissa), the length of the other (ordinate) could be 
computed." From the words in italics one would naturally infer that 



QUESTIONABLE POINTS IN HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS 237 

the emphasis was to be placed on the fact that Descartes used equations 
involving more than one unknown. On the contrary, the emphasis 
should be placed on the functional relation between the unknowns. 

Equations with more than one unknown are very old in mathe- 
matics. In fact, it is well known that statements equivalent to such 
equations appear on one of the oldlest fragments of papyri. In modem 
notation these equations have been expressed as follows: 

x'-\-y'=\{^ y=%x. 

A considerable part of the well known "Arithmetica" by Diophan- 
tus relates to equations in two unknowns and the Hindus used equations 
with more than one unknown, distinguishing them by colors, as the 
black, blue, yellow, red, or green unknown. As r^ards the expression 
of functional relations Descartes' work is well known to have been 
epoch-making. 

In the present state of our knowledge of the history of mathematics 
it seems almost impossible to avoid questionable statements in works 
which aim to cover the entire field. The suggestions here offered re- 
lating to the other side of questions involved in various such statements 
may serve to arouse interest in a few important historical matters, 
especially on the part of those who enjoy the clash of views in a 
friendly combat. 



238 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 




THE EARLIEST PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

NATURAL fflSTORY 

By Professor WILLIAM A. LOCY 

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITT 

IN 1475, soon after the completion of the first quarter-century of 
printing, there appeared in Augsburg a popular book on natural 
history illustrated by woodcuts of animals and plants, some of which 
bear internal evidence of having been drawn from nature and of having 
been especially prepared for this book. Under the archaic title '*Das 
Puch der Nature" by Conrad von Megenberg we have the prototype of 
illustrated treatises on natural history and popular medicine. It stands 
alone and is not genetically connected with any other; nevertheless it 
was the first of its kind, and perhaps it served as a model for other 
illustrated books of similar purpose which were published in Germany 
within the next ten or fifteen years. Conrad's book of nature passed 
through six editions before the year 1500 and enjoyed a wide circula- 
tion; we might even speak of it as one of the best sellers of the period, 
and thus the venture of the enterprising publisher, Hans Bamler, 
justified itself. 

Since the book was the first to contain printed pictures of animals 
and plants it is of especial interest and challenges examination, not 
alone for philological study of the old dialect (Bavarian- Austrian) in 
which it is printed, but more especially as representing the scientific 
aspect of the period. 

Another book, the "Cart der Gesuntheit" (^'Herbarius zu Teutsch,** 
etc.), published in Mainz in 1485, surpasses all others in the quality 
of its illustrations even up to the herbal of Brunfels published in 1530. 
This statement is so much at variance with the commonly expressed 
opinion of vrell-known writers of biological history (Sachs, Greene, 
Miall and others) that it seems desirable to reexamine the originals of 
each of these books from the standpoint of content and quality of illus- 
trations. Both books are very rare and have been accessible to few 
naturalists. One bibliographer, Dr. Jos. Frank Payne, has (1902) dis- 
cerned the unique position occupied by the Cart, ^*the publication of 
which (he says) forms an important landmark in the history of 
botanical illustration, and marks perhaps the greatest single step ever 
made in that art. It was not only unsurpassed but unequaled for nearly 
half a century.** Dr. Pa3me does not ccHnment on the few pictures of 
animals in the ^^Cart der Gesunlheit** but they are equally notable. 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 239 

The book of nature and the *^Gart" (for this title see below) have 
not received the notice of which they are deserving partly because at- 
tention has been diverted from them by the notice given to the Hortus 
Sanitatis which was published in 1491 and in many editions thereafter. 
The ''Hortus Sanitatis*' belongs to the same family of publications as 
the ''Gait der Gesunthek," but on account of its size, its numerous 
illustrations (1066), its later date of publication and its great popular- 
ity, it has been natural to assume that the "Hortus Sanitatis" represented 
the highest development of this class of books, and as a consequence, the 
two earlier (and much rarer) books have been passed by lightly and 
much greater attention given to the "Hortus Sanitatis." 

The book of nature (1475) and the "Gart" (1485) not only ante- 
date the Hortus Sanitatis but they are superior to it in several par- 
ticulars; as already mentioned this superiority is especially marked in 
the better class of illustrations of the "Gart." These two early printed 
books represent a forward trend of the human spirit and should come 
under separate consideration. If ever we are able to gage the thought- 
life of the later Middle Ages, and especially of that interesting period 
of intellectual development just preceding the full bloom of the 
Renaissance, it must be accomplished by a study of the publications of 
the period. Accordingly, let no one assume that these books are merely 
curiosities of antiquarian interest 

The bodes of the time which have claimed most attention from 
scholars show another phase of the mental life of the period — that of 
the mystical-minded scholar and the theologian whose writings were 
more subjective in type, while Conrad's book, as well as the "Gart," 
represent the more objective or scientific attitude of mind. These two 
currents of mental life ran parallel, but at this time the instinct for 
creation through subjective methods was more conspicuous and the 
scientific attitude was undeveloped if not primitive. 

The literary output of the period was more diversified than one 
might at first suppose. Besides Bibles, books of devotion, the famous 
"City of God" of Augustine, other religious writings and also legal 
treatises, a reader of the period found to hand printed copies of secular 
writings — some of belles-lettres and others of diversion: Dante, 
Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Aesop's fables, the Bidpai stories showing 
affinities with the "Arabian Nights," Breidenbach's travels, the "Dia- 
logues of the Creatures," "Reynard the Fox," "Romaunt of the Rose," 
etc. All these lay outside the field of the scientific and realistic books 
which were embodied in medical treatises and nature books. 

Also dealing with nature (as well as other subjects) were such wri- 
tings as the huge encyclopedias of Vincent of Beauvais, the "Properties 
of Things" by Bartholomseus Anglicus and the "Liber de naturis 
rerum" of Thcnnas of Cantimpre (the latter being the original of 



240 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Conra'df s book of nature) . Furthermore, it should be remembered that 
the printing presses were turning out on a relatively large scale the 
remains of classical and early mediaeval learning. Among these may 
be mentioned the scientific writings of Aristotle, Theophrastus, Pliny, 
Dioscorides and Galen. 

But the book publishers of the period were desirous to stimulate a 
wide market for the sale of their wares and did not depend wholly on 
curiosity and mental interest. In the Latin preface of the '^Hortus 
Sanitatis," published in 1491, there is a clever appeal to the commercial 
instinct. The writer, or compiler, says that he has been moved first 
and foremost by compassion for the poverty of those sufferers who have 
not the means to hire doctors and apothecaries and that by the teach- 
ings of the book these persons **with quite small expense to themselves 
will be able to compound helpful remedies and perfect medicines." 
This gives it the character of a book on popular medicine intended for 
the people. Another feature had more influence on the thought of the 
time; by pictures and descriptions, the attention of the people was 
directed to the productions of nature and information was spread re- 
garding animals, plants and minerals. As Klebs says, '^almost the entire 
structure of modern (biological) science rests on such humble begin- 
nings." These books gathered what the monastic student had ^^milked," 
often uncritically, from the brain of the ancients and added comments 
and observations of their own. These additions mark the onset of in- 
ductive science. On the whole, the "Book of Nature," the *'Gart" and 
other similar books represent a phase of the struggle to get away from 
the mystical and the subjective and to arrive at independent observation 
of nature. This was the call of the human spirit to engage in objective 
studies to which some types of mind are temperamentally inclined. 

Conrad von Mecenberc's 'Tuch der Nature" 

This nature book was a German translation, with some changes, 
from the Latin "De Naturis Rerum" of Thomas of Cantimpre. The 
original was completed by Thomas about 1248, and translated by "Cun- 
rat von Megenberg" a hundred years later. It was a complete review 
of nature and the first book of its kind of the Middle Ages. The German 
translation existed in manuscript for 125 years before it was first printed 
in 1475. That it was popular and widely circulated in manuscript form 
is attested by the numerous manuscripts in existence. Pfeififer mentions 
17 copies of the German translation in the library at Munich, 18 are 
reported from Vienna and many copies are known in other continental 
libraries. 

In its printed form the book is now very rare. There are two copies 
of the first (1475) edition in the United States, both in the J. Pierpont 
Morgan library at New York. Through the courtesy of Mr. Morgan and 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 243 

hifl librarian I have had the opportunity of examining these books and 
taking photographs of the plates. 

The short foreword, which was probably inserted by the publisher, 
telling the scope and the source of the book is as follows: 

Here follows the book of nature which treats first of the peculiarities 
and nature of man, then of the nature and the properties of the heavens, 
of beasts, of birds, of plants, of stones and of many other natural things. 
And upon this book a highly learned man worked for fifteen years collecting 
for his use from the following named sacred and secular teachers, poets 
and other approved doctors of medicine, such as Augustine, Ambrosius, Aris- 
totle, Basil, Isadore, Pliny, Galen, Avicenna, etc., and many other masters 
and teachers. Out of these and others he read, made excerpts and com- 
piled the book. Which book Master Conrad von Megenberg transferred from 
Latin into German and wrote it out. Here is a useful and entertaining 
material from which every man can learn many unusual things. 

Among the several other authorities cited in the book, but not men- 
tioned in the preface, is the "Physiol ogus." 

In its original form, therefore, it purported to be merely a compila- 
tion and not a book of original studies. After fifteen years of labor 
Thomas of Cantimpre had completed the "'De naturis rerum'' and Con- 
rad merely translated it. The German translation was repeatedly 
printed and widely distributed, while the original remains unpublished 
to this day. A curious turn of fate, as remarked by SudhofF who says 
further, that the original Thomas, "in spite of all its faults and errors, 
had always served as an important document of medieval science and 
deserved publication certainly more than many another work." 

Conrad's translation was not made directly from the text of Thomas, 
but, as Haupt has shown, from a working over and rearrangement of 
Thomas by Bishop Albert of Regensburg. 

Conrad, the translator, was a cleric and teacher, who after various 
vicissitudes of life, became Canon at Regensburg. Evidently he was a 
lover of nature and had written a book on the world (Sphsera) and 
another mi the "Gestelt der Welt" In translating the book of nature he 
says he rearranged and added to the book as well as omitted some 
points. Indeed, some of the manuscripts of Thomas contain an account 
of 193 animals not found in the translation (Carus), but there still re- 
main 267 animals commented upon. He seems to have improved and 
added to the plants (Meyer). From time to time, he makes original 
comments, either expressing doubt of some statement or adding a re- 
mark of his own — introducing what he has to say by "I also Megen- 
berger says'* — ^but these comments are not of weighty importance. 

Evidently the manuscript used by Conrad did not contain the 
author's name since he expresses doubt as to the writer of the Latin 
book, **whcther Albertus Magnus or not, I do not know." The source 
of the book, however, is now well established. 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 245 

A complete copy of Conrad's book should contain 292 folio leaves 
and twelve plates of woodcuts. The two copies of 1475 which I have 
seen in the J. Pierpont Morgan library are rather handsome volumes 
as to format and printing. They were derived from the library of 
William Morris. Each copy contains the twelve folio plates and is 
nearly ccHnplete as to text. This is s<»newhat notable, since Hugh 
William Davis says that five of the plates are missing in the copy of 
the first edition in the British Museum. All cuts of both books in 
Mr. Morgan's library are colored alike in detail; accordingly, I pre- 
sume that they were both done by the same hand or that there was a 
conventional type of coloring prevailing at that time. 

The descriptive part of the hook is disappointing. The art of 
description rests on good observation and at this period in- 
dependent observation had not been developed. The text is 
chiefly a series of brief quotations from the writers of claseical 
antiquity and the Middle Ages — ^Avicenna and Averroes (1198) 
being among the most recent. The excerpts are mainly folk 
stories and trivial observations about animal behavior. The 
book is comprehensive in range but the largest part of it is devoted 
to animals. In relatively brief compass, the text preserves for us the 
medieval lore about animals, plants and stones, but it is not descriptive 
science. I have not found a systematic or methodical description of 
any andmal, but only quotations beginning *' Aristotle says, Pliny says," 
etc. A few authors are cited under each title. Habits and behavior are 
spoken of but there is no description of appearance, color form, etc. 
Among flowers, rarely is the color of the flower mentioned (as fre- 
quently k is in the **Gart") . The comments on particular objects vary 
in length from seven lines up to two or three pages. Frequently one 
account occupies from one quarter to one half a page. 

The general tone of the writing is shown by the following slightly 
abbreviated quotation about the lion. This is one of the longer (but 
by no means the longest) accounts and answers for the others. 

The Lion is king of all other animals, as Jacobus and Solinus say. This 
beast has nothing false, untrue or cunning about him. He is so hot by nature, 
that one may think he is always in a fever. The lioness always at first gives 
birth to five whelps,then to four, then to three, thereafter to two and the fifth 
time to one only. After that she is barren. Augustine says, when the cubs 
are bom, they sleep three days until the father comes; he cries very loud 
over them, and being frightened by the noise they awaken. The lion fears 
the sharp sting of the scorpion and flees from it as from a deadly enemy. He 
fears also the rattling of wheels as they turn on the wagon, but he fears 
fire the most. Solinus says, that the lion is not easily angered, but being 
enraged^ he seeks the offender (Zornmacher) and tears him to pieces. He 
never attacks man willingly, and only in great hunger. Adelius says, when 
the lion sleeps, he has his eyes open. When he travels, he blots out his 
footsteps with his tail, so that the hunter may not find him. Also Pliny says, 
that lions are friendly among themselves and do not fight. Aristotle says. 



^ccanimAn^ fuiu i>ct4ctta: bcptcM (xatt vibuiiiM irt r . rt |tmccj 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 247 

the lion hides his bone the same as the dog. When in hunger, he draws 
with his tail a large circle on the ground and roars loud and frightens other 
beasts so they do not dare to come within the circle. He scorns the eating 
of yesterday and the remains of his former feasting. Some say that the lion 
dies of his own anger, he is so violent. The lion willingly captures the 
wild ass and chases him in nature. Ambrose says, when he is sick, if he 
catches an ape and eats him, he becomes well. When the lion drinks dog's 
blood, he becomes well. Solinus and Pliny say, that when the lion holds his 

tail quiet, he is mild and friendly; but that is seldom Pliny says, 

that lion's Resh and especially the heart is good for people to eat; those who 
are too cold by nature, when they eat lion's flesh, will become warm. The 
lion's bones are so hard, that one can strike Are with them as with a flint. 
The lion's fat is an antidote against poison. When a man annoints himself 
with wine and lion's fat, it drives away all beasts from him, also snakes. 
The lion's fat is of warmer nature than that of any other animal. The lion 
is continually afflicted with a quartan fever so that he desires especially the 
flesh of apes, that he may become well. Lion's fat with oil of roses frees 
man's face from freckels, clears it and keeps it so. The lion's neck is thick 
and the flesh of the neck is cartilaginous, so he can not raise his head 
backwards. Alexander says, that the lion has great strength in his breast, 
in his fore feet and in his tail. Leon in Greek is a king, therefore is this 
beast called leo, because he is the king of all other beasts. The lion is warmer 
by nature in the fore part of the body and colder in the hinder part; also 
the sun is in the constellation of the lion. Aristotle says, that of all animals 
the lion has no marrow in its bones except in the femur. Therefore his 
bones are harder than those of any other animal, except the dolphin. The 
lion's intestine is like the dog's intestine. The lion is feverish in the sum- 
mer, but is well in the winter. He also becomes feverish before the face 
of man.i 

The duck is dismissed with seven lines, while the account of the 
hen is unusually long, occupying three and one-half pages. Regarding 
the ass, 'Tliny says, it has white milk . . . that Nero was nourished on 
ass's milk.'' 

Each of the twelve parts into which the book is divided is preceded 
by a general introduction in which one often finds moralizations and 
expression of theological views. In various places Conrad makes un- 
complimentary allusions to the profligate priests (lippigen Pfaffen), 
who like the ass are weak when they should carry the cross and strong 
when they are unchaste. The bishop is compared to the peacock and 
also to the raven. It is merely a conjecture, but the great rarity of the 
book may be partly owing to these attacks on the priests. These 
allusions would naturally arouse the hostility of the very powerful 
theological bodies and, not unlikely, lead to attempts to suppress the 
book. In looking over the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, however, I 
have not found the ^*Book of Nature" on the prohibited list. 

The illustrations in Conrad's book of nature are on twelve folio 

H am indebted to my colleague. Professor James T. Hatfield, for assist- 
ance in translating some of the more obscure passages. 



,.^^^f|lt3faimilM(t(a$ ^uniiiliimillrKarialniitin'eiib* 
] t#Im&a bofihTnisio ftt tapna tmimia itt liqiza 

-4^ ■MttuiiKSiiili^Iogo nimagiSmapacm innttfu . 
RtliinrailiiMiieiliiisfalnalla mamblia goinai vmat 
itpiignabacutoX'OiiMaumnfiiiiutio imctaitcinn^ 

' |iiignstiini9>n<>aiiimiSaiiiIpnpatmtlmtlir»itnipie' 
tat tan moztntn minte-leli tcSiiiio tmlxbu a apat 
ctpetKQincoiu^iiiQ^nonpotetfltmii nngcts )9oKraot* 

. nmn^ttiattttaSIi&iuiiaiaismtibiettDiiguIieaaila- 
|]tt-Sc nrfmiifnusangiiiefniiiiiit pmbiluiBpall unuolii 
foititusuu • tt DOUns & f^nufottipRSt tucpitn nutaftAit* 
mo Bt iniUntf G t(t iun sos oliquis luliana n< 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 249 

plates, inserted as leaves separate from the text, one plate at the begin- 
ning of each division of the book. The wood-cutting is coarse, and the 
drawings are by no means so good as those of the **Gart." So far as 
known these fetches have no forerunners; they are not traditional 
figures copied from earlier manuscripts, as was frequently the case 
of illustrations printed before 1530. On ten of the twelve plates there 
are not less than eighty-six figures of animals (some of the smaller 
repetitions not being counted). The remaining two plates contain nine- 
teen figures of plants and trees. 

The illustrations vary in quality — when the figures are of domestic 
animals, so that the designer could see examples, the figures are rather 
good — see the dog and the horse in Fig. 1. The goose, dear to the 
heart of the German for festive occasions, the falcon (Fig. 2), the wood- 
pecker, the peacock, although crude are evidently drawn from nature. 
The exotic animals, however such as the camel, the lion, and especially 
the elephant (Fig. 1), with cleft-hoof and schematic trunk, are very 
bad — the designer had no specimens to look at. The fishes are not 
well drawn. The general appearance of the plates with a rough border 
is shown in Figs. 3 and 4. The plate of animals (Fig. 3) , shows several 
insects — ^ants, bees, grasshoppers, butterfly, — a spider, a snail, etc. The 
plate of plants (Fig. 4), shows the grape vine, the apple tree, the pear 
tree, and other pictures less easily recognizable. 

The figures in the "Book of Nature" are the earliest printed pictures 
of natural history — ^they mark the beginning of scientific iconography. 
Arnold Klebs, in his Incunabula Lists (1917), speaking of the "Her- 
barium" of Apuleius Barbarus, Rome, 1483 (and 1484), says: "Its 
illustrations, crude formalized pictures of plants, are, with possibly one 
exception, the earliest ones in a printed book." He does not mention 
the "Book of Nature," but certainly there were two plates of botanical 
illustrations in this book published in 1475. The rarity of Conrad's 
book, and especially of perfect copies, accounts for the little notice it 
has received and also for misconceptions regarding the number of 
plates which it contains. Mrs. Arber in her very fully illustrated 
treatise on herbals reproduces one of the plates from the "Puch der 
Nature" (1475), and speaks of it as "the single plant figure" with 
which the book is illustrated. Hugh William Davis, in "Early German 
Books" has already pointed out that five plates are missing from the 
copy of the first edition in the British Museum. For the second plate 
of botanical figures see Fig. 4. 

The introduction of pictures into printed books of science was an 
important step. The preparation of cuts forced observation and 
sharpened it. Through this means attention was directed to details 
and observation was promoted. This was an entering wedge of inde- 
pendent observation at a time when observation was struggling for the 
right to exist. The preparation of the figures required greater accuracy 



it) 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATJONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 251 

and some independent observation and these original efforts were al- 
lowed to stand. They did not provoke the hostility of the censors as 
did original comments. The pictures might pass, but expressions of 
independent opinion might be contrary to theological doctrine. The 
pictures of the ^^Gart der Gesuntheit" were so much more notable that 
further comment will be withheld until the next section. 

It will be interesting for local color to compare figures of animals 
in contemporary books of different purpose. In connection with the 
special examination of the ^'Book of Nature," I also had for use in the 
J. Pierpont Morgan Library copies with illustrations of Breidenbach's 
Travels" (1486); several copies of Bidpai (1486 and others); the 
Dialogus Creaturarum" (1480 and others) ; Bartholomseus Anglicus, 
in Flemish (1486), and in English (1495); the former with good 
pictures of animals and plants, the latter with wretched ones. 

The single plate of animal pictures in Breidenbach's ^Travels'* 
(Fig. 5) contains pictures that are superior as to drawing and as to 
woodcutting. Although there are some mythical animals represented, 
the camel and the giraffe are well executed and are evidently drawn 
from nature. William Morris says, in general, of many pictures in 
Breidenbach's book: 'These woodcuts are remarkable, not only as 
the best executed illustrations in any medieval book, but as being the 
first woodcuts in which shading is used in masses and not merely to 
help the outline." In Bidpai ("Buch der Weisheit" and other titles) 
is a grotesque figure of an elephant with cleft hoofs and a long bovine 
tail and also a schematic trunk similar to the one in Conrad's picture 
(Fig. 1). In the "Dialogus Creaturarum" (1480), there occurs an 
elephant with the soliped'hoof of the horse and with the horse's tail 
(Fig. 6). Now these are not pictures drawn for a scientific book but 
as representing the conception of these animals by designers of the 
time they are significant. The figures in the Flemish edition of 
Bartholomsus Anglicus (erroneously de Glanville), (Fig. 7), although 
published in 1486, far surpass those of the English translation, pub- 
lished in 1495, by Wynkyn De Worde. The plate of quadrupeds 
(Fig. 7), of birds and of plants of the Flemish edition show signs of 
observation from nature (note especially the elephant in Fig. 7). The 
figures in the English edition on the other hand are wretched caraci- 
tures — some of them being degraded copies of the figures of Conrad's 
book. Mrs. Arber published the plate of plants from the English edi- 
tion of 1495, but the botanical plates in the earlier Flemish edition are 
much superior. 

For readers who may be interested in looking over the literature 
relating to the ''Book of Nature" and its translator, I make note of 
the chief references consulted. Besides the original edition of 1475, I 
have made use of the analyses of the book by Choulant ("Anfange 
¥rissenschaftlicher Naturgeschichte und naturhistorischer Abbildung in 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 253 

christlichen Abendlande,'* 1856) ; by Meyer ("Geschichte der 
Botanik," 1857) ; by Sudhofif ("Studien zur Geschichte der Medizin," 
1908) and the bibliographical notice by Hugh William Davis in 
"Early German Books*' in the library of G. Fairfax Murray, 1913. In 
1861^ PfeifTer published (without illustrations) the entire book under 
the title "Das Buch der Natur, von Konrad von Megenberg, Die erste 
Naturgeschichte in Deutcher Sprache.'* This is a study of the book 
from the philological standpoint and is accompanied by a dictionary of 
some 250 pages. There is also a metrical translation in Flemish, and 
in rimed verse, entitled "Naturen Bloeme." This was made by Jacob 
de Maerlandt who died in 1300, so that his translation preceded that 
of Conrad. The first part of the Naturen Bloeme was published in 
1856 and the complete work in 1878. 



The "Gart Der Gesuntheit" 

While the "Book of Nature" had a long history in manuscript, the 
German translation going back to 1349, the Gart, on the other hand, 
although a compilation, seems to have been a product of the time — 
arising about the printing house. It was thus an expression of pub- 
lisher's enterprise — ^the excerpts being chiefly made by a physician who 
acted as the scientific collaborator, and the blocks being cut under 
the eye of the publisher. No anticipations of the illustrations nor of 
the text are known, except that the text is pieced together out of earlier 
writings on nature. From the account in the preface it would appear 
to have been the product of the combined labors of the original de- 
signer, a master of medicine and a skilful artist. The following quo- 
tation is taken from Mrs. Arber's translation of the preface : 

Since, then man can have no greater nor nobler treasure on earth than 
bodily health, I came to the conclusion that 1 could not perform any more 
honorable, useful or holy work or labor than to compile a book in which 
should be contained the virtue and nature of many herbs, and other created 
things, together with their true colors and form, for the help of all the 
world and the common good. Thereupon I caused this praiseworthy work to 
be begun by a Master learned in physic, who, at my request, gathered into a 
book the virtue and nature of many herbs out of the acknowledged masters 

of physic But when, in the process of the work, I turned to the 

drawing and depicting of the herbs, I marked that there are many precious 
herbs which do not grow here in these German lands, so that I could not 
draw them with their true colors and form, except from hearsay. Therefore 
I left unfinished the work which I had begun, and laid aside my pen, until 
such time as I had received grace and dispensation to visit the Holy 

Sepulchre, and also Mount Sinai Then, in order that the noble 

work I had begun and left incomplete should not come to nought, and also 
that my journey should benefit not my soul alone, but the whole world, I 
took with me a painter ready of wit, and cunning and subtle of hand. And 

so we journeyed from Germany In wandering through these 

kingdoms and lands, I diligently sought after the herbs there, and had them 
depicted and drawn with their true color and form. And after I had by 



JUlmaM BirfjliWfn . tCap-tcBEK'" 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 256 

God's grace, returned to Germany and home, the great love which 1 bore this 
work impelled me to finish it, and now, with the help of God, it is accomp- 
lished. And this book is called in Latin, Ortus Sanitatis, and in German; 
gart d'gesuntheyt. 

Considerable confusion has arisen as ,to the distinctive title by 
which this work should be known. Choulant, who in 1857, gave the 
first complete analysis of the book, called it the "smaller Hortus" and 
thus it came to be confused with the "larger," or true "Hortus Sanitatis" 
which was first published in Mainz in 1491, and became widely dis- 
tributed in later editions. Although the "Hortus Sanitatis" owes some- 
thing to the "Gart" as a forerunner of the same type, it differs in 
language and in extent^ — being much more voluminous and having 
1066 figures, while the "Gart" originally had a total of 397 illustra- 
tions. Most of the pictures of the "Gart" were copied and recut for 
the "Hortus Sanitatis," but they were degraded and of much lower 
quality. The "Gart" was originally prepared in German; "the Hortus 
Sanitatis" was in Latin, but not a translation of the "Gart" although 
modeled after it and showing generic resemblances to it. Neither was 
the "Gart" a German translation of the Latin "Herbarius" which pre- 
ceded it by one year (1484). The text and, notably, the illustrations 
are different, not only more numerous (150 in the Herbarius and 397 
in the "Gart") but of stiperior quality. 

The extant copies are rarely complete and the title page is 
frequently missing ; but, whatever the title on the fly leaf of the various 
issues and variants of the "Gart" — "Herbarius zu Teutsch," "Ortus," 
etc., there occurs an unvarying title in every preface — "And this book 
is called in Latin Ortus Sanitatis, in German ein Gart der Gesuntheit." 
(From the first Mainz edition, 1485). Arnold Klebs in his Incunabula 
Lists (1917) has greatly clarified the matter by a complete analysis of 
what he calls the Hortus family, showing the family to consist of some 
forty issues of related books — the "Hortus Sanitatis" of 1491 being the 
central member and the most extensive. The original edition of ^e 
"Gart" is the most important for determining the quality of its illus- 
trations and any confusion of title should by all means be avoided. 
The suggestion of both Sudfaoff and Klebs to designate the work by 
the short title "Gart" is opportune since this gives a distinctive title 
that can not be confused with that of anv other member of the "Hortus" 



family. The "Gart" is the original of the entire "Hortus" family. 
The name of the designer of the book is not known but the scientific 
collaborator is believed to have been Johann de Cube (mentioned on 
page 127 near the end of chapter 76) and identified by Sudhoff with 
Johann de Wonnecke, a practicing physician of Frankfurt at the end 
of the fifteenth century. 

A complete copy of the "Gart" of 1485 should contain 356 folio 



< T5aSi>iccftilMirfi<?i«!i«<»"3"l''"'t'lf"i!.'"'.l"''"^ 



PHOTOCBAPH C 



\'L 



PRINTED ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY 257 

leaves, 435 numbered chapters with 386 pictures of plants (one re- 
peated) and eleven of animals (one repeated). The copy placed at ' 
my disposal at the Surgeon General's Library in Washington haa 320 
leaves, and 427 chapters but lacks a few intervening leaves. I am 
greatly indebted to Colonel Garrison and others of the library staff for 
assistance and opportunity to photograph the plates of the book. 
Choulant mentions thirteen issues of the **Gart." The number of 
illustrations varies in the different issues — one edition, with the addi- 
tion of genr&'pictures, has as many as 542 pictures (Klebs). 
Choulant says that the pictures of the pirated edSition, printed in 
Augsburg five months after the Mainz edition and attributed to the 
press of Anton Sorg, are for the most part better than those of the 
original edition. I have been much puzzled by this statement of 
Choulant as to the quality of the pictures, and, owing to the recognized 
thoroughness of Choulant's work, am reluctant to question it. How- 
ever, the book to which Choulant refers (Hain 8949*) is assigned by 
recent bibliographical experts to the press of Schonsperger. I have 
recently seen a perfect copy of this in the Newberry Library of 
Chicago, which is not listed in the Census of Fifteenth Century Books 
0¥med in America. It is dated at Augsburg, August 22, 1485, but the 
name of the printer is not given. As determined by reference to 
Haebler's TypenrepertorUun^ the book is printed in Schonsperger type. 
No. 1, and is 120 as to size. There remains the question of the quality 
of the illustrations — ^those in the book of the Newberry Library are 
smaller and inferior to those of the original Mainz edition. I have also 
seen the Augsburg edition of March, 1486, from the Schonsperger 
press, derived from the collection of the late Theodore L. De Vinne, and 
now owned by the John Crerar Library of Chicago. This is a smaller 
book, printed in two colunms instead of full-page, and its illustrations 
are much smaller and much inferior to those of either the Mainz or 
the Augsburg edition of 1485. 

It is in reference to the illustrations that the **Gart*' is especially 
notable. The pictures are chiefly those of plants, numbering 386, while 
there are only eleven pictures of animals. The pictures vary in 
quality, but seven pictures of animals and five or six of plants are of 
unique perfection among the early printed illustrations. The picture 
of the yellow flag (Acorus) (Fig. 8), of the white lily (Fig. 9) and of 
the fox (Fig. 10) are fine examples of drawings from nature. The cut 
of the yellow flag has been published full-size by Dr. Payne and by 
Mrs. Arber, but, so far as I am aware, the figures of the white lily, and 
of the fox and other animals have not been reproduced. 

No one can examine the original cuts and retain any doubt that they 
were drawn from nature by a skilful artist and a careful observer. 
The lines of the woodcuts are coarse but the few best sketches rival 

VOL. Xm.— 17. 



258 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

those published by Brunfels (1530) and Fuchs (1542). The best 
figures in the ^*Gart" show the highest level to which botanical and 
zoological illustrations attained not only in the fifteenth century but 
also in the first third of the sixteenth. Fifty-five years before the reno- 
vation of botanical illustration by Brunfels, and sixty-seven years before 
the publication of the figures of Fuchs, the best pictures of the 
^^Gart" stand out as beacon lights in the development of scientific 
illustration. They are of singular importance in the history of 
scientific iconography and are deserving of great praise. An un- 
predjudiced examination of them can not fail to modify the incorrect 
estimate as to the quality of all printed illustrations of natural history 
before those of Brunfels. 

In the botanical bodes that followed for fifty-five years from the 
printing presses of various countries, the pictures of the ''Cart** were 
copied and recopied, but in the process they were degraded and conven- 
tionalized, so that one can get a correct impression as to quality only 
by examining those of the first Mainz edition. Even so careful and 
original a student as E. L. Greene, whose ^Landmarks of Botanical 
History" shows great thoroughness, maturity of judgment and first- 
hand acquaintance with the sources, repeats the generally accepted 
opinion, saying (p. 195).: *To a generation that had been accustomed 
to such books as the *Hoitus Sanitatis,' filled vnih the most wretched 
caricatures of plants in place of true representations of them, this great 
book of Fuchsius must have appeared as nothing less than luxurious** 
and again, (p. 167) : ^^Even 40 or 50 years before these fathers of 
plant iconography there were printed copies of the ^Hortus Sanitatis,' 
and its German version *Gart der Gesuntheit' illustrated by some 500 
wood engravings of plants. Doubtless the wretched character of these 
first printed plant pictures, along with the great popularity of the books 
containing them, were what moved Brunfels to undertake the publica- 
tion of the ^Herbarium Vivse Icones.*" Here a direct reference is 
made to the ^^Gart der Gesuntheit" (the **Hortus Sanitatis" having 
1066 figures, instead of 500) . The criticism will apply to the degraded 
pictures of the ^^Hortus Sanitatis" but not to the better pictures of the 
^^Gart." The explanation of such an unwarranted sweeping conclusion 
is doubtless to be set doum to the great rarity of tiie ^^Gart," and to 
the belief that, since the ^'Gart" was an earlier publication of the same 
type, the pictures of the '^Hortus Sanitatis" can be taken as showing the 
quality of the pictures of the earlier book. 

No one can look at the pictures of the dodder, the yellow flag, the 
white lily, the fox, etc., and consider them as wretched caricatures; 
they rival the printed pictures in the herbals of Brunfels and of Fuchs 
as to quality and fidelity to nature. 



k 



GETTING MARRIED ON FIRST MESA, ARIZONA 259 



GETTING MARRIED ON FIRST MESA, ARIZONA 

By Dr. EU5IE CLEWS PARSONS 



TttiERE are three towns or rather two towns and a suburb on First 
^ or East Mesa, Walpi, the Hopi town, with its suburb Sichumovi, 
and Hano or Tewa, a Tanoan settlement from the East, made, it is 
said, two hundred or more years ago. 

It was from Yellow-pine, a young Tewa woman married for about 
three years that I heard most about Tewa wedding practices. Yellow- 
pine spoke English comparatively well, well enough to tell a 
story in fjiglish in about the same way as she would tell it in Tewa. 
This is her narrative: 

"The boy goes to the girl's house at night to see her. If the girl's 
mother does not want him, she tells the girl. If she wants him, she says, 
'You can talk^ to him,' she says. (But if the girl wants the boy, even if her 
people do not want him, she can talk to him.) The boy tells his people; if 
they say yes, then the boy comes again and tells the girl. Then the girl 
makes piki [wafer bread, in Tewa, tnozval, the narrow kind of piki, like 
sticks (tnakana). She makes piki all day. She piles it high, beginning early 
in the morning. At night the girl and her mother take the piki to the boy's 
house. The boy's people are happy and say, 'Thank you,' and give them meat. 
They bring it home. From that they all know that he is going to marry her. 
Now, any night, they take piki again to the boy's house, and the boy's people 
give meat. From then on they begin to get married. . . . 

They grind com every day until they fill ten or twelve boilers [store* 
bought tin boilers]. It takes a month to complete that work. They also pre- 
pare white corn to put in water for the boys to drink. Then they are ready. 
They go to the boy's house to tell the boy's people they will come in four 
days. The boy's people get things ready to eat. The girl tells her uncles 
[maternal uncles or kinsmen] and fathers [paternal kinsmen] to come to her 
house on the night they plan for. . . . 

On this night they dress the girl in her tnanta [i. e. ceremonial blanket] 
and wheel her hair. Then they go to the boy's house where all the boy's 
people are gathered together, and where they have set out meat and bread 
and coffee. "We have brought this girl to you to grind as much as she can,' 
say the girl's uncles. 'Is that so? All right We are glad to have her/ 
they say. . . . 

Next day, early in the morning, the girl starts to grind. She has to 
grind all day,^ stopping only to eat. For three days the girl grinds. Early in 

1 At Zufii, the New Mexico pueblo where custom is most like Hopi cus- 
tom, "to talk to" is also the usual expression for courting. 

s I. e., until about 4 p. m., the closing time of the Hopi work day. 



260 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the morning of the fourth day they wash the girl's head. The girl grinds 
once more and finishes. They [in the girl's house] make many bowls of blue 
corn meal, and they make mowasi, (com boiled and wrapped in com husk). 
The girl's clanswomen come in to help. That night the girl's people take to 
the girl's house five or six boilers [empty] from which they are to give out 
meal to the boy's people, his aunts [father's sisters], uncles, and mothers 
[mother's sisters or kinswomen], meal and piki and on top tnowasu What- 
ever is left over is given to the boy's mother. 

That day the boy's clansmen have brought out cotton to weave into a 
blanket for the girl. They take the cotton to the girl's house. Her mother 
thanks them, and puts meal for them in the bowl that held the cotton. The 
men take the cotton to the kiva to work on it. While they work, the girl has 
to stay on in the boy's house and do the cooking of the house and the sweep- 
ing, while they work for her in the kiva. . • . 

When the men in the kiva start to make the white blanket, they take piki 
to them and white com water to drink. And every day they take bread and 
meat. At the girl's house they are making heaps of meal and the girl's clans- 
women are making piki, all night the women are making piki, and all night 
there is a meal set out for them. The next night they make pigami (a stew 
of samp and mutton). 

A day or two later they take water to the girl's house and to the boy's 
house to get ready to make piki early in the morning. Jn both houses they 
make piki to take to the houses of the men who are working in the kiva for 
the girl. In that way they pay the men for making things for the girl. 

Then the boy's mother tells the girl's mother in how many nights they 
are going to take the girl home again. They get ready, they cook for that 
night . . . They put on the girl her blanket and moccasins. That night 
they cut the girl's hair on the sides.^ The boy's mother and sisters take the 
girl to the girl's house. There, to thank them, are assembled the girl's 
uncles. 

Early the next morning, they wash the boy's head [he has followed his 
wife], all the girl's mothers and father's sisters wash his head. 

Four days later they make piki all day in the girl's house and towards 
evening they take it all to the boy's house. . . . 

