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place at which he does invoke the assistance of reversed selec- theories which belong to the family of pangenesis, that I deem tion is exactly the place at which reversed selection must neces the facts of degeneration of great importance as tests between sarily have ceased to act. This place, as already explained, is these rival interpretations of the facts of heredity. It is on this where an obsolescent organ has become rudimentary, or, as account that I have occupied so much space with the foregoing above supposed, reduced to 5 per cent. of its original size ; and discussion; and I shall be glad to ascertain whether any of the the reason why he invokes the aid of reversed selection at this followers of Prof. Weismann are able to controvert the views place is in order to save his doctrine of "the stability of germ- which I have thus re-published. plasm." That the force of heredity should finally become ex London, February 4.

GEORGE J. ROMANES. hausted if no longer maintained by the presence of selection, is what Darwin's theory of perishable gemmules would expect to

P.S.--Since the above article was sent in, Prof. Weismann be the cause, while such a fact would be fatal to Weismann's has published in these columns (February 6) his reply to a theory of an imperishable germ-plasm. Therefore he seeks to criticism by Prof. Vines (October 24, 1889). In this reply he explain the eventual failure of heredity (which is certainly a fact) appears to have considerably modified his views on the theory by supposing that after the point at which the cessation of selec- of degeneration ; for while in his essays he says (as in the pastion alone can no longer act (and which his first oversight has sage above quoted) that "the complete disappearance of a rudiplaced some 70 per cent. too low), the reversal of selection will mentary organ can only take place by the operation of natural begin to act directly against the force of heredity as regards the selection"-i.e. only by the reversal of selection,-in his reply diminishing organ, until such direct action of reversed selection to Prof. Vines he says, “I believe that I have proved that will have removed the organ altogether. Or, in his own words, organs no longer in use become rudimentary, and must finally " The complete disappearance of a rudimentary organ can only disappear, solely by 'panmixia'; not through the direct action rake place by the operation of natural selection ; this principle of disuse, but because natural selection no longer sustains their will lead to its diminution, inasmuch as the disappearing struc- standard structure”-i.c. solely by the cessation of selection. tare takes the place and the nutriment of other useful and im Obviously, there is here a flat contradiction. If Prof. Weisportant organs." That is to say, the rudimentary organ finally mann now believes that a rudimentary organ “must finally disdisappears, not because the force of heredity is finally exhausted, appear solely.” through the withdrawal of selection, he has doar because natural selection has begun to utilize this force abandoned his previous belief that "the complete disappearagainst the continuance of the organ--always picking out those ance of a rudimentary organ can only take place by the operation congenital variations of the organ which are of smallest size,

of seiection.” And this change of belief on his part is a matter of and thus, by its now reversed action, reversing the force of the highest importance to his system of theories as a whole, since heredity as regards the organ.

it betokens a surrender of his doctrine of the "stability." of germ. Now, the oversight here is that the smaller the disappearing plasm--or of the virtually everlasting persistence of the force of structure becomes, the less hold must "this principle” of heredity, and the consequent necessity for a reversal of this force reversed selection retain upon it. As above observed, during the itself (by natural selection placing its premium on minus instead carlier stages of reduction (or while co-operating with the of on plus variations) in order that a rudimentary organ should ressation of selection) the reversal of selection will be at its finally disappear. In other words, it now seems he no longer marimuin of efficiency; but, as the process of diminution con

believes that the force of heredity in one direction (that of susisues, a point must eventually be reached at which the reversal of taining a rudimentary organ) can only be abolished by the active election can no longer act. Take the original mass of a now

influence of natural selection determining this force in the oppoobsolescent organ in relation to that of the entire organism of site direction (that of removing a rudimentary organ). It seems which it then formed a part to be represented by the ratio he now believes that the force of heredity, if merely left to itself 1:100. For the sake of argument we may assume that the mass

by the withdrawal of natural selection altogether, will sooner or of the organism has throughout remained constant, and that by

later become exhausted through the mere lapse of time. This, of **mass" in both cases is meant capacity for absorbing nutriment,

course, is in all respects my own theory of the matter as origincausing weight, occupying space, and so forth. Now, we may

ally published in these columns; but I do not see how it is to farther assume that when the mass of the organ stood to that of be reconciled with Prof. Weismann's doctrine of so high a degree its organism in the ratio of 1 : 100, natural selection was strongly

of stability on the part of germ-plasm, that we must look to the seversent with respect to the organ. But when this ratio feit Protozoa and the Protophyta for the original source of congenital to 1:1000, the activity of such reversal must have become variations as now exhibited by the Metazoa and Metaphyta. esormously diminished, even if it still continued to exercise any

