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during a long period of years, and nothing should be THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1892.
altered in their execution unless considered advisable by
the board, or unless the experiment should be found use- -- - -
less, or devoid of chance of success. The main thing EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY.
should be to provide for the duration of the experiment, E xperimental Evolution. By Henry de Varigny, D.Sc.
whether the originators were living or dead, and to follow (London: Macmillan, 1892.)
it out for a long time. Time is an indispensable element
in such investigations, and experiments of this sort will DR. HENRY DE VARIGNY has enriched the
surely exceed the normal duration of human lifetime." U literature of biology by publishing in the “Nature A special branch of the work of such an institute should Series” the lectures on “Experimental Evolution " de be experimental investigations in comparative psychology. livered by him in 1891 to the Summer School of Art and of this there is nowadays some need. Speaking of the Science in Edinburgh. This school, as is well known, transmission of acquired characters, Dr. de Varigny has been doing good work on Extension lines in Edin- says, “ Psychology affords similar instances. A kitten burgh, and Prof. Geddes is to be congratulated on having which has never seen a dog is afraid from the first secured the co-operation of so able a biologist and so moment it perceives one ; young birds of many species lucid an exponent of the special aspects of biology with instinctively fear the hawk and other birds of prey, which he has identified himself as M. de Varigny. The while remaining unaffected by the presence of other lectures are well worthy of publication, for they contain birds. Are not these psychological 'attitudes' due to a rich, well-ordered, and, for the most part, well-sifted environment (acting on the mens of ancestors) which body of facts collected from many sources, and especially have been transmitted by inheritance; are these not from the publications of French naturalists. But the acquired characters ? " From observations of my own author is more than a collector of facts recorded by other I am prepared to say that it is by no means universally workers; he is himself a worker in this special field of true that a kitten which has never seen a dog is afraid biological science. And some of the most valuable of from the first moment it perceives one. Mr. Spalding the observations contained in the work are the result of does indeed describe how the smell of his hand with his own careful and exact investigations.
which he had been fondling a dog set four blind kittens Experimental biology is still in its infancy. It is true puffing and spitting in a most comical fashion. But a ihat our domesticated animals and plants are the result of careful observer, Mr. Mann Jones, writes to me that a much experimental work in the past ; but the experiments young kitten with which he experimented “took were not planned with the object of explaining organic eight days to connect the smell or odour of nature, and were therefore not biological in their aim his hand with the thing-dog." And my own obser
There is pressing need at the present time for experi- vations are confirmatory of those of Mr. Mann Jones. ments with such definite scientific aim ; for experiments, Mr. Hudson, in a very interesting chapter of the “Naturalthat is to say, carried out with the express object of ist in La Plata," gives observations which tend to show testing the truth of biological principles. And that this that young birds afford little evidence of instinctive work be well done there is pressing need for organization. fear of particular enemies; and my own experiWe have only to look at the results which have been ments with young chicks lead me to believe Teached by well-planned and well-directed marine that they have no instinctive knowledge of the stations in extending our biological knowledge, faunal, | things of this world. Any unusual and sharp sound (e.g., morphological, and embryological, to see what may be a chord on the violin), any large approaching object (e.g., done by organization of research. What Dr. de Varigny a ball rolled towards them), causes alarm. There is no eloquently pleads for, and what our own countryman, evidence of instinctive particularization of alarming obDr. Romanes, is also pleading for, is an experimental | jects. Such observations lead me to look with suspicion institute, well planned and adequately supported, the on any arguments for the transmission of acquired purpose of which shall be to carry out extensive experi- l characters based on supposed instinctive knowledge of ments for testing evolution hypotheses in all their things. And they show the need of further research in bearings.