Afterwards, at any time, perhaps two or three years afterwards, the 
girl has ground in her house ten boilerfuls of com, including one boilerful 
of white com and one of sweet com. After this grinding, the boy's people 
go to the girl's house and whitewash the walls and clean house. The next 
day the boy's mothers and father's sisters bring water to the girl's house. 
The next day, early in the morning, in the girl's house they start to make 
piki They make piki and they grind meal all day. They fill up the baskets 
to take them to the boy's mothers. With a pan of beans the girl's mother 
goes first, the girl in her white blanket follows and the other women. The 
boy's people are waiting, they get happy. They go to the girl's house and 
eat. That is all, except that afterwards, at any time when the men who made 

» Like the hair of Zufli and Keresan women. Hopi women, married 
women, part the hair and with a string twist the locks on either side of the 
:*^*\ • ; • . That the Tewa women have thus preserved their own style of 
hairdressmg is an mteresting fact. Style of hairdressing and language are, 
as far as I know, the only distinctive traits, exclusive of religion or public 
ceremony, preserved by these Tewa immigrants whose town is within a 
stone s throw of the houses of their Hopi neighbors. 



GETTING MARRIED ON FIRST MESA, ARIZONA 261 

her things are going to dance, the girl dresses in her white blanket and takes 
the dancers pigamiA — It is hard work for us to get married. 

A long time ago, it was not so hard. But now we get married just like 
Hopi, and it is much longer and harder." 

It b quite likely, as Yellow-pine suggested, that Tewa marriage 
ceremonial was formerly more simple, as it is among other Pueblo 
Indian peoples. In Tewa folk-tales the ceremonial or etiquette of get- 
ting married is much the same as in Zuni tale and practice ° and 
probably in ancient Keresan practice.* The youth comes to the girFs 
house. She sets food out for him, he tells the parents what he has 
come for, they say that it is not for them to say, but for their daughter. 
(As Yellow-pine remarked, the choice is really with the girl.') The 
youth leaves, to return another night with his bundle, his gifts of 
blankets, belt, and moccasins to the girl. If she accepts them, she 
carries in her turn a gift of com meal to the young man's house, where 
she stays four days to grind. There on the fourth morning her head 
is wadied. Then the couple return to live at the house of the girPs 
mother. A gift of apparel from the man, a gift of meal from the 
girl, her visit, a betrothal visit, so to speak, to the man's maternal 
house, the rite of head washing, and the return to the girl's maternal 
house — ^this seems to be the generic Pueblo form of wedding to which 
the Hopi and then the Tewa, in imitation, gave elaboration. Curiously 
enough, Spanish influence in the Eastern pueblos, Keresan and Tan- 
oan,* has tended to a somewhat analogous elaboration, a case of sim- 
ilarity, we can but think, due to convergence. 

The extent of the Hopi elaboration appears even more fully in 
another account of Hopi wedding practices given, me by a Tewa man, 

♦ At Oraibi, Voth notes that all the brides of the year appear in their 
white blankets at the close of the nUnan kachina or farewell performance in 
July, the most elaborate of the masked dances. ("Oraibi Marriage Customs/' 
p. 246. American Anthropologist. II. 1900). 

5 Cp. Parsons, E. C. "Notes on Zufii," pt. II, 302, 307, 322, 325. Mem, 
American Anthropological Association, IV, No. 4, 1917. Lack of weaving at 
present day Zufti and the comparatively small amount there of clan cooperation 
would account in large part for the simpler way of getting married. 

Second marriage is among the Hopi comparatively simple because no 
bridal outfit is to be made. 

« Dumarest, N. "Notes on Cochiti, New Mexico," pp. 148, 149. Mem, 
American Anthropological Association, VI, No. 3, 1919. 

7 On the other hand I have been told that among old-fashioned people the 
girl's parents and uncle (mother's brother — note the significance of participa- 
tion by the uncle to the theory of cross-cousin marriage, p. 265) would look 
for a boy for her. "My daughter, you will marry that boy," they would say to 
her. To be sure, "she might leave the boy they chose and choose her own 
boy," and, if her family were angry, she would go to live with some kins- 
woman. 

• Cp. Parsons, E. C. "Further Notes en Isleta," American Anthropologist, 
in proof. 



262 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

a Bear clansman married into a Hopi (Sichumovi) house and the 
father of a girl whose wedding was not yet completed, although die 
was the mother of a three months* old infant. The final gift of meal 
was not yet made. My Tewa friend had the wedding of his daughter 
Butterfly in mind, as he talked, I think, although he put his narrative 
into an impersonal form. Some of his narrative is supplemented by 
information from his wife, Butterfly's mother. 

Whenever a girl finds a boy, the boy comes to see the girrs parents. 
After >he conies, the parents ask what he wants. "I come to see about your 
daughter/' he says. "I don't know 'about it," says the father of the girl, also 
the mother of the girl. "We will tell her uncles (taamato, her mother's 
brothers, etc), and see what they have to say" . . . The mother of the 
girl tells her uncles to come to her house. They come at the time she 
says. (There were six uncles who came in to talk about Butterfly). The 
mother of the girl says, 'I called you because there is a boy wants our child. 
I told him I had nothing to say until I called you.' An uncle may say, 'I don't 
think we want that boy to marry our niece (tatiwaiya, sister's child).' Or 
an uncle may say, 'Well, it is all right.' [In this case] the next time the boy 
comes, the mother of the girl says, 'I told my uncles. It is all right, they 
say. Tell your mother and father, and they will tell your uncles, and what 
your uncles say you tell us.' Then the mother of the boy will call in her 
uncles and tell them that the boy has been to the girl's house. 'Her mother 
and father said for me to call you and see what you think about it' . . . 
If it is all right, the girl's people take some food (piki) to the boy's house to 
let them know that the girl is going to marry the boy. This piki the boy's 
mother distributes to all members of her clan. . . . After this the parents 
of the boy have to look for buckskin, and for cotton to weave into the wedding 
blankets (kwatskyapa) . . . The girl's people begin to grind corn to fill 
ten bowls. (To help Butterfly, there were, besides her mother and mother's 
mother and mother's sister, one other close relative and fivt clanswomen). 
Then they say when they will take the girl to the boy's house ; they tell the 
mother of the girl to tell the mother of the boy. The mother of the girl 
goes and tells the mother of the boy, and she tells all her uncles to come to 
her house and all her clanswomen {nahimato) and all the aunts {kyamato, 
father's sisters) of the girl and all the girl's father's brothers (namato) i. e. 
clansmen. (When our girl married only my own two brothers came, but 
we asked all the Bear men. We can't tell who will come.)' The girl's aunts 
take some com meal to the girl's house, in the evening, and the aunt lo of the 
girl dresses the girl and puts her hair up in wheels. They all talk to the 
girl, each of them saying she must work at the boy's house and not be 
lazy. . . . They go to the boy's house, the girl's aunt goes first, carrying 
com meal on her back, then the girl, then the girl's mother and then the 
girl's father, then the uncles, then the girl's brothers. They all go single file 
— [the usual Hopi formation for any formal group in progress]. At the 
boy's house they have prepared supper for all who are to come. They eat 
supper, they leave the girl there, they go back home. This night the mother 
of the boy takes care of the girl. Early in the morning the girl gets up to 

* This is characteristic of all invitations to ctanspeople, whether to join 
in a work party or a name-giving rite or other ceremonial occasion. All are 
asked ; but only the closer relatives feel any obligation to come. 

10 The senior sister or cousin of the girl's father, her aunt par exaUena. 



GETTING MARRIED ON FIRST MESA, ARIZONA 263 

grind com. Across the place where the girl is grinding they hang a blanket 
or, nowadays, a wagon cover, so nobody may talk to her or the sun shine 
on her. They give her breakfast. . . . The boy's father's mother tells 
all her clanswomen to go to the boy's house, carrying water. The boy's 
mother goes around and invites her clanswomen to come to help her against 
the boy's father's clanswomen. Then they start to fight. {Moungkipoh mowa, 
female connection by marriage ; kipoh, go to fight) . [See p. 265 for explana- 
tion]. Then they go back home. . . . The girl grinds all day. The 
mother of the boy tells the girl when to stop grinding. They eat supper, 
they go to bed, and the mother of the boy takes care of the girl. . . . 
The first day the girl grinds white corn, the second and third days, blue com, 
the fourth day, pop corn to be drtmk in water. On the third day, in the 
evening, the mother of the girl begins to put up her meal to take to the 
boy's house. The father or brother of the girl are to take it to the boy's 
house. All night any of the townswomen may go to the girl's house to help 
make piki'^^ as well as the girl's clanswomen, even clanswomen from other 
towns. . . . Early in the morning they wash the girl's head; first the 
mother of the boy takes down one wheel of the girl's hair and washes, then 
the father of the boy takes down the other wheel and washes, then the boy's 
sisters wash and then his clanswomen.^^ [They wash, as usual, with jucca 
root suds, dipping the suds on the head with an ear of white corn that is 
completely kemelled, one of the cars people refer to as "mother" and which 
is used on many ceremonial occasions. The dipping is quite formal, the head 
touched lightly four times, when a few words of prayer may be said. A 
thorough washing follows. After the washing, corn meal is rubbed on face, 
anps, and body, and meal is given to the person washed to take out and 
sprinkle, perhaps in a shrine, or on the eastern edge of the mesa, with a 
prayer for long life and prosperity.] They dress the girl's hair in a roll along 
each side of the head.^ 

After the head washing they eat the piki brought from the girl's house 
and the piganti made in the boy's house and for which his father has killed 
a cow. Other piki is given later in the day to the boy's clanswomen who 
come in to wash the girl's head, piki and on top of it chakdbiki, sweet com 
meal, which is to be drunk in water. 

Then the boy's uncles (taamato) and the boy's father's brothers (namato) 
[i. c. clansmen] bring in cotton to spin and weave for the girl. The girl's 
mother who is in the boy's house refills the baskets holding the cotton with 

11 At Oraibi the girl friends of the bride bring in trays of corn meal. 
The following morning the trays are retumed filled with cars of com by the 
groom's mother. ("Oraibi Marriage Customs," p. 241). 

1* On Third Mesa at Oraibi the groom's head is also washed at this time, 
by his mother-in-law. The bodies of the couple are also bathed. The heads 
of bride and groom are first washed in separate bowls, then in the same bowl, 
a symbolic act of union, according to Voth, which has lapsed in the case of a 
bridegroom who has had his hair cut short at school. (Voth, H. R. "Hopi 
Marriage Rites on the Wedding Moming," pp. 147-9. Brief Miscellaneous 
Hopi Papers. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Pub. 157. Anthrop. Sen Vol. XI, 
No. 2. 1912). At this headwashing rite at Oraibi wrangling by the women 
(sec above and pp. 264-265) is said to occur, the visiting women trying to 
displace the bride. ("Oraibi Marriage Customs," p. 242). 

w At Oraibi the girl's hair is taken down frwn the wheels or whorls wom 
by virgins by her own mother before mother and daughter take their first 
gift of meal to the boy's house ("Oraibi Marriage Customs," p. 240). The 
two rolls of the married woman's hair are wrapped with brown yam stiffened 
with grease, so that the hair slips in and out of the wrapping or rather casing. 



264 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

com meal, in return for the cotton. The cotton is divided into four piles, 
the father of the boy is to make one oba (white blanket with red and black 
border), the boy's uncle, an oba and an ato, (larger white blanket, em- 
broidered), and the boy's father's brother, a belt (zvokukwewa) . [They may 
also make a dress of black wool]. They take the cotton into the kiva, to 
spini* and weave They don't know how long it will take — several days, 
sometimes a month, sometimes less. (For Butterfly they were spinning three 
days, and weaving three days). During this time the girl is grinding or 
making piki in the boy's house, where her clanswomen come to help her. 
This is for the men at work in the kiva to eat They take the piki to them 
every afternoon, and sweet corn meal in water. Besides, at this time, the 
boy's clanspeople come to the boy's house to eat. Whatever com meal or 
^t^f is left over is given to the guests to carry away with them, [as is usual 
in Pueblo Indian circles when a meal is thought of as pay in kind.] 

Through with weaving, they make the moccasins, perhaps the boy's 
father makes them, perhaps his uncle. The night of the day they finbh 
making the moccasins, they take the girl back to her house, first dressing her 
up in her new things, imd the boy follows her. For all of them, the mother 
of the girl has a meal ready. Earlier in the day the boy's mother has carried 
the girl's mother a basket of corn. Before the boy leaves his house, his 
people talk to hrni, telling him not to be lazy and to be good to everybody 
in his wife's house — ^**that is why he is getting married." 

Early the next moming [after the night return to the girl's house] the 
clanswomen of the girl come in to wash the boy's head, just as the girl's 
head has been washed. Three days later the boy has to get wood. On the 
fourth day the girl's clanswomen come in to make piki all day. That evening 
they take the piki to the boy's house. The following evening those piki 
makers return to the girl's house to which the boy's mother brings some piki 
and meat for them to eat. That is the end of it. . . . 

If the girl is married in the fall,i5 the following fall [i. e. a year later] 
they begin to grind com again. They put the meal into twelve baskets ^^ to 
take to the boy's house to pay for the wedding outfit." 

•*When is the first lime tbey sleep together?" I asked. 'The night 
of the moming they wash the girl's head. I forgot that." He forgot 
that, because, I presume, it was the ceremonial that was of significance, 
not the personal relationship. "I forgot that" — what more telling com- 
ment on wedding ceremonial — anywhere? 

On my last visit to First Mesa I had the good luck to witness a 
wedding attack, the kind of mock or ceremonial attack referred to in 
the foregoing narrative, by the groom's father's kinswomen on his 
own kinswomen. High pitched voices were heard out of doors near 

1* Voth got the impression at Oraibi that any townsman might join in 
the spinning. ("Oraibi Marriage Customs," pp. 243-244). 

15 Fall or winter is the usual season for weddings (Oraibi Marriage 
Customs," p. 240). None would marry in Kyamuye, the dangerous moon« 
L e. our December. 

w The flat gayly colored baskets got in trade from Second Mesa. . . . 
At the time of my November visit, a year after Butterfly's wedding, her 
family had acumulated only eight baskets and when I left they had but seven, 
as they gave me one. 




GETTING MARRIED ON FIRST MESA, ARIZONA 265 

by, about four o'clock of an afternoon, and I was called out to see the 
8port of the ^Vomen's fight" and join in the laughter of the neighbors 
standing about There were but two women on either side, to throw 
water and any refuse they could pick up in the street. One woman had 
already had her face smeared with mud when I arrived on the scene, 
and all were drenched. The attackers would vociferate in shrill tones 
against the closed door of the house of the groom's mother — they 
were charging the bride with being lazy, unable to cook or to work — 
and then one of the women would burst out from inside to throw water 
and to talk back, to say that the bride could work, uxu industrious, etc. 
(No other insults appear to be indulged in on these occasions, there 
are, for example, no sex jeers.) But for the amused and non-inter- 
fering bystanders, two dozen or so, the row seemed thoroughly realistic 
It was vigorous, though brief, lasting less than an hour. 

The bride of this occasion was the sister of the town chief, the 
gigyaumxti or one of the chiefs of the houses, corresponding to the 
woman member of the kyakweamasi (chiefs of the houses) of ZuiiL 
She had been married before and separated, as had the groom. During 
the ceremonial row she remained, not in the maternal house of the 
groom, but in her own house at Walpi. That morning she had been 
married by government license in the schoolhouse below the Mesa.^^ 
Marriage by license in the morning and in the afternoon a wedding 
assault, what uncritical theorizers would once have called a *^rape 
symbol"! New custom and old, side by side, as is ever the way in 
Pueblo Indian life 

Although the old custom, the assault, is not a symbol of rape, since 
the grievance is on the part of the groom's people, his father's people 
against his mother's people, it is, nevertheless, we may fairly assume, 
give certain other data,^* a symbol or survival of an earlier custcxn, that 
of cross-cousin marriage, where the favored or acceptable marriage was 
with the father's sister's daughter or clanswoman. 

17 Hop! converts, "Christians" as they are called, arc married in the 
church ; but the unconverted are likewise required by government to be 
married, in the schoolhouse. 

!• See Freire-Marecco, B. "Tewa Kinship Terms from the Pueblo of 
Hano, Arizona," American Anthropologist, XVI, 286, 1914. For his paternal 
aunt to call a boy "our bridegroom" is also Hopi practice or joke. Another 
Hopi joke is that were a man to marry his fathers sister's daughter (clans- 
woman), a certain lizard called maniina would dart at htm. Oppositely, at 
Laguna, children are told that if they are shy of calling certain connections 
by the cross-cousin terms of relationship, which is "just like saying husband 
or wife," the lizard will dart The cross-cousin terms of relationship in sev- 
eral Pueblo tribes point to some time cross-cousin marriage. In the Hopi 
hoinazve, 3. war dance, the girl dancers appoint the men dancers, appointing 
from their mother's brother's sons. As sexual license once characterized war 
dances, in this choice of dance partners may be seen another hint of cross- 
cousin mating. 



266 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 




HARMONIZING HORMONES 
By Professor B. W. KUNKEL 

LAFAYETTE COLLEGE 

rE mechanism of coordination within the animal body is one of 
the most subtle of all the organ systems of the higher animals, as 
it is one of the subtlest properties of the microscopic body of the pro- 
tozoa. What it is in the single cell of the Paramecium, for example, 
that enables all the cilia covering its body to beat harmoniously in 
order to propel the organism either forward or backward is quite un- 
known. Our ignorance we cover by saying it is a property of the living 
substance to adapt itself to its environment and hence to advance or 
retreat according to the stimuli it receives. I have no desire at this 
time to inquire into this question of adaptation, interesting though it be, 
nor have I any desire to become involved in the discussion of a possible 
^vital principle" at work to keep the organism behaving as a perfectly 
unified body capable of maintaining itself in a changing environment 

The problem I would consider very briefly has to do with the vis- 
ible or physical coordinators that can be demonstrated in the labora- 
tory and that do not lead us at once into the realm of metaphysics. 

There are three well defined coordinating systems in the higher ani- 
mals. The simplest is made up of the connective tissues which hold the 
different parts of the body in proper spatial relations to each other, 
which exert pressures and tensions on different parts and prevent the 
mechanical interference of one part with another. Ligaments and bones 
by their special forms and attachments prevent us from wringing our 
own necks. In addition to the connective tissues, which are mechanical 
coordinators, the muscles may also be mentioned. The muscles of the 
neck must be strong enough to keep the head balanced and the tongue, 
though it may be **hung in the middle" in some of us must not be too 
large to fit comfortably within the mouth cavity. The second and far 
and away the most complex system of coordination is the nervous sys- 
tem which has evolved in the course of the history of living things to 
an elaborateness beyond that of any other. Coordination by means of 
the nervous system is brought about by the peculiarly specialized prop- 
erty of nerve cells of transmitting certain changes along their length so 
that the modification of one part of the body by a stimulus is transmit- 
ted to other distant parts and throws them into activity. The exact 
nature of these nerve impulses is still quite problematical but there has 
recently come to light evidence of their chemical nature since carbon 



HARMONIZING HORMONES 267 

dioxide is liberated more abundantly by a nerve along which impulses 
are passing than by one not active. The third form of coordinator in 
the body is the circulatory system by means of which materials are 
transported through the medium of the blood and lymph. By virtue 
of the rapid movement of the blood stream, all parts are furnished with 
a uniform nutriment and oxygen supply and washed free of accumu- 
lated wastes, and at the same time bathed with special chemical sub- 
stances which modify the action of different parts of the body. 

It is only very recently that the full significance of this last class of 
coordinators has been realized and it is to this system that I would call 
your attention specially. Within the past few years the energies of 
a great number of physiologists have been directed to certain specialized 
organs having the structure of glands but not communicating with any 
free surface by means of ducts. These organs secrete internally, di- 
rectly into the blood stream from which they have derived the raw mate- 
rials from which the hormone is secreted. The effects on neighboring 
organs of the products of other organs has been studied with great 
earnestness for some years, but our knowledge is still in its infancy. 
From the medical point of view there have been some remarkable ad- 
vances made in this field. As Sir William Osier said recently, medicine 
has made no more brilliant advance than in the cure of certain dis- 
eases of these ductless glands. 

One of the most important hormones which is produced by every 
living cell in the body is carbon dioxide. This is the normal product 
of cellular activity and affords a kind of measure of the vitality of a 
part Resting, inactive cells produce comparatively little; actively con- 
tracting muscles or secreting glands produce large quantities. This waste 
matter, the product of the metabolism of the cells, is poured into the 
blood to be eliminated finally in the lungs. But before it is finally got 
rid of, it stimulates the respiratory center of the brain which activates 
the respiratory muscles. The more active the respiratory center, the 
more rapid and deep is the respiration. There is a most perfect co- 
ordination between the respiratory activity and the muscular activity 
of the body generally so that the quantity of carbon dioxide in the 
blood is maintained practically constant. Although breathing is under 
the control of the will within limits, we ordinarily respire involuntarily 
and unconsciously, and we take a breath only when the blood reaching 
the respiratory center of the brain contains an excess of carbon dioxide 
and stimulates it to greater activity; a fact which may be proved by 
any one most readily. Sitting quietly with watch in hand, the experi- 
menter breathes rapidly and moderately deeply for from one half to 
one minute thus ventilating the lungs thoroughly. Then without trying 
to hold the breath he will note how long an interval passes before the 
slightest impulse to breathe is felt. In this case, by the thorough ven- 



268 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Ulation of the lungs more than the normal quantity of carbon dioxide 
passes out of the blood and is exhaled so that the blood reaching the 
respiratory center is abnormally poor in CO,. The interval, until the 
impulse to breathe again is felt, represents the time it takes for carbon 
dioxide to accumulate in the blood to the normal amount. Conversely, 
the inhalation of carbon dioxide leads to more rapid and forced breath- 
ing because of the over-stimulation of the respiratory center. Before 
the young mammalian is bom it does not breathe air through the lungs; 
in fact, its lungs do not begin to function until the infant is separated 
from the maternal blood circulation and the carbon dioxide produced 
by the activity of its cells has accumulated sufficiently in the blood to 
throw the respiratory center into activity and in consequence the mus- 
cles by means of which the air is changed in the lungs. This, of course, 
is simply a matter of seconds. 

That it is the composition of the blood which determines the activ- 
ity of the respiratory muscles may also be demonstrated in another way. 
The lungs of birds are so connected with air spaces which extend 
through the bones that it is possible to pass a continuous stream of 
fresh air through them by connecting the cut end of one of the larger 
bones with a suitable pump. Under the circumstances, the bird makes 
not the slightest respiratory movement for an indefinite time since its 
blood is maintained in a perfectly normal arterial condition, with an 
abundance of oxygen in it and unable to stimulate the respiratory 
center. 

Another most clearly proved chemical harmonizer, which makes 
the pancreas secrete at the moment its secretion is needed, is the sub- 
stance secretin which is formed in the intestine by the stimulation of 
the intestinal wall by an acid. This substance is carried to the pancreas 
in the circulation and causes that organ to secrete pancreatic juice, the 
most important digestive juice. The stimulation of the pancreas by 
some material transported thither rather than by nervous stimulus has 
been proven in several ways. All the nerves connected with an isolated 
loop of intestine are cut, so that no impulses can pass from the stimu- 
lated part of the intestine, but the blood vessels are left intact. An 
acid, like the acid of the gastric juice, is introduced into this isolated 
part of the intestine and the flow of pancreatic juice is noted. The in- 
crease of the flow of pancreatic juice is quite as great as when the nerves 
are not cut. Again, it has been found that the blood leaving the intes- 
tine which has been stimulated by an acid has the power of stimulating 
the flow of pancreatic juice in a second animal into whose blood ves- 
sels this blood is injected. It has been demonstrated also that acid in 
the blood alone has no such efi'ect on the flow of pancreatic juice. Here 
we have a clear example of harmonious, purposeful action ; namely, the 
secretion of pancreatic juice at the time that the contents of the stomach 



HARMONIZING HORMONES 269 

pass into the intestine, effected through a definite chemical substance 
manufactured in the intestine under the influence of an acid and trans- 
ported to the pancreas. 

Some very interesting cases of accurate coordination through chem- 
ical means have been noted in the development of the embryo from the 
^g. Let me illustrate with some experiments on the development of the 
eye of the tadpole. You may recall that the fine coordination displayed 
by the development of the eye was a stumbling block to Darwin in the 
way of the general acceptance of the theory of natural selection. The 
experimenter, however, has shown that to some extent this beautiful 
and complex coordination of parts is accomplished by chemical sub- 
stances produced by certain organs. Before explaining the experiments, 
it will be necessary to describe very briefly the embryology of the eye. 
At a very early age before the body form of the embryo has been es- 
tablished and before many organs have been laid down, the brain 
broadens out in the form of a small conical projection on each side. 
The apex of this cone finally reaches the level of the skin. This swell- 
ing is known as the optic vesicle and from it is derived the portion of 
the eye which is sensitive to light, the retina. The bit of skin in con- 
tact with the apex of the optic vesicle sinks down beneath the surface 
like a little cup or pit, pushing the optic vesicle down with it, just 
as one might push in one side of a rubber ball with the thumb. The 
margins of this depression finally close together forming a hollow ball 
which becomes separated from the skin. This later becomes the lens 
of the eye. These are facts which could be demonstrated to you in a 
half hour in the laboratory. The lens of the eye, of course, is very 
different from the skin and if we did not know its embryological his- 
tory we would hardly guess that it was derived from the skin. The 
embryologist used to think that the bit of skin which came to lie di- 
rectly over the optic vesicle was unlike the rest of the skin, being en- 
dowed with special powers of forming the crystalline lens of the eye, 
and the mystery was, how it chanced that these lens-potentialities were 
accumulated at exactly the right spot and that there did not occur at 
times stray lenses scattered about on other parts of the body. The 
experimentalist, however, who has done so much to destroy illusions 
and push further back the limits of the mysterious, has shown that the 
formation of the lens depends entirely upon the contact of the optic 
vesicle and that any part of the skin under the influence of this structure 
will develop into a lens. Under the dissecting microscope with very 
fine needles it is possible to operate on the young tadpole before the 
eye is formed and to transplant the optic vesicle to some other part of 
the body. The results of this very drastic treatment are that any part 
of the skin which overlies the transplanted optic vesicle will form a 
lens. Any embryonic skin of the right age apparently has the power 




270 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

of developing into a lens under the proper stimulus. In fact the ex- 
perimenter has gone so far as to graft two tadpoles of different species 
in such a way that the optic vesicle of one comes to lie directly beneath 
the skin of the abdomen of the other. But even here the skin of the 
abdomen of the strange tadpole developed a lens in a perfectly ortho- 
dox fashion. 

Darwin today would not be so mystified over the question of how 
the different layers of tissue of different degrees of transparency and 
refraction chanced to occur in the right relations to each other to form 
a complex purposeful organ like the eye. The difficulty to-day is to 
explain how the skin of the embryo is endowed with such wonderful 
powers and how the optic vesicle is able to call forth such a complex 
response. 

The phenomenon of internal secretion, that is, the discharge of sub- 
stances manufactured by an organ directly into the blood passing 
through the organ and not to a free surface, was discovered by the great 
French physiologist, Claude Bernard, in 1876, when he demonstrated 
that the liver manufactures sugar and pours it constantly into the blood 
passing through that organ. Besides these organs which only incident- 
ally to other functions secrete into the blood, like the liver, the pan- 
creas, the sex glands and the developing fetus in the mammal, there 
are certain organs specialized for this purpose alone. These are called 
ductless glands, because they have no outlet to a surface, or endocrine 
organs, that is, organs secreting to the inside. The most important of 
these are the pituitary body, situated on the under side of the brain 
next to the roof of the pharynx and tucked into a little pocket on the 
floor of the skull; the pineal body, on the upper side of the brain but 
buried deep in the crease between the two halves of the cerebrum; the 
thyroid gland situated on the front of the throat just below the "Adam's 
apple'* and enlarged in goitre; the thymus gland situated in front of 
the heart, from which the true *^neck sweetbreads" are taken; and the 
adrenal bodies situated just above the kidneys. 

The ductless glands just enumerated seem to have the most marked 
^ect upon growth, development, and nutrition. Some of them, espe- 
cially the adrenal body, also have a marked effect upon the blood pres- 
sure. 

The thyroid gland influences pow<erfully the growth of the body and 
the rate at which the mature state is reached. 

A few years ago one of our American experimenters showed that 
the growth of the tadpole may be stopped almost immediately by feed- 
ing thyroid gland. At the same time that the increase in size ceases, 
the transformation of the tadpole into a frog goes on with increased 
speed. Tadpoles were obtained which had the fore legs in fifteen days 
from the time that they issued from the egg while ordinarily they ap- 



HARMONIZING HORMONES 271 

pear only after about four months. The action of the thyroid gland on 
the human subject seems to be somewhat different from that just de- 
scribed although its action affects development. The distressing dis- 
ease, cretinism, characterized by the squat stature and low mentality, 
with puffy skin and bleary eyes, is the result of insufficient activity of 
the thyroid which may be made good by feeding thyroid glands from 
oxen or sheep. Thyroid feeding is sometimes employed to reduce 
obesity, as under its stimulus more rapid oxidation of the tissues takes 
place. Thyroid fed to inunature rats retards growth. Rats fed thyroid 
gland do not gain weight as rapidly as normal ones. To one-half of a 
litter kept under conditions as nearly like the other half as possible 
were fed small quantities of thyroid. In three or four days the thyroid 
individuals gained only 42 gms. on the average as compared with 10.1 
gms. for those not specially fed. 

Another organ which has a very marked effect upon growth is the 
pituitary body, a small structure which is attached to the under side of 
the brain and which originates in the embryo from the roof of the 
mouth. When this gland secretes more than the normal amount in 
childhood before growth is completed, gigantism results and the child 
continues its growth beyond the normal and becomes a giant. The 
overactivity of the same gland later in life when normal growth is 
complete leads to a disease known as acromegaly in which the extremi- 
ties of the body alone grow abnormally. Conversely, if the pituitary 
body is removed or if it is not sufficiently active on account of disease, 
there follows a condition known as infantilism, characterized by the 
development of much fat beneath the skin and more or less atrophy 
of the sexual organs. 

Regarding the function of the thymus we are especially in the dark. 
As is well known it degenerates before the adult condition is attained 
and it may be removed from young animals apparently without caus- 
ing any modification in the rate of growth or any special symptoms of 
any kind. The feeding of thymus gland to tadpoles has been found, 
however, to have a marked effect upon growth, prolonging the period 
of growth and inhibiting the metamorphosis of the tadpole. 

The action of the adrenal bodies has already been alluded to. The 
removal of the organs is followed by death in about 36 hours in the 
mammals ordinarily used for experimental purposes like dogs, cats, 
rabbits, and the like. When the adrenals are diseased, a number of. 
definite symptoms known as Addison's disease appear; the skin assumes 
a coppery color, there is great muscular weakness and lowering of the 
tonperature of the body. The application of the extract of the gland — 
adrenalin — to a bleeding or inflamed part is followed at once by a con- 
striction of the capillary blood vessels and a blanching of the part 
This property, of course, makes the extract of great value to the sur- 



272 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

geon in operations in which there is profuse bleeding from many tiny 
blood vessels, like many operations on the nose. So powerful is the 
hormone of the adrenal body that one part of adrenalin in one hundred 
million of Ringer's solution produces marked effect on the contraction of 
involuntary muscle. 

The pineal body, which Descartes thought was the seat of the soul 
of man, has a most obscure function which cannot at present be clearly 
defined. The removal of the organ is very diflicult without serious 
injury in the operation. When it is successfully removed without injury 
to the animal there has been found to be in some cases a precocious 
development of the sexual organs but in other experiments the effects 
have been negative. 

The ductless glands seem to be more or less closely related to each 
other in function so that the removal of one may be accompanied by 
changes in others, but it is apparent that there is much still to be 
learned regarding the exact working of these very subtle organs. The 
fact, however, that the precise functions of some of these organs have 
not been exactly determined does not mean that they have little effect 
upon the organism as a whole. What has just been said regarding the 
pituitary, suprarenals, and thyroids shows that the contrary is the fact. 

Considering the organs which only incidentally secrete internally, 
the pancreas exhibits a very interesting harmonizing action. The func- 
tion of the pancreas is not only the secretion of a digestive juice which 
performs the great bulk of the digestion of food in the intestine, but 
also the secretion into the blood of something which enables the sugar 
absorbed from the intestine to be stored in the liver until needed in the 
active organs of the body. If the pancreas is removed entirely, diabetes 
appears at once due to the failure of the liver to remove the sugar from 
the blood. In order to determine that this condition is not due simply 
to the elimination of the pancreatic juice from the alimentary canal, 
the experiment has been made of simply tying off tightly the duct lead- 
ing from the pancreas to the intestine, but not interfering with the cir- 
culation of the blood through the organ, and also of grafting the pan- 
creas which has been cut out, on some other part of the body so that 
blood will pass through it In both these experiments diabetes does 
not appear and we must conclude that the pancreas secretes into the 
blood a substance which enables the liver to store up grape sugar. 

The effects of the reproductive organs upon the body as a whole 
have been known in a general way from time immemorial. Especially 
in the male sex have the reproductive organs been removed for economic 
or social reasons. Emasculation in the human subject when performed 
in early youth prevents those changes from taking place which normally 
occur at pubjcrty, such as growth of hair on various parts of the body, 
the growth of the larynx with the consequent lowering of the pitch of 



HARMONIZING HORMONES 273 

the voice, and the growth of the chest It has been said also that in 
oxen and horses the removal of the male sexual organs at an early age 
causes the haundi bones to change to the female type. It has been 
icnown for years that if the very young male deer is castrated, the 
antlers never appear and if the operation is performed when the antlers 
have already begun to develop, they fail to reach their normal size and 
remain covered with the velvet, like young antlers. In the adult deer 
castration causes the antlers to be shed precociously and they are re- 
placed, if at all, by imperfect antlers which are never renewed. Thus 
we see that the complex changes involved in the development of the 
antlers are dependent upon the presence of something supplied by the 
sex glands of the male. 

The female sex organs are no less potent in determining the course 
of development. One experimenter removed the testes of a guinea pig 
and a rat and replaced them with ovaries from a female. The pres- 
ence of the ovaries in the body of the emasculated male led to a remark- 
able development of the mammary glands and a change in the propor- 
tions of the skeleton to more nearly those of the female. Another 
important change is that the size of the feminized males is less than 
that of the normal castrated males, showing that there is something 
produced by the ovary which prevents the normal growth of the male. 
These experiments are not numerous but they indicate something of the 
power of the sexual organs to determine by their internal secretions 
the growth and relative size of parts of the body. 

Equally marked effects have been noted in the case of birds. The 
desirable effects of removins; the male organs have been known for 
many years and capons have been highly esteemed as delicacies. It is 
well known, of course, that the removal of the male organs in poultry 
leads to increased size and deposition of fat. Notwithstanding, the 
male plumage with all the secondary sexual characters appear as in 
normal birds. During the past few years the experiment of removing 
completely the ovaries from a female bird has been successful. In this 
case the ovaries were removed from a very young Mallard duck, in 
which the plumage of the male and female are very different. It was 
found that the plumage of the spayed female became similar to that 
of the male. 

The developing fetus within the uterus of the female exercises an 
important effect upon the development of the milk glands so that the 
latter are able to supply an abundant nourishment for the young which 
are to be bom shortly. This effect is produced by the discharge of 
some substance into the blood stream of the mother through the pla- 
centa. This has been demonstrated with rabbits by injecting into the 
blood vessels of* a virgin rabbit, in which the milk glands are prac- 
tically invisible, the extract of a fetus taken from a pregnant female. 

VOL. xm.— II. 



274 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

« 

The injection is followed by a rapid growth of the glands. That this 
effect is produced directly upon the milk glands and not indirectly 
through the action of the uterus and ovaries has been shown by making 
the injection after the removal of those organs. The effect upon the 
milk glands is just as marked as when ovaries and uterus a^re present. 
A further confirmation of the harmonizing of the activity of the mam- 
mary glands and the needs of the body through hormones is afforded 
by the famous case of the vBlazek sisters who were joined like the 
Siamese twins with blood vessels united but with entirely separate 
nervous systems. In spite of the absence of nervous connections be- 
tween the two, pregnancy in the one produced a normal growth of the 
mammary glands of the other, and with the birth of tfie child the secre^ 
tion of milk by the glands of the two sisters occurred. A third method 
of demonstrating the chemical control of the mammary glands is by 
severing the spinal cord at the level from which the nerves going to the 
glands are given off, so that the nervous connections between the two 
ends of the mammary glands in such an animal as the dog whose glands 
extend along the entire length of the abdomen, are severed. In spite of 
this separation, however, secretion occurs simultaneously in all the 
glands. 

Our knowledge of the presence and action of hormones in the blood 
is in its infancy. There can be little doubt that further investigations 
will prove that many more are working in the body than we dream of 
now and that their effects may be found to be of far more importance. 
The endocrine organs can not be supposed to allow of the complex 
development which the nervous system has .experienced in the animal 
kingdom nor can it ever have the same far-reaching effects, but enough 
perhaps has been presented to show how the integration of the body 
as a whole is brought about by non-living products of cells circulat- 
ing in the blood. In conclusion, however, we can hardly say that the 
physiologist, studying the chemical harmonizers of the body, has solved 
the problem of individuality, or that the conception of the animal body 
has been rendered more simple as a result of these discoveries. He 
explanation of the timely appearance of these harmonizers and the 
mechanism of the complex reactions to them is quite as difficult and 
perplexing as that of the harmonies themselves. The knowledge of 
these chemical bodies is an aid to us in pushing back further in the 
life cycle those forces or mechanical devices which are capable of pro- 
ducing the integrated living body, and the harmonizers of the body 
afford a mechanical explanation of many phenomena which in the past 
required a mystical or vitalistic explanation. The chemical harmon- 
izers in their action and the response of the body to them are quite as 
baffling as the fact of harmonious action itself, so that pushing back 
the mystery only deepens it. 



GRAZING PRACTICE ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS 275 



GRAZING PRACTICE ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS 
AND ITS EFFECT ON NATURAL CONDITIONS'^ 

By CLARENCE F. KORSTIAN 

U. S. FOREST SERVICE 

rE statutory purposes of the national forests are to insure a per- 
petual supply of timber, to preserve the forest cover which regu- 
lates the flow of streams, and to provide for the use of all resources 
which the forests contain, in the ways which will make them of the 
greatest pennanent good to the entire nation.^ 

Grazing on the national forests is regulated with the object of using 
the forage resources to the fullest extent consistent with the protection, 
development and use of the other resources. Since the national forests 
were established primarily for the protection and development of the 
forest resources and the protection of the watersheds, great care is 
taken to harmonize grazing with these primary purposes. The im- 
portance of adjusting grazing so as to secure the perpetuation of the 
range resources and yet not to interfere with the requirements of the 
other resources is emphasized in the administration of the national 
forests.^ If the fundamental principles of range management, such as 
the proper division of the range among different classes of stock, the 
establishment of correct periods of grazing, stocking the range to actual 
carrying capacity, and securing proper management of the stock are 
followed in practice, actual damage to the forests will be limited to 
unusual cases where a combination of factors makes special treatment 
necessary to insure the proper protection of the forest resources and the 
watersheds. The forest officers in charge of the administration of graz- 
ing fully appreciate that much remains to be done in developing range 
management, especially in connection with the determination of the 
proper grazing season and methods of handling stock on the national 
forest ranges. 