Nevertheless, and so far as the philosophy of degeneration is influence at all. For we must remember, on the one hand, that concerned, I shall be very glad if (as it now appears) Prof. the rever-al of selection can only act so long as the presence of a Weismann's more recent contemplation has brought his prindiminishing organ continues to be so injurious that variations inciple of panmixia into exact coincidence with that of my cessaats size ve matters of life and death in the struggle for existence ; tion of selection.-G. J. R. and, on the other hand, that natural selection in the case of the diminishing organ does not have reference to the presence and the absence of the organ, but only to such variations in its mass

Newton in Perspective. 33 any given generation may supply. Now, the process of re The interesting modern science termed by the Germans Geoduction does not end even at 1 : 1000. It goes on to 1 : 10,000, metric der Lage, and by the French and other Latin peoples and eventually 1:6. Consequently, however great our faith in géométrie de position, may be traced in germ to that part of natural selection may be, a point must eventually come for all of Newton's " Principia" which deals with the construction of o at which we can no longer believe that the reduction of an curves of the second order, and to what has survived in tradiobsolescent organ is due to this cause. And I cannot doubt tion of Pascal's lost manuscript entitled “Traité complet des that if Prof. Weismann had sufficiently considered the matter, Coniques.” The more recent developments of this important he would not have committed himself to the statement that subject cast much new light upon Newton's propositions, many *the complete disappearance of a rudimentary organ can only of which we are now enabled to solve by easier and more direct take place by the operation of natural selection.".

methods. A noteworthy example is here fully worked out, in Acording to my view of the matter, the complete disappear- order to show how problems which Newton solved by indirect ance of a rudimentary organ can only take place by the cessation and circuitous processes may be solved more simply by the aid of natural selection, which permits the eventual exhaustion of of modern graphics. heredity, when heredity is thus simply left to itself. During all Problem. --Given the four tangents EA, AB, BC", C'D (Fig. be earlier stages of reluction, the cessation of positive selection 1), as well as a point of contact ; to construct the conic.-First was assisted in its work by the activity of negative or reversed it will be necessary to give some faint idea of Newton's solution selectiva; but when the rudiment became too small for sach of this problem, without entering upon details which can be assistance any longer to be supplied, the rudiment persisted in found in the Latin edition of the Principia" edited by Sir that greatly reduced condition until the force of heredity with William Thomson and Prof. H. Blackburn. Having expounded regard to it was eventually worn out. This appears to me, as at great length a general theorem for the transformation of It appeared to me in 1874, the only reasonable conclusion that curves, Newton transforms the quadrilateral figure formed by a be dirawn from the facts. And it is because this conclusion the four tangents into a parallelogram. Then he joins the given fatal to Prof. Weismann's doctrine of the permanent “sta- point of contact y, transformed according to the same principle bility" of germ-plasm, while quite in accordance with all as the given four tangents, to the centre o of the parallelogram

-which is also the centre of the conic—and producing the line Case II. When the given point of contact : fes eutside of te 20 to 3', so that Oy may be equal to Oy, he determines a four tangents AEDC B.-By the corollary, Case I, if AB be second point of contact y' on the conic, by which means the the fifth tangent, it must pass through the given point of cars problem is reduced to the case dealt with in the preceding pro-tact s in such a direction that the diagonals C'A and EB may position, showing how to construct the curve when three tangents intersect in a point I situate on a given line Ds. and two points are given. Having in this way found five points Now let AB revolve about the fixed point of contact : 33 on the transformed conic, Newton next proceeds to retransform fulcrum, whilst A and B describe the lines EC and CC' (Fiss