comparative psychology such as could be carried out at "It appears to me,” says Dr. de Varigny, “that this the Institute of Experimental Biology. nstitution should comprise the following essential ele- It may be said that the central hypothesis of modern ments :-Rather extensive grounds, a farm with men | evolution, that of natural selection, stands in no need of experienced in breeding, agriculture, and horticulture ; | experimental verification. But it will presumably be ad. ome greenhouses, and a laboratory with the common mitted, even by those who are firm in their belief, among ppliances of chemistry, physiology, and histology. Of whom I count myself, that further experimental support ourse this must be located in the country. It is very will be of the utmost value. There are many who assume mportant to have experienced farm hands, and a good a sceptical attitude, and who say-We grant the inhemist and histologist are necessary in the staff of the exorable logic of your conclusions if your premisses nstitution. As to the general management, it seems be established. More individuals are born than can or do dvisable to have a director with a board of competent survive ; the devil devours the hindmost ; and a beneficent nen. whose functions would be to decide, after careful selection rewards the survivors with the privilege of provestigation and exchange of views, what are the funda
| creation : hence, progress towards increased adaptation. Dental experiments to be performed. These experi- A very pretty piece of logic. But now, they say, show us the nents, when once decided upon, should be pursued devil at work. We pretend to no particular knowledge of these matters, but we are quite ready to be convinced the “ Handbook” remained as they were in 1871. The by proven facts. Prove to us this devil's work, and we unrevised portions included the Pyrenomycetes, or acquiesce in your conclusion. But do not put us off with Sphæriaceous fungi ; the Sphæropsidea, or imperfect a logical “must be,” the recognized symbol of an assump- Pyrenomycetes; and the Hyphomycetes, or moulds. tion. Do not tell us that since a hundred were born and Hence the announcement of a complete work which should only two survive, the ninety-eight must be in some way include all the British fungi, of whatever denomination, and for some reason unfit. This is just the very fact of brought up to date, did not come as a surprise. which we require definite and indubitable evidence.
The volume before us consists of 430 pages, and proNow what solid and umimpeachable body of evidence fesses to be the first of three volumes, which are to conhave we wherewith to conclusively refute this scepticism? tain the whole “ British Fungus Flora” in full, and upon If animals or plants removed to a new environment the same plan as this first volume. We have heard al assume a new habit, in how many cases is it clearly | wonderful feats of “strong men," but these will be proved that this is due to the elimination of all those who nothing in comparison to the feat which is ostensibly failed to vary in the direction of this habit ? It behoves promised on the title-page, when it is accomplished. In us to be careful that the very strength of the natural | our simplicity we should have calculated sir volumes as selection hypothesis be not a source of weakness, by nearer the minimum. If the result proves to be less, we leading us to neglect the duty of experimental verification. shall be content to bear the odium of a false prophet That there should be a central institute or institutes for We may premise that the author who has undertaken the the purpose of such experimental verification, is what present work is eminently fitted to carry it out success. Dr. de Varigny and Dr. Romanes are pleading for. It fully, inasmuch as he is a practical field naturalist, with would produce a salutary organization of research; for independent views, and by no means afraid of hard work the institute would have carefully selected correspondents To return to the volume in question, we must recognize in all parts of the world who would carry out their ex- clearness of typography, and distinctness in the isolation of periments in concert. It would bring scattered energies species, which will facilitate reference and increase its to a focus. It would by its journal show individual practical utility. The illustrations are rather rough out workers where research is specially needed. It is lines, but quite sufficient for practical purposes, and will bound to come sooner or later. We hope to see it an exhibit the distinctions between the several genera as far established fact before the close of the present century. as illustrations can do it. Of the systematic arrangement
C. LL. M. we are not prepared to speak so highly, but perhaps some
may consider this a matter of detail. The contents may
be summarized thus, in the order of their appearance. ' . 'BRITISH FUNGUS FLORA.
The Gastromycetes, or puff-ball fungi, commencing with British Fungus-Flora, a Classified Text-Book of Mycology. the subterranean species, followed by the Sclerodermea
By George Massee. In 3 vols. Vol. I. (London and and the Nidularieæ, then the Lycoperder, concluding with New York : George Bell and Sons, 1892.)