Through a series of investigations and experiments extending over 

♦ Prepared for the Committee on the Preservation of Natural Conditions 
of the Ecological Society of America. 

1 U. S. Forest Service. The National Forest Manual; Regulations and 
Instructions. 1914. 

The Use Book; A Manual of Information about the National Forests. 
1918. 

* Jardine, James T. and Anderson, Mark. Range Management on the 
National Forests. U. S. Dept. of Agri. Bull. 790. 1919. 



;i-LLKV tROSION (1 



( OVERGRAZED RANGE IN NORTHVESTERH 
■Dl meutiDD bcfan It hi! btcm »ubUd»d. 



GRAZING PRACTICE ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS 27T 

a period of years, a number of important principles of range manage- 
ment and management of livestock have been developed for harmoniz- 
ing grazing use with the regeneration and growth of forests.' 

A proper understanding of the forest cover in relation to the regula- 
tion of stream flow and erosion is important in range management, since 
^^cover" in the sense used includes the tree cover, the herbaceous and 
shrubby cover, and the surface soil with its comparatively rich acknix- 
ture of organic matter. ^ Over-grazmg frequently results in packing 
the soil, decreases its power of absorbing and holding precipitation, 
and causes the partial or complete destruction of the ground cover, a 
condition almost invariably associated with erosion and the reversion 
of the native vegetation to a lower successional stage.*^ In this case 
the reestablishment of the more permanent type of vegetation is pre- 
vented until, with the return of the original fertility of the soil, die 
sab-climax species again appear. 

The grazing of livestock may either retard or promote the develop- 
ment of the vegetative cover and cause either retrogression or progres- 
sion of the types, depending chiefly upon the closeness with which the 
herbage is grazed annually and the time of cropping.* Continuous pre- 
mature and too close grazing not only favor degeneration of the cover 
and ultimately the destruction of the vegetation, but also tend to impair 
the fertility of the soil through erosion. On the odier hand, deferred- 
and-rotation grazing, that is, grazing the depleted range only after seed 
maturity and later applying this practice in rotation to all the other 
parts of the range favors progressive succession. ^ The efi'ects of graz- 
ing upon plant succession depend not only on the character and in* 
tensity of grazing, but also upon the type of vegetation. However, it 
may be said that properly regulated grazing shows a tendency to hold 

3Cf. 

Sampson, Arthur W. and Dayton, William A. Relation of Grazing to 
Timber Reproduction. U. S. Forest Service Review of Forest Service In- 
vestigations, Vol. 2, pp. 18-24, 191 3. 

Hill, Robert R. Effects of Grazing Upon Western Yellow Pine Repro- 
duction in the National Forests of Arizona and New Mexico. U. S. Dept. 
of Agri. Bull. 580, 1917. 

Sparhawk, W. N. Effects of Grazing Upon Western Yellow Pine Re- 
production in Central Idaho. U. S. Dept of Agri. Bull. 738, 1918. 

Sampson, Arthur W^. Effect of Grazing Upon Aspen Reproduction. U. 
S. Dept of Agri. Bull. 741, 1919. 

♦ Reynolds, Robert V. R. Grazing and Floods : A Study of Conditions 
in the Manti National Forest U. S. Forest Service Bull. 91, 19x1. 

* Sampson, Arthur W., and Weyl, Leon H. Range Preservation and its 
Relation to Erosion Control on Western Grazing Grounds. U. S. Dept of 
Agri. Bull. 675, 1918. 

• Sampson, Arthur W. Plant Succession in Relation to Range Manage- 
ment U. S. Dept of Agri. Bull. 791, 1919. 



. IDAHO «HtCH IS 



GRAZING PRACTICE ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS 27» 

the v^etative succession in one of the sub-climax, or occasionally 
climax stages of the herbaceous and shrubby vegetation, but should 
offer little or no interference with the climax forest type, since grazing 
is very frequently excluded from forest areas being regenerated. 

The value of r^ulated grazing as a means of fire protection is 
recognized in the utilization of the annual growth of grass, which, if 
not utilized, becomes dry and inflammable, and a real cause of forest 
fires. ^ It is thus seen that grazing in itself is beneficial as a control 
of fires. In addition to this, the extensive work in forest fire prevention 
and suppression is a very important factor in promoting and maintain- 
ing climax types of vegetation. 

With the development of the livestock industry in the West, came 
the economic necessity of controlling predatory animals. The decrease 
in their number, especially of the coyotes, probably resulted in an in- 
crease in the number of rodents, many of which are active range 
destroyers. These in turn have had to be controlled. With the decrease 
in the number of predatory animals there should be an increase in the 
number of game animals; but this has been largely, if not wholly, offset 
by the increased number killed by hunters within recent years. 

The national forest policy provides that the protection and develop- 
ment of the wild life of the forest must go hand in hand with the de- 
velopment and management of the range resources for use by domestic 
stock. Before opening up new range to domestic stock the use or 
probable use of the area by game is carefully considered. 

Suitable camping grounds are provided on the national forests and 
are given sufficient protection from grazing to preserve their natural 
attractiveness for the recreational use of campers ahd tourists. 

The conserving of the national parks in an unmodified condition in 
the interests of natural history and research and the desirability of 
maintaining the original balance between the plant and animal life has 
already been emphasized.^ The management of areas for game and 
fish production will doubtless cause disturbances and readjustments in 

7 Sampson, Arthur \V. Range Improvement by Deferred and Rotation 
Grazing. U. S. Dept. of Agri. Bull. 34, 1913. 

Sampson, Arthur W. Natural Revegetation of Range Lands Based upon 
Growth Requirements and Life History of the Vegetation. Journal of Agri- 
cultural Research, Vol. 3, No. 2, pages 93 to 148, 191 4. 

Jardine, James T. Improvement and Management of Native Pastures 
in the West, U. S. Dept. of Agri. Yearbook Separate 678, 191 5. 

• Graves, Henry S. Grazing and Fires in National Forests. American 
Forestry 17:435. 1911. 

Hatton, John H. Livestock Grazing as a Factor in Fire Protection . on 
the National Forests. U. S. Dept. of Agri. Circ. 134, 1920. 

9 Grinnell, Joseph and Storer, Tracy I. Animal Life as an Asset of 
National Parks. Science, N. S. 44:375-380, 1916. 



lerlT rcfulatcd ■ndni baitd on it 






GRAZING PRACTICE OS THE X.lTfOS'AI. FORESTS 281 

the ecological balance between the plant and animal life, both terrestrial 
and aquatic. The introduction of exotic species may become a danger- 
ous factor in disturbing the original balance, even lo the extent of as- 
suming economic proportions. The uncontrolled increase of game 
animals on game preserves may produce conditions very similar to those 
resulting from the grazing of domestic stock. However, in most cases 
the number of game animals on any range should be limited to the 
number which the range will carry through the winter. 



AaCA IN BIC COTTOKWOOD CANYON ON THE WASATCH NATIONAL FOREST IN 
L UTAH WHICH IS CLOSED TO LIVESTOCK (IHAZINC BECALSE IT IS ONE OF THE 
HAm 80UKCES OF SALT LAKE CITY'S MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY AND ALSO ON AC- 

cotnn OF rrs importance for recreational ise. 

In rendering the secondary uses of the national forests compatible 
with die primary uses and In harmonizing the secondary uses, it fre- 
queatly becomes necessary to close areas to grazing as, for example, 
Wttereheds which comprise important sources of municipal water sup- 
ply; recreational areas and tho^e of unusual M:enic attractiveness, such 
aa the national monuments; areas on which the range is needed for im- 
portant game animals: and forest areas in the course of regeneration. 
From the list of areas on which natural conditions are now being pre- 
served, '" it is seen that the forest areas are of considerable size. 



!• Compiled by the Comniiitce on Preservation ••! Natural Conditions ( 
the Ecological Society o£ .America and to be published in the near future. 



282 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



THE PROGRESS OF SQENCE 



HELMHOLTZ AND VIRCHOW 

One hundred years ago were bom 
in Prussia Hermann Helmholtz and 
Rudolf Virchow, the former in Potts- 
dam on August 31, 1 82 1, the latter in 
an obscure village of Pomerania on 
October 13, 1821. 

The University of Berlin was open- 
ed in 1810 after Prussia had lost by 
the peace treaty of Tilsit the Univer- 
sity of Halle, which Napoleon in- 
cluded in his new kingdom of West- 
phalia. Germany, defeated in war. 
required to pay an immense indem- 
nity, its army limited to 42,000, turn- 
ed its energies to education and to 
science. Both Helmholtz and Vir- 
chow were students of medicine in 
Berlin, and later became professors 
in the university. Their genius was 
born with them, but the stimulus and 
the opportunity to apply it to the ad- 
vancement of science must in large 
measure be attributed to the spirit 
of the university founded by Hum- 
boldt and his associates when the 
political fortunes of Prussia were at 
low ebb. 

Helmholtz was the son of a gym- 
nasium teacher, his mother, Caroline 
Penne, being a descendant of William 
Penn. After a childhood of ill 
health, he studied medicine and was 
for four years a military surgeon; 
for a year he was teacher in the Ber- 
lin Academy of Fine Arts, and after- 
wards from 1849 to 1855 professor of 
physiology at Konigsberg. He was 
professor at Bonn for three years 
and was then professor of physiology 
at Heidelberg from 1858 to 1871, 
when he was transferred to Berlin as 
professor of physics. In 1888 he 
was made president of the Reichsan- 
stalt, organized under his direction. 
All possible academic and national 
honors were conferred upon him, . 

A list of von Helmholtz's contri- 1 



butions to science would fill many 
pages. The essay on the conservation 
of energy was printed in 1847. Re- 
searches of great range and import- 
ance, including the invention of the 
ophthalmoscope, led to his two epoch- 
making books on physiological psy- 
chology — "Tonempfindungen" ( 1862) 
and "Physiologische Optik" (1867). 
Helmholtz always continued his 
work in physiological psychology, but 
his transfer from a chair of physi- 
ology to one of physics represented 
a change in his main interests. His 
great contributions to mathematical 
physics, especially electrodynamics, 
are of almost unparalleled import- 
ance. 

Virchow more than any other one 
man established the science of path- 
ology and made it possible for medi- 
cine to become an applied science. 
Only second in importance to his con- 
tributions to pathology was his work 
in anthropology which covered all 
branches of. the science. His scien- 
tific work was singularly complete. 
He made ntmierous and exact ob- 
servations and experiments; he de- 
duced from them wide-reaching 
theories; he conducted an important 
journal for more than fifty years; he 
wrote text-books, summaries of sci- 
entific advances and books populariz- 
ing science; he established a school 
to which students came from all 
parts of the world, while at the same 
time taking part in the education of 
the people; he founded a great mu- 
seum and took a leading part in sci- 
entific societies; he applied science 
directly to human welfare. 

It is almost incredible that among 
these multifarious scientific activities 
Virchow should have been one of the 
leading statesmen of his country. 
He was a member of the municipal 
council of Berlin for more than forty 



\ 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



285 



years, and through him the hygienic 
conditions of the capital were revolu- 
tionized. He was from 1862 a mem- 
ber of the Prussian chamber and 
was for twenty-five years chairman 
of the committee on finance. He 
was leader of the radical party in 
the Reichstag. In his public career 
he opposed centralization, autocracy 
and war, and advocated all measures 
for the welfare of the people. He 
was at one time compelled to leave 
the University of Berlin owing to his 
political activity, but his personality 
and eminence were such that he was 
recalled to a professorship in 1856, 
and he was thereafter the preeminent 
representative of academic freedom. 

THE INTERNATIONAL INSTI- 
TUTE OF AGRICULTURE 

The president of the International 
Institute of Agriculture at Rome has 
transmitted to the Secretary of Agri- 
culture, through the State Depart- 
ment, a copy of resolutions adopted 
in April, 1921, by the permanent com- 
mittee of the institute, authorizing 
the conferring of the title "donating 
member" upon any person who 
makes a gift, donation, or contribu- 
tion to the institute amounting in 
value to 10,000 Italian lire, which at 
normal rates of exchange is equiva- 
lent to about $2,000. 

The International Institute of Agri- 
culture was established as the direct 
result of the efforts of David Lubin, 
a successful merchant of California, 
with the active support of the King 
of Italy, who foresaw the advantages 
which would accrue to agriculture, 
commerce, and industry from an in- 
ternational clearinghouse for system- 
atically collecting and disseminat- 
ing official information supplied by 
the various governments of the world 
on agricultural production, consump- 
tion, movonents, surpluses, deficits, 
and prices of agricultural products, 
transportation, plant and animal dis- 
eases and insect pests, rural credits 
and insurance, standard of living, 
wages and hours of labor on farms. 



cooperative organizations of farmers, 
legislation affecting agriculture, and 
similar information. The interna- 
tional treaty was drafted at Rome on 
June 7, 1905, and has since been rati- 
fied by more than 60 governments. 

The institute survived the trying 
period of the World War and is now 
entering upon a period of expansion 
and increased usefulness. Its work 
benefits all peoples. In accordance 
with the recent action of the perma- 
nent committee, which is made up of 
delegates from the adhering govern- 
ments and serves as a board of direc- 
tors of the International Institute of 
Agriculture, citizens of the United 
States and other countries who are 
in sympathy with the purposes of the 
institute have an opportunity to con- 
tribute to its support and develop- 
ment and to receive permanent recog- 
nition therefor as "donating mem- 
bers" by having their names and na- 
tionality and the date of their dona- 
tion inscribed on a marble tablet 
which will be placed in a conspicuous 
position in the halls or vestibule of 
the marble palace occupied by the in- 
stitute, situated in a beautiful park 
on an elevation overlooking the 
Eternal City. Such donations can be 
made either through the Secretary of 
Agriculture, the Secretary of State, 
or the American delegate to the In- 
ternational Institute of Agriculture, 
Rome, Italy. 

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 

SOCIETY'S GIFTS OF BIG 

TREES 

The trustees and officers of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society announce 
to members that the society has been 
continuing its efforts, begun in 1916, 
to preserve the Big Trees of Sequoia 
Xational Park. By a final purchase 
in April, 1921, of 640 acres of land in 
Sequoia Xational Park, these famous 
trees, oldest and most massive among 
all living things, the only ones of 
their kind in the world, have been 
saved ; they will not be cut down and 
converted into lumber. 



286 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



i 



Were a monument of human erec- 
tion to be destroyed, it might be re- 
placed; but had these aborigines of 
American forests been felled, they 
would have disappeared forever. The 
Big Trees could no more be restored 
than could those other survivals of 
indigenous American life, the red man 
and the buffalo, should they become 
extinct 

Members of the National Geo- 
graphic Society will recall that, in 
1916, Congress had appropriated $50,- 
000 for the purchase of certain pri- 
vate holdings in Sequoia National 
Park, but the owners declined to 
sell for less than $70,000. In that 
emergency the National Geographic 
Society took the first step toward sav- 
ing the Big Trees by subscribing the 
remaining $20,000. Thus 667 acres 
were purchased. The society's equity 
in them was conveyed to the govern- 
ment, and this tract became the prop- 
erty, for all time, of the American 
people. 

In 1920, inspired by the first bene- 
faction, three members of the society 
gave the society sums equivalent to 
the purchase price of $21,330 neces- 
sary to acquire three more tracts, ag- 
gregating 609 acres. Thus the orig- 
inal area of Sequoias saved from de- 
struction was almost doubled. 

There still remained one other im- 
portant private holding in Sequoia 
National Park amounting to 640 
acres. Through this tract, which is 
covered by a splendid stand of giant 
sugar-pine and fir, runs the road to 
Giant Forest. To acquire this ap- 
proach to the unique forest and to 
eliminate the last of the private hold- 
ings in this natural temple, the Na- 
tionai Geographic Society and friends 
of the society, in 1921, contributed 
$55,000, with which the tract was pur- 
chased. On April 20, 192 1, it was for- 
mally tendered in the name of the 
•ociety, through Secretary of the In- 
terior Albert B. Fall, to the American 
people. 

This sum of $55»ooo includes $10,- 
OX) from the tax fund of Tulare 



County, California, within which the 
Sequoia National Park is situated, a 
practical evidence that the people 
closest to the park are alive to the 
importance of our government own- 
ing the land. 

FIELD WORK OF THE SMITH- 
SONIAN INSTITUTION 

The Smithsonian Institution has is- 
sued its annual exploration report 
describing its scientific field work 
throughout the world in 1920. 
Twenty- three separate expeditions 
were in the field carrying on re- 
searches in geology, paleontology, 
zoolog/, ])otany, astrophysics, an- 
thropology, archeology, and ethnol- 
ogy, and the regions visited included 
the Canadian Rockies, fourteen states 
of the United States, Haiti, Jamaica, 
four countries of South America, 
Africa from the Cape to Cairo, 
China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, 
Mongolia, Australia, and the Hawai- 
ian Islands. 

Secretary Walcott continued his 
geological work in the Cambrian 
rocks of the Canadian Rockies in the 
region northeast of Banff. Alberta. 
The particular questions involved in 
the season's research were settled sat- 
isfactorily and some beautiful photo- 
graphs of this wild and rugged region 
obtained. Other geological field work 
was successfully carried on in various 
states of the United States by mem- 
bers of the staff. 

In astrophysical research the insti- 
tution was unusually active. Through 
the generosity of Mr. John A. Roeb- 
ling (»f Xcw Jersey, the Smithsonian 
solar observing station located on the 
plain near Calania. Chile, was moved 
to a near-by mountain peak, where 
the observati<»iis will be unaffected by 
the dust and smoke, and a now station 
was established on the Harqua Hala 
Mountain, Arizona, probably the most 
cloudless region in the United States. 
From daily observations of the radia- 
tion of the sun at these two widely 
separated stations, it is hoped to es- 
tablish definitely the value of the 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



287 



"solar constant" observations in fore- 
casting weather. Dr. C. G. Abbott, 
director of the work, also describes 
the successful operation on Mt Wil- 
son, California, of a solar cooker de- 
vised by him. With this apparatus it 
was possible, using only the sun's 
heat, to cook bread, meat, vegetables, 
and preserves. 

Mr. H. C. Raven represented the 
Smithsonian on an extensive collect- 
ing expedition through Africa from 
south to north. Although many dif- 
ficulties were encountered, among 
others a railway wreck in which two 
members of the expedition were kill- 
ed, Mr. Raven shipped to the institu- 
tion much interesting zoological mate- 
rial, which was greatly needed for 
purposes of comparison in working 
up the famous Roosevelt and Rainey 
collections already in the National 
Museum. Many interesting photo- 
graphs of the animals, the natives, 
and the country itself are shown in 
this account and in that of Dr. Shantz, 
who accompanied the expedition as a 
binanical collector. In Australia, 
a Smithsonian naturalist collected, 
through the generosity of Dr. W. L. 
Abbott, specimens of the fast disap- 
pearing remarkable fauna of the con- 
tinent, while Dr. Abbott himself se- 
cured a great number of plants, birds, 
and other natural history material for 
the National Museum, in various 
regions of Haiti. A number of otlier 
zoological and botanical expeditions 
are briefly described and illustrated. 



BIRDS BANDED BY THE BIO- 
LOGICAL SURVEY 

Persons engaged in outdoor activi- 
ties, whether or not trained bird ob- 
ser>'ers, arc requested to cooperate 
with the Bureau of Biological Survey, 
United States Department of Agri- 
culture, by furnishing data to supple- 
ment the bird-banding work that is 
being conducted by the bureau. When I 
any one happens to capture a banded 
bird or to come upon one that has i 
been hurt or killed, it will be of great 



assistance to the investigations of the 
department to have a report made of 
the facts by returning the band (if 
the bird is dead; otherwise the band 
should not be removed, but its num- 
ber noted), together with details as to 
when and where the bird was found. 

The aluminum bands issued by the 
Biological Survey carry the abbrevia- 
tion "Biol. Surv." and a serial num- 
ber on one side, and "Wash., D. C." 
on other. But as other bands have 
been used on a large number of birds 
by various individuals and institu- 
tions, it would be advisable for any- 
one finding a bird that carries a band 
not marked as above indicated, or of 
which the address is not clearly un- 
derstood, to fgrward the information 
to the Biological Survey, where every 
eflFort will be made to locate the per- 
son responsible. These bands arc 
placed on the bird's tarsus, the bare 
portion of the leg immediately above 
the toes. 

Experts in bird work are using the 
banding method to solve a variety of 
problems relative to the migrations 
and life histories of our native birds 
which are thus approached from the 
asjKcts of the individual birds. Some 
of the more important questions that 
can be solved by banding operations 
are: How fast do the individuals 
of any species travel on their periodic 
migrations; does any one flock con- 
tinue in the van or is the advance 
made by successive flocks passing one 
over the other in alternate periods of 
rest and flight? Do individuals of 
any species always follow the same 
route, and is it identical for both 
spring and fall llijj^hts? Do migrat- 
intj rirds make the same stop-overs 
every year to feed? How long do 
birds remain in (»ne locality during 
the niij'Tation, tlie breeding, or the 
winter seasons? Do birds adopt the 
same nesting area, nest site, and win- 
ter quarters during successive sea- 
sons? For how many broods will 
' ne |)air remain matted, and which 
bird, it not both, is attracted next 
year to the old nestiu^ syV-c"^ Wv»4 



288 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



far irom their nests do birds forage 
for food; and, after the young have 
left the nest, will the parent birds 
bring them to the feeding and trap- 
ping station? How long do birds 
live? 

A minimum of 100,000 banded birds 
is planned, from which it is hoped 
that valuable information will be ob- 
tained in regard to the habits of 
migratory birds. 



SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 

We record with regret the death of 
Winthrop E. Stone, since 1900 presi- 
dent of Purdue University, and pre- 
viously professor of chemistry; of 
Edmond Perrier, director of the 
Paris Museum of Natural History; of 
Gabriel Lippman, professor of physics 
in the University of Paris, and of 
Professor Viktor von Lang, formerly 
professor of physics at Vienna. 

The Mathematical Association of 
America and the American Mathe- 
matical Society will hold their sum- 
mer meetings at Wellesley College, 
September 6-7 and 7-9, respectively. 
Two joint sessions will be devoted to 
a symposium on **Relativity." On the 
afternoon of the seventh. Professor 
Pierpont, of Yale University, will 



give a paper entitled "Some mathe- 
matical aspects of the theory of rela- 
tivity," while on the forenoon of the 
eighth. Professor Lunn, of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago, will speak on 
"The place of the Einstein theory in 
theoretical physics." 

The Municipal Observatory at Des 
Moines. Iowa, which is said to be the 
only municipal observatory in the 
world, was opened on August i. The 
observatory building is to be equip- 
ped by Drake University with an 8- 
incli equatorial telescope. It is to be 
under the control of the university 
and open to the public at least three 
times a week, and at any other time 
when occasion may warrant. 

A NEW forest experiment station, 
the first in the Eastern States, has 
been established at Ashevillc, N. C, 
by the Forest Service of the United 
States Department of Agriculture 
Steady depletion of the Southern Ap- 
palachian timber supply has been re- 
sponsible for the location of this sta- 
tion in the East, and the object of 
the work to be conducted will be to 
secure the information needed by 
foresters to determine the best meth- 
ods of handling forest lands in the 
southern mountains. 






VOL. XIII, NO. 4 -ip . ^ OCTOBER, 192 









THE SCIENTIFIC 

MONTHLY 



EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL 



CONTENTS 

BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE: 
THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER, Sir T. Edward Thorpe 28S 

THE LABORATORY OF THE UVING ORGANISM. Dr. M. O. For.ter 301 

EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY. Dr. J. S. Rett 30€ 

SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION. Professor Edwin S. Goodrich 316 

APPLIED GEOGRAPHY. Dr. D. G. Hogarth 322 

"^^lENTIFlC IDEALISM. Dr. William E. Ritter 328 

■lELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY FROM 1876 TO 1919. Harry B. Weiss 342 

PLAY OF A NATION. Professor G. T. W. Patrick 350 

^ARISTE GALOIS. Dr. George Sarton 363 

^^«ARS AS A LIVING PLANET. G. H. HamUton 376 

PROGRESS OF SCIENCE: 

Scientific Meetings; The Activities of the Rockefeller Foundation; The Har- 
vard School of Public Health; Scientific Items ..380 



THE SCIENCE PRESS 

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WITHIN THE ATOM 



By JOHN MILLS 
(Author of "Realities of Modem Science'') 

A fascinating non-technical exposition of the structure of the 
alcMn and the electron theory. 

Describes with entire freedom from mathematics the recent dis- 
coveries of Langmuir, Bohr, Millikan, Einstein, and others of our 
foremost modern scientists. 

The charm of its lucid style will appeal to the reader untrained 
in science. 



UP-TO-DATE CLEAR 

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Send this ''ad.'' with S2,0U to your dealer, or to 

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AMERICAN MEN OF SCIENCl 

A BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY 
Edited by J. McKeen Cattell and Dean R. Brimhall 

The third edition of the Directory cont.^ins about 9,600 sketches as compared wi 
000 in the first edition and 5,500 in the second edition. The work should be in t 
inds of all those who are directly or indirectly interested in scientific work. 

(1) Men of science will find it indispensable. It gives not only the names, a 
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THE SCIENTIFIC 
MONTHLY 



OCTOBER. 1921 



THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE 
ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE' 

THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 
By Sir T. EDWARD THORPE, CB., F.R.S. 

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION 

rE molecular theory of matter — a theory which in its crudest form 
has descended to us from the earliest times and which has been 
elaborated by various speculative thinkers through the intervening ages, 
hardly rested upon an experimental basis until within the memory of 
men still living. When Lord Kelvin spoke in 1871, the best-established 
development of the molecular hypothesis was exhibited in the kinetic 
theory of gases as worked out by Joule, Clausius, and Clerk-Maxwell. 
As he then said, no such comprehensive molecular theory had ever 
been even imagined before the nineteenth century. But, with the eye 
of faith, he clearly perceived that, definite and complete in its area as 
it was, it was %ut a well-drawn part of a great chart, in which all 
physical science will be represented with every property of matter 
shown in dynamical relation to the whole. The prospect we now have 
of an early completion of this chart is based on the assumption of atoms. 
But there can be no permanent satisfaction to the mind in explaining 
heat, light, elasticity, diffusion, electricity and magnetism, in gases, 
liquids and solids, and describing precisely the relations of these 
different states of matter to one another by statistics of great numbers 
of atoms when the properties of the atom itself are simply assumed. 
When the theory, of which we have the first instalment in Clausius and 
Maxwell's work, is complete, we are but brought face to face with a 
superlatively grand question: What is the inner mechanism of the 
atom?' 

If the properties and affections of matter are dependent upon the 
inner mechanism of the atom, an atomic theory, to be valid, must com- 
prehend and explain them all. There cannot be one kind of atom 
for the physicist and another for the chemist. The nature of chemical 
aSnity and of valency, the modes of their action, the difference in char- 
acteristics of the chemical elements, even their number, internal con- 

I Extracts from addresses given at the Edinburgh Meeting. 
mnu xnL— If . 



290 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

stitution, periodic position, and possible isotopic rearrangements must 
be accounted for and explained by it. Fifty years ago chemists, for the 
most part, rested in the comfortable belief of the existence of atoms in 
the restricted sense in which Dalton, as a legacy from Newton, had 
imagined them. Lord Kelvin, unlike the chemists, had never been in 
the habit of 'evading questions as to the hardness or indivisibility of 
atoms by virtually assuming them to be infinitely small and infinitely 
numerous.' Nor, on the other hand, did he realize, with Boscovich, 
the atom 'as a mystic point endowed with inertia and the attribute of 
attracting or repelling other such centres.' Science advances not so 
much by fundamental alterations in its beliefs as by additions to them. 
Dalton would equally have regarded the atom 'as a piece of matter of 
measureable dimensions, with shape, motion, and laws of action, in- 
telligible subjects of scientific investigation.' 

In spite of the fact that the atomic theory, as formulated by Dalton, 
has been generally accepted for nearly a century, it is only within the 
last few years that physicists have arrived at a conception of the struc- 
ture of the atom sufficiently precise to be of service to chemists in con- 
nection with the relation between the properties of elements of 
different kinds, and in throwing light on the mechanism of chemical 
combination. 

This further investigation of the 'superlatively grand question — the 
inner mechanism of the atom,' — ^has profoundly modified the basic 
conceptions of chemistry. It has led to a great extension of our views 
concerning the real nature of the chemical elements. The discovery 
of the electron, the production of helium in the radioactive disintegra- 
tion of atoms, the recognition of the existence of isotopes, the possibility 
that all elonentary atoms are composed either of helium atoms or of 
atoms of hydrogen and helium, and that these atoms, in their turn, are 
built up of two constituents, one of which is the electron, a particle of 
negative electricity whose mass is only 1/1800 of that of an atom of 
hydrogen, and the other a particle of positive electricity whose mass is 
practically identical with that of the same atom — ^the outcome, in short, 
of the collective work of Soddy, Rutherford, J. J. Thomson, Collie, 
Moseley and others — are pregnant facts which have completely altered 
the fundamental aspects of the science. Chonical philosophy has, in 
fact, now definitely entered on a new phase. 

Looking back over the past, some indications of the coming change 
might have been perceived wholly unconnected, of course, with the 
recent experimental work which has served to ratify it. In a short 
paper entitled 'Speculative Ideas respecting the Constitution of Matter,' 
originally published in 1863, Graham conceived that the various kinds 
of matter, now recognised as different elementary substances, may 
possess one and the same ultimate or atomic molecule existing in 
different conditions of movement. This idea, in its essence, may be 
said to be as old as the time of Leucippus. To Graham as to Leucip- 



THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 291 

pus 'the action of the atom as one substance taking various forms 
by combinations unlimited, was enough to account for all the 
phenomena of the world. By separation and union with constant mo- 
tion all things could be done.' But Graham developed the conception 
by independent thought, and in the light of experimentally ascertained 
knowledge which the world owes to his labours. He might have been 
cognisant of the speculations of the Greeks, but there is no evidence 
that he was knowingly influenced by them. In his paper Graham uses 
the terms atom and molecule if not exactly in the same sense that 
modern teaching demands, yet very diff'erently from that hitherto re- 
quired by the limitations of contemporary chemical doctrine. He con- 
ceives of a lower order of atoms than the chemical atom of Dalton, and 
founds on his conception an explanation of chemical combination based 
upon a fixed combining measure, which he terms the metron, its relative 
weight being one for hydrogen, sixteen for oxygen, and so on with the 
other so-called 'elements.' Graham, in fact, like Davy before him, 
never conmiitted himself to a belief in the indivisibility of the Dal- 
tonian atom. The original atom may, he thought, be far down. 

The idea of a primordial yle, or of the essential unity of matter, has 
persisted throughout the ages, and, in spite of much experimental work, 
some of it of the highest order, which was thought to have demolished 
it, it has survived, revivified and supported by analogies and arguments 
drawn from every field of natural inquiry. This idea of course was at 
the basis of the hypothesis of Prout, but which, even as modified by 
Dumas, was held to be refuted by the monumental work of Stas. But, as 
pointed out by Marignac and Dumeis, anyone who will impartially look 
at the facts can hardly escape the feeling that there must be some reason 
for the frequent recurrence of atomic weights differing by so little 
from the numbers required by the law which the work of Stas was 
supposed to disprove. The more exact study within recent years of 
the methods of determining atomic weights, the great improvement 
in experimental appliances and technique, combined with a more 
rigorous standard of accuracy demanded by a general recognition of 
the far-reaching importance of an exact knowledge of these physical 
constants, has resulted in intensifying the belief that some natural 
law must be at the basis of the fact that so many of the most carefully 
determined atomic weights on the oxygen standard are whole numbers. 
Nevertheless there were well authenticated exceptions which seemed to 
invalidate its universality. The proved fact that a so-called element 
may be a mixture of isotopes — substances of the same chemical attri- 
butes but of varying atomic weight — ^has thrown new light on the 
question. It is now recognised that the fractional values independently 
established in the case of any one element by the most accurate experi- 
mental work of various investigators are, in effect, 'statistical quanti- 
ties' dependent upon a mixture of isotopes. This result, indeed, is a 
necessary corollary of modem conceptions of the inneT iXi<&^«nSsaii ^^^ 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



286 



years, and through him the hygienic 
conditions of the capital were revolu- 
tionized. He was from 1862 a mem- 
ber of the Prussian chamber and 
was for twenty-five years chairman 
of the committee on finance. He 
was leader of the radical party in 
the Reichstag. In his public career 
he opposed centralization, autocracy 
and war, and advocated all measures 
for the welfare of the people. He 
was at one time compelled to leave 
the University of Berlin owing to his 
political activity, but his personality 
and eminence were such that he was 
recalled to a professorship in 1856, 
and he was thereafter the preeminent 
representative of academic freedom. 

THE INTERNATIONAL INSTI- 
TUTE OF AGRICULTURE 

The president of the International 
Institute of Agriculture at Rome has 
transmitted to the Secretary of Agri- 
culture, through the State Depart- 
ment, a copy of resolutions adopted 
in April, 1921, by the permanent com- 
mittee of the institute, authorizing 
the conferring of the title "donating 
member" upon any person who 
makes a gift, donation, or contribu- 
tion to the institute amounting in 
value to 10,000 Italian lire, which at 
normal rates of exchange is equiva- 
lent to about $2,000. 

The International Institute of Agri- 
culture was established as the direct 
result of the efforts of David Lubin, 
a successful merchant of California, 
with the active support of the King 
of Italy, who foresaw the advantages 
which would accrue to agriculture, 
commerce, and industry from an in- 
ternational clearinghouse for system- 
atically collecting and disseminat- 
ing official information supplied by 
the various governments of the world 
on agricultural production, consump- 
tion, movements, surpluses, deficits, 
and prices of agricultural products, 
transportation, plant and animal dis- 
eases and insect pests, rural credits 
and insurance, standard of living, 
wages and hours of labor- on farms, 



cooperative organizations of farmers, 
legislation affecting agriculture, and 
similar information. The interna- 
tional treaty was drafted at Rome on 
June 7, 1905, and has since been rati- 
fied by more than 60 governments. 

The institute survived the trying 
period of the World War and is now 
entering upon a period of expansion 
and increased usefulness. Its work 
benefits all peoples. In accordance 
with the recent action of the perma- 
nent committee, which is made up of 
delegates from the adhering govern- 
ments and serves as a board of direc- 
tors of the International Institute of 
Agriculture, citizens of the United 
States and other countries who are 
in sympathy with the purposes of the 
institute have an opportunity to con- 
tribute to its support and develop- 
ment and to receive permanent recog- 
nition therefor as "donating mem- 
bers" by having their names and na- 
tionality and the date of their dona* 
tion inscribed on a marble tablet 
which will be placed in a conspicuous 
position in the halls or vestibule of 
the marble palace occupied by the in- 
stitute, situated in a beautiful park 
on an elevation overlooking the 
Eternal City. Such donations can be 
made either through the Secretary of 
Agriculture, the Secretary of State, 
or the American delegate to the In- 
ternational Institute of Agriculture, 
Rome, Italy. 

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 

SOCIETY'S GIFTS OF BIG 

TREES 

The trustees and officers of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society announce 
to members that the society has been 
continuing its efforts, begun in 1916, 
to preserve the Big Trees of Sequoia 
Xational Park. By a final purchase 
in April, 1921, of 640 acres of land in 
Sequoia National Park, these famous 
trees, oldest and most massive among 
all living things, the only ones of 

j their kind in the world, have been 
saved ; they will not be cut down and 

j converted into lumber. 



286 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



Were a monument of human erec- 
tion to be destroyed, it might be re- 
placed; but had these aborigines of 
American forests been felled, they 
would have disappeared forever. The 
Big Trees could no more be restored 
than could those other survivals of 
indigenous American life, the red man 
and the buffalo, should they become 
extinct. 

Members of the National Geo- 
graphic Society will recall that, in 
1916, Congress had appropriated $50,- 
000 for the purchase of certain pri- 
vate holdings in Sequoia National 
Park, but the owners declined to 
sell for less than $70,000. In that 
emergency the National Geographic 
Society took the first step toward sav- 
ing the Big Trees by subscribing the 
remaining $20,000. Thus 667 acres 
were purchased. The society's equity 
in them was conveyed to the govern- 
ment, and this tract became the prop- 
erty, for all time, of the American 
people. 

In 1920, inspired by the first bene- 
faction, three members of the society 
gave the society sums equivalent to 
the purchase price of $21,330 neces- 
sary to acquire three more tracts, ag- 
gregating 609 acrjes. Thus the orig- 
inal area of Sequoias saved from de- 
struction was almost doubled. 

There still remained one other im- 
portant private holding in Sequoia 
National Park amounting to 640 
acres. Through this tract, which is 
covered by a splendid stand of giant 
sugar-pine and fir, runs the road to 
Giant Forest. To acquire this ap- 
proach to the unique forest and to 
eliminate the last of the private hold- 
ings in this natural temple, the Na- 
tional Geographic Society and friends 
of the society, in 1921, contributed 
$55,000, with which the tract was pur- 
chased. On April 20, 1921, it was for- 
mally tendered in the name of the 
society, through Secretary of the In- 
terior Albert B. Fall, to the American 
people. 

This sum of $55.ooo includes $10,- 
ocfo from the tax fund of Tulare 



County, California, within which the 
Se(iuoia National Park is situated, a 
practical evidence that the people 
closest to the park are alive to the 
importance of our government own- 
ing the land. 

FIELD WORK OF THE SMITH- 
SONIAN INSTITUTION 

The Smithsonian Institution has is- 
sued its annual exploration report 
describing its scientific field work 
throughout the world in 1920. 
Twenty-three separate expeditions 
were in the field carrying on re- 
searches in geology, paleontology, 
zoology, botany, astrophysics, an- 
thropology, archeology, and ethnol- 
ogy, and the regions visited included 
the Canadian Rockies, fourteen states 
of the United States, Haiti, Jamaica, 
four countries of* South America, 
Africa from the Cape to Cairo, 
China, Japan. Korea, Manchuria, 

I Mongolia, Australia, and the Hawai- 

, ian Islands. 