. the whole of the figure to its original shape, in order to apply 1 and 2). Then, necessarily, - will be the centre of perspectivas his well-known method of constructing a conic of which five of the punctuated lines EC and CC', whose centres of projectius points are known.

are respectively C and E. But, by a well-known proposition of
geometry of position, when the points of two converging puzc
tuated lines, such as EC and CC', are projecled from opposite
centres in this fashion, the locus of the successive intersection
of the rays C'A and EB, or in other words the variable posiba
of the point I, will describe a conic, which in the preses
instance is a hyperbola. But the problem is how to find the
point I on the transversal L: without constructing the hyperboz.
four points on which are already known. For it will be
observed that, when A coincides with E, the point B will
on the prolongation of Es, and the corresponding projects,

rays Es and C'E will meet in E, a point on the hyperbols B

Similarly C' is a second point on the hyperbola. Again, as 18 E

continues to revolve about the fixed centre of perspectivity -, intersections A and B with the punctuated lines EC and cl will ultimately coalesce in the point C, common to both those lines. Hence, since in that case the rays projecting the double point C from the centres E and C' meet in c, this point most lie on the hyperbola.

Fourthly, if the line C: be produced to intersect the Fine EC in N, it can be easily shown that i, the third point in the harmonic ratio Gsin, is a fourth point on the byperbolz A fifa point can be found by simply drawing AB in any directie traversing - and intersecting Éć in A' and CC' in É, and the projecting A' and B' from the centres C and E respectively by

rays C'A and EB' which will meet in a fifth point upon the Fig. 1.


Thus, given these or in fact any five points ED:TH Fig


Now all these transformations and retransformations of lines and quadrangles involve very tedious and laborious operations, which can be avoided by borrowing a few simple principles of modern geometry. The following two original solutions of the above problem will serve to illustrate this statement.

SOLUTION.- Case I. When the given point of contact a lies on one of the given four tangents.- Assume the given point of contact 1 and the neighbouring apex B of the quadrangle as centres of projection, and the given tangent lines EA and CD as punctuated lines. The meaning of the term “punctuated line," familiar to students of modern geometry, will appear in the sequel.


It will be seen that the fourth tangent AB cuts the first punctuated line EA in A and the second punctuated line C'D in A'.

N Now, according to a proposition of modern geometry, if the points A and A”, in which the tangent AB intersects the two punctuated tangents EA and CD, be projected by rays xA and BA' issuing from their respective centres of projection x and B, those rays will meet in a point A, situate on what is termed the perspective line of the pencils 4 and B.

Next imagine the tangent AB to revolve upon the curve so as gradually to approach the limiting position BC. In that case À will approach C, B will fall upon C', and the intersection of the projecting rays xC and BC will coincide with C', which is therefore a second point on AC', the required perspective line of the pencils . and B. Wherefore, in order to find a hifth or any number of tangents to the curve, choose any point 1, on the punctuated line LA, and project this point from X, the corresponding centre of projection, upon the perspective line AC' ine; and then projecte from the second centre of projection B upon the corresponding punctuated line C'D in D. The line ID is a fifth tangent to the conic, and any number of

S tangents can be drawn in precisely the same way. Then, let F be any other point on EA Join and produce Fx, intersecting,

FIG. 2. the perspective line AC' in f; and from the centre B project upon the punctuated tangent CD in F'. Then the line FF will be a sixth tangent to the conic.

on the hyperbola, it is possible to find the point of intersectie! Cok, I. Since the lines AC', BI), and wE all meet in the of the given transversal La with the hyperbola without com same point o, is follows that, in any pentagon ABC'DE circum- structing the curve. First describe any circle in the per scribed to a conic, the opposite diagonals AC' and BI) and the line the five points, choosing two of these, such as E and joining the fifth point to the opposite point of contact x all centres of projection from which to project the remaining vores meet in the same point.