the Phalloidea. These are succeeded by the HymenoIt was in 1836 that Berkeley published his “ British mycetes, in like manner inverted, commencing with the
1 Fungi" as a part of Hooker's“ British Flora,” and for Tremellineæ, and backwards through the other families to about a quarter of a century this was the standard work. the Agaricini, which are commenced in the last 120 In 1860, appeared Berkeley's “Outlines of British Fun- pages, but not half completed. We imagine that half gology," which from the first was disappointing, inasmuch another volume will be required to complete the Basidioas it was only a barren catalogue for all except the large | mycetes. and conspicuous species ; and even the latter were so Under ordinary circumstances, when we take up a compressed in description, by the exigencies of confining flora, we are accustomed to meet with the adoption of the book within narrow and definite limits, that it did either one of two methods. The one consists of a regula: not wholly supersede the use of the old “ British Fungi.” sequence, from what the author regards as the highest In 1871 an effort was made to repair the error by the developments in his congeries to the lowest ; the other an publication of Cooke's "Handbook of British Fungi,” equally regular sequence from the lowest to the highest which brought the whole subject up to date, and gave a This is conventional, but the present book is not convennew impetus to British mycology. On account of the tional. In one sense there undoubtedly is a regular considerable acquisition of species, new to the British sequence from the lowest forms to the highest in the flora, it was deemed fitting in 1871 to produce a new Basidiomycetes, which this volume contains; but we must work which should include these additions, and then not infer that Mr. Massee regards the Basidiomycetes as Stevenson's “British Fungi" appeared. This new work the lowest order of Fungi, or that he commences with the only included the “Hymenomycetes," or, in effect, part simplest organisms, proceeding upwards by regular of the first volume of Cooke's “ Handbook," leaving all gradations to the most complex, when he starts with the the rest untouched. In order to remedy this deficiency Gastromycetes. Undoubtedly our author has not made in part, Cooke's " Myxomycetes” was issued in 1877, and a special study of the puff balls in order to degrade ther. Phillips' “Manual of British Discomycetes” in 1887. | to the lowest rank. Hence we can only arrive at one Meanwhile a second edition of a portion of Cooke's conclusion, and that is, that such portions of the work “ Handbook” was being issued as a supplement to have now been printed as were ready for the press, and “Grevillea," but confined exclusively to the Agaricini. no conclusions are to be drawn from the sequence With the exception of Plowright's “British Uredineæ" adopted as a convenience, as if it were adopted by pre published in 1889, all the rest of the orders contained in meditation.
Continental mycologists have now for some time
low for some time for thus bringing together within the small compass of accepted the genera of the Agaricini as defined by this single volume, the scope and aim of which are suffiFries, with the exception of the large genus Agaricus, ciently indicated in its title, the scattered records of the which Fries himself subdivided into numerous smaller various species as known to him; but they will equally groups as subgenera ; but they have elevated all these regret that the author did not include the whole molluscan smaller groups to the rank of genera, and placed them fauna instead of confining himself to the testaceous forms, upon an equality with the other veritable genera of and thereby raise the work from the level of a mere shellAgaricini. Against this metamorphosis we feel bound collector's catalogue to the rank of a work of reference of to contend, on the ground that the distinctions, although real scientific value. sufficient for the subdivision of a genus, are not of generic Mr. Sowerby enumerates 740 species, and estimates that value, and that the genera so constituted are unneces- 323 of these are confined to South Africa, whilst 67 also sary, and of unequal value, with the old genera beside occur in European seas, and 340 have been found on other which they are placed. For instance, Amanitopsis differs coasts. Unfortunately, it is our disagreeable duty to point only from Amanita in the absence of a ring; and out that this record does not include “all the known Annellaria differs only from Panæolus in the presence species,” and hence is not what the author fully intended of a ring. Let any one of practice and experience com it to be, viz., “as complete as possible.” An important pare these pseudo-genera with Coprinus, Cantharellus, paper by Von Martens 1 appears to have been overor Schizophyllum, and judge of what we say. For the looked, for there are about thirty species named in it, infirst time these pseudo-genera now find a place in a cluding some which were then new, not mentioned by British flora, and, although not of overwhelming import- Mr. Sowerby. Still more remarkable is the omission of ance, we cannot permit them to pass without protest. the new forms described by Mr. Watson in his report
Spore measurements are a recent addition to the upon the Scaphopoda and Gastropoda, obtained during diagnoses of Hymenomycetes, and, although we contend the voyage of the Challenger. Davidson's “ Monograph that they should be employed with caution and dis of recent Brachiopoda,” had it been more closely scanned, crimination, it is very satisfactory that so much attention would have yielded not only two species reputed to have should have been given to them in this work. Not only come from the Cape, but also Terebratulina Davidsoni, does the spore vary in size in a given species in different King, the type specimens of which, dredged on the seasons, but at different periods in the same year. This | Agulhas Bank, were passed on to their describer by Mr. is certainly true in some species which have been tested, G. B. Sowerby (the elder, we presume) in 1871. and should lead us to accept spore measurements as A number of species have been recorded by Mr. E. A. approximate rather than absolute.