I Secretary Walcott continued his 

j geological work in the Cambrian 
rocks of the Canadian Rockies in the 
region northeast of Banff, Alberta. 
The particular questions involved in 
the season's research were settled sat- 
isfactorily and some beautiful photo- 
graphs of this wild and rugged region 
obtained. Otlier geological field work 
was successfully carried on in various 
states of the United States by mem- 
bers of the staff. 

In astrophysical research the insti- 
tution was unusually active. Through 
the generosity of Mr. John A. Roeb- 
ling of New Jersey, the Smithsonian 
solar observing station located on the 
plain near Calania. Chile, was moved 
to a near-by mountain peak, where 
the ohscrvaticms will be unaffected by 
the dust and smoke, and a new station 
was established on the Harqua Hala 
Mountain, Arizona, probably the most 
cloudless region in the United States. 
From daily observations of the radia- 
tion of the sun at these two widely 
separated s'^tions, it is hoped to es- 
tablish dfiinitely the value of the 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



287 



'*solar constant" observations in fore- 
casting weather. Dr. C. G. Abbott, 
director of the work, also describes 
the successful operation on Mt. Wil- 
son, California, of a solar cooker de- 
vised by him. With this apparatus it 
was possible, using only the sun's 
heat, to cook bread, meat, vegetables, 
and preserves. 

Mr. H. C. Raven represented the 
Smithsonian on an extensive collect- 
ing expedition through Africa from 
south to north. Although many dif- 
ficulties were encountered, among 
others a railway wreck in which two 
members of the expedition were kill- 
ed, Mr. Raven shipped to the institu- 
tion much interesting zoological mate- 
rial, which was greatly needed for 
purposes of comparison in working 
up the famous Roosevelt and Rainey 
collections already in the National 
Museum. Many interesting photo- 
graphs of the animals, the natives, 
and the country itself are shown in 
this accotmt and in that of Dr. Shantz, 
who accompanied the expedition as a 
botanical collector. In Australia, 
a Smithsonian naturalist collected, 
through the generosity of Dr. W. L. 
Abbott specimens of the fast disap- 
pearing remarkable fauna of the con- 
tinent, w^hile Dr. Abbott himself se- 
cured a great number of plants, birds, 
and other natural history material for 
the National Museum, in various 
regions of Haiti. A number of other 
zoological and botanical expeditions 
are briefly described and illustrated. 

BIRDS BANDED BY THE BIO- 
LOGICAL SURVEY 

Persons engaged in outdoor activi- 
ties, whether or not trained bird ob- 
servers, are requested to cooperate 
with the Bureau of Biological Survey, 
United States Department of Agri- 
culture, by furnishing data to supple- 
ment the bird-handing work that is \ 
being conducted by the bureau. When 
any one happens to capture a handed 
bird or to come upon one that has 
been hurt or killed, it will be of great 



assistance to the investigations of the 
department to have a report made of 
the facts by returning the band (if 
the bird is dead; otherwise the band 
should not be removed, but its num- 
ber noted), together with details as to 
when and where the bird was found. 

The aluminum bands issued by the 
Biological Survey carry the abbrevia- 
tion "Biol. Surv." and a serial num- 
ber on one side, and "Wash., D. C." 
on other. But as other bands have 
been used on a large number of birds 
by various individuals and institu- 
tions, it would be advisable for any- 
one finding a bird that carries a band 
not marked as above indicated, or of 
which the address is not clearly un- 
derstood, to fgrward the information 
to the Biological Survey, where every 
effort will be made to locate the per- 
son responsible. These bands arc 
placed on the bird's tarsus, the bare 
portion of the leg immediately above 
the toes. 

Experts in bird work are using the 
handing method to solve a variety of 
problems relative to the migrations 
and life histories of our native birds 
which are thus approached from the 
aspects of the individual birds. Some 
of the more important questions that 
can be solved by banding operations 
are: How fast do the individuals 
of any species travel on their periodic 
migrations; does any one flock con- 
tinue in the van or is the advance 
made by successive flocks passing one 
over the other in alternate periods of 
rest and flight? Do individuals of 
any species always follow the same 
nnitc, and is it identical for both 
spring and fall flights? Dt) migrat- 
in.u: l;irds make the same stop-c»vers 
every year to feed? How long do 
l)inls remain in one locality during 
tlic niijz^ration, tlie breeding, or the 
winter seasons? Do birds adopt the 
same nesting area, nest site. an<l win- 
ter quarters during successive sea- 
sons? For how many l>ro(»ds will 
( ne pair remain matted, and which 
bird, it not both, is attracted next 
year to the old nestiu?. s\\.c"*. Wo,^ 



288 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



far from their nests do birds forage 
for food; and, after the young have 
left the nest, will the parent birds 
bring them to the feeding and trap- 
ping station? How long do birds 
live? 

A minimum of 100,000 banded birds 
is planned, from which it is hoped 
that valuable information will be ob- 
tained in regard to the habits of 
migratory birds. 



SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 

We record with regret the death of 
Winthrop E. Stone, since 1900 presi- 
dent of Purdue University, and pre- 
viously professor of chemistry; of 
Edmond Perrier, director of the 
Paris Museum of Natural History ; of 
Gabriel Lippman, professor of physics 
in the University of Paris, and of 
Professor Viktor von Lang, formerly 
professor of physics at Vienna. 

The Mathematical Association of 
America and the American Mathe- 
matical Society will hold their sum- 
mer meetings at Wellesley College, 
September 6-7 and 7-9, respectively. 
Two joint sessions will be devoted to 
a symposium on "Relativity." On the 
afternoon of the seventh, Professor 
Pierpont, of Yale University, will 



give a paper entitled "Some mathe- 
matical aspects of the theory of rela- 
tivity," while on the forenoon of the 
eighth, Professor Lunn, of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago, will speak on 
"The place of the Einstein theory in 
theoretical physics." 

The Municipal Observatory at Dcs 
Moines, Iowa, which is said to be the 
only municipal observatory in the 
world, was opened on August i. The 
observatory building is to be equip- 
ped by Drake University with an 8- 
incli equatorial telescope. It is to be 
under the control of the university 
and open to the public at least three 
times a week, and at any other time 
when occasion may warrant. 

A NEW forest experiment station, 
the first in the Eastern States, has 
been established at Asheville, N. C, 
by the Forest Service of the United 
States Department of Agriculture. 
Steady depletion of the Southern Ap- 
palachian timber supply has been re- 
sponsible for the location of this sta- 
tion in the East, and the object of 
the work to be conducted will be to 
secure the information needed by 
foresters to determine the best meth- 
ods of handling forest lands in the 
southern mountains. 



VOL. XIII, NO. 4 "^-r ..^>| OCTOBER, 1921 



THE SCIENTIFIC 

MONTHLY 



EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL 



CONTENTS 

THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE: 

THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER. Sir T. Edward Thorpe 289 

THE LABORATORY OF THE UVING ORGANISM. Dr. M. O. For.ter 301 

EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY. Dr. J. S. Flett 308 

SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION. ProfeMor Edwin S. Goodrich 316 

APPLIED GEOGRAPHY. Dr. D. G. Hogarth 322 

SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM. Dr. William E. Ritter 328 

FIELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY FROM 1876 TO 1919. Harry B. Weiw 342 

THE PLAY OF A NATION. Professor G. T. W. Patrick 350 

EVARISTE GALOIS. Dr. George Sarton 363 

MARS AS A LIVING PLANET. G. H. HamUton 376 

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE: 

Scientific Meetings; The Activities of the Rockefeller Foundation; The Har- 
vard School of Public Health; Scientific Items 380 



THE SCIENCE PRESS 

PUBUCATION OFFICE: 11 LIBERTY ST., UTICA, N. Y. 
EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFHCE: GARRISON, N. Y. 

SmiJe Number, 50 Centa. Yearly Subscription, $5.00 

COPYRIGHT 1921 BY THE SCIENCE VBKSS 
sa wtcma-tUm matter Febriurj flt IWl. at tlie Post 0&e« at Udt*, H. t ., ^a^« ^Chw K»\ A VLwOk V, "NS 



WITHIN THE ATOM 

By JOHN MILLS 
(Author of "Realities of Modern Science") 

A fascinating non-technical exposition of the structure of the 
atom and the electron theory. 

Describes with entire freedom from mathematics the recent dis- 
coveries of Langmuir, Bohr, Millikan, Einstein, and others of our 
foremost modern scientists. 

The charm of its lucid style will appeal to the reader untrained 
in science. 

UP-TO-DATE CLEAR INTERESTING 

232 Pages Qotli $2.00 Dlus. SxT^^ 

Send this * 'ad, " udth $2. 00 to your dealer, or to 

D. VAN NOSTRAND CO. 
8 Warren Street New York 



Third Edition — Now Ready 

AMERICAN MEN OF SCIENCl 

A BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY 
Edited by J. McKeen Cattell and Dean R. Brimhall 

The third edition of the Directory cont.-^ins about 9,600 sketches as compared wi 
300 in the first edition and 5,500 in the second edition. The work should be in t] 
nds of all those who are directly or indirectly interested in scientific work. 

( 1 ) Men of science will find it indispensable. It gives not only the names, a 
esses, scientific records and the like of their fellow workers, but also an invalual 
mmary of the research work of the country, completed and in progress. 

(2) Those interested in science, even though they may not be professionally e 
ged in research work, will find much of interest and value to them in the book. 

(3) Elxecutives in institutions of learning and others brought into relations wi 
ientific men will use the book constantly. 

(4) Editors of newspapers and periodicals will find it to be one of the works 
Ference that they will need most frequently. 

(3) Libraries will find the book to be a necessary addition to their referen 
elves. 

Price, Ten Dollars, Net, Postage Paid 

THE SaENCE PRESS 

RRISON. N. Y. UVNCASTER. P 



THE SCIENTIFIC 
MONTHLY 



OCTOBER. 1921 



THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE 
ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE* 

THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 
By Sir T. EDWARD THORPE, CB.. F.R.S. 

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION 

rE molecular theory of matter — ^a theory which in its crudest form 
has descended to us from the earliest times and which has been 
elaborated by various speculative thinkers through the intervening ages, 
hardly rested upon an experimental basis until within the memory of 
men still living. When Lord Kelvin spoke in 1871, the best-established 
development of the molecular hypothesis was exhibited in the kinetic 
theory of gases as worked out by Joule, Clausius, and Clerk-Maxwell. 
As he then said, no such comprehensive molecular theory had ever 
been even imagined before the nineteenth century. But, with the eye 
of faith, he clearly perceived that, definite and complete in its area as 
it was, it was 'but a well-drawn part of a great chart, in which all 
physical science will be represented with every property of matter 
shown in dynamical relation to the whole. The prospect we now have 
of an early completion of this chart is based on the assumption of atoms. 
But there can be no permanent satisfaction to the mind in explaining 
beat, light, elasticity, diffusion, electricity and magnetism, in gases, 
liquids and solids, and describing precisely the relations of these 
different states of matter to one another by statistics of great numbers 
of atoms when the properties of the atom itself are simply assumed. 
When the theory, of which we have the first instalment in Clausius and 
MaxwelFs work, is complete, we are but brought face to face with a 
superlatively grand question: What is the inner mechanism of the 
atom?' 

If the properties and affections of matter are dependent upon the 
inner mechanism of the atom, an atomic theory, to be valid, must com- 
prehend and explain them all. There cannot be one kind of atom 
for the physicist and another for the chemist. The nature of chemical 
aflinity and of valency, the modes of their action, the difference in char- 
acteristics of the chemical elements, even their number, internal con- 

1 Extracts from addresses given at the Edinburgh Meeting. 
VOL. xm^i9. 



^^. ^i^ 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



286 



years, and through him the hygienic 
conditions of the capital were revolu- 
tionized. He was from 1862 a mem- 
ber of the Prussian chamber and 
was for twenty-five years chairman 
of the committee on finance. He 
was leader of the radical party in 
the Reichstag. In his public career 
he opposed centralization, autocracy 
and war, and advocated all measures 
for the welfare of the people. He 
was at one time compelled to leave 
the University of Berlin owing to his 
political activity, but his personality 
and eminence were such that he was 
recalled to a professorship in 1856, 
and he was thereafter the preeminent 
representative of academic freedom. 

THE INTERNATIONAL INSTI- 
TUTE OF AGRICULTURE 

The president of the International 
Institute of Agriculture at Rome has 
transmitted to the Secretary of Agri- 
culture, through the State Depart- 
ment, a copy of resolutions adopted 
in April, 1921, by the permanent com- 
mittee of the mstitute, authorizing 
the conferring of the title "donating 
member" upon any person who 
makes a gift, donation, or contribu- 
tion to the institute amounting in 
value to 10,000 Italian lire, which at 
normal rates of exchange is equiva- 
lent to about $2,000. 

The International Institute of Agri- 
culture was established as the direct 
result of the efforts of David Lubin, 
a successful merchant of California, 
with the active support of the King 
of Italy, who foresaw the advantages 
which would accrue to agriculture, 
commerce, and industry from an in- 
ternational clearinghouse for system- 
atically collecting and disseminat- 
ing official information supplied by 
the various governments of the world 
on agricultural production, consump- 
tion, movements, surpluses, deficits, 
and prices of agricultural products, 
transportation, plant and animal dis- 
eases and insect pests, rural credits 
and insurance, standard of living, 
wages and hours of labor on farms. 



cooperative organizations of fanners, 
legislation affecting agriculture, and 
similar information. The interna- 
tional treaty was drafted at Rome on 
June 7, 1905, and has since been rati- 
fied by more than 60 governments. 

The institute survived the trying 
period of the World War and is now 
entering upon a period of expansion 
and increased usefulness. Its work 
benefits all peoples. In accordance 
with the recent action of the perma- 
nent committee, which is made up of 
delegates from the adhering govern- 
ments and serves as a board of direc- 
tors of the International Institute of 
Agriculture, citizens of the United 
States and other countries who are 
in sympathy with the purposes of the 
institute have an opportunity to con- 
tribute to its support and develop- 
ment and to receive permanent recog- 
nition therefor as "donating mem- 
bers" by having their names and na- 
tionality and the date of their dona- 
tion inscribed on a marble tablet 
which will be placed in a conspicuous 
position in the halls or vestibule of 
the marble palace occupied by the in- 
stitute, situated in a beautiful park 
on an elevation overlooking the 
Eternal City. Such donations can be 
made either through the Secretary of 
Agriculture, the Secretary of State, 
or the American delegate to the In- 
ternational Institute of Agriculture, 
Rome, Italy. 

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 

SOCIETY'S GIFTS OF BIG 

TREES 

The trustees and officers of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society announce 
to members that the society has been 
continuing its efforts, begun in 1916, 
to preserve the Big Trees of Sequoia 
National Park. By a final purchase 
in April, 1921, of 640 acres of land in 
Sequoia National Park, these famous 
trees, oldest and most massive among 
all living things, the only ones of 
their kind in the world, have been 
saved ; they will not be cut down and 
converted into lumber. 



i£^. 



^ 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



286 



years, and through him the hygienic 
conditions of the capital were revolu- 
tionized. He was from 1862 a mem- 
ber of the Prussian chamber and 
was for twenty-five years chairman 
of the committee on finance. He 
was leader of the radical party in 
the Reichstag. In his public career 
he opposed centralization, autocracy 
and war, and advocated all measures 
for the welfare of the people. He 
was at one time compelled to leave 
the University of Berlin owing to his 
political activity, but his personality 
and eminence were such that he was 
recalled to a professorship in 1856, 
and he was thereafter the preeminent 
representative of academic freedom. 

THE INTERNATIONAL INSTI- 
TUTE OF AGRICULTURE 

The president of the International 
Institute of Agriculture at Rome has 
transmitted to the Secretary of Agri- 
culture, through the State Depart- 
ment, a copy of resolutions adopted 
in April, 1921, by the permanent com- 
mittee of the institute, authorizing 
the conferring of the title "donating 
member" upon any person who 
makes a gift, donation, or contribu- 
tion to the institute amounting in 
value to 10,000 Italian lire, which at 
normal rates of exchange is equiva- 
lent to about $2,000. 

The International Institute of Agri- 
culture was established as the direct 
result of the efforts of David Lubin, 
a successful merchant of California, 
with the active support of the King 
of Italy, who foresaw the advantages 
which would accrue to agriculture, 
commerce, and industry from an in- 
ternational clearinghouse for system- 
atically collecting and disseminat- 
ing official information supplied by 
the various governments of the world 
on agricultural production, consump- 
tion, movements, surpluses, deficits, 
and prices of agricultural products, 
transportation, plant and animal dis- 
eases and insect pests, rural credits 
and insurance, standard of living, 
wages and hours of labor on farms, 



cooperative organizations of farmers, 
legislation affecting agriculture, and 
similar information. The interna- 
tional treaty was drafted at Rome on 
June 7, 1905, and has since been rati- 
fied by more than 60 governments. 

The institute survived the trying 
period of the World War and is now 
entering upon a period of expansion 
and increased usefulness. Its work 
benefits all peoples. In accordance 
with the recent action of the perma- 
nent committee, which is made up of 
delegates from the adhering govern- 
ments and serves as a board of direc- 
tors of the International Institute of 
Agriculture, citizens of the United 
States and other countries who are 
in sympathy with the purposes of the 
institute have an opportunity to con- 
tribute to its support and develop- 
ment and to receive permanent recog- 
nition therefor as "donating mem- 
bers" by having their names and na- 
tionality and the date of their dona- 
tion inscribed on a marble tablet 
which will be placed in a conspicuous 
position in the halls or vestibule of 
the marble palace occupied by the in- 
stitute, situated in a beautiful park 
on an elevation overlooking the 
Eternal City. Such donations can be 
made either through the Secretary of 
Agriculture, the Secretary of State, 
or the American delegate to the In- 
ternational Institute of Agriculture, 
Rome, Italy. 

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 

SOCIETY'S GIFTS OF BIG 

TREES 

The trustees and officers of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society announce 
to members that the society has been 
continuing its efforts, begun in 1916, 
to preserve the Big Trees of Sequoia 
National Park. By a final purchase 
in April, 1921, of 640 acres of land in 
Sequoia National Park, these famous 
trees, oldest and most massive among 
all living things, the only ones of 
their kind in the world, have been 
saved ; they will not be cut down and 
converted into lumber. 



286 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



Were a monument of human erec- 
tion to be destroyed, it might be re- 
placed; but had these aborigines of 
American forests been felled, they 
would have disappeared forever. The 
Big Trees could no more be restored 
than could those other survivals of 
indigenous American life, the red man 
and the buffalo, should they become 
extinct. 

Members of the National Geo- 
graphic Society will recall that, in 
1916, Congress had appropriated $50,- 
000 for the purchase of certain pri- 
vate holdings in Sequoia National 
Park, but the owners declined to 
sell for less than $70,000. In that 
emergency the National Geographic 
Society took the first step toward sav- 
ing the Big Trees by subscribing the 
remaining $20,000. Thus 667 acres 
were purchased. The society's equity 
in them was conveyed to the govern- 
ment, and this tract became the prop- 
erty, for all time, of the American 
people. 

In 1920, inspired by the first bene- 
faction, three members of the society 
gave the society sums equivalent to 
the purchase price of $21,330 neces- 
sary to acquire three more tracts, ag- 
gregating 609 acres. Thus the orig- 
inal area of Sequoias saved from de- 
struction was almost doubled. 

There still remained one other im- 
portant private holding in Sequoia 
National Park amounting to 640 
acres. Through this tract, which is 
covered by a splendid stand of giant 
sugar-pine and fir, runs the road to 
Giant Forest. To acquire this ap- 
proach to the unique forest and to 
eliminate the last of the private hold- 
ings in this natural temple, the Na- 
tional Geographic Society and friends 
of the society, in 1921, contributed 
$55,000, with which the tract was pur- 
chased. On April 20, 1921, it was for- 
mally tendered in the name of the 
society, through Secretary of the In- 
terior Albert B. Fall, to the American 
people. 

This sum of $55.ooo includes $10,- 
000 from the tax fund of Tulare 




County, California, within which the 
Sequoia National Park is situated, a 
practical evidence that the people 
closest to the park are alive to the 
importance of our government own- 
ing the land. 

FIELD WORK OF THE SMITH- 
SONIAN INSTITUTION 

The Smithsonian Institution has is- 
sued its annual exploration report 
describing its scientific field work 
throughout the world in 1920. 
Twenty-three separate expeditions 
were in the field carrying on ' re- 
searches in geology, paleontology, 
zoology, botany, astrophysics, an- 
thropology, archeology, and ethnol- 
ogy, and the regions visited included 
the Canadian Rockies, fourteen states 
of the United States, Haiti, Jamaica, 
four countries of* South America, 
Africa from the Cape to Cairo, 
China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, 
Mongolia, Australia, and the Hawai- 
ian Islands. 

Secretary Walcott continued his 
geological work in the Cambrian 
rocks of the Canadian Rockies in the 
region northeast of Banff, Alberta. 
The particular questions involved in 
the season's research were settled sat- 
isfactorily and some beautiful photo- 
graphs of this wild and rugged region 
obtained. Other geological field work 
was successfully carried on in various 
states of the United States by mem- 
bers of the staff. 

In astrophysical research the insti- 
tution was unusually active. Through 
the generosity of Mr. John A. Roeb- 
ling of New Jersey, the Smithsonian 
solar observing station located on the 
plain near Calama, Chile, was moved 
to a near-by mountain peak, where 
the observations will be unaffected by 
the dust and smoke, and a new station 
was established on the Harqua Hala 
Mountain, Arizona, probably the most 
cloudless region in the United States. 
From daily observations of the radia- 
tion of the sun at these two widely 
separated stations, it is hoped to es- 
tablish definitely the value of the 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



287 



"solar constant" observations in fore- 
casting weather. Dr. C. G. Abbott, 
director of the work, also describes 
the successful operation on Mt Wil- 
son, California, of a solar cooker de- 
vised by him. With this apparatus it 
was possible, using only the sun's 
heat, to cook bread, meat, vegetables, 
and preserves. 

Mr. H. C. Raven represented the 
Smithsonian on an extensive collect- 
ing expedition through Africa from 
south to north. Although many dif- 
ficulties were encountered, among 
others a railway wreck in which two 
members of the expedition were kill- 
ed, Mr. Raven shipped to the institu- 
tion much interesting zoological mate- 
rial, which was greatly needed for 
purposes of comparison in working 
up the famous Roosevelt and Rainey 
collections already in the National 
Museum. Many interesting photo- 
graphs of the animals, the natives, 
and the country itself are shown in 
this accotmt and in that of Dr. Shantz, 
who accompanied the expedition as a 
botanical collector. In Australia, 
a Smithsonian naturalist collected, 
through the generosity of Dr. W. L. 
Abbott, specimens of the fast disap- 
pearing remarkable fauna of the con- 
tinent, while Dr. Abbott himself se- 
cured a great number of plants, birds, 
and other natural history material for 
the National Museum, in various 
regions of Haiti. A number of other 
zoological and botanical expeditions 
are briefly described and illustrated. 



BIRDS BANDED BY THE BIO- 
LOGICAL SURVEY 

Persons engaged in outdoor activi- 
ties, whether or not trained bird ob- 
servers, are requested to cooperate 
with the Bureau of Biological Survey, 
United States Department of Agri- 
culture, by furnishing data to supple- 
ment the bird-banding work that is 
being conducted by the bureau. When 
any one happens to capture a banded 
bird or to come upon one that has 
been hurt or killed, it will be of great I 



assistance to the investigations of the 
department to have a report made of 
the facts by returning the band (if 
the bird is dead; otherwise the band 
should not be removed, but its num- 
ber noted), together with details as to 
when and where the bird was found. 

The aluminum bands issued by the 
Biological Survey carry the abbrevia- 
tion "Biol. Surv." and a serial num- 
ber on one side, and "Wash., D. C." 
on other. But as other bands have 
been used on a large number of birds 
by various individuals and institu- 
tions, it would be advisable for any- 
one finding a bird that carries a band 
not marked as above indicated, or of 
which the address is not clearly un- 
derstood, to fgrward the information 
to the Biological Survey, where every 
effort will be made to locate the per- 
son responsible. These bands are 
placed on the bird's tarsus, the bare 
portion of the leg immediately above 
the toes. 

Experts in bird work are using the 
banding method to solve a variety of 
problems relative to the migrations 
and life histories of our native birds 
which are thus approached from the 
aspects of the individuaf birds. Some 
of the more important questions that 
can be solved by banding operations 
are : How fast do the individuals 
of any species travel on their periodic 
migrations; does any one flock con- 
tinue in the van or is the advance 
made by successive flocks passing one 
over the other in alternate periods of 
rest and flight? Do individuals of 
any species always follow the same 
route, and is it identical for both 
spring and fall flights? Do migrat- 
ing birds make the same stop-overs 
every year to feed? How long do 
birds remain in one locality during 
the migration, the breeding, or the 
winter seasons? Do birds adopt the 
same nesting area, nest site, and win- 
ter quarters during successive sea- 
sons? For how many broods will 
cne pair remain matted, and which 
bird, if not both, is attracted next 
year to the old nesting site? How 



288 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



far from their nests do birds forage 
for food; and, after the young have 
left the nest, will the parent birds 
bring them to the feeding and trap- 
ping station? How long do birds 
live? 

A minimum of 100,000 banded birds 
is planned, from which it is hoped 
that valuable information will be ob- 
tained in regard to the habits of 
migratory birds. 



SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 

We record with regret the death of 
Winthrop £. Stone, since 1900 presi- 
dent of Purdue University, and pre- 
viously professor of chemistry; of 
Edmond Perrier, director of the 
Paris Museum of Natural History ; of 
Gabriel Lippman, professor of physics 
in the University of Paris, and of 
Professor Viktor von Lang, formerly 
professor of physics at Vienna. 

The Mathematical Association of 
America and the American Mathe- 
matical Society will hold their sum- 
mer meetings at Wellesley College, 
September 6-7 and 7-9, respectively. 
Two joint sessions will be devoted to 
a symposium on **Relativity." On the 
afternoon of the seventh, Professor 
Pierpont, of Yale University, will 



give a paper entitled "Some mathe- 
matical aspects of the theory of rela- 
tivity," while on the forenoon of the 
eighth, Professor Lunn, of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago, will speak on 
"The place of the Einstein theory in 
theoretical physics." 

The Municipal Observatory at Des 
Moines, Iowa, which is said to be the 
only municipal observatory in the 
world, was opened on August i. The 
observatory building is to be equip- 
ped by Drake University with an 8- 
inch equatorial telescope. It is to be 
under the control of the university 
and open to the public at least three 
times a week, and at any other time 
when occasion may warrant. 

A NEW forest experiment station, 
the first in the Eastern States, has 
been established at Asheville, N. C, 
by the Forest Service of the United 
States Department of Agriculture. 
Steady depletion of the Southern Ap- 
palachian timber supply has been re- 
sponsible for the location of this sta- 
tion in the East, and the object of 
the work to be conducted will be to 
secure the information needed by 
foresters to determine the best meth- 
ods of handling forest lands in the 
southern mountains. 




VOL. XIII, NO. 4 ^FP : ] y 2 J OCTOBER, 1921 






THE SCIENTIFIC 

MONTHLY 



EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL 



CONTENTS 

THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE: 

THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER. Sir T. Edward Thorpe 289 

THE LABORATORY OF THE UVING ORGANISM. Dr. M. O. For«tcr 301 

EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY. Dr. J. S. Hett 308 

SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION. Professor Edwin S. Goodrich 316 

APPUED GEOGRAPHY. Dr. D. G. Hogarth 322 

SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM. Dr. Waiiam E. Ritter 328 

FIELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY FROM 1876 TO 1919. Harry B. Wei«« 342 

THE PLAY OF A NATION. Profcor G. T. W. Patrick 350 

EVARISTE GALOIS. Dr. George Sarton 363 

MARS AS A UVING PLANET. G. H. Hamilton 376 

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE: 

Scientific Meetings; The Activities of the Rockefeller Foundation; The Har- 
vard School of Public Health; Scientific Items 380 



THE SCIENCE PRESS 

PUBUCATION OFFICE: 11 LIBERTY ST., UTICA, N. Y. 
EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICE: GARRISON, N. Y. 

Single Number, 50 Cents. Yearly Subscription, $5.00 

COPYRIGHT 1931 BY THE SCIENCE PRESS 
Eatnvd m Mcond-ckM matter Febniarjr 8, 1921. «t tlie Poet OSes at Utie«. N. Y., under the Act of March 8, 181 



WITHIN THE ATOM 

By JOHN MILLS 
(Author of "Realities of Modern Science") 

A fascinating non-technical exposition of the structure of the 
atom and the electron theory. 

Describes with entire freedom from mathematics the recent dis- 
coveries of Langmuir, Bohr, Millikan, Einstein, and others of our 
foremost modern scientists. 

The charm of its lucid style will appeal to the reader untrained 
in science. 

UP-TO-DATE CLEAR INTERESTING 

232 Pages Qoth $2.00 Illus. 5x7^4 

Send this ^'ad.^^ with $2.00 to your dealer, or to 

D. VAN NOSTRAND CO. 

8 Warren Street New York 



Third Edition — Now Ready 

\MERICAN MEN OF SCIENCE 

A BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY 
Edited by J. McKeen Cattell and Dean R. Brimhall 

The third edition of the Directory contains about 9,600 sketches as compared with 
,000 in the first edition and 5,300 in the second edition. The work should be in the 
lands of all those who are directly or indirectly interested in scientific work. 

( I ) Men of science will find it indispensable. It gives not only the names, ad- 
[resses, scientific records and the like of their fellow workers, but also an invaluable 
ummary of the research work of the country, completed and in progress. 

(2) Those interested in science, even though they may not be professionally en- 
:aged in research work, will find much of interest and value to them in the book. 

(3) Executives in institutions of learning and others brought into relations with 
cientiHc men will use the book constantly. 

(4) Editors of newspapers and periodicals will find it to be one of the works of 
eference that they will need most frequently. 

(3) Libraries will find the book to be a necessary addition to their reference 
helves. 

Price, Ten Dollars, Net, Postage Paid 

THE SQENCE PRESS 

KISON. N. Y. LANCASTER. PA 



'S 



THE SCIENTIFIC 
MONTHLY 



OCTOBER. 1021 



THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE 
ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE^ 

THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 

By Sir T. EDWARD THORPE, CB., F.RS. 

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION 

rE molecular theory of matter — ^a theory which in its crudest form 
has descended to us from the earliest times and which has been 
elaborated by various speculative thinkers through the intervening ages, 
hardly rested upon an experimental basis until within the memory of 
men still living. When Lord Kelvin spoke in 1871, the best-established 
development of the molecular hypothesis was exhibited in the kinetic 
theory of gases as worked out by Joule, Clausius, and Clerk-Maxwell. 
As he then said, no such comprehensive molecular theory had ever 
been even imagined before the nineteenth century. But, with the eye 
of faith, he clearly perceived that, definite and complete in its area as 
it was, it was 'but a well-drawn part of a great chart, in which all 
physical science will be represented with every property of matter 
ahown in dynamical relation to the whole. The prospect we now have 
of an early completion of this chart is based on the assumption of atoms. 
But there can be no permanent satisfaction to the mind in explaining 
heat, light, elasticity, . diffusion, electricity and magnetism, in gases, 
liquids and solids, and describing precisely the relations of these 
different states of matter to one another by statistics of great numbers 
of atoms when the properties of the atom itself are simply assumed. 
When the theory, of which we have the first instalment in Clausius and 
Maxwell's work, is complete, we are but brought face to face with a 
superlatively grand question: What is the inner mechanism of the 
atom?' 

If the properties and affections of matter are dependent upon the 
inner mechanism of the atom, an atomic theory, to be valid, must com- 
prehend and explain them all. There cannot be one kind of atom 
for the physicist and another for the chemist. The nature of chemical 
aflhiity and of valency, the modes of their action, the difference in char- 
acteristics of the chemical elements, even their number, internal con- 

I Extracts from addresses given at the Edinburgh Meeting. 

VOL. Xm.— 19. 



290 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

stitution, periodic position, and possible isotopic rearrangements must 
be accounted for and explained by it. Fifty years ago chemists, for the 
most part, rested in the comfortable belief of the existence of atoms in 
the restricted sense in which Dalton, as a legacy from Newton, had 
imagined them. Lord Kelvin, unlike the chemists, had never been in 
the habit of 'evading questions as to the hardness or indivisibility of 
atoms by virtually assuming them to be infinitely small and infinitely 
numerous.' Nor, on the other hand, did he realize, with Boscovich, 
the atom 'as a mystic point endowed with inertia and the attribute of 
attracting or repelling other such centres.' Science advances not so 
much by fundamental alterations in its beliefs as by additions to them. 
Dalton would equally have regarded the atom 'as a piece of matter of 
measureable dimensions, with shape, motion, and laws of action, in- 
telligible subjects of scientific investigation.' 

In spite of the fact that the atomic theory, as formulated by Dalton, 
has been generally accepted for nearly a century, it is only within the 
last few years that physicists have arrived at a conception of the struc* 
ture of the atom sufficiently precise to be of service to chemists in con- 
nection with the relation between the properties of elements of 
different kinds, and in throwing light on the mechanism of chemical 
combination. 

Thb further investigation of the 'superlatively grand question — ^the 
inner mechanism of the atom,' — ^has profoundly modified the basic 
conceptions of chemistry. It has led to a great extension of our views 
concerning the real nature of the chemical elements. The discovery 
of the electron, the production of helium in the radioactive disintegra- 
tion of atoms, the recognition of the existence of isotopes, the possibility 
that all elementary atoms are composed either of helium atoms or of 
atoms of hydrogen and helium, and that these atoms, in their turn, are 
built up of two constituents, one of which is the electron, a particle of 
negative electricity whose mass is only 1/1800 of that of an atom of 
hydrogen, and the other a particle of positive electricity whose mass is 
practically identical with that of the same atom — the outcome, in short, 
of the collective work of Soddy, Rutherford, J. J. Thomson, Collie, 
Moseley and others — are pregnant facts which have completely altered 
the fundamental aspects of the science. Chemical philosophy has, in 
fact, now definitely entered on a new phase. 

Looking back over the past, some indications of the coming change 
might have been perceived wholly unconnected, of course, with the 
recent experimental work which has served to ratify it. In a short 
paper entitled 'Speculative Ideas respecting the Constitution of Matter,' 
originally published in 1863, Graham conceived that the various kinds 
of matter, now recognised as different elementary substances, may 
possess one and the same ultimate or atomic molecule existing in 
different conditions of movement. This idea, in its essence, may be 
said to be as old as the time of Leucippus. To Graham as to Leucip- 



THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 291 

pus 'the action of the atom as one substance taking various fonns 
by combinations unlimited, was enough to account for all the 
phenomena of the world. By separation and union with constant mo- 
tion all things could be done.' But Graham developed the conception 
by independent thought, and in the light of experimentally ascertained 
knowledge which the world owes to his labours. He might have been 
cognisant of the speculations of the Greeks, but there is no evidence 
that he was knowingly influenced by them. In his paper Graham uses 
the terms atom and molecule if not exactly in the same sense that 
modem teaching demands, yet very differently from that hitherto re- 
quired by the limitations of contemporary chemical doctrine. He con- 
ceives of a lower order of atoms than the chemical atom of Dalton, and 
founds on his conception an explanation of chemical combination based 
upon a fixed combining measure, which he terms the metron, its relative 
weight being one for hydrogen, sixteen for oxygen, and so on with the 
other so-called 'elements.' Graham, in fact, like Davy before him, 
never committed himself to a belief in the indivisibility of the Dal- 
tonian atom. The original atom may, he thought, be far down. 

The idea of a primordial yle, or of the essential unity of matter, has 
persisted throughout the ages, and, in spite of much experimental work, 
some of it of the highest order, which was thought to have demolished 
it, it has survived, revivified and supported by analogies and arguments 
drawn from every field of natural inquiry. This idea of course was at 
the basis of the hypothesis of Prout, but which, even as modified by 
Dumas, was held to be refuted by the monumental work of Stas. But, as 
pointed out by Marignac and Dumas, anyone who will impartially look 
at the facts can hardly escape the feeling that there must be some reason 
for the frequent recurrence of atomic weights differing by so little 
from the numbers required by the law which the work of Stas was 
supposed to disprove. The more exact study within recent years of 
the methods of determining atomic weights, the great improvement 
in experimental appliances and technique, combined with a more 
rigorous standard of accuracy demanded by a general recognition of 
the far-reaching importance of an exact knowledge of these physical 
constants, has resulted in intensifying the belief that some natural 
law must be at the basis of the fact that so many of the most carefully 
determined atomic weights on the oxygen standard are whole numbers. 
Nevertheless there were well authenticated exceptions which seemed to 
invalidate its universality. The proved fact that a so-called element 
may be a mixture of isotopes — substances of the same chemical attri- 
butes but of varying atomic weight — ^has thrown new light on the 
question. It is now recognised that the fractional values independently 
established in the case of any one element by the most accurate experi- 
mental work of various investigators are, in effect, 'statistical quanti- 
ties' depoident upon a mixture of isotopes. This result, indeed, is a 
necessary corollary of modem conceptions of the inner mechanism of 



292 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the atom. The theory that all elementary atoms are composed of 
helimn atoms, or of helium and hydrogen atoms, may be regarded as an 
extension of Front's hypothesis, with, however, this important distinc- 
tion, that whereas Front's hypothesis was at best a surmise, with little, 
and that little only weak, experimental evidoioe to support it, the new 
theory is directly deduced from well-established facts. The hydrogen 
isotope H„ first detected by J. J. Thomson, of which the existence 
has been confirmed by Aston, would seem to be an integral part of 
atomic structure. Rutherford, by the disruption of oxygen and 
nitrogen has also isolated a substance of mass 3 which enters into 
the structure of atomic nuclei, but which he r^ards as an isotope 
of helium, which itself is built up of four hydrogen nuclei together 
with two cementing electrons. The atomic nuclei of elements of even 
atomic number would appear to be composed of helium nuclei only, 
or of helium nuclei with cementing electrons; whereas those of ele- 
ments of odd atomic number are made up of helium and hydrogen 
nuclei together with cementing electrons. In the case of the lighter 
elements of the latter class the number of hydrogen nuclei associated 
with the helium nuclei is invariably three, except in that of nitrogen 
where it is two. The frequent occurrence of this group of three hydro- 
gen nuclei indicates that it is structurally an isotope of hydrogen with 
an atomic weight of three and nuclear charge of one. It is surmised 
that it is identical with the hypothetical 'nebulium' from which our 
'elements' are held by astro-physidsts to be originally produced in the 
stars through hydrogen and helium. 

