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It was voted to hold the next meeting of the Association at Glasgow, Scotland, the Duke of Argyle being elected President for the ensuing year, and Col. Sabine Secretary.
The whole number of papers presented at this meeting was 280. Of these, 58 were upon subjects connected with mathematical and physical science, 43 upon chemical science; 34 treated of geology, 41 of zoology and botany, including physiology, 35 of geography and ethnology, 24 of statistics, and 44 of subjects in relation to mathematical science.
The meeting of the Association was closed with a grand dinner, given by the Earl of Harrowby, the President, to the members and friends of the Association. Sir R. Murchison discharged the duties of chairman, and nearly 800 ladies and gentlemen were present. The dinner was succeeded by a brilliant soirée at the Town Hall, given by the Mayor to the members of the Association and the élite of Liverpool and the neighborhood.
The thirty-first meeting of the Society of German Naturalists and Physicians was held at Göttingen, September 18, under the Presidency of Prof. Baum. The meeting was well attended, most of the distinguished scientific men of Germany being present. After the formal opening of the session, and a few remarks by the President, Prof. Wagner, (Hofrath,) of Göttingen, read, according to usual practice, a scientific address. The subject he had chosen was "On certain Portions and Modes of Considerations of Anthropology." A better title, he observed, would perhaps have been, "On the Creation of Man and the Substance of the Soul." The main objects of his address were, 1st, the praise of Blumenbach; and 2d, a polemical attack on the anthropological views of a modern author whom he did not name, but who is supposed to be Carl Vogt, whose doctrines he denounced as immoral and derogatory of human nature. After explaining Blumenbach's doctrine of the five races, which showed no greater differences than the local and geographical varieties of the same species in many of our domestic animals, and which had been confirmed by modern science, he stated that these views were still further strengthened by the result of recent linguistic investigations. Then comes the question, Are all men of one race, and are all descended from one pair? Notwithstanding partial assertions to the contrary, the result of his scientific investigations had convinced him that no argument could be drawn from the study of the natural history part of the question against the existence of only one species; and, moreover, although it was difficult to adduce any direct proof for or against the descent from one single pair, he was equally convinced that there was no argument against such a view. He then
proceeded to discuss the other portion of his theme, and to consider whether modern science, either as natural history or physiology, had made any progress respecting the future life, or with regard to the state and nature of the soul. Materialism in this respect had made great progress in latter times; and he vehemently attacked the views of a modern author, who, amongst other things, asserted, that to assume a spiritual soul dwelling in the brain, and thence directing the motions and actions of the body, was the greatest absurdity, and who had also denied the truth of such a thing as individual immortality. Were the views of this author, who also denied the existence of free will, founded in truth, or even recognized as such, where would be the use of all the exertions of those great, and good, and learned men who for centuries have labored and worked for the improvement and instruction of the human race? There would be nothing great or noble in man's nature; there would be no reality in history, no truth in faith. Where would be the result of all our scientific investigations? He concluded by observing that, however difficult or even impossible it might be to explain the nature of the soul, we must be satisfied that the answer could not be one which was opposed to all morality and all virtue.
At the German Scientific Association, held at Tubingen, in 1853, in Wurtemberg, Prof. Karnat stated that Germany possesses coal sufficient to supply the whole world with fuel for at least 500 years. At the same Congress it was reported that a number of perfect human skulls with teeth in them had been found in the Suabian Alps in the formation of the mammoth period, which leads to the conclusion that man existed at the time when the mastodon and other of the huger antediluvian animals flourished.
At the late meeting of the British Association at Liverpool, the Ray Society held its eleventh anniversary, Sir Charles Lyell in the chair. The report stated that a volume of Botanical and Physiological Memoirs, including Alexander Braun's profound treatise on "Rejuvenescence in Nature," had just been published. The following works were on the table, and ready for distribution :-Part VI. of Alder and Hancock's "Nudibranchiate Mollusca," for 1851; the second volume of Darwin's great work on "The Cirripedes," with thirty plates, for 1852; and the fourth volume of the "Geological and Zoological Bibliography," for 1854. It is the intention of the Council to publish a supplement and index to the last work.
During the past season an Educational Exhibition has been held in London for the purpose of illustrating the condition of Elementary Education in the United Kingdom and its Colonies, Continental Europe, and the United States of America, by bringing together com
plete collections of educational appliances and objects, such as, 1st. Models of school buildings, arrangements and fittings, Books, Maps, Diagrams, Models, Apparatus, &c.; 2d. Specimens of the work done in schools; viz., Drawings, Writings, Needlework, &c.; 3rd. Laws of Public Instruction, Statistics of Education, School Regulations, Time Tables, &c.
The exhibition opened in June, and continued for about three months. It was entirely successful, and its results cannot fail of benefiting the cause which it illustrated. Among the articles exhibited were choice specimens of fishes, crustacea, marine plants and vegetable productions used in commerce, such as seeds, roots, fibres, &c. ; models of school-houses, copy-books, school clocks, globes, stationery, drawing and coloring materials, diagrams, prints, maps, hydrostatical and pneumatical apparatus, Attwood's machine for illustrating the laws of falling bodies, the geometrical solids, a machine for illustrating centrifugal force, sets of the mechanical powers, sectional models of steam-engines, &c. Also, contributions of the asylums for the blind, the deaf and dumb, and idiots, and specimens of workmanship executed by pupils of the Ragged Schools. The East India Company exhibited a very interesting collection of articles-comprising, among other things, specimens of pottery, made at the Madras School of Arts and Industry, cordage made of plantain and agave fibre, with various models, &c.