Smith in an appendix to a “ Report on the Marine MolIn conclusion, we are bound to remark that this is a luscan Fauna of the Island of St. Helena," • as found student's book, written with a full appreciation of the there on what is locally known as “Sea-horn." This subwants of a student, and giving all the information which stance appears to consist of portions of a large species a student might require. In all cases, whether under of Tangle, probably Echlonia buccinalis, which occurs at families, genera, or species, will be found just the details the Cape, whence it drifts to St. Helena. Some allusion which the novice will be most anxious to obtain, and, should have been made to these forms. Hints might also although the study of these interesting but rather difficult have been gleaned from the same report, which deserves plants has been of late somewhat upon the decline, we to be more widely known than seemingly it is, of undoubt not that it will revive and prosper by the aid of doubted South African species whose names do not the new “ British Fungus Flora," which will become the appear in Mr. Sowerby's catalogue. "text-book of British mycology."
M. C. C. The presence of a good index, while it obviates the
necessity, does not abolish the desirability of a good clas
sification, and, in the present state of our knowledge SOUTH AFRICAN SHELLS.
in matters conchological, that of Woodward's Manual is Marine Shells of South Africa : A Catalogue of all the hardly up to date ; it is somewhat late in the day to find
Known Species, with References to Figures in Various | Dentalium still in its old place in the Gastropoda. Works, Descriptions of New Species, and Figures of Some few changes in nomenclature are made in defesuch as are new, little known, or hitherto unfigured. rence to the law of priority, and these are set forth at the By G. B. Sowerby, F.L.S., F.Z.S. Pp. 89, 5 pls. end of the preface. Amongst them is Ovula, Bruguière, [drawn by the author]. (London, 1892.)
1789= Ovulum, Sowerby, &c., though, according to CINCE 1848, when Krauss published his well-known
some, Ovula is itself a synonym for Amphiperas, GronoU work, entitled “ Die Südafrikanischen Mollusken," vius, 1781; Calliostoma is erroneously attributed to 10 such list as the one before us dealing with the
Bruguière instead of Swainson. Molluscan Fauna of this interesting and important
There are also some oversights in the text, as, for innarine province has appeared.
stance, “ Columbella cerealis, Menke (Buccinum), Krauss Krauss, who included the non-marine forms of the
...=C. Kraussii, Sowerby," where, since Menke's name South African region in his work, recorded 403 marine
was given merely in MS., Sowerby's name stands, having pecies, of which 213 were considered to be peculiar to
four years' priority over Krauss's ; Triforis is treated as he province. Many other species have been subse
though of the masculine gender ; whilst the references to uently cited or described as coming from that quarter,
“figures in various works" require careful checking. jotably by E. von Martens and by our present author.
I "Ueber einige südafrikanische Mollusken nach der Sammlung von Dr.
G. Fritsch." sahrb. Deutsch. Malak. Gesell. 1874, pp. 119-146. Conchologists undoubtedly owe much to Mr. Sowerby 2 Proc. Zool. Soc. 1899, pp. 247-317.
As regards the figures that accompany the work itself, to do much to foster among the class to which he appeals it is a matter for regret that they cannot be commended. | habits of careful and exact observation. His readers have Few objects are more difficult to draw or require more
the satisfaction of knowing that of the many things they
may learn from him none will afterwards have to be skill in their delineation than do the shells of mollusca,
unlearned. and the amateur is rarely able to do them justice. The want of finish in the present instance is all the more
Algebra for Beginrers. By H. S. Hall and S. R. Knight noticeable from the contrast they afford to the rest of the
(London: Macmillan & Co. 1892.) “ get up” of the work, which is admirable.
This work is intended as an “easy introduction " to the These shortcomings are not thus dwelt on in any cap- i
author's “ Elementary Algebra for Schools,' and, besides
being treated on lines similar to those of the last-mentioned tious spirit, but are pointed out in the friendly hope that
book, is published in a cheaper form. The idea throughout a future edition of the work may shortly be forthcoming, seems to have been to present the beginner with the in which the defects of the present one, compiled under i practical side of the subject, and with this intention the great difficulties and at much disadvantage, may be examples are made as interesting as such examples can made good and a really complete catalogue result.
be. The usual sequence has not here been strictly
adhered to; but a beginner will find that he will still be (BV)?
able to reach the "as far as quadratic equations" limit. -
It is needless to say that the explanations are stated in
clear and simple language, while the examples are all OUR BOOK SHELF.
new. That this book will be widely used is undoubted,
for it will form an excellent forerunner to the more adThe Framework of Chemistry. Part I. By W. M. Williams, M.A. (London: George Bell and Sons,
vanced one referred to above. 1892.)