These results are of extraordinary interest as bearing on the question 
of the essential unity of matter and the mode of genesis of the elements. 
Members of the British Association may recall the suggestive address on 
this subject of the late Sir William Crookes, delivered to the Chemical 
Section at the Birmingham meeting of 1886, in which he questioned 
whether there is absolute uniformity in the mass of the atoms of a 
chemical element, as postulated by Dalton. He thought, with Marignac 
and Schutzenberger, who had previously raised the same doubt, that 
it was not improbable that what we term an atomic weight merely 
represents a mean value around which the actual weights of the atoms 
vary within narrow limits, or, in other words, that the mean mass is 
'a statistical constant of great stability.' No valid experimental evi- 
dence in support of this surmise was or could be offered at the time 
it was uttered. Maxwell pointed out that the phenomena of gaseous 
diffusion, as then ascertained, would seem to n^ative the supposition. 
If hydrogen, for example, were composed of atoms of varying mass 
it should be possible to separate the lighter from the heavier atoms 
by diffusion through a porous septum. 'As no chemist,' said Maxwell, 
%as yet obtained specimens of hydrogen differing in this way from 
other specimens, we conclude that all the molecules of hydrogen are 
of sensibly the same mass, and not merely that their mean mass is a 



THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 293 

statistical constant of great stability.'^ But against this it may be 
doubted whether any chemist had ever made experiments sufficiently 
precise to solve this point 

The work of Sir Norman Lockyer on the spectroscopic evidence for 
the dissociation of 'elementary' matter at transcendental tempera- 
tures, and the possible synthetic intro-stellar production of elements, 
through the helium of which he originally detected the existence, will 
also find its due place in the history of this new philosophy. 

Sir J. J. Thomson was the first to afford direct evidence that the 
atoms of an element, if not exactly of the same mass, were at least 
approximately so, by his method of analysis of positive rays. By an 
extension of this method Mr. F. W. Aston has succeeded in showing 
that a number of elements are in reality mixtures of isotopes. It has 
been proved, for example, that neon, which has a mean atomic weight 
of about 20 and .2 consists of two isotopes having the atomic weights 
respectively of 20 and 22, mixed in the proportion of 90 per cent 
of the former with 10 per cent, of the latter. By fractional diffusion 
through a porous septum an apparent difference of density of 0.7 
per cent, between the lightest and heaviest fractions was obtained. The 
kind of experiment which Maxwell imagined proved the invariability 
of the hydrogen atom has sufficed to show the converse in the case 
of neon. 

The element chlorine has had its atomic weight repeatedly deter- 
mined, and, for special reasons, with the highest attainable accuracy. 
On the oxygen standard it is 35.46, and this value is accurate to the 
second decimal place. All attempts to prove that it is a whole 
number — 35 or 36 — have failed. When, however, the gas is analysed 
by the same method as that used in the case of neon it is found to 
consist of at least two isotopes of relative mass 35 and 37. There is no 
evidence whatever of an individual substance having the atomic weight 
35.46. Hence chlorine is to be regarded as a complex element con- 
sisting of two principal isotopes of atomic weights 35 and 37 present 
in such proportion as to afford the mean mass 35.46. The atomic 
weight, of chlorine has been so frequently determined by various 
observers and by various methods with practically identical results that 
it seems difficult to believe that it consists of isotopes present in definite 
and invariable proportion. Mr. Aston meets this objection by pointing 
out that all the accurate determinations have been made with chlorine 
derived originally from the same source, the sea, which has been per- 
fectly mixed for asons. If samples of the element could be obtained 
from some other original source it is possible that other values of 
atomic weight would be obtained, exactly as in the case of lead in 
which the existence of isotopes in the metal found in various radioactive 
minerals was first conclusively established. 

Argon, which has an atomic weight of 39.88, was found to consist 

1 Qcrk-Maxwcll, Art 'Atom/ Ency. Brit, pth Ed 



2M THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

mainly of an isotope having an atomic weight of 40, associated to the 
extent of about 3 per cent, with an isotope of atomic weight 36. 
Krypton and xenon are far more complex. The former would appear 
to consist of six isotopes, 78, 80, 82, 83, 84, 86; the latter of five 
isotopes, 129, 131, 132, 134, 136. 

Fluorine is a simple element of atomic wei^t 19. Bromine con- 
sists of equal quantities of two isotopes, 79 and 81. Iodine, on the 
contrary, would appear to be a simple element of atomic weight 127. 
Tlie case of tellurium is of special interest in view of its periodic rela- 
tion to iodine, but the results of its examination up to the present are 
indefinite. 

Boron and silicon are complex elements, each consisting of two 
isotopes, 10 and 11, and 28 and 29, respectively. 

Sulphur, phosphorus, and arsenic are apparently simple elements. 
Their accepted atcmiic weights are practically integers. 

All this work is so recent that there has been little opportunity, 
as yet, of extending it to any considerable number of the metallic 
elements. These, as will be obvious from the nature of the methods 
employed, present special difficulties. It is, however, highly probable 
that mercury is a mixed element consisting of many isotopes. These 
have beoi partially separated by Bronsted and Hervesy by fractional 
distillation at very low pressures, and have been shown to vary very 
sli^tly in density. Lithium is found to consist of two isotopes, 6 and 
7. Sodium is simple, potassium and rubidium are complex, each of 
the two latter elements consisting, apparently, of two isotopes. The 
accepted atomic weight of caesium, 132.81, would indicate complexity, 
but the mass spectrum shows only one line at 133. Should this be 
confirmed caesium would afford an excellent test case. The accepted 
value for the atomic weight is sufficiently far removed from a whole 
number to render further investigation desirable. 

Tliis imperfect smnmary of Mr. Aston's work is mainly based upon 
the account he recently gave to the Chemical Society. At the close 
of hb lecture be pointed out the significance of the results in relation 
to the periodic law. It is clear that the order of the chemical or 
hnean' atomic weights in the periodic table has no practical signifi- 
cance; anomalous cases such as argon and potassium are simply due to 
the relative proportions of their heavier and lighter isotopes. This 
does not necessarily invalidate or even weaken the periodic law which 
still remains the expression of a great natural truth. That the expres- 
sion as Mendeleeff left it is imperfect has long been recognised. The 
new light we have now gained has gone far to clear up much that was 
anomalous, especially Moseley's discovery that the real sequence is the 
atomic number, not the atomic weight. This is one more illustration 
of the fact that science advances by additions to its beliefs rather than 
by fundamental or revolutionary changes in them. 

The bearing of the electronic theory of matter, too, on Prout^s dis- 
carded hypothesis that the atoms of all elements were themselves built 



THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 295 

up of a primordial atom — his proiyle which he regarded as probably 
identical with hydrogen — is too obvious to need pointing out. In a 
sense Front's hypothesis may be said to be now re-established, but 
with this essential modification — ^the primordial atoms he imagined are 
complex and are of two kinds — ^atoms of positive and negative elec- 
tricity — respectively known as protons and electrons. These, in Mr. 
Aston's words, are the standard bricks that nature employs in her 
operations of element building. 

The true value of any theory consists in its comprehensiveness and 
sufficiency. As applied to chemistry, this theory of ^the inner mechan- 
ism of the atom' must explain all its phenomena. We owe to Sir 
J. J. Thomson its extension to the explanation of the periodic law, the 
atomic number of an element, and of that varying power of chemical 
combination in an element we term valency. This explanation I give 
substantially in his own words. The number of electrons in an atom 
of the different elemaits has now been determined, and has been found 
to be equal to the atomic number of the element, that is to the position 
which the element occupies in the series when the elements are arranged 
in the order of their atomic weights. We know now the nature and 
quantity of the materials of which the atoms are made up. The 
properties of the atom will depend not only upon these factors but 
also upon the way in which the electrons are arranged in the atom. 
This arrangement will depend on the forces between the electrons 
themselves and also on those between the electrons and the positive 
charges or protons. One arrangement which naturally suggested itself 
is that the positive charges should be at the centre with the negative 
electrons around it on the surface of a sphere. Mathematical investi- 
gation shows that this is a possible arrangement if the electrons on the 
sphere are not too crowded. The mutual repulsion of the electrons 
resents overcrowding, and Sir J. J. Thomson has shown that when 
there are more than a certain number of electrons on the sphere, the 
attraction of a positive charge, limited as in the case of the atom in 
magnitude to the sum of the charges on the electrons, is not able to 
keep the electrons in stable equilibrium on the sphere, the layer of 
electrons explodes and a new arrangement is formed. The number of 
electrons which can be accommodated on the outer layer will depend 
upon the law of force between the positive charge and the electrcms. 
Sir J. J. Thomson has shown that this number will be eight with a law 
of force of a simple type. 

To show the bearing of this result as affording an explanation of the 
periodic law, let us, to begin with, take the case of the atom of lithium, 
which is supposed to have one electron in the outer layer. As each 
element has one more free electron in its atom than its predecessor, 
glucinum, the element next in succession to lithium, will have two 
electrons in the outer layer of its atom, boron will have three, carbon 
four, nitrogen five, oxygen six, fluorine seven and neon eight As there 
cannot be more than eight electrons in the outer layer, the additional 



2»6 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

electron in the atom of the next element, sodium, cannot find room in 
the same layer as the other electrons, but will go outside, and thus the 
atom of sodium, like that of lithium, will have one electron in its outer 
layer. The additional electron, in the atom of the next element, 
magnesium, will join this, and the atom of magnesium, like that of 
glucinum, will have two electrons in the outer layer. Again, alu- 
minum, like boron, will have three; silicon, like carbon, four; phos- 
phorus, like nitrogen, five; sulphur, like oxygen, six; chlorine, like 
fluorine, seven; and argon, like neon, eight The sequence will then 
b^in again. Thus the number of electrons, one, two, three, up to eight 
in the outer layer of the atom, will recur periodically as we proceed 
from one element to another in the order of their atomic weights, so 
that any property of an element which depends on the number of elec- 
trons in the outer layer of its atom will also recur periodically, which 
is precisely that remarkable property of the elements which is expressed 
by the periodic law of Mendeleefi*, or the law of octaves of Newlands. 

The valency of the elements, like their periodicity, is a consequence 
of the principle that equilibrium becomes unstable when there are more 
than eight electrons in the outer layer of the atom. For on this view 
the chemical combination between two atoms, A and B, consists in the 
electrons of A getting linked up with those of B. Consider an atom 
like that of neon, which has already eight electrons in its outer layer; 
it cannot find room for any more, so that no atoms can be linked to it, 
and thus it cannot form any compounds. Now take an atom of fluor- 
ine, which has seven electrons in its outer layer; it can find room for 
one, but only one, electron, so that it can unite with one, but not with 
more than one, atom of an element like hydrogen, which has one elec- 
tron in the outer layer. Fluorine, accordingly, is monovalent. The 
oxygen atom has six electrons; it has, therefore, room for two more, 
and so can link up with two atoms of hydrogen: hence oxygen is 
divalent Similarly nitrogen, which has five electrons and three vacant 
places, will be trivalent, and so on. On this view an element should 
have two valencies, the sum of the two being equal to eight Thus, to 
take oxygen as an example, it has only two vacant places, and so can 
only find room for the electrons of two atoms; it has, however, six elec- 
trons available for filling up the vacant places in other atoms, and as 
there is only one vacancy to be filled in a fluorine atom the electrons 
in an oxygen atom could fill up the vacancies in six fluorine atoms, 
and thereby attach these atoms to it A fluoride of oxygen of this com- 
position remains to be discovered, but its analogue, SF^, first made 
known by Moissan, is a compound of this type. The existence of two 
valencies for an element is in accordance with views put forward some 
time ago by Abegg and Bodlander. Professor Lewis and Mr. Irving 
Langmuir have developed, with great ingenuity and success, the conse- 
quences which follow from the hypothesis that an octet of electrons 
surrounds the atoms in chemical compounds. 

The term 'atomic weight* has thus acquired for the chemist an alto* 



THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 297 

gether new and much wider significance. It has long been recognised 
that it has a far deeper import than as a constant useful in chemical 
arithmetic. For the ordinary purposes of quantitative analysis, of tech- 
nology, and of trade, these constants may be said to be now known with 
sufficient accuracy. But in view of their bearing on the great problem 
of the essential nature of matter and on the 'superlatively grand ques- 
tion. What is the inner mechanism of the atom?' they become of 
supreme importance. Their determination and study must now be 
approached from entirely new standpoints and by the conjoint action of 
chemists and physicists. The existence of isotopes has enormously 
widened the horizon. At first sight it would appear that we should 
require to know as many atomic weights as there are isotopes, and the 
chemist may well be appalled at such a prospect. All sorts of difficul- 
ties start up to affright him, such as the present impossibility of isola- 
ting isotopes in a state of individuality, their possible instability, and 
the inability of his quantitative methods to establish accurately the rela- 
tively small differences to be anticipated. All this would seem to make 
for complexity. On the other hand, it may eventually tend towards 
simplification. If, with the aid of the physicist we can unravel the na- 
ture and configuration of the atom of any particular element, determine 
the number and relative arrangement of the constituent protons and 
electrons, it may be possible to arrive at the atomic weight by simple 
calculation, on the assumption that the integer rule is mathematically 
valid. This, however, is almost certainly not the case, owing to the 
influence of 'packing.' The little differences, in fact, may make all the 
difference. The case is analogous to that of the so-called gaseous laws 
in which the departures from their mathematical expression have been 
the means of elucidating the physical constitution of the gases and of 
throwing light upon such variations in their behaviour as have been 
observed to occur. There would appear, therefore, ample scope for the 
chemist in determining with the highest attainable accuracy the de- 
partures from the whole-number rule, since it is evident that much 
depends upon their exact extent. 

These considerations have already engaged the attention of chemists. 
For some years past, a small international committee, originally ap- 
pointed in 1903, has made and published an annual report in which 
they have noted such determinations of atomic weight as have been 
made during the year preceding each report, and they have from time 
to time made suggestions for the amendment of the tables of atomic 
weights, published in text-books and chemical journals, and in use in 
chemical laboratories. In view of recent developments, the time has 
now arrived when the work of this international committee must be 
reorganised and its aims and functions extended. The mode in which 
this should be done has been discussed at the meeting in Brussels, in 
June last, oFlhe International Union of Chemistry Pure and Applied, 
and has resulted in strengthening the constitution of the committee and 
in a wide extension of its scope. 



«>8 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

The crisis through which we have recently passed has had a pro- 
found effect upon the world. The spectacle of the most cultured and 
most highly developed peoples on this earth, armed with every offensive 
appliance which science and the inventive skill and ingenuity of men 
could suggest, in the throes of a death struggle must have made the 
angels weep. That dreadful harvest of death is past, but the aftermath 
remains. Some of it is evil, and the evil will persist for, it may be, 
generations. There is, however, an element of good in it, and the 
good, we trust, will develop and increase with increase of years. The 
whole complexion of the world — material, social, economic, political, 
moral, spiritual — has been changed, in certain aspects immediately 
for the worse, in others prospectively for the better It bdioves us, 
then, as a nation to pay heed to the lessons of the war. 

The theme is far too complicated to be treated adequately within the 
limits of such an address as this. But there are some aspects of it 
germane to the objects of this association, and I venture, therefore, in 
the time that remains to me, to bring them to your notice. 

The Great War differed from all previous internecine struggles in 
the extent to which organised science was invoked and systematically 
applied in its prosecution. In its later phases, indeed, success became 
largely a question as to which of the great contending parties could 
most rapidly and most effectively bring its resources to their aid. The 
chief protagonists had been in the forefront of scientific progress for 
centuries, and had an accumulated experience of the manifold applica- 
tions of science in practically every department of human activity that 
could have any possible relation to the conduct of war. The military 
class in every country is probably the most conservative of all the 
professions and the slowest to depart from tradition. But when nations 
are at grips, and they realise that their very existence is threatened, 
every agency that may tend to cripple the adversary is apt to be resorted 
to — no matter how far it departs from the customs and conventions of 
war. This is more certain to be the case if the struggle is protracted. 
We have witnessed this fact in the course of the late War. Those who, 
realising that in the present imperfect stage of civilisation, wars are 
inevitable, and yet strove to minimise their horrors, and who formulated 
the Hague Convention of 1899, were well aware how these horrors 
might be enormously intensified by the applications of scientific know- 
ledge, and especially of chemistry. Nothing shocked the conscience 
of the civilised world more than Germany's cynical disregard of the 
undertaking into which she had entered with other nations in regard, 
for instance, to the use of lethal gas in warfare. The nation that 
treacherously violated the Treaty of Belgium, and even applauded the 
action, might be expected to have no scruples in repudiating her obliga- 
tions under the Hague Convention. April 25, 1915, which saw the 
clouds of the asphyxiating chlorine slowly wafted from the German 
trenches towards the lines of the Allies, witnessed one of the most 



THE CONSTITUTION OF MATTER 299 

bestial episodes in the history of the Great War. The world stood 
aghast at such a spectacle of barbarism. German Kultar apparently 
had absolutely no ethical value. Poisoned weapons are employed by 
savages, and noxious gas had been used in Eastern warfare in early 
times, but its use was hitherto unknown among European nations. 
How it originated among the Germans — whether by the direct un- 
prompted action of the Higher Command, or, as is more probable, at 
the instance of persons connected with the great manufacturing concerns 
in Rhineland, has, so far as I know, not transpired. It was not so 
used in the earlier stages of the War, even when it had become a war 
of position. It is notorious that the great chemical manufacturing 
establishments of Germany had been, for years previously, sedulously 
linked up in the service of the war which Germany was deliberately 
planning — ^probably, in the first instance, mainly for the supply of 
munitions and medicaments. We may suppose that it was the tenacity 
of our troops, and the failure of repeated attempts to dislodge them by 
direct attack, that led to the employment of such foul methods. Be this 
as it may, these methods became part of the settled practice of our 
enemies, and during the three succeeding years, that is from April 1915, 
to September 1918, no fewer than eighteen different forms of poison — 
gases, liquids and solids — were employed by the Germans. On the 
principle of Vespasian's law, reprisals became inevitable, and for the 
greater part of three years we had the sorry spectacle of the leading 
nations of the world flinging the most deadly products at one another 
that chemical knowledge could suggest and technical skill contrive. 
Warfare, it would seem, has now definitely entered upon a new phase. 
The horrors which the Hague Convention saw were imminent, and from 
which they strove to protect humanity, are now, apparently, by the 
example and initiative of Germany, to become part of the established 
procedure of war. Civilisation protests against a step so retrograde. 
Surely comity among nations should be adequate to arrest it. If the 
League of Nations is vested with any real power, it should be possible 
for it to devise the means, and to ensure their successful application. 
The failure of the Hague Convention is no sufficient reason for despair. 
The moral sense of the civilised world is not so dulled but that, if 
roused, it can make its influence prevail. And steps should be taken 
without delay to make that influence supreme, and all the more so that 
there are agencies at work which would seek to perpetuate such 
methods as a recognised procedure of war. The case for what is called 
chemical warfare has not wanted for advocates. It is argued that poison 
gas is far less fatal and far less cruel than any other instrument of war. 
It has been stated that ^amongst the ^'mustard gas'' casualties the 
deaths were less than 2 per cent, and when death did not ensue complete 
recovery generally ultimately resulted. . . . Other materials of 
chemical warfare in use at the armistice do not kill at all ; they produce 
casualties which, after six weeks in hospital, are discharged practically 



300 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

without permanent hurt' It has been argued that, as a method of 
conducting war, poison-gas is more humane than preventive medi- 
cine. Preventive medicine has increased the unit dimension of an 
army, free from epidemic and conununicable disease, from 100,000 
men to a million. Treventive medicine has made it possible to main- 
tain 20,000,000 men under arms and abnormally free from disease, 
and so provided greater scope for the killing activities of the other 
military weapons. . . . Whilst the surprise effects of chemical war- 
fare aroused anger as being contrary to military tradition, they were 
minute compared with those of preventive medicine. The former slew 
its thousands, whilst the latter slew its millions and is still reap- 
ing the harvest.' This argument carries no conviction. Poison gas is 
not merely contrary to European military tradition; it is repugnant 
to the right feeling of civilised humanity. It in no wise displaces or 
supplants existing instruments of war, but creates a new kind of 
weapon, of limitless power and deadliness. 'Mustard gas' may be a 
comparatively innocuous product as lethal substances go. It certainly 
was not intended to be such by our enemies. Nor, presumably, were 
the Allies any more considerate when they retaliated with it Its 
effects, indeed were sufficient terrible to destroy the German morale. 
The knowledge that the Allies were preparing to employ it to an almost 
boundless extent was one of the factors that determined our enemies to 
sue for the armistice. But if poisonous chemicals are henceforth to be 
r^arded as a regular means of offence in warfare, is it at all likely that 
their use will be confined to 'mustard gas,' or indeed to any other of 
the various substances which were employed up to the date of the 
armistice? To one who, after the peace, inquired in Germany concern- 
ing the German methods of making 'mustard gas,' the reply was: — 
'Why are you worrying about this when you know perfectly well that 
this is not the gas we shall use in the next war?' 

I hold no brief for preventive medicine, which is well able to fi^t 
its own case. I would only say that it is the legitimate business of 
preventive medicine to preserve by all known means the health of any 
body of men, however large or small, committed to its care. It b not 
to its discredit if, by knowledge and skill, the numbers so maintained 
run into millions instead of being limited to thousands. On the other 
hand, 'an educated public opinion' will refuse to give credit to any 
body of scientific men who employ their talents in devising means to 
develop and perpetuate a mode of warfare which is abhorroit to the 
higher instinct of humanity. 

TUs association, I trust, will set its face against the continued 
degradation of science in thus augmenting the horrors of war. It 
could have no loftier task than to use its great influence in arresting a 
course which is the very negation of civilisation. 



THE LABORATORY OF THE LIVING ORGANISM 301 

THE LABORATORY OF THE LIVING ORGANISM 

By Dr. M. O. FORSTER, F.RS. 

PRESIDENT OF THE CHEMICAL SECTION 

AMONGST the many sources of pleasure to be found in contempla- 
ting the wonders of the universe, and denied to those untrained in 
scientific principles, is an appreciation of infra-minute quantities of 
matter. It may be urged by some that within the limits of vision im- 
posed by telescope and microscope, ample material exists to satisfy the 
curiosity of all reasonable people, but the appetite of scientific inquiry 
is insatiable, and chemistry alone, organic, inorganic, and physical, 
offers an instrument by which the investigation of basal changes may 
be carried to regions beyond those encompassed by the astronomer and 
the microscopist 

It is not within the purpose of this address to survey that revolu- 
tion which is now taking place in the conception of atomic structure; 
contributions to this question will be made in our later proceedings 
and will be followed with deep interest by all members of the section. 
Fortunately for our mental balance the discoveries of the current cen- 
tury, whilst profoundly modifying the atomic imagery inherited from 
our predecessors, have not yet seriously disturbed the principles under- 
lying systematic organic chemistry; but they emphasise in a forcible 
manner the intimate connection between different branches of science, 
because it is from the mathematical physicist that these new ideas have 
sprung. Their immediate value is to reaffirm the outstanding impor- 
tance of borderline research and to stimulate interest in sub-micro- 
scopic matter. 

This interest presents itself to the chemist very early in life and 
dominates his operations with such insistence as to become axiomatic. 
So much so that he regards the universe as a vast theatre in which 
atomic and molecular units assemble and interplay, the resulting pat- 
terns into which they fall depending on the physical conditions im- 
posed by nature. This enables him to regard micro-organisms as co- 
practitioners of his craft, and the chemical achievements of these 
humble agents have continued to excite his admiration since they were 
revealed by Pasteur. The sixty years which have now elapsed are rich 
in contributions to that knowledge which comprises the science of mi- 
cro-biochemistry, and in this province, as in so many others, we have to 
deplore the fact that the principal advances have been made in countries 
other than our own. On this ground, fortified by the intimate relation 
of the science to a number of important industries, A. Chaston Chap- 
man, in a series of illuminating and attractive Cantor Lectures in De- 
cember, 1920, derated his plea of the previous year for the founda- 
tion of a National Institute of Industrial Micro-biology, whilst H. E. 
Armstrong, in Birmingham a few weeks later, addressed an appeal to 
the brewing industry, which, although taking the form of a memorial 



302 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

lecture, is endowed with many lively features depicting in characteristic 
form the manner in which the problems of brewing chemistry should, 
in his opinion, be attacked. 

Lamenting as we now do so bitterly die accompaniments and conse- 
quences of war, it is but natural to snatch at the slender compensations 
which it offers, and not the least among these must be recognised the 
stimulus which it gives to scientific inquiry. Pasteur's Etudes sur la 
Biere were inspired by the misfortunes which overtook his country in 
1870-71, and the now well-known process of Connstein and Liidecke 
for augmenting the production of glycerol from glucose was engendered 
by parallel circumstances. That acquaintance with the yeast-cell whidi 
was an outcome of the former event had, by the time of the latter 
discovery, ripened into a firm friendship, and those who slander the 
chemical activities of this genial fungus are defaming a potential 
benefactor. Equally culpable are those who ignore diem. If children 
were encouraged to cherish the same intelligent sympadiy with yeast- 
cells which they so willingly display towards domestic animals and 
silkworms, perhaps there would be fewer crazy dervishes to deny us 
die moderate use of honest malt-liquors and unsophisticated wines, 
fewer pitiable maniacs to complicate our social problems by habitual 
excess. 

Exactly how the cell accomplishes its great adventure remains a 
puzzle, but many parts of the machinery have already been recognised. 
Proceeding from the discovery of zymase (1897), with passing refer- 
ence to the support thus given by Buchner to Liebig's view of fermenta- 
tion, Chapman emphasises the importance of contributions to the sub- 
ject by Harden and W. J. Young, first in revealing the dual nature of 
zymase and the distinctive properties of its co-enzyme (1904), next 
in recognising the acceleration and total increase in fermentation pro- 
duced by phosphates, consequent on the formation of a hexosediphos- 
phate (1908). 

In this connection it will be remembered that a pentose-phosphate 
is common to the four nucleotides from which yeast nucleic acid is 
elaborated. The sftimulating effect developed by phosphates would not 
be operative if the cell were not provided with an insitrument for 
hydrolysing the hexose-diphosphate as produced, and this is believed 
by Harden to be supplied in the form of an enzyme, hexosephosphatase, 
the operation of which completes a cycle. As to the stages of dis- 
ruption which precede the appearance of alcohol and carbon dioxide, 
that marked by pyruvic acid is the one which is now most favoured. 
The transformation of pyruvic acid into acetaldehyde and carbon di- 
oxide under the influence of a carboxylase, followed by the hydrogena- 
tion of aldehyde to alcohol, is a more acceptable course than any alter- 
native based upon lactic acid. Moreover, Fembach and Schoen (1920) 
have confirmed their previous demonstration (1914) of pyruvic acid 
formation by yeast during alcoholic fermentation. 



THE LABORATORY OF THE LIVING ORGANISM 303 ! 

He strict definition of chemical tasks allotted to yeasts, moulds, 
and bacteria suggests an elaborate system of microbial trades-unionism. ' 

E. C. Grey (1918) found that Bacillus coli communis will, in presence 
of calcium carbonate, completely ferment forty times its own weight 
of glucose in forty-eight hours, and later (1920) exhibited the threefold 
character of the changes involved which produce (1) lactic acid, 
(2) alcohol with acetic and succinic acids, (3) formic acid, carbon 
dioxide, and hydrogen. Still more recent extension of this inquiry by 
Grey and E. G. Young (1921) has shown that the course of such 
changes will depend on the previous experience of the microbe. When 
its immediate past history is anaerobic, fermentation under anaerobic 
conditions yields very little or no lactic acid and greatly diminishes 
the production of succinic acid, whilst acetic acid appears in its place; 
admission of oxygen during fermentation increases the formation of 
lactic, acetic, and succinic acids, diminishes the formation of hydrogen, 
carbon dioxide, and formic acid, but leaves the quantity of alcohol 
unchanged. The well-known oxidising e£fect of Aspergillus niger has 
been shown by J. N. Currie (1917) to proceed in three stages marked by 
citric acid, oxalic acid, and carbon dioxide, whilst Wehmer (1918) 
has described the condition under which citric acid and, principally, 
fumaric acid are produced by Aspergillus fumaricus^ a mould also re- 
quiring oxygen for its purpose. The lactic bacteria are a numerous 
family and resemble those producing acetic acid in their venerable 
record of service to mankind, whilst among the most interesting of the 
parvenus are those responsible for the conversion of starch into butyl 
alcohol and acetone. Although preceded by Schardinger (1905), who 
discovered the ability of B. m^xcerans to produce acetone with acetic 
and formic acids, but does not appear to have pursued the matter 
further, the process associated with the name of A. Fembach, and the 
various modifications whicii have been introduced during the past ten 
years are those best known in this country, primarily because of the 
anticipated connection with synthetic rubber, and latterly on account 
of the acetone famine arising from the War. The King's Lynn factory 
was resuscitated and arrangements had just been completed for adapt- 
ing spirit distilleries to application of the process when, owing to the 
shortage of raw material in 1916, operations were transferred to Canada 
and ultimately attained great success in the factory of British Acetones, 
Toronto. 

Mudi illuminating material is to be found in the literature of 1919- 
20 dealing with this question in its technological and bacteriological 
aspects. Ingenuity has been displayed in attempting to explain the 
chemical mechanism of the process, the net result of which is to pro- 
duce roughly twice as much butyl alcohol as acetone. The fermenta- 
tion itself is preceded by saccharification of die starch, and in this re- 
spect the bacteria resemble those moulds which have lately been 
brought into the technical operation of starch-conversion, especially in 



304 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

France. The amyloclastic property of certain moulds has been known 
from very early times, but its application to spirit manufacture is of 
recent growth and underlies the amylo-process which substitutes Mucor 
Boulard for malt in e£fecting sacchariiication. Further improvement 
on this procedure is claimed for B. mesentericus, which acts with great 
rapidity on grain which has been soaked in dilute alkali; it has the 
advantage of inferior proteolytic effect, thus diminishing the waste of 
nitrogenous matter in the raw material. 

Reviewing all these circumstances we find that, just as the ranks 
of trades-union labour comprise every kind of handicraftsman, the 
practitioners of micro-biochemistry are divisible into producers of 
hydrogen, carbon dioxide, formic acid, acetaldehyde, ethyl alcohol, 
acetic, oxalic, and fumaric acids, acetone, dihydroxyacetone, glycerol, 
pyruvic, lactic, succinic and citric acids, butyl alcohol, butyric acid. 
Exhibiting somewhat greater elasticity in respect of overlapping tasks, 
they nevertheless go on strike if underfed or dissatisfied with their 
conditions; on the other hand, with sufficient nourishment and an agree- 
able temperature, these micro-trades-unionists display the unusual 
merit of working for twenty-four hours a day. One thing, however, 
they have consistently refused to do. Following his comparison of 
natural and synthetic monosaccharides towards different families of 
yeast (1894), Fischer and others have attempted to beguile unsuspect- 
ing microbes into acceptance of molecules which do not harmonise with 
their own enzymic asymmetry. Various aperitifs have been adminis- 
tered by skilled diefs de cuisine, but hitherto die little fellows have 
remained obdurate. 

Beyond a placid acceptance of the more obvious benefits of sun- 
shine, the great majority of educated people have no real conception of 
the sun*s contribution to their existence. What proportion of those 
who daily use the metropolitan system of tube-railways, for instance, 
could trace the connection between their progress and the sun? Very 
moderate instruction comprising the elements of chonistry and energy 
would enable most of us to apprehend thb modem wonder, contem- 
plation of which might help to alleviate the distresses and exasperation 
of the crush-hours. 

For many years past, die problem connected with solar influoice 
which has most intrigued die chemist is to unfold the mechanism 
enabling green plants to assimilate nitrogen and carbon. Although 
atmospheric nitrogen has long been recognised as the ultimate supply 
of that element from which phyto-protoplasm is constructed, modem 
investigation has indicated as necessary a stage involving association 
of combined nitrogen with the soil prior to absorpdon of nitrogen 
compounds by the roots, with or without bacterial cooperation. Con- 
currently, the agency by which green plants assimilate carbon is be* 
lieved to be chlorophyll, operating under solar influence by some sudi 
mechanism as has been indicated in a preceding section. 



THE LABORATORY OF THE UVING ORGANISM 305 

Somewhat revolutionary views on these two points have lately been 
expressed by Benjamin Moore, and require the strictest examination, 
not merely owing to the fundamental importance of an accurate solution 
being reached, but also on account of the stimulating and engaging 
manner in which he presents the problem. Unusual psychological 
features have been introduced. Moore's 'Biochemistry,' published 
three months ago, will be read attentively by many chemists, but the 
clarity of presentation and the happy sense of conviction which per- 
vade its pages must not be allowed to deter independent inquirers from 
confirming or modifying his conclusions. The book assumes a novel 
biochemical aspect by describing the life-history of a research. The 
first two chapters, written before the experiments were begun, suggest 
the conditions in which the birth of life may have occurred, whilst 
their successors describe experiments which were conducted as a test of 
the speculations and are already receiving critical attention from others 
(e.g., Baly, Heilbrcm and Barker, Transactions of the Chemical Society, 
1921, p. 1025). 

It is with these experiments that we are, at the m(»nent, most con- 
cerned. The earliest were directed toward the synthesis of simple 
organic materials by a transformation of light energy under the influ- 
ence of inorganic colloids, and indicated that formaldehyde is produced 
when carbon dioxide passes into uranium or ferric hydroxide sols 
exposed to sunlight or the mercury arc lamp. Moore then declares 
that, although since the days of de Saussure (1804) chlorophyll has 
been regarded as the fundamental agent in the photosynthesis of living 
matter, there is no experimental evidence that the primary agent may 
not be contained in the colourless part of the chloroplast, chlorophyll 
thus being the result of a later synthetic stage. *The function of the 
dilorophyll may be a protective one to the chloroplast when exposed 
to light, it may be a light screen as has been suggested by Pringaheim, 
or it may be concerned in condensations «md polymerisations subsequent 
to the first act of synthesis with production of formaldehyde* (p. 55) . 
In this connection it is significant that chlorosis of green plants will 
follow a deficiency of iron even in presence of sunlight (Moliadi, 
1892), and that a development of chlorophyll can be restored by sup- 
plying this deficiency, although iron is not a component of the chlo- 
rophyll molecule; moreover, green leaves etiolated by darkness and 
then exposed to light regain their chlorophyll, which is therefore itself 
a product arising from photosynthesis. 

H. Thiele (1907) recorded the swift conversion of nitrate into 
nitrite by the rays from a mercury quartz lamp, whilst 0. Baudisch 
(1910) observed that daylight effects the same change, and from allied 
observations was led (1911) to conclude that assimilation of nitrate 
and nitrite by green plants is a photochemical process. Moore found 
(1918) that in solutions of nitrate undergoing this reduction green 
leaves check die accumulation of nitrite, indicating their capacity to 

VOL. xni. 




306 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

absorb the more active compound. Proceeding from the hypothesis 
that one of the organisms arising earliest in the course of evolution 
must have possessed, united in a single cell, die dual function of assimi- 
lating both carbon and nitrogen, he inquired (1918) whether the sim- 
plest unicellular algs may not also have this power. He satisfied 
himself that in absence of all sources of nitrogen excepting atmos- 
pheric, and in presence of caibon dioxide, the unicellular alge can 
fix nitrogen, grow and form proteins by transformation of light energy; 
the rate of growth is accelerated by the presence of nitrites or oxides 
of nitrogen, the latter being supplied in gaseous form by the atmos- 
phere. Frcmi experiments (1919) with green seaweed (Enteromorpha 
compressus) y Moore concluded also that marine algae assimilate carbon 
from the bicaii>onates of calcium and magnesium present in sea-water, 
which thereby increases in alkalinity, and further convinced himself 
that the only source of nitrogen available to such growth is the at- 
mosphere. A description of these experiments, which were carried out 
in conjunction with E. Whitley and T. A. Webster, has appeared also 
in the Proceedings of the Royal Society (1920 and 1921). 

For the purpose of distinguishing between (1) the obsolete view 
of a vital force disconnected with such forms of energy as are exhibited 
by non-living transformers and (2) the existence in living cells of only 
such energy forms as are encountered in non-living systems, Moore 
uses the expression *biotic energy' to represent that form of energy 
peculiar to living matter. The conception, in brief, is that biotic 
energy is just as closely, and no more, related to the various forms 
of energy existing apart from life, as these are to one another, and that 
in presence of the proper and adapted energy transformer, the living 
cell, it is capable of being formed from or converted into various of 
these other forms of energy, die law of conservation of energy being 
obeyed in the process just as it would be if an exchange were taking 
place between any two or more of the inorganic forms' (p. 128). The 
most characteristic feature of biotic energy, distinguishing it from all 
other forms, is the power which it confers upon the specialised trans- 
former to proliferate. 

In The Salvaging of Civilisation,' H. G. Wells has lately directed 
the attention of thoughtful people to the imperative need of reconstruct- 
ing our outlook on life. Convinced that the state-motive whicfai 
throughout history, has intensified the self-motive must be replaced by 
a world-motive if the vdiole fabric of civilisation is not to crumble in 
ruins, he endeavours to substitute for a League of Nations the con- 
ception of a World State. In the judgment of many quite benevolent 
critics his essay in abstract thought lacks practical value because it 
underestimates the combative selfishness of individuals. Try to dis- 
guise it as one may, this quality is the one which has enabled men to 
emerge from savagery, to build up that most wonderful system of 
colonial organisation, the Roman Empire, and to shake off the barbaric 



THE LABORATORY OF THE UVING ORGANISM 807 

lethargy which engulfed Europe in the centuries following the fall of 
Rome. The real problem is how to harness this combative selfishness. 
To eradicate it seems impossible, and it has never been difficult to find 
glaring examples of its insistence among the apostles of eradication. 
Why cry for the moon? Is it not wiser to recognise this quality as an 
inherent human characteristic, and whether we brand it as a vice or 
applaud it as a virtue endeavour to bend it to the elevation of man- 
kind? For it could so be bent. Nature ignored or misunderstood is 
the enemy of man; nature studied and controlled is his friend. If the 
attacking force of this combative selfishness could be directed, not 
towards the perpetuation of quarrels between different races of man- 
kind, but against nature, a limitless field for patience, industry, ingenu- 
ity, imagination, scholarship, aggressiveness, rivalry, and acquisitive- 
ness would present itself; a field in which the disappointment of baf- 
fled effort would not need to sedc revenge in the destruction of our 
fellow-creatures: a field in which the profit from successful enterprise 
would automatically spread through all the communities. Surely it is 
the nature-motive, as distinct from the state-motive or the world-motive, 
which alone can salvage civilisation. 