points DHT npon the given transversal L: in the posts


and d'H't respectively. Then, from any points on the

Former Glacial Periods. circumference of the circle, reproject the six points dht, d'h't', I HAVE long felt convinced that geologists are being misled in upon the same circumference in the points similarly lettered. By means of this double projection from the centres E and i the to a consideration referred to on former occasions, viz. that

reference to former glacial epochs by failing to give due thought laints DHT have been transferred in duplicate from the hyperbola when the present surface of the globe has been disintegrated, to the circle, or from one conic to another of a different species ; | washed into the sea, and transformed into rock, there will unand it is proved in treatises on modern geometry that points so transferred lose none of their projective properties. Hence the a glacial epoch during post-Tertiary times as there is at present

doubtedly then be about as little evidence that there had been points dht and d'H't on the circumference of the circle are allied that there was one during Miocene, Eocene, Permian, and other projective systems. Therefore, in order to find the perspective

periods. Ime common to both systems, choose one point t of the first set


Perth, March 6. as the centre of projection of the second system ; and make t', the correlative point of the second set, the centre of projection of the system dhe

From i project the points d' and H' by rays td" and th', and AUSTRALASIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE fram t' project the correlative points d and h by rays t'd and t'h.

ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. Then the correlative rays td and t'd will intersect in a point de the required perspective line; and the correlative rays tho THE and ?'will meet in to a second point on the same line. This efforts of Prof. Liversidge, of Sydney University, and i trapective line dk, will intersect the circumference in two its first meeting in Sydney in August 1888, were noticed onnisi, and so which, being joined to S and produced, will at the time in NATURE (vol. xxxviii. pp. 437, 623). One determine the double points I and g common to the hyperbola of the chief rules of the Association is that it shall meet and transversal Ls. The complete quadrangle EC'IC shows in turn in the capital cities of the various colonies; and that the harmonic ratios CsiN and giIL are segments of the Melbourne was agreed upon as the second meeting-place. same harmonic pencil P.

The lines E: and C'z are tangents to the curve at E and C It was found inconvenient, however, to hold the Melrspectively; and z is the pole of the polar EC' with respect to bourne meeting during 1889, as should have happened in the hyperbola. The proofs of these last two deductions may be

due course, for it is only after Christmas that all the found in any good text-book on geometry of position.

Universities are simultaneously in vacation ; and accord-

ingly it was commenced on the 7th of January in the
present year, and was continued through the following

week. Some anxiety was felt as to the result of this choice
Thought and Breathing.

of date, for there is always a risk in January of such conPROF. MAX Müller's article on thought and breathing, in tinuous heat as would hinder the work and destroy the şour issue of February 6 (p. 317) has just come into my pleasure of the meeting ; but the Association proved to lands. In it he states that the power of retaining the breath be specially favoured in the matter of weather.

practised largely by Hindus as a means towards a higher object, The following are the names of the officers of the viz. the abstraction of the organs of the human body from their | Association and of the Sections. With regard to the natural functions. The same custom prevails amongst a certain latter, the rule obtains that Presidents are chosen from sect of Mabometans also--the so-called Softas.

other colonies, while Vice-Presidents and Secretaries are In 1878, when in the Central Provinces of India, I came chosen from the colony in which the meeting is held. across a native Christian-Softa Ali, as he was called--who had

President, Baron von Mueller, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. a history. His father had been a Cazi-or religious judge-and a wealthy man, who through scruples of conscience fell into dis

Local Treasurer, R. L. J. Ellery, C.M.G., F.R.S. grace with a certain native ruler, lost his all, and was banished,

General Secretaries : Prof. Archd. Liversidge, F.R.S., His son was, or became, a Softa, and after some years embraced

Permanent Hon. Secretary ; Prof. W. Baldwin Spencer, "hristianity from conviction, and at great cost to himself-for Hon. Sec. for Victoria. his wife and children would no longer consort with him. When Assistant Secretary for Victoria, J. Steele Robertson. ilescribing to me the practices formerly enjoined upon him by Sectional Officers :-Section A (Astronomy, Matheli> religion, this man stated that a Softa is required to draw in matics, Physics, and Mechanics)--President, Prof. Threland retain his breath and respire it again in various manners. fall, Sydney University. Vice-President, Prof. Lyle, He did not give full details as to how this should be effected, Melbourne University. Secretaries : W. Sutherland, E. tri said that the object of this procedure was to worship with F. J. Love. every organ of one's body-heart, lungs, &c., in turn, He

Section B (Chemistry and Mineralogy)- President, added that this practice was a fruitfal source of heart-disease.