Introduction to Physiological Psychology. By Dr. This is the first part of a book which has been specially Theodor Ziehen. Translated by C. C. van Liew and Dr. written as a supplement to the oral lessons and experi Otto Beyer. (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co. mental demonstrations given by a teacher. It is 1892.) intended to contain nothing but what is absolutely neces- In reviewing the book of which this is a translation sary to give definite and precise impressions regarding (NATURE, vol. xliv. p. 145), we pointed out that such a the salient points of the lessons, all details relating to book was badly wanted in English. We are glad, therelaboratory manipulation being omitted. The more im fore, to welcome a translation of Dr. Ziehen's work, which portant introductory facts, divested of theoretical con will serve well as an introduction to the new science of siderations, are first discussed, then come “atoms and
physiological psychology. molecules," treated in an elementary fashion and leading the way to the explanation of the use of symbols and formulæ. How the system adopted by the author will work out
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. can only be ascertained when the other parts are to hand. (The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions erSo far as the information in the present volume goes, it pressed by his correspondents. Neither can ke undertake is to a great extent useful and clearly stated.
to returr, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected · Objection may be taken to the classification of solutions manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. as mechanical and chemical, for, were it for no other
No notice is taken of anonymous communications. ] reason, it is still a disputed point whether any solution
The Volucella as Examples of Aggressive Mimicry. may be considered a mixture.
An interesting point in the Volucella as examples of aggressive The concise style of the book lends itself to incomplete
mimicry is the fact that they were first used to support the statements. For instance, to say that one of the oxides
teleological theories of an earlier day, and were subsequently of carbon "contains exactly twice as much oxygen as the
claimed by natural selection. Thus Messrs. Kirby and Spence other," is hardly accurate ; a constant quantity of carbon speak of them (Second Edition, 1817, vol. ii., p. 223) as is essential to the accurate conception of the facts. The affording "a beautiful instance of the wisdom of Providence in most serious blunder made by the author lies in the adapting means to their end;" and alter describing the resem confusion of force and energy. This is manifest in state blance of the flies to the bees, they continue, “ Thus has the ments involving the conversion of “chemical force" into | Author of nature provided that they may enter these nests and an "equivalent amount of heat " or of electrical force," deposit their eggs undiscovered. Did these intruders venture and culminates in the assertion that “Force, like matter,
themselves amongst the humble bees in a less kindred form.
their lives would probably pay the forfeit of their presumption." cannot be destroyed.”
In this theory of Providence it is hard to see where the bees The Beauties of Nature, and the Wonders of the World
come in. in 1867, A. R. Wallace published an article og we Live In. By the Right Hon. Sir John Lubbock, Bart.
“Mimicry and other Protective Resemblances among Animals,“ M.P., F.R.S. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1892.)
which was in 1875 republished in his “Essays on Natural
Selection.” In this essay (p. 75 of the volume) he spoke of So many writers of the present day adopt a pessimistic this interpretation as the only case in which an example of tone that a pleasant impression is always produced by mimicry had been “thought to be useful, and to have been de Sir John Lubbock's genial and imperturbable optimism. signed as a means to a definite and intelligible purpose." He In the present volume he undertakes to show how many accepts it as a product of natural selection, and since that time sources of interest men might find in the world around it has been constantly used as a well-known example of this them, if they would only take the trouble to train them
principle, so well known, indeed, that the history of it became selves to appreciate the scientific significance of ordinary
unnecessary in any publication where space was an object. facts. He begins with a study of animal life, and has
I neither originated the principle of aggressive mimicry no
| the Volucella as examples of it, although I accepted, and still much that is fresh and suggestive to say about various
accept, both. Under these circumstances I must, in justice to aspects of the subject. Then there are chapters on plant
Kirby and Spence and A. R. Wallace, repudiate the discovery life, woods and fields, mountains, water, rivers and of a significance I should have been proud to have made, bai lakes, the sea, and the starry heavens. The volume is | which was made, as a matter of fact, about half a century before written in the clear, frank style with which all readers of I was born. It is only fair to these writers to say this, for Me Sir John Lubbock's books are familiar, and it ought Bateson, although mentioning Kirby and Spence, seems