Before long, as history counts time, dire necessity will have impelled 
mankind to some such course. Already the straws are giving their 
proverbial indication. The demand for wheat by increasing popula- 
tions, the rapidly diminishing supplies of timber, the wasteful ravages 
of insect pests, the less obvious, but more insidious depredations of 
our microscopic enemies, and the blood-curdling fact that a day must 
dawn when the last ton of coal and the last gallon of oil have been 
consumed, are all circumstances which, at present recognised by a small 
number of individuals comprising the scientific commmiity, must in- 
evitably thrust thonselves upon mankind collectively. In the campaign 
which then will follow, chemistry must occupy a prominent place 
because it is this branch of science vdiich deals with matter more in- 
timately than any other, revealing its properties, its transformations, 
its application to existing needs, and its response to new demands. 
Yet the majority of our people are denied the elements of chemistry 
in their training, and thus grow to manhood without the slightest real 
understanding of their bodily processes and composition, of the wiz- 
ardry by which living things contribute to their nourishment and to 
their aesthetic enjoyment of life. 

It should not be impossible to bring into the general scheme of 
secondary education a sufficiency of chemical, physical, mechanical, 
and biological principles to render every boy and girl of sixteen pos- 
sessing average intelligence at least accessible to an explanation of 
modem discoveries. One fallacy of the present system is to assume 
that relative proficiency in the inorganic branch must be attained before 
approaching organic chemistry. From the standpoint of correlating 
sdiolastic knowledge with the common experiences and contacts of daily 



808 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

life this is quite illogical; from baby's milk to grandpa's Glaxo the 
most important things are organic, excepting water. Food (meat, car- 
bohydrate, fat), clothes (cotton, silk, linen, wool), and shelter (wood) 
are organic, and the symbols for carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen 
can be made the basis of skeleton representations of many f midamental 
things which happen to us in our daily lives without first explaining 
their position in the periodic table of all the elements. The curse of 
mankind is not labour, but waste; misdirection of time, of material, of 
opportunity, of humanity. 

Realisation of such an ideal would people the ordered conununities 
with a public alive to the verities, as distinct from irrelevancies of life, 
and apprehensive of the ultimate danger with which civilization is 
threatened. It would inoculate that public with a germ of the nature- 
motive, producing a condition vrbidi would reflect itself ultimately upon 
those entrusted with government It would provide the mental and 
sympathetic background upon which the future truthseeker must work, 
long before he is implored by a terrified and despairing people to pro- 
vide them with food and energy. Finally, it would give an unsuspected 
meaning and an unimagined grace to a hundred commonplace experi- 
ences. The quivering glint of massed bluebells in broken sunshine, 
the joyous radiance of young beech-leaves against the stately cedar, 
the perfume of hawthorn in the twilight, the florid majesty of rhodo- 
dendron, the fragrant simplicity of lilac; periodically gladdoi the most 
careless heart and the least reverent spirit; but to the chemist they 
breathe an added message, the assurance that a new season of refresh- 
ment has dawned upon the world, and that those delicate syntheses, 
into the mystery of which it is his happy privilege to penetrate, onoe 
again are working their inimitable miracles in the laboratory of the 
living organism. 



EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY 

By Dr. J. S. FLETT, F.R.S. 

PRESn>ENT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SECTION 

AMONG the citizens of Edinburgh in the closing years of die 
eighteenth century there was a brilliant little group of scientific, 
literary, and philosophical writers. These were the men who founded 
the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the year 1783, and many of their 
important papers appear in the early volumes of its Transactions. 
Among them were Adam Ferguson, the historian and philosopher; 
Black, the chemist who discovered carbonic add and the latent heat <^ 
water; Hope^ ytrho proved the expansion of water on cooling; Clerk of 
Eldin, who made valuable advances in the theory of naval tactics, and 
his brother. Sir George Clerk; Hutton, the founder of modem geology; 



EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY 309 

and Sir James Hall, the experimental geologist. These men were all 
intimate friends keenly interested in one another's researches. Quite 
the most notable member of this group was Hutton, who, not mainly 
for his eminence in geology, but principally for his social gifts, his 
bonhomie, and his versatility, was regarded as the centre of the circle. 
Hutton showed an extraordinary combination of qualities. His father 
was Town Clerk of Edinburgh. After starting as an apprentice to a 
Writer to the Signet, he took up the study of medicine at the Univer- 
sities of Edinburgh and Paris, and graduated at Leyden. He then 
became a farmer on his father's property in Berwickshire, and also 
carried on chemical manufactures in Leith in partnership with Mr. 
Davie. He studied methods of agriculture in England and elsewhere, 
and was an active supporter of the movement for improving Scottish 
agriculture by introducing the best methods of other countries. A 
burning enthusiast in geology, especially in the 'theory of the earth,* 
he travelled extensively in Scotland, England, and on the Continent 
making geological observations. 

His interests were not confined to geology, for he wrote a treatise 
on metaphysics, which seems to have been more highly esteemed in his 
day than in ours, and in his last years he produced a work on agri- 
culture which was never published. The manuscript of this work is 
now in the library of the Edinburgh Geological Society. He also made 
interesting contributions to meteorology. Hutton's writings are as 
<d)6aire and involved as his conversation was clear and persuasive, and 
it is only from the accounts of his friends, and especially Playfair's 
^Life of Hutton,' that we can really ascertain what manner of man 
he was. 

It could easily have happened that when Hutton died his unread- 
able writings might have passed out of notice, to be rediscovered at a 
subsequent time, when their value could be better appreciated. But 
Playfair's 'Explanations of the Hutton Theory,' as attractive and con- 
vincing still as when it was originally published, established at once 
the true position of Hutton as one of the founders of geology. Sir 
James Hall undertoc^ a di£ferent task; he determined to put Hutton's 
theories to the test of experiment, and in so doing he became the virtual 
founder of modem experimental geology. It is my purpose in this 
address to show what were the problems that Hall attadced, by what 
methods he attempted to solve them, and what were his results. I 
shall also consider how far the progress of science has carried us since 
Hall's time regarding this department of geological science. 

Hutton was a friend of Hall's father: they were proprietors of 
adjacent estates in the county of Berwick, and much interested in the 
improved practice of agriculture, and though the elder Hall (Sir John 
Hall of Dunglass) has apparently left no scientific writings, he was one 
of those who were famiiliar with Hutton's theories and a member of 



310 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the social group in which Hutton moved. Sir James Hall was the 
eldest son; bom in 1761, he succeeded to the estate on his father's deadi 
in 1776. Educated first at Cambridge and then at Edinburgh University, 
at an early age he became fascinated by Hutton*s personality, diough 
repelled by lus theories. He tells us how for three years he argued 
with Hutton daily, rejecting his principles. Hutton prevailed in the 
long run, and Sir James Hall was convinced. HalPs objection to 
Hutton's theories is not difficult to understand, though he has not him- 
self explained it The world was sick of discussions on cosmogony in 
which rival theorists appealed to well-known facts as proof of the 
most extravagant speculations. Serious-minded men were losing in- 
terest in these proceedings. The Geological Society of London was 
founded in 1807, and one of its objects is stated to he the avoidance of 
speculation and the patient accumulation of facts. No doubt Hall also 
was greatly influenced by the discoveries that Black and Hope had 
made by pure experimental investigation. His bent of mind was to- 
wards chemical, physical, and experimental work, while Hutton was 
not only a geologist but also a metaphysician. 

Foreign travel was then an essential part of the education of a 
Scottish gentleman, and the connection between France, Holland, and 
Scotland was closer than it is today. Hall travelled widely; in his 
travels two subjects seem to have especially engrossed him. One was 
architecture, on which he vrrote a treatise which was published in 1813 
and is now forgotten. The other was geology. He visited the Alps, 
Italy, and Sicily. In Switzerland he may have met De Saussure and 
discussed with him the most recent theories of their time r^arding 
metamorphism and the origin of granites, schists, and gneisses. In 
Italy and Sicily one of his objects was to observe the phenomena of 
active volcanoes, and to put to the test of facts die theories of Werner 
and of the Scottish school r^arding the origin of basalt, whinstone, 
trap, and the older volcanic rocks of the earth's crust At Vesuvius 
he made his famous observation of the dykes that rise nearly vertically 
through the crater wall of Sonmia, which he held to prove the ascent 
of molten magma from below through fissures to the surface. This was 
in opposition to the interpretation of the Wemerians, who regarded 
them as filled from above by aqueous sediments, and Hall's conclu- 
sions, which were strikingly novel at the time, have been abundantly 
confirmed. 

We obtain a pleasant glimpse of Hall's life in Berwickshire in the 
account of his visit with Hutton and Playfair to Siccar Point in the 
year 1788. The start was made from Dunglass, where probably die 
party had spent the night. The great omglomerates of the Upper Old 
Red Sandstone of that district had much impressed Hutton. He saw 
in them the evidence of new worlds built out of the ruins of the old, 
with no sign of a beginning and no prospect of an end — a thesis which 



EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY «11 

was one of the corner-stones of his Theory of the Earth.' No doubt 
Hall knew or suspected that in the cliff -exposures at Siccar Point, 
where the Old Red rests upon the Silurian, there was evidence which 
would put this dogma to a critical test. 

Hall's first experiments were b^un in the year 1790, his object 
being to ascertain whether crystallisation would take place in a molten 
lava which was allowed to cool slowly. It was generally believed that 
the results of fusion of rodcs and earths were in all cases vitreous, but 
glassmakers knew that if glass was very slowly cooled, as sometimes 
happened when a glass furnace burst, the whole mass assumed a stony 
appearance. An instance of this had come under Hall's notice in a 
glassworks in Leith, and its application to geology was clear. Hutton 
taught that even such highly crystalline rocks as granite had been com- 
pletely fused at the time of their injection, and their coarse crystallisa- 
tion was mainly due to slow cooling. 

For the purpose of his experiments Hall selected certain whin- 
stones of the neighborhood of Edinburgh, such as the dolerites of the 
Dean, Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh Castle, the summit of Arthur's 
Seat, and Duddingston; but he also used lava from Vesuvius, Etna, 
and Iceland. He made choice of graphite crucibles, and conducted his 
experiments in the reverberatory furnace of an ironfoundry belonging 
to Mr. Barker. As had been shown by Spallanzani, to whose experi- 
ments Hall does not refer, lavas are easily fusible under these condi- 
tions. Hall had no difficulty in melting the whinstones and obtaining 
oompletely glassy products by rapid cooling. He now proceeded to 
crystallise the glass by melting it again, transferring it from the fur- 
nace to a large open fire, where it was kept surrounded by burning 
coals for many hours, and thereafter very slowly cooled by allowing 
the fire to die out. He succeeded in obtaining a stony mass in which 
crystals of felspar and other minerals could be clearly seen. Some of 
his specimens were considered to be very similar in appearance to the 
dolerites on which his experiments were made. 

The only means of measuring furnace temperatures available at 
that time were the pyrometers which had recently been invented by 
Wedgwood. Hall found that a temperature of 28 to 30 Wedgwood 
yielded satisfactory results. This seems to be about the melting-point 
of copper, approximately 1000^ C. 

Whether by design or accident. Hall chose for his experiments 
precisely the rocks which were most suitable for his purpose. If 
granite had been selected no definite results would have been obtained. 
De Saussure had already made f usi(»i experiments on granite. Ninety 
years afterwards die problem was completely solved by Fouque and 
Levy, who used a gas furnace and a nitrogen thermometer. Tliey 
found that it was possible to obtain either porphyritic or o{diitic struc- 
tme by modifying the conditions, and that the minerals had exactly 



312 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the characters of those of the igneous rocks. Some of Hall's re- 
crystallised dolerites were examined microscopically by Fouque and 
Levy, and, as might be expected, they proved to be only partly crystal- 
lised, showing skeleton crystals of olivine and felspar with grains of 
iron ore in a glassy base. 

Some curious observations made by Hall in his experimental work 
were also confirmed by Fouque and Levy. The crystalline whinstones 
were more difficult to melt than the glasses which were obtained from 
them, and the glass crystallised best when kept for a time at a tem- 
perature a little above its softening point. It is not possible to assign 
a definite melting-point to the Scottish whinstones with which Hall 
woriced. Many of them contain zeolites, which fuse readily. Minerals 
are also present that decompose on heating, such as calcite, dolomite, 
chlorite, and serpentine. The whole process is very complex, and 
probably takes place by several stages not sharply distinct. Similarly 
the glasses cannot be said to have a melting-point They are really 
super-cooled liquids. A full explanation of what took place in Hall's 
crucibles cannot be given at the present day, but diere is no room for 
doubt that his experiments were good and his inferences accurate. 
His friend Kennedy, who had recently discovered the presence of 
alkalis in igneous rocks, furnished valuable support to Hall's conclu- 
sions by showing that the chemical composition of whinstone and of 
basalt were substantially identical. 

Apparently the results of Hall's work were not received with 
unmixed approbation. Hutton was distinctly uneasy, and it has been 
suggested that he feared if experimental work turned out unsuc- 
cessful it might bring his theories into discredit The Wemerians 
frankly sco£fed; they preferred argiunent to experiment, and die end- 
less discussion went on. Gregory Watt repeated Hall's experiments by 
fusing Glee Hill dolerite, a hundredweight or two at a time, in a blast- 
furnace. But there can be no doubt that among those who were not 
already committed to the principles of Werner the new evidence pro- 
duced a strong impression, and helped to widen the circle of Hutton's 
supporters. 

Hall's most famous experiments were on the effect of heat com- 
bined with pressure on carbonate of lime. The problem was, Gan 
powdered chalk be converted into firm limestone or into marble by 
heating it in a confined space? In this case Hutton's theories were 
in apparent conflict with experimental facts; from general observations 
he held it proved that heat and pressure had consolidated limestones 
and converted them into ma]4>les. It was well known, of course, that 
limestone, when heated in an open vessel, was transformed into quick- 
lime, and Black had shown that the explanation was that carbonic 
acid had been expelled in the form of gas. 

The experiments were begun in 1790, but deferred till 1798 after 



i 



EXPERIMENTAL -GEOLOGY 313 

Hutton's death. Hutton quite openly disapproved of experiments. His 
famous apophthegm has often been quoted about those who 'judge 
of the great operations of the mineral kingdom by kindling a fire and 
looking in the bottom of a crucible.* In deference to the feelings of 
his master and his father's friend, Sir James Hall, with admirable 
self-restraint, decided not to undertake experimental investigations in 
opposition to Hutton's expressed opinion. With a few month's inter- 
ruption in 1800 they were continued till 1805. A preliminary account 
of the results was communicated to the Royal Society of Edinburgh 
on August 30, 1804, and the final papers submitted on June 3, 1805. 
Hall states that he made over 500 individual experiments and destroyed 
vast numbers of gun-barrels in this research. 

The method adopted was to use a muffle-furnace burning coal or 
coke and built of brick. No blast seems to have been employed. The 
chalk-powder was enclosed in a gun-barrel cut off near the touch-hole 
and welded into a firm mass of iron. The other end of the barrel could 
be kept cool by applying wet cloths, and as it was not in die furnace 
its temperature was always comparatively low. Various methods of 
plugging the barrel were adopted; at first he used clay, sometimes mth 
powdered flint. Subsequently a fusible metal which melted at a temper- 
ature below that of boiling water was almost always preferred. Borax 
glass with sand was used in some of the experiments, but it was liable 
to cracking when allowed to cool, and consequently was not always 
gas-tight. It was essential, of course, that in sealing up die gun-barrel, 
and in subsequently removing the plug, the temperatures should never 
be so high as to have any sensible effect on the powdered chalk or lime- 
stone. Hall tried vessels with screwed stoppers or lids at first, but never 
found them satisfactory. 

In the gun-barrel there was always a certain amount of air enclosed 
with the chalk. Very early in the experiments it was shown that if 
no air-space was provided the fusible metal burst the barrel. No means 
was found to measure the size of the air-space accurately, but approxi- 
mately it was equal to that of the powdered chalk used in the experi- 
ment If the air-space was too large, or if there was an escape of gas, 
part of the chalk was converted into lime. 

As each ei^riment lasted several hours the temperature of the 
chalk was approximately equal to that of the part of die muffle in which 
it was placed. Pyrometry was as yet in its infancy. Wedgwood had 
invented pyrometric cones and Hall had heard of them, but apparendy 
at first he was not in possession of a set. He made his own cones 
38 nearly similar as possible to those of Wedgwood, and subsequently 
obtaining a set of Wedgwood's cones he standardized his own by com- 
parison with them. His gun-barrels of Swedish and Russian iron ('Old 
Sable') were softened, but seldom gave way except when the internal 
pressures were of a high order. Some of the gun-barrels seem to have 




814 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

been used for many experiments without failure occurring. As Hall 
made his own pyrometric cones, and we have no details of their com- 
position and the method of preparation, it is not possible to do more 
than guess at the temperatures to which his powdered lime and chalk 
were exposed. There is no doubt that by constant practice and careful 
observation he was able to regulate the temperature within fairly wide 
limits. 

Hall began his experiments as already stated in 1798. They were 
interrupted for about a year (March 1800 to March 1801), and on 
March 31, 1801, he had obtained a considerable measure of success. A 
charge of forty grains of powdered chalk was converted into a firm 
granular crystalline mass of limestone. The loss on weighing was 
approximately 10 per cent. Another charge of eighty grains was con- 
verted into marble (on March 3, 1801), with a loss of approximately 
5 per cent., and the crystalline mass showed distinct rhombohedral 
cleavage. 

Though it cannot be said that his success was easily won he was by 
no means satisfied, and for another four years he continued his 
researches. Many different methods were tried in order to ascertain 
the most satisfactory and reliable; his ambition was to attain complete 
control of the process so that he could always be certain of the result. 
Porcelain tubes were tried, which he obtained from Wedgwood. They 
were very liable, however, to allow escape of the gases through pores. 
Many different methods of obtaining gas-tight stoppers were experi- 
mented on, but he does not seem to have found anything really better 
than the fusible metal. A slight loss of weight in the chalk used seemed 
inevitable, and the amount of loss varied irregularly; after long trials 
he ultimately succeeded in reducing this to less than one per cent. 
Various kinds of carbonate of lime were used, including chalk, lime- 
stone, powdered spar, oyster shells, periwinkles, and each of these was 
crystallised in turn. Many experiments showed that a reaction might 
take place between the chalk powder and the glass of the tube in which 
it was contained. The result was a white deposit often crystalline, and 
a certain amount of uncombined carbonic add gas which escaped when 
the tube was opened. No doubt the white mineral was woUastonite. 
Hall proved that it was a silicate of lime which dissolved in add and 
left a cloud of gelatinous silica. Thereafter he used platinum vessels 
instead of glass to contain the charge of carbonate of lime which he 
wanted to fuse. The effect <^ impurities in the material used was also 
investigated. Critics had urged that his limestone was not pure. Hall 
aptly replied that diis was so much the better; natural limestones were 
seldom pure, and his point was that limestone might be fused under 
heat and pressure. He obtained the purest predpitated carbonate of 
lime, and used also perfectly transparent crystalline spar; the results 
were, as we might expect, that the pure substances and the fairly coarse 



EXPERIMENTAL GEOLOGY 815 

crystalline powder were more difficult to fuse than the very finely 
ground natural chalk. These results show that Hall had very complete 
control of his experimental processes, and that even small differences 
in fusibility did not escape his observation. 

As natural limestones are always moist, Hall's attention was next 
directed to the influence of water on the crystallisation of his powders. 
This added greatly to the difficulty of the experiments, but by wonderful 
skill he succeeded in using a few grains of water (apparently up to 
five per cent of the weight of the chalk) . The result was to improve 
the crystallisation, for the reason, as Hall believed, that the pressure 
was increased. He noticed at the same time that hydrogen was pro- 
duced, which took fiie when the gun-barrel was discharged. Probably 
there was also some carbonic oxide. About this time he was using bars 
of Russian iron into which a long cylindrical cavity had been bored. 
He then tried other volatile ingredients such as nitrate of ammcma, 
carbonate of ammonia, and gunpowder. In January 1804 he was able 
to convert chalk into firm limestone at a temperature about 960° (melt- 
ing-point of silver) in presence of small quantities of water with a loss 
of less than one-thousandth part of the chalk used. 

Finally he attempted to measure the pressure which was necessary 
to effect re-crystallisation under the conditions of his experiments. No 
pressure gauges were available at that date, and after many trials he 
employed a stopper faced with leather and forced against the mouth of 
his iron tube by means of weights acting either directly or through a 
lever. He ultimately succeeded in obtaining gas-tight junctions under 
pressures ranging from 52 up to 270 atmospheres, and concluded that 
52 atmospheres was the least pressure which could be satisfactory. 
This is equal to the pressure of a column of water 1,700 feet high or 
to a column of rock 700 feet high. A ^complete marble' was formed 
at a pressure of 86 atmospheres and carbonate of lime 'absolutely 
fused' under a pressure of 173 atmospheres. « 

In reviewing these classic experiments after a lapse of 120 years 
we feel that there are many points on which we should have liked more 
detailed information. One essential, for example, is exact chemical 
analysis of all the materials employed. Even chalk is variable in com- 
position to a by no means negligible extent. Oyster shells and peri- 
winkle shells contain organic matter, which would account for the 
considerable loss in weiglrt they always exhibited. The use of glass 
tubes was a defect in the early experiments afterwards remedied by 
employing platinum vessels. Although in all the experiments the 
charge was weighed it seems clear that at first at any rate the materials 
were not carefully dried. In the experiments with water it was seldom 
possible to provide absolutely against the escape of moisture when the 
fusible metal was introduced. Most of all we may regret the inadequate 
means of measuring the temperatures at which the experiments were 




316 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

conducted. The measurements of pressure were made by the simplest 
possible means, and it was only by great experimental ddll and care 
that even approximate results could be obtained. 

Such criticisms, however, do not mar the magnificent success of 
Hall's experiments. For nearly a hundred years, in spite of the advance 
of physical and chemical science, no substantial improvement on his 
results was attained. His work was immediately recognized as trust- 
worthy and conclusive, and became a classic in the literature of experi- 
mental geology. Although not exactly the founder of this school of 
research, for Spallanzani and De Saussure had made fusion experi- 
ments on rodcs before his time, he placed the subject in a prominent 
position among the departments of geological investigation, and did 
great service in supporting Hutton's theories by evidence of a new and 
unexpected character. 

SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION 

By Professor EDWIN S. GOODRICH, F.RS. 

PRESIDENT OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SECTION 

IN all probability factors of inheritance exist, and the fundamental 
problem of biology is how are the factors of an organism changed, 
or how does it acquire new factors? In spite of its vast importance, 
it must be confessed that little advance has been made towards the 
solution of thb problem since the time of Darwin, who considered 
that variation must ultimately be due to the action of the environment. 
This conclusion is inevitable, since any closed system will reach a 
state of equilibrium and continue unchanged, unless affected frcmi 
without. To say that mutations are due to the mixture or reshuffling 
of pre-existing factors is merely to push the problem a step farther 
back, for we must still account for dieir origin and diversity. The 
same objection applies to the suggestion that the complex of factors 
alters by the loss of certain of them. To account for the progressive 
change in the course of evolution of the factors of inheritance and 
for the building up of the complex it must be supposed that from time 
to time new factors have been added; it must further be supposed 
diat new substances have entered into the cycle of metabolism, and 
have been permanently incorporated as self-propagating ingredients 
entering into lasting relation with pre-existing factors. We are well 
aware that living protoplasm contains molecules of large size and 
extraordinary complexity, and that it may be urged that by their com- 
bination in different ways, or by the mere r^rouping of the atoms 
within them, an almost infinite number of changes may result, more 
than sufficient to account for the mutations whidi appear. But this does 
not account for the building up of the original complex. If it must 



SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION 317 

be admitted that such a 'building process once occurred, what right 
have we to suppose that it ceased at a certain period? We are driven, 
then, to the conclusion that in the course of evolution new material has 
been swept from the banks into the stream of germ-plasm. 

If one may be allowed to speculate still further, may it not be sup- 
posed that factors differ in their stability? — that whereas the more 
stable are merely bent, so to speak, in this or that direction by the 
environment, and are capable of returning to their original condition, 
as a gyroscope may return to its former position when pressure is 
removed, other less stable factors may be permanently distorted, may 
have their metabolism permanently altered, may take up new substance 
from the vortex, without at the same time upsetting the system of 
delicate adjustments whereby the organism keeps alive? In some such 
way we imagine factorial changes to be brought about and mutations 
to result. 

Let it not be thought for a moment that this admission that factors 
are alterable opens the door to a Lamarckian interpretation of evolu- 
tion ! According to the Lamarckian doctrine, at all events in its modem 
form, a character would be inherited after the removal of the stimulus 
which called it forth in the parent. Now of course, a response once 
made, a character once formed, may persist for longer or shorter time 
according as it is stable or not; but that it should continue to be 
produced when the conditions necessary for its production are no 
longer present is unthinkable. It may, however, be said that this is 
to misrepresent the doctrine, and that what is really meant is that the 
response may so react on and alter the factor as to render it capable 
of producing the new character under the old conditions. But is this 
interpretation any more credible than the first? 

Let us return to the possible alteration of factors by the environ- 
ment Unfortunately there is little evidence as yet on this point In 
die course of breeding experiments the occurrence of mutations has re- 
peatedly been observed, but what led to their appearance seems never 
to have been so clearly established as to satisfy exacting critics. Quite 
lately, however. Professor M. F. Guyer, of Wisconsin, has brought 
forward a most interesting case of the apparent alteration at will of a 
factor or set of factors under definite well-controlled conditions.^ You 
vrill remember that if a tissue substance, blood-serum for instance, of 
one animal be injected into the circulation of another, this second 
individual will tend to react by producing an anti-body in its blood to 
antagonise or neutralise the effect of the foreign serum. Now Pro- 
fessor Guyer's ingenious experiments and results may be briefly sum- 
marised as follows. By repeatedly injecting a fowl with the sub- 
stance of the lens of the eye of a rabbit he obtained anti-lens serum. 
On injecting this 'sensitised' serum into a pregnant female rabbit it 

f American Naturalist, voL Iv. 1921 ; Jour, of Exper. Zoology, vol. xxxi. 
ig20. 



318 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

was found that, while the mother's eyes remained apparently un« 
affected, some of her offspring developed defective lenses. The defects 
varied from a slight abnormality to almost complete disappearance. 
No defects appeared in untreated controls, no defects appeared with 
non-sensitised sera. On breeding the defective offspring for many 
generations these defects were found to be inherited, even to tend 
to increase and to appear more often. When a defective rabbit is 
crossed with a normal one the defect seems to behave as a Mendelian 
recessive character, the first generation having normal eyes and the 
defect reappearing in the second. Further, Professor Guyer claims to 
have shown that the defect may be inherited through the male as well 
as the female parent, and is not due to the direct transmission of anti* 
lens from mother to embryo in utero. 

If these remarkable results are verified, it is clear that an environ- 
mental stimulus, the anti-lens substance, will have been proved to 
affect not only the development of the lens in the embryo, but also the 
corresponding factors in the germ-cells of that embryo; and that it 
causes, by originating some destructive process, a lasting transmissible 
effect giving rise to a heritable mutation. 

Professor Guyer, however, goes farther, and argues that, since a 
rabbit can also produce anti-lens when injected with lens substance, and 
since individual animals can even produce anti-bodies when treated 
with their own tissues, therefore the products of the tissues of an in- 
dividual may permanently affect the factors carried by its own germ- 
cells. MoreovOT he asks, pointing to the well-known stimulative 
action of internal secretions (hormones and the like), if destructive 
bodies can be produced, why not constructive bodies also? And so he 
would have us adopt a sort of modem version of Darwin's theory of 
Pangenesis, and a Lamarckian view of evolutionary change. 

But surely there is a wide difference between such a poisonous or 
destructive action as he describes and any constructive process. The 
latter must entail, as I tried to show above, the drawing of new sub- 
stances into the metabolic vortex. Internal secretions are themselves 
but characters, products (perhaps of the nature of ferments behaving 
as environmental conditions, not as self -propagating factors, moulding 
the responses, but not permanently altering the fundamental structure 
and composition of the factors of inheritance. 

Moreover, the early fossil vertdirates had, in fact, lenses neither 
larger nor smaller on the average than those of the present day. If 
destructive anti-lens had been continually produced and had acted, its 
effect would have been cumulative. A constructive substance must, 
then, have also been continually produced to counteract it. Such a 
theory mig^t perhaps be defended; but would it bring us any nearer 
to the solution of the problem? 

The real weakness of the theory is that it does not escape from 
the fundamental objections we have already put forward as fatal to 



SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION 319 

Lamarckism. If an e£Pect has been produced, either the supposed con- 
structive substance was present from the first, as an ordinary internal 
environmental condition necessary for the normal development of the 
character, or it must have been introduced from without by the appli- 
cation of a new stimulus. The same objection does not apply to the 
destructive effect No one doubts that if a factor could be destroyed 
by a hot needle or picked out with fine forceps the effects of the opera- 
tion would persist throughout subsequent generations. 

Nevertheless, these results are of the greatest interest and impor- 
tance, and, if corroborated, will mark an epoch in the study of heredity, 
being apparently the first successful attempt to deal experimentally 
with a particular factor or set of factors in the germ-plasm. 

There remains another question we must try to answer before we 
close, namely, 'What share has the mind taken in evolution?' From 
the point of view of the biologist, describing and generalising on what 
he can observe, evolution may be represented as a series of metabolic 
changes in living matter moulded by the environment. It will natu- 
rally be objected that such a description of life and its manifestations 
as a physico-chemical mechanism takes no account of mind. Surely, it 
will be said, mind must have affected the course of evolution, and may 
indeed be considered as the most important factor in the process. 
Now, without in the least wishing to deny the importance of the mind, 
I would maintain that there is no justification for the belief that it 
has acted or could act as something guiding or interfering with the 
course of metabolism. This is not the place to enter into a philo- 
sophical discussion on the ultimate nature of our experience and its 
contents, nor would I be competent to do so; nevertheless, a scientific 
explanation of evolution cannot ignore the problem of mind if it is to 
satisfy the average man. 

Let me put the matter as briefly as possible at the risk of seeming 
somewhat dogmatic. It will be admitted that all the manifestations of 
living organisms depend, as mentioned above, on series of physico- 
chemical changes continuing without break, each step determining that 
which follows; also that the so-called general laws of physics and of 
chemistry hold good in living processes. Since, so far as living pro- 
cesses are known and understood, they can be fully explained in ac- 
cordance with these laws, there is no need and no justification for 
calling in the help of any special vital force or other directive influence 
to account for them. Such crude vitalistic theories are now discredited, 
but tend to return in a more subtle form as the doctrine of the inter- 
action of body and mind, of the influence of the mind on the activities 
of the body. But, try as we may, we cannot conceive how a physical 
process can be interrupted or supplemented by non-physical agencies. 
Rather do we believe that to the continuous physico-chemical series 
of events there corresponds a continuous series of mental events in- 
evitably connected with it; that the two series are but partial views 



320 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

or abstractions, two aspects of some more complete whole, the one 
seen from without, the other from within, the one observed, the other 
felt. One is capable of being described in scientific language as a 
consistent series of events in an outside world, the other is ascertained 
by introspection, and is describable as a series of mental events in 
psychical terms. There is no possibility of the one affecting or con- 
trolling the other, since they are not independent of each othor. 
Indissolubly connected, any change in the one is necessarily accom- 
panied by a corresponding change in the other. The mind is not a 
product of metabolism as materialism would imply, still less an epi- 
phenomenon or meaningless by-product as some have held. I am well 
aware that the view just put forward is rejected by many philosophers, 
nevertheless it seems to me to be the best and indeed the only working 
hypothesis the biologist can use in the present state of knowledge. The 
student of biology, however, is not concerned with the building up of 
systems of philosophy, though he should realise that the mental series 
of events lies outside the sphere of natural science. 

The question, then, which is the more important in evolution, the 
mental or the physical series, has no meaning, since one cannot happen 
without the other. The two have evolved together pari passu. We 
know of no mind apart from body, and have no right to assume that 
metabolic processes can occur without corresponding mental processes, 
however simple they may be. 

Simple response to stimulus is the basis of all behaviour. Responses 
may be linked together in chains, each acting as a stimulus to start the 
next; they can be modified by other simultaneous responses, or by the 
effects left behind by previous responses, and so may be built up into 
the most complicated behaviour. But owing to our very incomplete 
knowledge of the physico-chemical events concerned, we constantly, 
when describing the behaviour of living organisms, pass, so to speak, 
from the physical to the mental series, filling up the gaps in our know- 
ledge of the one from the other. We thus complete our description 
of behaviour in terms of mental processes we know only in ourselves 
(such as feeling, emotion, will) but infer from external evidence to take 
place in other animals. 

In describing a simple reflex action, for instance, the physico- 
chemical chain of events may appear to be so completely knovm that 
the corresponding mental events are usually not mentioned at all, their 
existence may even be denied. On the contrary, when describing com- 
plex behaviour when impulses from external or internal stimuli modify 
each other before the final result is translated into action, it is the 
intervening physico-chemical processes which are unknown and perhaps 
ignored, and the action is said to be voluntary or prompted by emotion 
or the will. 

The point I wish to make, however, is that the actions and be- 
haviour of organisms are responses, are characters in the sense de- 




SOME PROBLEMS IN EVOLUTION 821 

scribed in the earlier part of this address. They are inherited, they 
vary, they are selected, and evolve like other characters. The distinc- 
tion so often drawn by psychologists between instinctive behaviour said 
to be inherited and intelligent behaviour said to be acquired is as 
misleading and as little justified in this case as in that of structural 
characters. Time will not allow me to develop this point of view, but 
I will only mention that instinctive behaviour is carried out by a 
mechanism developed under the influence of stimuli, chiefly internal, 
which are constantly present in the normal environmental conditions, 
while intelligent behaviour depends on responses called forth by stimuli 
which may or may not be present. Hence, the former is, but the latter 
may or may not be inherited. As in other cases, the distinction lies in 
the factors and conditions which produce the results. Instinctive and 
intelligent behaviour are usually, perhaps always, combined, and one 
is not more primitive or lower than the other. 

It would be a mistake to think that these problems concerning 
factors and environment, heredity and evolution, are merely matters of 
academic interest Knowledge is power, and in the long run it is 
always the most abstruse researches that yield the most practical re- 
sults. Already, in the effort to keep up and increase our supply of 
food, in the constant fig^t against disease, in education, and in the 
progress of civilisation generally, we are beginning to appreciate the 
value of knowledge pursued for its own sake. Could we acquire the 
power to control and alter at will the factors of inheritance in domes- 
ticated animals and plants, and even in man himself, such vast results 
might be achieved that the past triumphs of the science would fade into 
insignificance. 

Zoology is not merely a descriptive and observational science, it is 
also an experimental science. For its proper study and the practical 
training of students and teachers alike, well-equipped modern labora- 
tories are necessary. Moreover, if there is to be a useful and progres- 
sive school contributing to the advance of the science, ample means 
must be given for research in all its branches. Life doubtless arose 
in the sea, and in the attempt to solve most of the great problems of 
biology the greatest advances have generally been made by the study 
of the lower marine organisms. It would be a thousand pities, there- 
fore, if Edinburgh did not avail itself of its fortunate position to offer 
to the student opportimities for the practical study of marine zoology. 

In his autobiography, Darwin complains of the lack of facilities for 
practical work — the same need is felt at the present time. He would 
doubtless have been gratified to see the provision made since his day 
and the excellent use to which it has been put; but what seems adqguate 
to one generation becomes insufficient for the next. We earnestly hope 
that any appeal that may be made for funds to improve this department 
of zoology may meet with the generous response it certainly deserves. 

VOL. Xm.— 21. 



322 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

APPLIED GEOGRAPHY 
By Dr. D. G, HCXL\RTH. CM.G. 

PRESIDENT OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL SECTION 

r[E term which I have taken for the title of my address has been 
in use for some years as a general designation of lendings or bor- 
rowings of geographical results, whether by a geographer who applies 
the material of his own science to another, or by a geologist or a 
meteorologist, or again an ethnologist or historian, who borrovrs of the 
geographer. Whether geography makes the loan of her own inotion or 
not, the interest in view, as it seems to me, is primarily that, not of 
geography, but of another science or study. The open question whether 
that interest will be served better if the actual application be made 
by the geographer or by the other scientist or student does not con* 
cem us now. 

Such applications are of the highest interest and value as studies, 
and, still more, as means of education. As studies, not merely are 
they links between sciences, but they tend to become new subjects 
of research, and to develop with time into independent sciences. As 
means of education they are used more generally, and prove them- 
selves of higher potency than the pure sciences from which or to which, 
respectively, the loans are effected. But, in my view, geography, thus 
applied, passes, in the process of application, into a foreign province 
and under another control. It is most proper, as well as most profit- 
able, for a geographer to work in that foreign field; but, while he stays 
in it, he is, in military parlance, seconded. 

Logical as this view may appear, and often as, in fact, it has been 
stated or implied by others (for example, by one at least of my pre- 
decessors in this chair. Sir Charles Close, who delivered his presidential 
address to the section at the Portsmouth Meeting in 1911), it does not 
square with some conceptions of geography put forward by high 
authorities of recent years. These represent differently the status of 
some of the studies, into which, as I maintain, geography enters as a 
subordinate and secondary element In particular, there is a school, 
represented in this country and more strongly in America, which claims 
for geography what, in my view, is an historical or ethnological or even 
psychological study, using geographical data towards the solution of 
problems in its own field; and some even consider this not merely a 
function of true geography, but its principal function now and for 
the future. Their ^new geography' is and is to be the study of 'human 
response to land-forms.' This is an extreme American statement; but 
the same idea is instinct in such utterances, more sober and guarded, 
as that of a great geographer. Dr. H. R. Mill, to the effect that the 



i 



APPLIED GEOGRAPHY 323 

ultimate problem of geography is ^the demonstrative and quantitative 
proof of the control exercised by the Earth's crust on the mental pro- 
cesses of its inhabitants. Dr. Mill is too profound a man of science 
not to guard himself, by that saving word 'ultimate,* from such retorts 
as Professor Ellsworth Huntington, of Yale, has ofifered to the ex- 
treme American statement. If, the latter argued, geography is actually 
the study of the human response to land-forms, then, as a science it is 
in its infancy, or, rather, it has returned to a second childhood; for 
it has hardly b^un to collect exact data to this particular end, or to 
treat them statistically, or to apply to them the methods of isolation 
that exact science demands. In this country geographers are less in- 
clined to interpret 'new geography' on such revolutionary lines; but 
one suspects a tendency towards the American view in both their 
principles and their practice — in their choice of lines of inquiry or re- 
search and their choice of subjects for education. The concentration 
on man, which characterizes geographical teaching in the University of 
London, and the almost exclusive attention paid to Economic Geog- 
raphy in the geographical curricula of some other British Universities 
make in that direction. In educational practice, this bias does good, 
rather than harm, if the geographer bears in mind that Geography 
proper has only one function to perform in regard to man — ^namely, 
to investigate, account for, and state his distribution over terrestrial 
space — and that this function cannot be performed to any good pur- 
pose except upon a basis of Physical Geography — ^that is, on knowledge 
of the disposition and relation of the Earth's physical features, so far 
as ascertained to date. To deal with the effect of man's distribution 
on his mental processes or political and economic action is to deal 
with him geographically indeed, but by applications of geography to 
psychology, to history, to sociology, to ethnology, to economics, for 
the ends of these sciences; though the interests of geography may be, 
and often are, well served in the process by reflection of light on its 
ovrai problems of distribution. If in instruction, as distinct from re- 
search, the geographer, realising that, when he introduces these subjects 
to his pupils, he will be teaching them not geography, but another 
science with the help of geography, insists on their having been 
grounded previously or elsewhere in what he is to apply — ^namely, the 
facts of physical distribution — all will be well. The application will 
be a sound step forward in education, more potent perhaps for train- 
ing general intelligence than the teaching of pure geography at the 
earlier stage, because making a wider and more compelling appeal to 
imaginative interest and pointing the adolescent mind to a more com- 
plicated field of thought But if geography is applied to instruction in 
other sciences without the recipients having learned what it is in itself, 
then all will be wrong. The teacher will talk a language not under- 



I 



324 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

stood, and the value of what he is applying cannot be appreciated by 
the pupils. 

