Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891.

In the artificial preparation of crystals it is invariably found that perfect and symmetrical crystals, and crystals of large size, are produced by slow, undisturbed cooling of solutions; the quiet accretion permits complete molecular freedom and the crystal is built up with precision.  Nor is this all.  In mixtures of chemical compounds it is presumable that the separate factors will disengage themselves from each other more and more completely, and form in purer masses as the congelation is slowly carried on.  A sort of concretionary affinity comes into play, and the different chemical units congregate together.  At least such has been the case in the granitic magma of which Mr. Wilson now possesses the solidified results.  The feldspar, the quartz, the mica, have approximately excluded each other, and appear side by side in unmixed purity.  And does it not seem probable that this deliberate process of solidification has produced in the beryls, found in the center of the vein at the points of slowest radiation, the glassy gem texture which now makes them available for the purposes of art and decoration?

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Professor Max Muller, who presided over the Anthropological Section of the British Association, said that if one tried to recall what anthropology was in 1847, and then considered what it was now, its progress seemed most marvelous.  These last fifty years had been an age of discovery in Africa, Central Asia, America, Polynesia, and Australia, such as could hardly be matched in any previous century.  But what seemed to him even more important than the mere increase of material was the new spirit in which anthropology had been studied during the last generation.  He did not depreciate the labors of so-called dilettanti, who were after all lovers of knowledge, and in a study such as that of anthropology, the labors of these volunteers, or franc-tireurs, had often proved most valuable.  But the study of man in every part of the world had ceased to be a subject for curiosity only.  It had been raised to the dignity and also the responsibility of a real science, and was now guided by principles as strict and rigorous as any other science.  Many theories which were very popular fifty years ago were now completely exploded; nay, some of the very principles by which the science was then guided had been discarded.  Among all serious students, whether physiologists or philologists, it was by this time recognized that the divorce between ethnology and philology, granted if only for incompatibility of temper, had been productive of nothing but good.


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Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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