Prof. Rennie, Adelaide University. Vice-President, c. The following year, when staying at Futtehpore Sikri, near Agra, I saw and heard a Mahometan, unknown to himself,'make R. Blackett, Government Analyst, Melbourne. Secretary, ais evening devotions near the tomb of Suleem Chisti in the Prof. Orme Masson, Melbourne University. way above described; his movements, and the sounds he uttered,

Section C (Geology and Palæontology-President, were most peculiar.

Prof. Hutton, Canterbury College, New Zealand. ViceIt has been often related, from well-attested evidence, that in President, Prof. McCoy, C.M.G., F.R.S., Melbourne the case of those who have been recovered from drowning, or of University. Secretary, James Sterling, those who have been huog and cut down before life was extinct, Section D (Biology) - President, Prof. A. P. Thomas, a kind of automatic consciousness seems to be extraordinarily Auckland. Vice-Presidents : J. Bracebridge Wilson ; active in them at the time of their peril. It would appear that, P. H. MacGillivray. Secretaries : C. A. Topp, Arthur a» regards Hindu and Mahometan devotees, and the drowning Dendy. *** partially hung man, a kind of asphyxia is the result, and

Section E (Geography)--President, W. H. Miskin, That, when sensation is almost gone, the intelligence acquires increased activity. In our ordinary life, if our minds are in President of the Queensland Branch of the Royal Geotently fixed upon a subject, we instinctively and involuntarily graphical Society of Australasia. Vice-Presidents : Comretain the breath.

mander Crawford Pasco, R.N.; A. C. Macdonald. When in Rajputana, and again when on the frontier of Secretary, G. S. Griffiths. { lunese Tibet, I saw in each place a man who, to all appear Section F (Economic and Social Science and Statistics anez, seemed to have attained the power of perfect abstraction. - President, R. M. Johnson, Registrar-General, Hobart. In the former case, the villagers asserted that the devotee rose Vice-President, Prof. Elkington, Melbourne University. paly once a week from his most uncomfortable and constrained | Secretaries : A. Sutherland, H. K. Rusden. position; in the second instance, the man-a most singular-look

Section G (Anthropology)-President, Hon. J. Forrest, ing person-remained absolutely immovable the whole day. C.M.G., Commissioner for Crown Lands, Western Buth seemed to be in a kind of cataleptic trance.

HARRIET G. M. MURRAY-AYNSLEY. Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. for May 1889; “ Climate and Time," p. 266.



Australia. Vice-President, A. W. Howitt, Secretary for undoubtedly stands at the head of the scientific worken Mines, Melbourne. Secretary, Rev. Lorimer Fison. in Australia. He has been a colonist since 1848, and

Section H (Sanitary Science and Hygiene)—President, since 1852 has held the position of Government Boturu Dr. J. Ashburton Thompson, Sydney. Vice-Presidents in Victoria. His fame, which is based not only m de A. P. Akehurst, President of the Central Board of Health, immense amount of work he has done in his special Melbourne ; G. Gordon, Secretary, G. A. Syme. subject, the botany of Australia, but on his early achiere

Section I (Literature and Fine Arts)— President, Hon. ments as an explorer, may be indicated in the words used J. W. Agnew, Hobart. Vice-Presidents : Prof. Tucker, by Mr. Russell :-" In 1861 he was made a Fellow of the Melbourne University (Literature Sub-Section); J. Royal Society; he received from Her Majesty the Queen Hamilton Clarke (Music Sub-Section). Secretaries: Dr. the Knight Companionship of St. Michael and SL George Louis Henry (Music Sub-Section) í Tennyson Smith was made a Commander of the Orders of St. lage of (Literature Sub-Section).