If I leave this argument there for the moment, it is with the intention 
of returning to it before I end today. It goes to the root, as it seems 
to me, of the unsatisfactory nature of much geographical insruction 
given at present in our islands. The actual policy of the English 
Board of Education seems to contemplate that geography should be 
taught to secondary students, only in connection with history. If 
this policy were realised in instructional practice by encouragement or 
compulsion of secondary students to undergo courses of geography 
proper, with a view to promotion subsequently to classes in historical 
geography (i. e., if history be treated geographically by application of 
another science previously studied), it would be sound. But I gather 
from Sir Halford Mackinder's recent report that such is not the 
practice. Courses in geography proper are not encouraged during the 
secondary period of education at all. Encouragement ceases with the 
primary period, at an age before which only the most elementary in- 
struction in such a science can be assimilated — when, indeed, not much 
more can be expected of pupils than the memorising of those sunmiary 
diagrammatic expressions of geographical results, which are maps. 
How these results have been arrived at, what sort of causes account 
for physical distribution, how multifarious are its facts and features 
which maps cannot express even on the minutest scale — these things 
must be instilled into minds more robust than those of children under 
fourteen; and until some adequate idea of them has been imbibed it is 
little use to teach history geographically. So, at least, this matter 
seems to me. 

It will be patent enough by now that I am maintaining geography 
proper to be the study of the spatial distribution of all physical features 
on the surface of this earth. My view is, of course, neither novel 
nor rare. Almost all who of late years have discussed the scope of 
geography have agreed that distribution is of its essence. Among 
the most recent exponents of that view have been two directors of 
the Oxford School, Sir Halford Mackinder and Professor Herbertaon. 
When, however, I add that the study of distribution, rightly under- 
stood, is the whole essential function of geography, I part company 
from the theory of some of my predecessors and contemporaries, and 
the practice of more. But our divergence will be found to be not 
serious; for not only do I mean a great deal by the study of distri- 
bution—quite enough for the function of any one science! — but I claim 
for geography to the exclusion of any other science all study of spatial 
distribution on the earth's surface. This study has been its well 
recognised function ever since a science of that name has come to be 
restricted to the features of the terrestrial surface — ^that is, ever since 
'geography' in the eighteenth century had to abandon to its child geo* 



APPLIED GEOGRAPHY 325 

logy the study of what lies below that surface even as earlier it had 
abandoned the study of the firmament to an elder child, astronomy. 
Though geography has borne other children since, who have grown 
to independent scientific life, none of these has robbed her of that one 
inunemorial function. On the contrary, they call upon her to exercise 
it still on their behalf. 

Let no one suppose that I mean by this study and this function 
merely what Professor Herbertson so indignantly repudiated for an 
adequate content of his science — physiography plus descriptive topo- 
graphy. Geography includes these things, of course, but she embraces 
also all investigation both of the actual distribution of the earth's super- 
ficial features and of the causes of the distribution, the last a profound 
and intricate subject towards the solution of which she has to summon 
assistance from many other sciences and studies. She includes, further, 
in her field, for the accurate statement of actual distribution, all the 
processes of survey — a highly specialised function to the due perform- 
ance of which other sciences again lend indispensable aid; and, also, 
for the diagrammatic presentation of synthetised results for practical 
use, the equally highly specialised processes of cartography. That 
seems to me an ample field, with more than sufficient variety of expert 
functions, for any one science. And I have not taken into account 
either the part geography has to play in aiding other sciences, as they 
aid her, by application of her data, or, again, certain investigations of 
terrestrial phenomena, at present incumbent upon her, because special 
sciences to deal with them have not yet been developed— or, at least, 
fully developed — although their ultimate growth to independence can 
be foreseen or has already gone far. Such, for the moment, are 
geodetic investigations, in this country at any rate. In Germany, I 
understand, geodesy has attained already the status of a distinct 
specialism. Here the child has hardly separate existence. But beyond 
a doubt it will part from its parent, even as oceanography has parted. 
Indeed some day, in a future far too distant to be foreseen now, many, 
or most, of the investigations which now occupy the chief attention of 
geographical researchers may cease to be necessary. A time must come 
when the actual distribution of all phenomena on the earth's surface 
will have been ascertained, and all the relief upon it and every super- 
ficial feature which cartography can possibly express in its diagram- 
matic way will have been set out finally on the map. That moment, 
however, will not be the end of geography as a science, for there will 
still remain the investigation of the causes of distribution, the scientific 
statement of its facts, and the application of these to other sciences. 
Let us not, however, worry about any ultimate restriction of the func- 
tions of our science. The discovery and correlation of all the facts 
of geographical distribution and their final presentation in diagram- 



326 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

made form are not much more imminent than the exhaustion of Che 
material of any other science! 

In the meantime, for a wholly indeterminate interval, let us see 
to it that all means of investigating the phenomena of spatial distri- 
bution on the earth be promoted, without discouragement of this or 
that tentative means as unscientific. The exploration of the terrestrial 
surface should be appreciated as a process of many necessary stages 
graduated from ignorance up to perfect knowledge. It is to the credit 
of the Royal Geographical Society that it has always encouraged tenta- 
tive, and, if you like, unscientific first efforts of exploration, especially 
in parts of the world where, if every prospect pleases, man is very 
vile. Unscientific explorations are often the only possible means to 
the beginning of knowledge. Where an ordinary compass cannot be 
used except at instant risk of death it is worth while to push in a succes- 
sion of explorers unequipped with any scientific knowledge or apparatus 
at all, not merely to gain what few geographical data untrained eyes 
may see and uneducated memories retain, but to open a road on which 
ultimately a scientific explorer may hope to pass and work, because the 
local population has grown, by intercourse with his unscientific precur- 
sors, less hostile and more indifferent to his prying activities. There 
seems to me now and then to be too much criticism of Columbus. If 
he thought America was India he had none the less found America. 

I have claimed for the geographer's proper field the study of the 
causation of distribution. I am aware that this claim has been, and 
is denied to geography by some students of the sciences which he 
necessarily calls to his help. But if a science is to be denied access to 
the fields of other sciences except it take service under them, what 
science shall be saved? I admit, however, that some disputes can hardly 
be avoided, where respective boundaries are not yet well delimited. 
Better delimitation is called for in the interest of geography, because 
lack of definition, causing doubts and questions about her scope, con- 
fuses the distinction between the science and its application. The doubts 
are not really symptoms of anything wrong with geography, but, since 
they may suggest to the popular mind that in fact something is wrong, 
they can be causes of disease. Their constant genesis is to be found 
in the history of a science, whose scope has not always been the same, 
but has contracted during the course of ages in certain directions while 
expanding in others. If, in the third century B. c, Eratosthenes had 
been asked what he meant by geography, he would have replied, the 
science of all the physical environment of man whether above, upon, 
or below the surface of the earth, as well as of man himself as a physi- 
cal entity. He would have claimed for its field what lies between the 
farthest star and the heart of our globe, and the nature and relation of 
everything composing the universe. Geography, in fact, was then not 
only the whole of natural science, as we understand the term, but also 



APPLIED GEOGRAPHY 327 

everything to which another term, ethnology, might now be stretched 
at its very widest 

Look forward now across two thousand years to the end of the 
eighteenth century a. d. Geography has long become a mother. She 
has conceived and borne astronomy, chemistry, botany, zoology, and 
many more children, of whom about the youngest is geology. They 
have all existences separate from her and stand on their own feet, but 
they preserve a filial connection with her and depend still on their 
mother science for a certain common service, while taking off her hands 
other services she once performed. Restricting the scope of her activi- 
ties, they have set her free to develop new ones. In doing this she will 
conceive again and again and bear yet other children during the century 
to follow — meteorology, climatology, oceanography, ethnology, anthro- 
pology and more. Again, and still more narrowly, this new brood will 
limit the mother's scope; but ever and ever fecund, she will find fresh 
activities in the vast field of earth knowledge, and once and again con- 
ceive anew. The latest child that she has borne and seen stand erect 
is, as I have said, geodesy; and she has not done with conceiving. 

Ever losing sections of her original field and functions, ever adding 
new sections to them, geography can hardly help suggesting doubts to 
others and even to herself. There must always be a certain indefinite- 
ness about a field on whose edges fresh specialisms are for ever devel- 
oping toward a point at which they will break away to grow alone into 
new sciences. The mother holds on awhile to the child, sharing its 
activities, loth to let go, perhaps even a little jealous of its growing in- 
dependence. It has not been easy to say at any given moment where 
geography's functions have ended and those of, say, geology or ethnology 
have begun. Moreover, it is inevitably asked about this fissiparous 
science from which function after function has detached itself to lead 
life apart — ^what, if the process continues, as it shows every sign of 
doing, will be left to geography later or sooner? Will it not be split 
up among divers specialisms, and become in time a venerable memory? 
It is a natural, perhaps a necessary, question. But what is wholly un- 
necessary is that any answer should be returned which implies a doubt 
that geography has a field of research and study essentially hers yester- 
day, to-day, and to-morrow; still less which implies any suspicion that 
because of her constant parturition of specialisms geography is, or is 
likely in any future that can be foreseen, to be moribund. 



328 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM^ 

By Dr. WILLIAM E. RITTER 

SCRIPPS INSTITUTE, LA JOLLA, CAUFORNIA 

IDEALISM is dead — at least many people think so. And no small 
nmnber oT those who think thus are persons of hmnane sentiments 
withal, and hold their belief wider compulsion rather than willingly. 
They believe the evidence compels them to accept this view, whether it 
be agreeable to them or not. How else, they reason, can the course of 
events of these later decades be interpreted? 

The history of man is the story of the terribly brutal reality of his 
existence on earth and his efforts to escape from this reality into some 
ideal realm wherein the peace and happiness and joy occasionally ex- 
perienced in life shall be perfected and endure forever. 

So powerful has been the allurement of this ideal realm that many 
of our race in ages past have devoted their best power, sometimes even 
their very lives to exploiting it and devising ways and means by which 
all may finally reach this promised land. These rare ones are ac- 
claimed great among men and accepted as teachers and leaders just be- 
cause they express the common longings of mankind, of the lowly as 
well as of the great. 

In all the ages and culture stages of the past imaginarily perfect 
conditions of life have been among the most compelling motives with 
humanity. These imaginings have been near the heart of all the great 
religions and all the great philosophies of the world, their culminaticm 
as philosophy having been, probably, the several forms of idealism of 
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. But what has come of 
it all? 

If the realism of these questioners is of the dramatic sort, the an- 
swer they give to their ovrai question is likely to be brief and laconic 
A few dozen words and a gesture will tell the story: Germany and 
Austro-Hungary in August, 1914, and again in October, 1918! Russia 
in August, 1914, in April, 1917, in November, 1918, and today! 
Treaty making in Versailles in 1919! The human misery of all Europe 
during the war years and up to the present moment! The astounding 
transformations that have occurred in the hearts and lives of our own 
people since the new era opened! Finally, the uncertainty, the fore- 

1 President's address at the Berkeley Meeting of the Pacific Division, 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, August 4-7, 1921. 



SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM 329 

boding, the background of distrust, hatred, and fear with which all the 
peoples of the earth look toward the future! 

Surely there is ground enough for the supposition that realism, a 
realism as stupid and brutal as Satan himself could rejoice in, has at 
last established its full claims — ^that idealism has departed from the 
earth wholly and for all time. 

And what, they ask, has contributed more to these results than 
science? Have not scientific discovery and inv^tion based on such 
discovery so involved man in a network of material forces and me- 
chanical devices that he can hardly satisfy a single need, gratify a single 
desire, form a single idea, or think a single thought without the per- 
mission of this tyranny of material things? 

For a modern seriously to attempt to live traditional idealism for 
one day could result only in death or something worse before the setting 
of the sun. 

Nor is this the worst that science has done. In these grosser mat- 
ters the injury to idealism has consisted only in thrusting the sensible 
realities of nature more numerously, more variedly and more insistently 
than ever before into the problem of living from hour to hour and day 
to day. 

Of graver concern, science has, we are told to remember, entered the 
very domain of philosophy and besieged the citadel of idealism itself. 
Even the strongholds of morality and religion are not spared by the 
advance of realistic science. Copemican astronomy, Lavoisian chem- 
istry, Lyellian geology and Darwinian biology have united in construct- 
ing so solid a foundation for a realistic philosophy of all life that the 
time^honored super-structure of idealistic philosophy is doomed to col- 
lapse and ruin. 

The fact is thrown into our faces by the acceptors of the view that 
science is implacably hostile to idealism, that in these last years, not 
satisfied with its imminent victory over theoretic idealism, it has en- 
tered into full alliance with the ancient powers of darkness and ma- 
lignity to accomplish the destruction of idealism itself and of all that 
idealism has created in the world. 

High power explosives with guns and tanks and dreadnaughts and 
submarines and aircraft to make them effective went far toward real- 
izing this ambition, but the finishing stroke is poison gases. The 
abundance of raw material for their manufacture, the ease of their 
transportation, the secrecy with which their nature and manufacture 
can be surrounded and, finally, the large co-efficient of deadliness of 
the best of them, make them very promising as means for completing 
the business of destroying all the works of civilized races, if not the 
races themselves. Of course no people, not even the scientists whose 



330 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY ^ 

deYOtion to research discovers the gases, intended to use these upon * 
themselves. The enemy alone are to be destroyed. But since the enemy 
can, if also scientifically civilized, discover poison gases too, the result, 
whether consciously aimed at or not — ^the destruction of all idealism 
and its fruits — is certain. 

But is this picture of the state of things really true? Is science 
indeed so destructive an enemy to idealism? 

I deny it Never, I affirm, has science been purposely hostile to 
idealism. Never has it designed to act against idealism. In so far as 
science has injured idealism it has done so undesignedly and unwit- 
tingly. Science has gone on its way, single-minded, bent only on ever 
increasing man's store of natural knowledge, on penetrating ever 
farther into the depths of natural truth. 

But denial that the harm done by science to idealism has been in- 
tentional is of little consequence. What I chiefly care about is not the 
blamelessness of science for its injury to idealism. I would set forth 
the true relation of science to idealism and the moral obligation whidi 
this relation forces upon science. My ahn is to acknowledge the ter* 
rible error conmiitted by science in holding, even by implication, that 
it knows nothing about morals and has no moral obligations, and to 
show something of the nature of its obligation. 

Speaking in broad terms, what I want to point out is that once 
science gives serious attention to the question of its own relation to 
idealism and realism it recognizes that the first question to be decided 
is not that of idealism vs. realism, not that of idealism or no idealism, 
nor of realism or no realism. Rather it is the question of what in e^ 
sence idealism is, and what realism is. 

To push this inquiry to exhaustiveness would need days. We seem 
stopped on the threshold by the demand for a treatise while all we can 
have is a tract But it is not wholly so. From its very office as a minis- 
trant to the common life of mankind, science can, if true to herself, 
concentrate her elaborate, forbidding treatises into simple, dramatic, 
appealing tracts at the urgent need of humanity. 

It is in response to the danger call of civilization that I seek to re- 
duce to the dimensions of a tract, the laborious findings of science on 
the real nature of the conflict between humanity's longings, beliefs, 
hopes and faiths and those forces — grim, powerful and ever alert — 
which oppose their attainment 

Notice, in the first place, the kinship of science with our ordinary 
intelligence. Nobody doubts that every item of our matter-of-faci 
knowledge about the universe in which we live is anything 
else than part and parcel of our general store of knowledge. 
Surely what the housewife knows about the things of her home; what 



SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM 831 

the workman knows about his tools and materials; what the merchant 
knows about his goods; what the engineer knows about the structure, 
the plans and the materials of which it is made; what the physician 
knows about our bodily members in health and disease, are but parts 
of common knowledge. But the articles that so much concern the 
housevrife, the workman, the merchant, the engineer, the physician are 
the very same that concern the scientist. The only difference is that 
they concern the housewife, workman, engineer and physician more 
immediately, more vitally than they do the scientist. So the scientist, 
being perforce also domestic, workman, merchant and so on, is less 
apt to contend that his special knowledge is wholy different in kind 
from the knowledge of work-a-day men and women. None have cher- 
ished the characterization of science as organized common sense more 
than have scientists. 

But again, has anybody ever doubted that mental structures in the 
form of memories, guesses, views and ideas enter essentially and largely 
into the intelligent pursuit of all callings? Planning the next meal, the 
next house-cleaning, the next jacket for baby; visualizing more ef- 
fective wrenches and augurs and knives; imagining hats and shoes and 
gowns more appealing to customers, are part of the very life of the 
successful housdceeper, mechanic, merchant. Just so it is as to essen- 
tial mental procedure with the scientific investigator. Apart from 
something mentally pictured but not yet realized — apart from some 
hypothesis — scientific discovery is unthinkable. Would any scientist 
claim that science is less dependent on ideas than is housekeeping, 
blacksmithing or merchandizing? 

But having ideas is never the whole story in any department of 
rational human living. Everywhere and always the mental picture, 
the idea is something aimed at, something needed or desired for the ful- 
filment or completion or rounding out of some still larger, more in- 
clusive need or desire. Whether the adage ^'Nothing existeth to itself 
alone" be strictly true or not, it certainly is true as to ideas. It is as 
much the nature of ideas to be in relation with one another and with 
other things as it is for them to exist at all. It is from this inter-related- 
ness, this mutual dependence of ideas and their relation to the indi- 
vidual's life as a whole that they get whatever drive and potency they 
have. But ideas plus the valuations placed upon them and the im- 
pulsions to act connected with them are exactly the things to which com- 
mon experience has given the name ideals. Ideals are ideas in action 
or ready for action toward some supposedly good end. 

From this it is seen that the scientist, especially the investigator, is 
of necessity an idealist by the same token by which the ordinary indi- 
▼idual is an idealist His idealism differs from that of other men only 



I 



332 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

I 

as his technical knowledge differs from their common knowledge; 
namely, in that he uses his technical knowledge differently from the 
way practical men use their common knowledge. The outcome of this 
is the perception that science is not only idealistic but that its idealisMU 
marks the very summit of true, that is natural, idealism. 

The idealism of Christian theology and last century's speculative 
philosophy are pseudo-idealism. They are disembodied idealism. 
They are mythical or dramaturgic idealism. If consequently, they have 
been stripped of some of their power it is only false power that has 
been taken from them and they have suffered only as thousands upon 
thousands of other products of man's imagination have suffered when it 
breaks away from its naturalistic setting and its control by the totality 
of human life. 

If science is so beneficent in aim, how comes it that in spite of its 
gigantic prevalence in our day, that day fraught though it be with 
calamity and human misery perhaps as terrible as any of all the ages 
past, is yet heavy with borebodings of still greater calamity? Mani- 
festly something has stood in the way, is standing in the way of man's 
becoming the beneficiary of this, surely one of the most notable and 
unique of all his creations. 

Is it possible that man should bring into existence so mighty a 
thing, so potentially beneficent a thing as science and yet fail to reap 
its benefits; indeed, should allow it to become a powerful ally of 
forces working to his ruin? 

Astounding though the truth may be, an open-minded reading of the 
story of man's career on earth reveals that he has always been doing 
just thai sort of thing! Human history furnishes no guarantee that man 
will use any good thing, even of his own creating, to his own full and 
lasting benefit 

In all the stages of human culture from the lowest savagery to the 
highest civilization men demonstrate their ability to employ their high- 
est spiritual powers as well as their lowest physical powers to their 
own harm, even to their destruction. Religion, art, learning, philan- 
thropy no less than appetite, sex and material wealth — man has time 
and again made to contribute to his own undoing. This is a truth the 
perception of which is greatly important. But of still greater im- 
portance is the perception of another closely related truth, namely that 
with civilized man it lies ever within the range of his intelligence to 
choose that course of action which will make him a continuous b«ii^- 
ciary of anything his intelligence enables him to produce. In its very 
nature intelligence is able to prevent its own creations from being 
harmful. Of course man will never choose that which he is certain 
vrill do him more harm than good. It is only as to probabilities of 
harm and good, or greater and lesser good, or greater and lesser harm, 
that his choosing so often goes amiss. 



SCIENTIFIC IDEAUSM 333 

To gain an understanding of these wonderful paradoxes of human^ 
nature would require a treatise. Sufficient to say that it is possible to 
go far toward such an understanding if we start with a mind wide open 
to the idea of man's kindred with the rest of living nature, particularly 
with the rest of animal nature, and go through to the end vigorously 
and unflinchingly. For myself, I am convinced that western civiliza- 
tion has come at last to a situation where nothing short of an unquali- 
fiedly and carefully worked out system of natural ethics will secure its 
continued progress; indeed, will save it from deterioration and final 
decay. 

Ours is a day for great and fateful decisions. Mighty goals of ob- 
jective reality and mighty possibilities of action must be chosen among. 

Neither optimism' nor pessimism but that confidence which the 
wisely informed can alone possess is now, as never before, the way 
of salvation. 

Let me outline what seems to me the most important part scientists 
must play in developing such an ethics as has just been mentioned and 
making the vital choices presented by the situation. The first thing for 
them to do is to accept unfalteringly and insist upon the necessity that 
all others shall accept, the facts, all of them, without addition or sub- 
traction, which the system of nature, including human nature presents. 
The haggling that has gone on among the learned of the western world 
for two thousand years over the question of whether nature revealed 
through our senses is the ultimate reality or an illusion of one sort or 
another, must be and I believe is in a fair way to be brought to an end 
before long. Nevertheless it is astonishing, once one's attention is fixed 
on the point, how prevalent still even among men of science is the 
ancient state of uncertainty about the value of facts, and the still more 
ancient custom of furbishing them up in hundreds of ways to suit pre- 
adopted ideas and ideals. Many an excellent scientist still speaks of 
the laws of nature as though they were quite apart from and above the 
facts of nature. To such scientists laws are the essence of truth while 
facts are without much dignity, being mere objects of sense. Beyond a 
few such vital facts as the body's need for air, water and solid food, 
it seems that many scientists, in common with millions of the un- 
scientific, still conceive themselves privileged to select such facts as 
interest them and to ignore all such as do not interest them. Uncritical 
a priorism still flourishes mightily in one form or another in the home 
of science. These marks of immaturity of science produce, under the 
stress of modem conditions, sundry untoward consequences. For one 
thing a new kind of criticism of science has been growing up in very 
recent years. The old conflict which theology forced upon science dur- 
ing the early centuries of the intellectual rejuvenation of Europe vir- 
tually ended about fifty years ago with science triumphant 






334 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

This new criticism which science is encountering is sociological and 
ethical rather than theological. The essense of the criticism is that 
science is not regardful of, indeed is largely inimical to, the spiritual 
welfare of man. This results, it is charged, from the avowed material- 
istic and mechanistic character of science. For one I frankly admit 
that there is much justice in this criticism, but I believe close scrutiny 
of the situation will discern that the real grounds of it are less in the 
fact that science is materialistic and mechanistic than that it belittles 
what is greatest and best in human nature, especially in human per' 
sonality. 

What is the defect within the body of science that makes it open to 
such criticism? 

For several decades past there has been great controversy within 
the domain of the biological sciences over the relative merit of mechan- 
ism and vitalism. This controversy is largely academic, and conse- 
quently shows no signs of reaching a conclusion. The solution will 
come, I am quite sure, through the emergence of the problem from the 
realm of pure theory into that of practical life. The form which the 
inquiry assumes when it comes into the realm of human actuality is 
this: Accepting the patent fact that man is so wonderfully machine- 
like that he may be called a machine, at least provisionally, the ques- 
tion arises in what sense a machine? Would he be a machine in the 
sense of mathematical mechanics or in some other sense? Tlie 
theory that he is a machine after the manner of mathematical me- 
chanics disposes of itself quickly and completely the moment it sub- 
mits to the test of practicability. Nothing is more distinctive of manu- 
factured machines than that they can be standardized. All the indi- 
vidual machines of a particular kind can be so constructed that all the 
parts are interchangeable. Wheel for wheel, shaft for shaft, lever for 
lever, plate for plate, bolt for bolt — they are cast, often literally, in 
the same mold. To the last detail it matters not at all which piece goes 
into which machine. And note what is implied in the expression the 
^'assembling" of manufactured machines — ^predesign and independent 
fabrication are implied. 

These marks set off the manufactured machine so sharply from 
the human machine, if we decide it may so be called, that no one, not 
even the most dogmatic bio-mechanist, would deny the facts. Several 
other equally important differences could be pointed out, but may be 
omitted for brevity's sake. If men, actual men, are to be called ma- 
chines, the term must have a sharply different meaning from what it 
has to the manufacturer. What shall this different meaning be? How 
shall it be arrived at? 

Nothing stands out more unequivocally in the natural history of the 
human species, particularly of those portions of it that have made no- 
table advances in culture, than that such advances have been due pri- 



SCIENTIFIC IDEAUSM 336 

marily to a very few individuals who are called great because of their 
special capacities. The fact is never denied. All progress is initiated 
by the great warrior, the great political organizer, the great poet, the 
great philosopher, the great explorer, the great invaitor, the great physi- 
cian, the great teacher — one or a very few of each kind for each na- 
tion. Except for these rare ones there would be little or no cultural 
progress, little or no civilization. The fact, I say, is not in question. 
Even when due allowance is made for the pressure, external and in- 
ternal, of general need, the importance and role of which I do not for 
a moment minimize, that pressure seems sure to come largely to naught 
unless the exceptional individual arises to lead and guide the latent 
forces. Only when it comes to interpreting the facts is there question. 
Of course one who is committed to the dogma that natural law in the 
sense of unvarying regularity, of perfect evenness of procedure, is the 
essence of natural truth, while facts are only sensory, is bound to find 
some way to avoid accepting these great personalities as truly signifi- 
cant so far as the general scheme of things is concerned. They must be 
reduced to ^'nothing huts'' somehow, when a universal view is sought 
They are to be regarded as accidents or by-products in the operation of 
central forces or of environmental pressure according to the last 
decade's biological orthodoxy. Or according to this decade's biologi- 
cal orthodoxy they are mere somatic variants, wholly independent of 
the germ plasm and consequently meaningless so far as the real part of 
organic matter is concerned. It is admitted that such exceptional per- 
sonalities have cut some figure in the past career of man. For the future, 
with the improvement of the germ plasm under eugenic guidance, their 
role will become less and less until finally there will be reached the far- 
off state of absolute uniformity in an excellence which formerly would 
have been called divine. 

The logically ideal human goal of the mechanistic philosophy is that 
all men shall be standardized after the manner of automobiles, on a 
model that is eugenically perfect Man, germinally perfected, accord- 
ing to this philosophy would be standardized on the level, say of 
Packard limousines. Fords, Qievrolets, Essexes — small, cheap, and 
worst of all, different, would be eliminated. 

Pray do not miss the main point here. You can hardly fail to see 
that it concerns the moral bearings of the mechanistic philosophy. But 
particular moral qualities and criteria of right and wrong are not my 
present subject My point is rather to show that the dead-levelness of 
that philosophy has no room for such conception as right and wrong at 
all. The basal question is: Could there be such a thing as virtue if there 
were nothing but virtue, or if virtue were one only and that one wholly 
devoid of gradation? The mechanistic philosophy of life implies a 
solution of the problem of good and evil by eliminating difference. 



336 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 




This brings me to the place were I can indicate the direction in which 
the solution lies of biology's controversey over mechanism and vitalism* 
The cue is given by the demand of nature herself that personality shall 
be accepted and respected. Conunon sense surely finds no diflkulty in 
heeding this demand, nor can it object to calling man a machine if some 
way of designating the machine shall be adopted which recognizes the 
obvious difference between the human and any inanimate machine what- 
soever. And no designation, thus discriminative, could be more satisfac- 
tory than the simple word ''living" prefixed to the word machine when 
the human or any other kind of animal is referred to. If the difference 
between a living man and the same man dead be accepted at face value, 
I am quite sure all sensible persons would willingly recognize men as 
machines — would even be willing to be called machines themselves. 

The practical objection to the mechanical philosophy of life is that 
because it has no place in its scheme for the person it really has no 
place for life itself. A non-living thing is more real and hence more 
significant than a living one to this philosophy. A dead horse would 
be as valuable as a live one to the mechanistic philosopher who should 
stick to his philosophy in his practical life. 

For brevity's sake I am going to assume that in any imaginable real 
world of real men, women and children, difference both in kind and de- 
gree is as indispensable to virtue as is food or anything else vrithout 
which life could not exist. And here our reflections reach far beyond 
the mechanical philosophy, for we cut square across the main axis of 
ethical theory that has dominated European thought for many cen- 
turies, that theory hinging on belief in the ultimate good, necessarily 
one and alone because without a rival, as the proper goal of human 
striving. 

There is now general agreement, I believe, among those who work 
practically as contrasted with those who discourse abstractedly on 
moral problems, that one cannot rightly assess or wisely promote a 
particular good until he knows what evil lurks within or« behind it 
Nor can he effectively combat a particular evil until he knows what good 
is mingled with it These things I assume without argument, for I must 
leave a little time in which to show how diversity of talent and virtue, 
even to the greatest genius, though irreconcilable with a rigorously 
mechanistic philosophy of human life, is perfectly reconcilable with a 
naturalistic philosophy conceived in accordance with the best tradi- 
tions of the natural history sciences. 

Let me be very objective. Systematic botany and zoology have long 
been the type of natural history or the natural sciences. In common 
practice they have been placed over against the physical sciences on 
the one hand and the humanistic sciences on the other. Fixing atten- 
tion more on subject matter than on knowledge corresponding to it, we 
see at once that nothing sets the plant and animal worlds off from the 



SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM 337 

inanimate world more obtrusively than the enormous number and di- 
versity of kinds in the former as contrasted with those in the latter. 
Then comparing the plant and animal world with the human world we 
see that nothing stands out more sharply than the diversity of indi- 
viduals in the human world as contrasted with that in the plant and 
animal worlds. The point is brought home with great force by noticing 
that each individual in the human world has a name all to itself where- 
as very little of this occurs in either of the other worlds. But the excep- 
tions are highly significant A few of the higher animals, notably those 
most closely associated with man, do have names. Speaking broadly, 
the human world presents itself to our understanding as composed of 
individuals and the plant and animal worlds as composed of species, 
while the inanimate world, sharply contrasted with both, stands in our 
knowledge as composed of a comparatively few kinds of mass and 
energy. The continents of the earth appear as land masses and the seas 
as bodies of water. Cloud masses bring rain, and coal and oil de- 
posits and mountain streams furnish power. The point to be kept in 
the foreground is the indubitable fact that all solid advance in science 
has done as much to validate diversity in nature as it has to validate 
uniformity. It may be said with strict truthfulness, I think, that science 
rests just as much on laws of diversity as it does on laws of uniformity. 
There is no justification, psychological, logical or of any other sort for 
the common assumption that the essence of scientific knowledge is 
uniformity alone. Surely we cannot affirm that there could be scien- 
tific or any other knowledge without uniformity in nature. But equally 
surely, ¥fe cannot affirm that there oould be scientific or any other 
knowledge without diversity in nature. 

Of the many chapters in the history of science that could be drawn 
upon for proof of the conclusions just stated time will permit the no- 
tice of but one. But that one is epochal and crucial. 

I refer to the fact that variety — difference — in living nature had to 
be taken, as though a thing of free grace, by Darvrin for the very foun- 
dation of his theory of descent. And I call attention to this vital truth: 
Darwin and all the ablest naturalists since his time have devoted some 
of their best powers of observation and of thought to the problem of 
organic variety and variation, the one unqualifiedly positive result of 
which has been to widen and deepen the recognized fact of such diver- 
sity. Almost endless has been the controversy over the casuid explana- 
tion of variation; but over the fact of it, no controversy at all. So it 
happens that when the naturalist passes from the world of plants and 
of animals to that of man, preserving the mental attitude and using 
the general method which his whole career has made second nature to 
him, he finds the individuality and personality so distinctive of the 
new realm readily conformable to his disciplinary predilection, his 
mental and manual technique, and his conceptual scheme. 

VOL. XIII.— 22. 



388 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



One fact, however, though by no means new to him, stands out widi 
such boldness in the new reabn as to make him ply his methods of 
treating diversity vridi more assiduity and thonghtfolness dian ever 
before. That fact is this very one of personality. The material widi 
wjiich he deals in the hmnan realm compek him to notice attentively 
that the separateness and independence of human beings are not only 
quantitative and numerical but are qualitative as well. They are not 
only isolated and thus individual but they are differently individual. 
Every human being is not merely an oA^, relative to all the rest, but 
it is a different other. 

I call special attention to the fact that oihemess and q ualiia iiv ely 
different oAemess are very distinct conceptions, and I insist on die im- 
portance of the distinction, so vitally does it concern practical human 
affairs. Recognition of this distinction would be promoted by adopting 
distinctive terms for the two. Tliere should be a general term for mere 
numerical otherness and another term for qualitatively different other- 
ness. In my own usage I have come to make the two terms individuality 
and personality serve these ends. Latterly for me an individual man, 
woman, diild, is only an other man, woman, diild; while a personal 
man, woman, or child is not only an oth^- but a different other. The 
full significance of thus distinguishing individuality from personality 
is seen only when we consider it as pertaining to the social and ethical 
realms. 

In order rightly to exhibit it in these realms it is necessary to refer 
to still another aspect of the evolution theory, that is the adaptive char- 
acter of living things. Tliat man is dependent upon adaptation to his 
environment, as are all other organisms, is now so much a truism that 
the general fact only needs referring to as a preliminary to mentioning 
an aspect of the broad problem which has not yet got a sdKciently se- 
cure and influential place either in common knowledge or science. That 
men, like all other organisms must be adapted to their surroundings 
is so obvious that no one questions it. But recognizing that adaptation 
is essential in certain aspects of life and in the relation of life to cer- 
tain aspects of environment, is quite a differmt thing from recognizing 
that every aspect of life whatever, is adaptive to environment, environ- 
ment being considered broadly enoug^. 

Spinning in modem times with the astronomy of Copernicus and 
Galileo the whole march of physical science onward to this very day 
vrith its discoveries like those of the Curies and Michelson, have been 
toward a commanding outlook from which may be seen the unity of 
all inanimate nature. Similarly the march of biological science has 
been toward a commanding outlook from which the unity of living 
nature is in clear sight. All this has brought it to pass that an ade- 
quate interpretation of man's relation to nature cannot be reached by 



SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM 339 

taking man and environment each piece-meal, with many of the pieces 
quite ignored even at that 

Nothing lesa than human nature in its entirety will su£Soe for the 
basis of modem interpretation of man's relation to nature. Conse- 
quently when that relation is expressed in the terms of adaptation and 
environment each must be generalized. Every aspect of human life, 
spiritual as well as physical, must be recognized as adaptively related 
to some of the aspects of the system of nature as a whole in its role as 
environment of human life. Not positive kowledge alone, but art, fine 
as well as industrial, philosophy, and religion, are manifestations of 
man's effort to solve the problem of his existence upon earth. They 
are all partly means and partly ends in the struggle for existence, this 
familiar and much abused phrase being rightly understood. 

And now for the main point in connection with the idea of adapta- 
tion. I have just referred to the abused phrase '^struggle for existence." 
One aspect of the abuse of it is in applying it everywhere and at all 
times but without any analytical definition of it. It is constantly used 
with its most general meaning but rarely so applied to any special in- 
stance. Yet a little reflection brings to light the glaring inadequacy 
of such usage. Does any one suppose that the struggle of a tree for 
existence is the same kind of struggle as that of a fish or a bird or a 
man? Is anything more obvious than that what a sea anemone does 
in struggling for existence is quite different from what a lion does? 
All manner of sophistical argument can, I am aware, be produced 
to justify common practice in this matter. But the facts of the situation 
are so obvious that for the unsophisticated these arguments do not need 
revievfing or answering. Manifestly the principle according to which 
the idea of struggle in living nature must be applied if it is to corre- 
spond to the facts and to be really useful, must be expressed about as 
follows: The general phrase^ struggle for existence, is meaningless 
for any particular plant or animal except as the struggle is for the ex- 
istence of that plant or animal, according to its particular kind. 

A tree struggles for a tree's existence not for a fish's or a bird's or 
a man's existence; and furthermore in each case for some particular 
kind of tree or fish or man. An oak's struggle is different from a pine's 
struggle; a Fijian's struggle is different from a Parisian's, and so on 
through the whole gamut of life, past, present and future. 