America, especially the United States, was largelv represented with various contributions, illustrating the progress of the common schools within the last few years.
A society has recently been formed in England, under the title of "The Palestine Archæological Association," having for its object the exploring of the ancient and modern cities and towns, or other places of historical importance, in Palestine and the adjacent countries, with a view to the discovery of monuments and objects of antiquity, by means of researches on the spot. The prospectus runs as follows :— "Archeological Research in the East having now attained such important results, in the discovery and acquisition of splendid monuments, both Egyptian and Assyrian, and a great archæological chain of inquiry having been thus established from Egyptian Thebes to the site of Nineveh, it has been suggested that Palestine presents itself the middle link in this chain, as being full of rich promise to researches and inquiries of a similar character. If Egypt and Assyria have afforded so many valuable monuments to the truth of history and tradition, it may reasonably be expected that Palestine would yield as rich a harvest. Why should not the sites of the ancient cities and towns of the Hebrews, and of the aboriginal inhabitants of Canaan, be
explored? And why might not the localities of important monuments-especially of the Hebrews-be sought for, under the guidance of scriptural authority and of tradition-as, for instance, the Egyptian coffins of the patriarchs at Hebron and Sychem; the twelve stones set up by Joshua at Gilgal and in the Jordan; the monumental record of the Law in the Stone of Sychem; the sacred Ark, supposed to have been concealed by the prophet Jeremiah in some recess; with many others which will suggest themselves to the biblical reader? The discovery, if not also the recovery, of these precious relics of Hebrew antiquity might be accompanied or followed by the acquisition of various objects of historical importance, as coins, vessels, implements, sculpture, inscriptions, manuscripts, and other documents, all illustrative of the most interesting periods of remotest antiquity; and that in the Holy Land, the land of the Bible, such a treasure of archæological knowledge would possess a high degree of importance, as corroborative of the Sacred Writings, and would doubtless be so esteemed, as well by the learned as by the religious world."
At a recent meeting of this Society, an address was given by Dr. Turnbull, in which he stated that the idea of this Society was not borrowed from any recent movements of a similar nature, much less intended to rival them, but arose simply from the perusal of the Books of "Genesis, Exodus and Joshua," and more especially from the circumstance recorded of the embalming and burying of the patriarch Jacob, at Hebron, by his son Joseph, Viceroy of Egypt; that the coffin is in all probability remaining entire in the Cave of Machpelah, as then deposited; and that there can be little doubt, if examination, with all proper attention to decorum, were permitted, we should find on the exterior, and within the coffin, some characters, and, perhaps, some emblems, not according to the idolatrous mythology of Egypt, but relating to Jacob and his family and ancestry, and perhaps, also, relative to the countries of Egypt and Palestine.
In reference to the coffins of the Hebrew patriarchs, he had formed expectations of the most important discoveries. In that of Joseph he did not see why we might not find a papyrus, containing his own autobiography, together with other great historical documents, such as have been found on opening tombs in Egypt. Who would have imagined that we should have found some of the rarest works of the Greek classics in the tombs of Upper Egypt? Yet some of these we have seen in lithographs of the papyri, as recently produced at a meeting of the Syro-Egyptian Society.
The London Society of Arts have appointed a Committee of Industrial Pathology for the purpose of inquiring into the nature of accidents, injuries, and diseases incident to various bodily employments,
and of suggesting means for their prevention or relief. It is proposed to select each year, for special and thorough investigation, a single trade, or group of trades, or some particular kind of injury. Thus it is contemplated to devote the remainder of the present session to as complete an inquiry as the means at the disposal of the Committee may permit into the injury to the eyes which unfortunately attaches to many industrial occupations, and a synopsis of some of the physical evils which attach to various kinds of industrial labor is to be circulated among artisans and others for information. It is then proposed to hold in the ensuing sessions an exhibition of inventions and appliances for making such handicraft employment more healthy.
The London Geographical Society has received advices from the travellers sent out under its auspices: Lieut. Burton and Dr. Wallin are pushing their way in Arabia; and Dr. Vogel, when last heard from, was on the borders of Lake Tchad, which he describes as more resembling a vast marsh than a sheet of water. The interior of Africa, he says, is a "terrible country" to travel in. Were it not for the importance of clearing up its geography and discovering its resources, few would be found to explore it.
Among the various results of Dr. Vogel's scientific labors transmitted to England, his astronomical observations to fix the position of Kuka are of the highest importance; for when the three coördinateslatitude, longitude, and elevation-of this great central point of Africa have been determined with definite exactitude, we possess a beacon by which all other researches respecting Central Africa which have been collected up to the present time, and the various journeys and itineraries which have been performed in that region, will be rectified and fixed upon the map. Dr. Vogel is the first professional astronomer of acknowledged talent who has undertaken a journey to Central Africa; and so little reliance was placed on the observations of his predecessors,-even so justly celebrated travellers as Clapperton and Denham,-by writers on African geography, that every one seems to have considered himself perfectly justified in improving upon them and shifting them about ad libitum, hundreds of miles, to the east or west.
The result of Dr. Overweg's astronomical observations of Lake Tsad, backed by the opinion of Prof. Encke, clearly indicated that Clapperton and Denham's position was too far to the east, but left the precise distance undetermined. It was reserved for Dr. Vogel to solve this vexata quæstio, which, for one of his age, (22 years,) is no small merit. According to him, the position of Kuka is as follows :— 12° 55′ 14′′ latitude N., 13° 22′ longitude E., from Greenwich. Elevation above the level of the sea, 900 feet-50 feet above Lake