Let us bring this principle home with all its inherent force. To this 
end we fix attention upon that portion of the animal realm to which we 
ourselves belong; namely the portion equipped with highly developed 
muscular and nervous systems and body members for making these 
systems effective. Nothing is more obvious even to commonsense 
zoology than that the part of animal creation thus equipped falls nat- 
urally into two main divisions. There are brute animals and there are 



340 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

human animals. And what differences between brutes and humans are 
the most striking? There are at least two which stand out so conspic- 
uously that even a child notices them. These are first, the upright 
posture of the human being, by which his hands are freed from the 
locomotor function and made available for all sorts of activities in 
obedience to intelligence; and second, the language mode of expression 
of the human animal. To be sure, neither of these separates the hu- 
man from the brute absolutely. If they did they would be quite out 
of harmony with the principles which prevail everywhere in natural 
history and so would be far less significant. Many brute animals do 
assume the upright posture to some degree and use their fore limbs for 
other purposes than moving about; and many of them surely express 
themselves to some extent in ways which can be properly designated 
as language. But the fullness of development of each of these attri- 
butes in the human as contrasted with its development in any of the 
brutes is such that no one ever f aib to distinguish the lowest living hu- 
man from the highest living brute. When we come to scrutinize closely 
these two differences, the free hands and language — ^we find the bipedal 
form and habit of the human as contrasted with the quadrupedal form 
and habit of the brute and likewise the linguistic power of the human as 
contrasted with the brute are both inseparably connected with the fact 
that the activities of brutes are predominantly hereditary; that is, are 
performed according to plans and methods passed along from parents to 
offspring in the same way that plans of physical organs and parts are 
passed along. On the other hand, with humans we find the activities not 
predominantly hereditary. That is to say, they are not inborn but have 
to be acquired, learned afresh by each individual. We express this 
difference by calling the activities of brutes mainly instinctive and those 
of humans mainly rational and intelligent Brute animal activity is 
largely instinct while human animal activity is largely on the basis of 
intelligence and reason. 

When civilized man is reached in the evolutional scale the eons old 
struggle for existence takes the form of the struggle of mankind for 
and on the basis of ideas and ideals. These ideas and ideals are nat- 
ural by the same token that sensations, reflex actions and instincts are 
natural — that token being that all alike belong in deepest essence to 
the very nature of man. 

^- About the most convincing sign that an attribute of any living 

being is natural is its adaptability. An attribute's adaptiveness is that 

[ by virtue of which it contributes to the fitness of the being to live in 

^ the surroundings in which its life is set 

The fact of natural origin— origin by birth and growth — and of 
natural adaptiveness imply that adaptation is never absolutely perfect, 
hence forever needs improvement, is forever open to progress. It is 
demonstrated by observations on the activities of brute animak and 



SCIENTIFIC IDEALISM 341 

of primitive men as they live in nature that the imperfection of adaptive- 
ndM to conditions of life under purely sensory and reflexive activity is 
vary serious. In fact it is so serious that great injury, even great de- 
struction comes to individual and race because of it. Indeed I believe 
it demonstrable that had not nature found a way of correcting the in- 
jurious activities to which purely instinctive behavior is ever liable, 
progress in animal evolution would have ended in such classes as in- 
sects and reptiles. But to find such correctives is a part of the Very 
essence of organic origin and growth. 

Tlie great correctives found by nature are what we call reason and 
intelligence, essential elements in which are Ideas and Ideals, Accord- 
ing to conunon conception ideas have their seat in the human brain, 
while ideals are seated first and foremost in the human heart 

This sketch of the part Science is playing and still more must play 
in the herculean task of producing a system of natural ethics, is now 
finished. But before leaving it I will try to compact into the limits 
of a last minute, the substance of what has been said. 

Brute animal life became transformed into human animal life 
through the countless millenniums of struggle of all life to fit itself 
ever more completely to the conditions which make any life at all 
possible. * 

Victory, under the name humanity, finally crowned the struggle 
when and because of, the slow and painful acquisition by the coming 
victor of the power to wage the struggle on the basis of ideas and ideals 
instead of on the ancient basis of the purely hereditary, that is instinct- 
ive activity of his brute ancestors. 

This new and higher form of the struggle as it occurs within and 
among the members of the human species gives what in broadest gen- 
erality we name the Moral Law. And so it is that Moral Law is Nat- 
ural Law, Natural Law in its application to man being the totality of 
die impulsions, the efforts, and the acts, by which mankind strives to 
attain its own highest good by making itself ever better fitted for liv- 
ing, whether in this or in any other world that may be its abode. 



342 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



\ 



FIELD CKOP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY FROM 

1876 TO 1919 

By HARRY B. WEISS 

CHIEF, BUREAU OF STATISTICS AND INSPECTION, NEW JERSEY DEPARTMSNT 

OF AGRICULTURE 

WHILE New Jersey, on account of its extensive tnicking areas, its 
peadi and apple orchards, its plantations of small fruits, etc., 
is generally known as tbe **GardeQ State," as a matter of fact about 
75 per cmt. of its agricultural acreage is devoted to the growing of 
com, wheaft, rye, oats^ buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes and hay. 
In spite of its varied and intensive manufacturing interests tt»d ill 
growing suburban territory, its farms produced in 1920 over 11,- 
000,000 bushels of com, 1,500,000 bushels of wheat, over 1,000,000 
bushels of rye, ahnost 3,000,000 bushels of oats, 2,000,000 bushels 
of sweet potatoes, almost 15,000,000 bushels of white potatoes and 
545,000 tons of hay. It is entirely with these crops that Ae present 
paper deals, particularly with their average yields per acre from 
1876 to 1919. A study of the yields over such a length of time sboold 
indicate at least in port either agricultural progression or retrograssuMi 
and diould afford some evidence as to the value and results of agricul- 
tural teachings over that period. 

Of the factors controlling yields, climate undoubtedly is the moat 
important and by climate is meant sunlight, the presence or absence 
of which influences the amounts of sugars, starches, fats, proteina, etc.; 
temperature, which influences germination, grovrtfa and in part the 
activities of soil bacteria and moisture or rainfall ivhich detBrmines 
the activities of soil bacteria and hence the availability of plant food. 
Only occasionally are all of the elements making up climate favorable 
for the plant over its entire period of growth and when thb happens 
we have as a rule maximum yields and bumper crops. Climate 9b a 
whole can not be regulated, although by irrigati<m raiid^all can be 
supplemented. By the selection of hardy species of plants some di- 
matic effects can be overcome and by mulches, evaporation and there- 
fore loss of heat from die soil can be reduced. For the most part how- 
ever yields are at the mercy of olimate. 

Another important factor entering into yields and one which is 
controllable to a certain point is the fertility of tlie soil. The natural 
fertility can be added to by the use of commercial fertilisers and farm 



FIELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY 



and grem manures. The soil itself can be improved by the use of 
green and animal manures for the purpose of increasing the amount 
of vegetable matter and therefore its water holding power and bacterial 
activities. Increasing the yielding power by the addition of fertilizera 
is of course possible only up to the point where the law of diminishing 
returns starts to operate and other limiting factors are extra labor 
and material costs which must be considered together with the prices 
received for farm products. 

Still another element is crop rotation. A good rotation favors high 
yields by utilizing plant food more evenly, by conserving moisture and 
regulating humus and by the prevention of rapid losses of fertility. 
In other wor^, one crop helps to prepare the soil for another tx for 
the following one. Additional elements influonciitg yields are seed 
selectitm, preparation of seed bed, winterkilling, wind injury and the 
activities and control of injurious insects and plant diseases. 



344 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

Having thus briefly and generally covered the more important 
factors bearing upon 3rields, let us turn our attention to tfaie diarts 
showing the curves of yearly average yields per acre, together with 
ten-3reaT averages and the fifty-year average for the important field 
crops of New Jersey. The ten-year average curves are based on the 
yearly averages, this resulting in lines which are much easier to follow. 
It is with such curves that we will deal principally. As shown 
in the chart, the average yield of com began to decline below 
the fifty-year average about 1883 and continued until 1890 when the 
lowest point was reached. From 1891 it rose slowly but not ontil 1909 
or 18 years later did it reach the fifty-year average again. From 1891 
however the ten-year average slowly increased. Budcwheat dropped 
below the fifty-year average line about 1881 and further declined until 
1890 wfa^i it reached its lowest point From then on it increased 
sharply undl 1899, when tlie fifty-year average was reached and con- 
tinued less sharply from that date. Rye began to decline in average 
3rields in 1881 and reached a low level in 1890, after which it gradually 
increased. Wheat followed a course similar to that of rye. The ten- 
year average curve for oats shows little variation for the entire period. 
The hay curve shows a slight decrease about 1880 and continues down 
until 1889. From 1890 on it rises slowly. The potato curve shovrs 
little variation until 1902 after which date it climbs steadily. The 
sweet potato curve indicates a steady increase in average yields from 
1878 on widi the greatest rate of increase taking place after 1899. 

CoifPARisoN OF Ten-Year Average Curves 

Crop Decline Lowest Increase 

begins point reached begins 

Com 1883 1890 1891 

Buckwheat 1881 1890 1891 

Rye 1881 1890 1891 

Wheat 1881 1890 1891 

Hay 1880 1889 1890 

Potatoes (white) 1902 

Sweet potatoes 1899 

From 1880 to 1883 all of the above crops except vrhite and sweet 

\ potatoes began to yield less^ the lowest points being reached in the 

years 1889 and 1890. From 1891 on, tbe average yields of most 
t gradually increased, potatoes, sweet potatoes and budcwheat at a 

r faster rate than com and hay. 

In an attempt to explain the causes underlying the dips and rises 
in die ten-year average curves, the climatic factor can be ignored. It 
is difficult to find any single definite reason which mil account for the 
declines in the cases of com, buckwheat, rye, wheat and hay from 1880 
to 1890. It was suggested that a loss of the natural fertility might 



FIELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY 



have taken place at that time but this is not possible because the culti- 
Tation of the soil in New Jersey was neither intensive nor long oon- 
tinued enough by 1890 to produce such a state of affairs. It was also 
suggested that this decline was probably due to the fact that the 
farmers at that time were not getting enough money for their products 
to warrant the purchase of fertilizers. A study of the prices received 
by New Jersey farmers for their products from 1866 to 1920 as shown 
by tbe diart in which com, wheat and potato prices are plotted as fair 
examples, indicates that while prices from 1880 to 1890 were low cmn- 
pared with the prices for previous years, they were on the whole 
slightly higher than the prices received from 1900 to 1910 during 
which time more commercial fertilizers were hdng used and yields 
were increasing. However between the years 1880 and 1890 the 
prices of farm products were oadoubtedly dropping faster than the 
prices of manufactured articles and such a ctmdition would lead to 
retreochment on the farms. Dr. Jacob G. Lipman, director of the New 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



Jersey Agricultural Experiment Stations, informs me that tbe early 
'Sffs marked the end of the extensive use of greensand marl in New 
Jersey and that conunercial fertilizers were just beginning to come in. 
With the discontinuance of the extensive use of marl after 1875 and 
the lack of familiarity on the part of the farmers with commercial 
fertilizers, there was naturally a period of depression in the fertility 
conditions. 

There is the additional fact to consider that in the early years 
statistics were not gathered as accurately as they were later, and in 
view of a lade of figures oa vriiich to compute ten-year averages b^ore 
1876 the declines between 1880 and 1890 may quite possibly be parts 
of a more or less natural cycle such as one might find when consider- 
ing su<^ variable items as yields and the factors influencing them over 
a long period of time. Moreover, for the most part, the declinee are 



FIELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY 



i: 



not aUrtling as will be seen by examining the scale of the charts and 
may represent wmply a low level in production. 

The rise* of the tm-year average curves are of more interest These 
show no tendency to follow definite cycles arrangeable into up and 
down periods, at least not for the thirty-year period from 1891 to ihe 
presetit time. Practically all of them except the one for oats show a 
more or lees gradual increase from 1891 on. In explaining the reason 
for this, SMue light may be thrown on the subject by noting the graph 
shovring the rapid growth in the use of commercial fertilizers in New 
Jersey. The New Jersey Experiment Station was establi^ed in 1880 
and its work in developing the knowledge of the use of commercial 
fertilizers is one of the outstandii^ servioes that it has rendn'ed. 
From 1882 to 1890 the nine-year average CMUumption was about 
36,000 tons. From 1890 on, the tonnage gradually increased tmtil at 



S48 



THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 



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FEF^riLIZEIR 
Ittii CONSUMPTION 
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ItR 1890 It 



the present time about 150,000 tons are used each year. At present 
there is a more or less marked tendency toward the use of more con- 
centrated fertilizers, which means that a smaller tcMmage is furnish- 
ing the same amounl of plant food formerly furnished by a larger 
tonnage. The curve of fertilizer consumption from 1890 on fits in 
nicely with the ten-year average crop yield from that date and it is 



FIELD CROP YIELDS IN NEW JERSEY 849 

reasonable to assume that such fertilizers are in part responsible for 
the increase in average yields. This is especially true for potatoes 
on which comparatively large applications are made and to a less 
extent for sweet potatoes. Both are cash crops. 

About 75 per cent, of the fertilizer tonnage is used in the southern 
two-thirds of the state and some of this is used for crops not considered 
in this paper. It is in this section that the bulk of the white potato 
and all of the sweet potato crops are grown. North of where most 
of the commercial fertilizer is used, are found the bulk of the wheat 
crop, about one-half of the rye and practically all of the oat and budc- 
wheat crops. Com and hay are generally distributed over the entire 
agricultural section of the state. The slow rate of increase in hay 
yktldB is undoubtedly due to the fact that in the usual rotations prac- 
ticed in New Jersey, hay follows such crops as corn, potatoes and 
wheat and does not receive fertilizer applications to the same ezteoC 
as other crops. Oats not being a cash crop would naturally receive 
less attention than the others and this accounts for the little variation 
in the ten-year average curve. In the potato, sweet potato and tomato 
sections of the state, other crops like corn and grass are the bene- 
ficiaries from the use of large amounts of fertilizers. Buckwheat, 
which is a minor crop, has received little or no attention in the way of 
improvemenL It is a crop which yields well on poor land. According 
to the chart this crop shows a somewhat higher rate of yield increase 
than the others. This is due to the fact that it has ridden in on the 
crest of the improvement wave and its success insofar as increased 
yields are concerned is due to the improvement which took place 
generally. 

In addition to the increased and intelligent use of commercial ferti- 
lizers, which appears to be the most important factor, other factors 
which have played their parts in helping to increase yields and which 
are of varying d^rees of importance, are improved methods of soil 
management, seed selection particularly in the case of com and pota- 
toes during the past few years and increased efficiency in controlling 
injurious insects and plant diseases. It may also be noted that the 
introduction and extension of the acreage of alfalfa and the more 
intelligent growing of other legumes have played a part in the im- 
provement of the productive power of the land. Some of the more 
common legumes, like soybeans, cowpeas, crimson clover, alfalfa and 
vetch, have been introduced into the state since 1880, although small 
acreages of some were known before that date. 

These increases in yields can be taken as part of the evidence that 
farming is becoming more efficient and credit is due to all agricultural 
agencies in the state which have contributed toward this result by 
advocating and striving to advance new or better methods. 



860 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 






THE PLAY OF A NATION 

By Professor G. T. W. PATRICK 

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, IOWA CITY 

IF we use the term play quite broadly to include all forms of sport, 
recreation and relaxation, then it is evident that in work, sleep 
and play most of our time is spent. Excepting the very young and the 
very old, we sleep on the average about eight hours of the twenty-four. 
Most of us work at something or other eight or ten hours, more or less. 
This leaves six or eight hours for recreation and relaxation. 

Of course there are other ways of passing the time not strictly 
included either in work, sleep or play, such, for instance, as eating 
and love-making, the latter, although a serious and instinctive form 
of bdavior, oftoi infringing upon or wholly absorbing the hours 
claimed for recreation. 

Even at the worst, however, a good many hours of every day, say 
two, four, six, eight, ten, are spent in some form of play. Since we in 
America number more than a hundred million people, it follows that a 
good many hundred million hours are daily spent in something whidi 
goes by the name of play, be it recreation, relaxation, sports or 
pastimes. 

Now there are certain psychological laws by which the value oi 
play may be tested, enabling us to say in advance to what extent it is 
real play having restorative and recreational value. In the li^t of 
these laws, it will be interesting to study the actual plays of our Ameri- 
can people, for our national health and our social welfare, as well as 
our personal health and happiness, depend a good deal on the charac- 
ter of our play. 

When we think of our national sports, baseball comes to our minds 
— and football and basketball and golf and tennis. When we think 
of our recreations, perhaps music suggests itself or the theatre or spe- 
cial individual pursuits and interests. When we use the word play, 
probably we visualize children at some indefinite game — say hide-and- 
seeK. 

But a moment's reflection will show us that in the lives of our hun- 
dred million people the time actually spent in any of the above pursuits 
is very little. Evidently, if this study is to be of value as a social 
survey, we shall have to be more concrete, or even get into a statistical 
mood. 



THE PLAY OF A NATION 361 

m 

How then do we as a people actually pass our hours of recreation 
or relaxation? Well, some of us read, say newspapers or magazines 
or books of fiction, some of us smoke or even drink, s<»ne make social 
calls or just lounge and chatter, some simply sit, some talk or fuss or 
gossip^ some play pool or billiards. A yerf large number go to the 
movies. Some play bridge. Some play poker or shoot craps. Some 
bet on baseball, football, or horseracing. Many ride in motor cars. 
Occasionally one or two ride horseback. A few walk. A very few 
swim or exhibit themselves in scanty costumes with the ostensible pur- 
pose of swimming. Once in a while one may' go to the gymnasium. 
Some play golf or tennis. A large number dance. A few go fishing 
or hunting or camping. A certain number actually participate in base- 
ball, football or basketball. 

This is not intended as a complete list of our recreational activities 
but may afford a basis for the present study. 

We in America live rather a tense life, under high pressure. Our 
diversified interests, our many social duties, our multitudinous respon- 
sibilities, our insistent worries, even our stimulating climate combine 
to make our modem life very strenuous, taxing our minds and bodies 
to the limit. Many succumb to the rapid pace and neuroses of various 
forms increase. In a way we are all at the front and in the trenches 
and shell shock is getting to be pretty common. Hence, the need of 
relaxation, recreation and play. Psychologists, social workers, re- 
ligious workers and employers of labor have all awakened in recent 
years to the importance of play. 

But play in order to be recreative must conform to certain require- 
ments. All plays are pastimes but not all pastimes are play. Some of 
them seem merely to satisfy a longing for excitement Why is it, since 
our whole modem life is so exciting as ccMnpared with former ways of 
living, that in our leisure hours we seek exciting pastimes? Why the 
craving for gambling, for alcohol, for tea and coffee and all sorts of 
stimulants? Why do we not seek rest and complete relaxation — a let- 
ting down and slowing up of our rapid pace? Why the demand for 
stimulating drinks, stimulating moving pictures, stimulating risks i in 
gambling, stimulating speed in driving? Why the dancing craze and 
the amusement craze which at first sight would seem to increase our 
fatigue rather than allay it? 

Fortunately the psychologists have worked out the problem for us 
and we now understand fairly well the psychology of play. We have 
learned that it is not excitement that we seek in play but release frc»n 
those forms of mental activity which are fatigued in our daily life of 
grind. Play, if it is to be real play, that is if it is to have recreational 
value, must be of a sort to relieve those parts or tracts of the brain 
which are overtaxed in our daily life of work and worry. It must be 



352 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

essentially different from our work, opposite in every respect. The 
work-a-day world of the present involves certain mental processes 
which are comparatively late in development in the long history of 
human evolution, such, for instance, as concentration, analysis, ab- 
stract thought, sustained attention, sustained effort, and controlled as- 
sociation, while the exigencies of our social life demand the constant 
checking or inhibition of a vast number of natural impulses and ap- 
petites. 

The result is that that manner of cerebral functioning with which 
these higher intellectual and volitional processes are associated is 
brought under a severe stress and strain, leading to rapid neural fatigue 
and an urgent demand for rest and relaxation. It is not more sleep 
that is needed, nor rest of the whole body and brain, but relief from 
that special kind of activity so stressed in our modem competitive life. 
It is probably just for this reason that we crave alcohol and tobacco 
because they are not stimulants but narcotics, putting a temporary 
quietus upon just these overworked forms of cerebral activity. 

Figuratively speaking, we may say that what is needed is that kind 
of activity which will relieve the higher brain centers, while allowing 
the older and lower ones to function. This is not strictly accurate from 
our present day conception of the brain. What really happens when 
we think hard, pay attention closely, decide quickly, or hold our mind 
steadily to a given task, is better expressed as a kind of total integra- 
tion of cerebral processes, these processes taking the form probably 
in all cases of reflex arcs or reaction arcs, as we now call them. This 
total integration of brain processes is impossible for children and ex- 
tremely fatiguing for adults. Children therefore must play all the 
time and grown-ups much of the time, if break-down is to be avoided; 
and by play we mean here some form of activity which does not in- 
volve this total integration of the brain areas. 

Play then to be wholesome and truly recreative must involve only 
those areas of the brain and those parts of the nervous system whidi 
in the evolution of man are old and pervious and easy. They are, 
so to speak, the brain channels which are deep-worn and natural. Tlie 
muscular responses in play must be those which past ages and long 
usage have made easy and familiar. We see, therefore, why the plays 

\of children repeat the life history of the race. The cave, the tree- 
house, the swimming pool, the camp-fire, the bow and arrow, the canoe, 
^ the jack-knife, the ball bat, the mimic fight, kites, tops, marbles, 

^ hunting, fishing, gathering nuts, the cat, the dog, the teddy bear, the 

horse-race, the game of hide and seek, the diarms and talismans and 
superstitions — all these are, as it were, reminiscences of the past life 
of the human species. They involve brain patterns that are old and 
familiar, the only ones in fact that are developed as yet in childhood 



THE PLAY OF A NATION 363 

and the ones that in adult life give rest and release from the fatiguing 
activity of the hi^er brain centres continually stressed in our daily 
life of grind. 

As a rough rule we may say that the more primitive a sport is the 
higher its recreational value. Good sports, therefore, are those which 
involve these older brain patterns and this criterion we can use in judg- 
ing the recreational value of our sports and pastimes today. 

The elements of rivalry, competition, and contest, as ancient forma 
of self-expression, act as purifying motives in all good sports. When 
these are absent, as in the moving pictures, the dance, and the automo- 
bile, the recreational value of the play falls off a little. In human 
society, especially in our modem crowded social groups, we are 
obliged to live together in peace and harmony and have to inhibit and 
,. suppress a great many of our natural and ancient feelings of rivalry 
and hatred. This constant suppression of our egoistic impulses re^ 
suits in many serious mental complexes. Games of rivalry thus pro- 
vide a compensatory element, purifying the mind. This explains why 
diere is so great a demand for games in which this element of rivalry 
takes a very direct and primitive form — the form of a regular face to 
face battle — as in prize fighting and football, and we understand why 
immense crowds flock to these sports. 

I know a husband and wife who live together in great peace and 
happiness. Tliey play once a day a game of badcgammon in which 
all their pent-up and unconscious animosities are given full expression. 
During the time of this game they exhibit the most ruthless antagon- 
ism, showing no mercy to their opponent but bent on his complete 
destruction and ailnihilation. It is a fight to the finish. 

But there are other rules by which to measure the value of our 
play. Since our modem work-a-day world, at least in our American 
climate, is to a large extent sedentary, confined and indoors, our sports 
to be of the greatest value must be out-of-door sports. 

Finally, our sport must provide for self-expression. In self-expres- 
sion there is a mystical recreational power. Nothing rests one so 
much as victory, pursuit and capture. All good games introduce the 
element of rivalry. 

Now, equipped with these tests and measures of good play, sports, 
and pastimes, we are prepared to examine the actual recreations of our 
American people to see whether they stand the tests. And we have 
already discovered what these sports and pastimes are and have only to 
enumerate them again. If we attempt to name them roughly in the 
order of their prevalence, the order would seem to be scMnething like 
this: Reading, movies, dancing, motoring, walking, card games, pool, 
baseball, golf, tennis, football, basketball, sivimming, fishing, hunting, 
camping, gynmastics, and horseback riding. Such a classification must 

VOL. XIII.— 23. 



s 



354 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

be very general and even the most popular of these pursuits mi^t be 
surpassed in popularity by other less definite forms of recreation or 
relaxation such as sitting, talking, gossiping, fussing, lounging, smok- 
ing, drinking, gambling, shopping, etc. 

Applying our tests to these forms of play, it becomes clear at once 
that golf, tennis, baseball, football and basketball stand out pre-emi- 
nently as real recreative sports. From the psychologist's point of view, 
golf may be cited as the perfect ideal sport. It has all the needed 
recreational elements. It has a restorative power excelling all thera- 
peutic arts. It represents a reversion to the natural outdoor life. We 
range over hills in the open, using the muscles of the legs, arms, and 
trunk. We carry a club and strike viciously at a ball. We search for 
the ball in the grass as our ancestors searched for their arrows. There 
is a goal and the spirit of rivalry and a chance for self-expression. 
The nerve currents course through ancient channels. We return to our 
work refreshed and rejuvenated. Golf, to be sure, requires fine ad- 
justments of eye and hand at the moment of striking but there is no 
continuous strain upon them and skill of this kind is a proper element 
in play. It is unfortunate that the opportunities for golf are now 
limited to the few. Nothing better could happen to our nation than 
a wide extension to our people of the opportunities to play golf. 

As regards tennis much the same may be said. Thou^ lacking 
some of the distinctive psychological elements of perfect sport pos- 
sessed by golf, it is still a very excellent and healthful form of recrea- 
tion. Opportunities for it should be widely extended. 

Baseball and football have certain peculiar qualities which rank 
them as high or possibly even higher than golf. Being more strenuous, 
they are better suited to the young males, while golf and tennis may be 
played by all. We see at once that football meets all the conditions 
which we have outlined as marks of good sport. There is running, 
kicking, dodging, tackling, pursuit and capture. There are also the 
opposing groups, as in battle, and the rough rude shock of personal 
collision. All these ancient responses offer complete relaxation and 
release from the proper and pent up inhibitory life of our modem 
world. Hey arouse latent, deep-seated instincts and impulses, allow 
us to revel for an hour in these ancient memories and restore us to our 
work refreshed and purified. It is the grip upon us of that which is 
racially old which explains the immense throngs which gather at the 
football games. Seventy or even a hundred thousand spectators have 
been reported at some of the great games. 

The racial elements in baseball are not quite so old but are suScient 
to permit the catharsis element in rare degree. Striking and throwing 
are dear to every boy, and these ancient responses, the ancestral condi- 
tions of race survival, are dcHnmant in baseball, while the running and 



THE PLAY OF A NATION 355 

catching, and the opposition of the teams, and the reward of skill and 
of strength and quick decision add to the real recreational value of the 
game. The recent extension of non-professional baseball and football 
among school boys is a contribution to social welfare. Here again, 
however, the application of the statistical method awakens our con- 
cern. For if baseball is fitted to all young men from the ages of four- 
teen to thirty, actual regular participation in it will be found to be 
limited to relatively few. It should be extended to a larger number. 

But professional baseball as a national sport presents a di£Perent 
problem. Here the ^'players'' are not playing but working. The game 
is a profession, a strife for glory and for money. The recreational 
features are now transferred to the spectators. To what extent is base- 
ball of recreational value to the fans? They usually ride out to the 
ball park in auto or street car, sit on the bleachers during the game 
and return as they go. Nevertheless the game has considerable recrea- 
tional value for the spectator. The galling social chedcs and inhibi- 
tions of the daily grind are thrown off for a time. Free expression is 
given to one's feelings and ^ithusiasms. There is a mental participa- 
tion in the game and no doubt usually a considerable d^ree of rest 
and relaxation is gained. But it does not permit of self-expression 
and is far from an ideal form of play and at the best the number en- 
joying it is relatively small. Basketball, though lacking in some of the 
distinctive recreational elements of baseball and football, is neverthe- 
less of Ae greatest value as a sport and stands hi^ in our list. 

Hunting and fishing, swimming and camping constitute a group of 
sports which rank hi^ in the list of valuable recreations. They rep- 
resent a return to the conditions of primitive life and involve only 
racially old and familiar brain patterns. They are out-of-door sports, 
using the fundamental muscles of the arms and legs and completely 
releasing the strain upon the eye and hand and nervous system. Hunt- 
ing with the camera, recommended by the humane societies, is well 
enough, but the camera it not a substitute for the gun in recreational 
value. When we consider the horrors of the late war and remember 
that if the nervous tension of a people gets too high it may overflow 
in an actual orgy of human bloodshed, the ^cruelty*' of hunting and 
fishing seems less serious, especially if they act as a release of the 
nervous tension increased by our high pressure modem life. 

Swimming as a form of play stands very high. It is unfortunate 
that so fine a sport should be degraded by the entrance of other ele- 
ments, such as sex and dress, which detract from its pure recreational 
value. On the whole the reviving interest in swimming, bathing and 
camping, in the Boy Scout movement, in the Campfire Girls' move- 
ment, and in the whole outing cult in general, is a most encouraging 
sign. These are healthy forms of play. 



366 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

But here again, if we count noses, how many of our hundred million 
people are able to avail themselves of these sports? The relative num- 
ber of those who actually do engage in any of them sdEdently often 
to serve the purpose of recreation adequately is rather small. Oppor- 
tunity for them is lacking among the greater number of our people 
both young and old. One-half of our whole social group, namely girls 
and women, are at <»ioe debarred from participation in most of the 
sports thus far discussed, excepting only t^mis and swinmiing and 
perhaps golf. 

We have therefore to consider now the value of the forma of recrea- 
tion in which there is actual participation by large numbers of our 
people of both sexes, young and old. Motoring first demands our at- 
tention. As there are more than eight million automobiles in the United 
States, as most of these are kept pretty busy through many if not all 
months of the year, as each one may carry several people of both sexes, 
old and young, and as a considerable proportion of this riding is for 
purposes of recreation, we see at once that we have here a form of play 
«f very Mride extension. What is its value as determined by our psycho- 
logical tests? Well, it is out-of-doors at any rate. Fresh air is fur- 
nished in abundance, and for our indoor workers that is certainly 
something. Man is by nature a roamer. He resents confinement He 
must have a change of scene. He loves adventure. For old men and 
house-pent women the motor car is a boon. For workers whose daily 
tasks keep them on their feet, the automobile is a rest and comfort. It 
has also another recreational feature, namely, speed. The craving for 
speed, which gives zest to coasting, skating, and flying, is probably a 
survival of the ancient joy of pursuit and escape. 

Nevertheless, for the average man and woman, and especially for 
the child, the automobile is anything but a blessing as a form of play. 
For hundreds of thousands of years the human being has lived on his 
feet and made his living by means of his legs. Now he has become, to 
a considerable extent, a sitting, lounging, reading, studying, and think- 
ing being, and a whole group of new diseases has followed thb seden- 
tary life. It is by no means certain that a sitting race can survive. The 
motor car deprives many people of the little walking which they would 
otherwise do. Each new car advertises softer cushions, an easier up- 
holstered back to support the shoulders or even the head, and more 
delicate springs to ward off every jar. The ease is seductive and we 
ride even to our offices or places of business, 
f With horseback riding the case is wholly different Here, to be 

r sure, the legs are not used, but a whole series of valuable psydiological 

factors are present which make this one of the best of all sports. Hie 
horseback rider does not need the offices of the osteopath or chiro- 
practor; his spinal column gets the necessary limbering up; and the 



THE PLAY OF A NATION 357 

mere association with horses adds a subtle historical element of the 
greatest value. The automobile is suitable for convalescents. 

Walking is not usually classified as play. It is nevertheless of ex- 
ceedingly great value as a means of recreation for sitting people. It 
lacks many of the prime features of play but it is at any rate always 
available and may easily be a life saver. 

So we come in the end to the dance and the moving pictures, for 
we may leave out of consideration a long list of recreations whose value 
the reader may easily appraise by using the tests which have been 
enumerated, such for instance as pool, billiards, card games, reading, 
gossiping, gambling, etc. 

If, as we are told, twenty million people, men, women and children 
visit the movies every day, we have at least one form of recreation 
which even by the statistical method actually reaches the whole popu- 
lation without distinction of age, sex, or social status. The moving 
picture theater is everywhere, in the large city accessible almost mth- 
out the use of a street car, in the country town more prominent than 
the churdi and school house. The price of a<hnission is so moderate 
that the poorest may attend, while evening, afternoon, and Sunckiy ex- 
hibitions make the time convenient for all. 

The dance is not quite so universal as the movies but is widely en- 
joyed by both sexes in city, town, and country. 

What is the recreational value of these two universal forms of 
play? If we refer again to our table of tests, it would seem that the 
dance meets all the conditions except the out-of-doors requirement. It 
is an ultra-primitive form of human activity, as old as mankind itself. 
It relieves completely the strain upon the eye and finger muscles, in- 
volving only the ear and the larger muscles of the trunk and legs, the 
rhythmical movements being ancient, easy, and natural. The higher 
brain centers are completely rested, for they have nothing to do. The 
brain pattenis of the dance are the simplest conceivable, being very 
old and familiar. There is a thrill of cherished memories associated 
with the dance in the life history of the race. This explains in part 
its fascination. When social restrictions are lifted, the craze for danc- 
ing bursts upon a sitting and sedentary race almost with the furor of 
an epidemic. A tired and nervous people finds here its release, a re- 
laxation complete and satisfying. There is opportunity also for self- 
expression. 

The more primitive the manner of dancing becomes the greater its 
charm. The recent revival of barbaric syncopated forms of music to 
acccmipany the dance and the still further reversion to steps and atti- 
tudes of the most primitive type hei^ten the joy and accentuate the 
recreational effects. 

But it is right here that we encounter certain serious diiEculties Mrith 



358 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

the dance as a means of recreation. We live in hig^y complex social 
groups, in which other factors than merely physiological and psycho- 
logical ones count The social and moral aspects of every form of 
recreation have to be considered. The modem dance owes its attrac- 
tiveness, not wholly but partly, to the sex motive. To that extent it 
passes out of the sphere of play activity into the wholly different 
sphere of love-making. As such it does not come within the purpose 
of this paper. This mixture of motives, however, very greatly lessens 
the value of the dance as a form of recreation, excepting of course the 
graceful and healthful forms of folk dancing, the revival of which is 
a sign of hope. 

Still other factors lessen the value of the dance as recreation. Not 
only is it indoors; it is largely a night pastime and has incidental asso- 
ciations of late hours, extravagance in dress, and moral surroundings 
not always good. On the whole, it may probably be said that while 
from the standpoint of the individual the dance in itself has unlimited 
possibilities as recreation, from the standpoint of social healA and 
welfare the results are bad. 

If we consider the esthetic dances and the esthetic factor in all 
dancing, a point in favor of the dance may be urged. No recreational 
force could be imagined better for a spent and nervous people than the 
enjoyment of beauty in all its forms. Could the attention of the Amer- 
ican nation be diverted for certain hours of the day or week from 
its feverish pursuit of wealth and power to the quiet enjoyment of 
beautiful things, its salvation would be insured. Of all the forms of 
esthetic enjoyment, that of music is the most restful, harmonizing, and 
tranquilizing. And this is not altogether due to the intrinsic excellence 
of music over the arts of painting, sculpture, architecture and poetry, 
although even that claim might be urged. The restful and recreational 
value of music for our people is due in a peculiar way to the fact of 
our prevailing eye-mindedness and finger-mindedness. In music we 
find our release. It is thus a hopeful sign for the permanence of our 
civilization that in our public schools a constantly increasing time is 
given to music and the other fine arts. 

The compensatory character in play which we have emphasized is 
incidentally well illustrated by the wave of jazz that has swept the 
world and now spent itself. EAically and esthetically no music could 
be worse than this. But as a temporary restorative of nerves shattered 
by a terrible world war, no music could be better. For the moment the 
world needed a complete release, a primeval pacifier. It seized widi 
joy upon the music and the dance of primeval man and perhaps for 
the same reason has reverted in other ways to primeval practices and 
morals. Having thus been flushed and purged, the toiling upward way 
may again be undertaken. 



THE PLAY OF A NATION 359 

As regards the movies, one point in their favor has been noted. 
They are accessible and available. They satisfy vicariously the love of 
adventure, the roaming instinct, the delight in the new and the strange 
and the wonderful. They are absorbing, diverting the weary soul from 
its troubles. They relieve the strain upon the will by the plot-interest,^, 
which carries the observer along without effort. They bring a glimpse 
of fairy land into some lives that are drab and prosy. Those who 
cannot even dance may here participate in the sight of dancing. To 
those who have no beauty in their daily surroundings, beauty is brou^t 
in many forms upon the screen. 

But when this is said, all is said, for if we refer again to our table 
of tests of recreational factors, we find nearly all the elements of good 
play wanting in Ae movies. Good play is out of doors and involves 
the larger fundamental muscles of the trunk and legs, and for children 
this is primary and indispensable. They must be active in play and 
all sedentary people must be active in play. It is bad enough that 
children should be confined in a school-room five precious hours of 
the day. It is worse if they are penned in between a desk and a seat. 
For such children to spend still other hours of the day or evening or 
any hours of their holidays in confinement is serious, and especially in 
these days of universal reading, when old and yoimg alike spend so 
many hours sitting, reading fascinating books of fiction, and interest- 
ing magazines and papers. 

In the moving picture theater the bodily confinement is complete 
and uncompromising. In the school-room the child can at least wrig- 
gle. In the movies the attrition is so wrapt as to result in a statue- 
like rigidity of the whole body for hours. For adults this is unfor- 
tunate; for children it is fatal. Many moving picture theaters are 
stuffy. Most of them are crowded. The physical conditions are thus 
the worst possible from the standpoint of recreational needs. 

As regards the use of the sense-organs, the eye, overworked among 
our modem reading people, gains no rest from moving pictures but is 
taxed to the very utmost and kept under strain for hours. To what 
extent the eyes will suffer from the moving pictures I am not here dis- 
cussing. I am only pointing out the failure of the movies to conform 
in this respect to recreational requirements. The relations of the eye 
and ear to our modem life are such that good music is of far greater 
value as recreation and relaxation than any appeal to the eye. If our 
play is to take the form of any entertainment on the stage, good music 
in any form, whether in concert, recital, folk songs, or opera, would 
seem to be deserving a very high place. 

Incidentally it should be mentioned here that in Ae history of the 
race the most intimate and human relations are associated with the 
voice as used in speech. The Gredc tragic drama, which drew whole 



360 THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 

populations of a city to the outdoor stage, depended for its powerful 
appeal largely upon the human voice. The spectacular character of 
the modem theater seems like a distinct loss. But when this is carried, 
as in the moving pictures, to the point where human life and society 
are wholly divorced from the expressive and meaningful tones of the 
voice, we seem to be living in a dessicated and dehumanized world, from 
which all intrinsic worth has departed. The visual world depicted on 
the screen has movement, plot-interest, strangeness, novelty, excitement, 
intensity, but lacks the elements which are soothing, tranquilizing and 
harmonizing. It is neither relaxation nor recreation. 

Another aspect of the moving pictures in their relation to the human 
mind, which must be taken into account, is their effect upon the emo- 
tions. Aristotle's catharsis theory of the drama has been long discussed. 
Hie mind is supposed to be purified by such mil