Portugal, of Isabella of Spain, and of Philip of Hesse: Section J (Architecture and Engineering)— President, was created hereditary Baron by the King of Würter Prof. Warren, Sydney University. Vice-Presidents: A. berg in 1871; and is honorary or corresponding member Purchas, H. Č. Mais. Secretary, A. O. Sachse.

of a hundred and fifty learned societies.” To this en All arrangements for the meeting were made by the meration may be added what is, perhaps, the most Local Committee, of which Mr. R. L. J. Ellery, the honourable award of all-that of a Royal Medal by the Government Astronomer, was chairman, and Prof. w. Royal Society at the end of 1888. Throughout the Baldwin Spencer secretary. The greater share of the colonies "the Baron” is known: a unique personality

, work devolved on Prof. Spencer, and to his indefatigable not always wholly understood, but always recognized * energy is mainly due the undoubted success of the meet- a proud possession. His address, therefore, was listene ing. The buildings and grounds of the University were to with peculiar interest, and perhaps all the more 5* placed at the service of the Association, and nothing that he did not confine himself to any special branch. could have been better than the accommodation thus but dealt generally with the past and future of Austral afforded. A lecture theatre was set apart for each of the asian science. ten Sections; and, as these theatres are situated in The Presidents of Sections also, in many cases, chose different parts of the grounds, and some distance apart, for their addresses subjects of particular interest in Austhey were all connected by telephone, so that the advent tralia. Prof. Rennie spoke of the work that has been of each paper in any Section could be signalled in every done in the investigation of the chemistry of native plants other. The large Wilson Hall was used as a reception- and minerals, and made suggestions as to how this work room ; and a luncheon-hall, smoking-rooms, reading- and may in future be encouraged and facilitated. Prof. writing-rooms, a press-room, &c., were also provided, as Thomas discussed the problems here awaiting the briu also a special post- and telegraph-office. “An official logist, and the local desiderata in scientific education journal of the proceedings was published each morning, Mr. Miskin spoke principally of exploration in Australia and every member was supplied with a copy of a special and New Guinea, and of the importance to the colonies hand-book compiled for the occasion, and containing the of Antarctic exploration ; but he also discussed the chief following chapters :

geographical work now being done in other parts of the (1) " History of Victoria,” by Alexander Sutherland. world." Mr. Forrest's address dealt with the present con(2) “Geology of Melbourne," by G. S. Griffiths. dition of the Australian aboriginal races. Dr. Ashburton (3) “ Aborigines of Victoria,” by Lorimer Fison. Thompson discussed the sanitary organizations of Victoria (4) “Zoology, Vertebrata," by Á. H. S. Lucas.

and New South Wales, and the modes of obtaining and (5) " Zoology, Invertebrata," by A. Dendy.

interpreting health statistics. Prof. Warren spoke of the 6) “ Entomology,” by C. French, Government Ento education of engineers, with special reference to the loal mologist.

conditions and requirements. Dr. Agnew reviewed the (7) " Botany," by C. A. Topp.

literature and art of Australia. In the other Sections the (8) " Commerce and Manufactures," by W. H. Thodey. Presidents chose subjects that do not owe their interes

“ Climate," by R. L. J. Ellery, C.M.G., F.R.S., to local colour. Prof. Threlfall gave an account of the Government Astronomer.

present state of electrical knowledge; Prof. Hutton's Over six hundred members, representing all parts of address was on the oscillations of the earth's surface : Australasia, were in actual attendance, the total member and Mr. Johnston spoke generally of current social and ship roll numbering more than a thousand. Some economic problems. A large proportion of the papers hundred and fifty papers in all were set down for reading read by members in the various Sections were also in the various Sections. All these figures show a large Australian in their character. This was specially the ce increase since the first meeting, and give gratifying evi- in the Sections of Geology and Anthropology; where dence of the growing interest taken in science throughout perhaps, the most valuable original work was communthe colonies ; further proofs of which are to be found in cated. As the Transactions will soon be published, the the facts that the Government of Victoria voted the liberal individual papers need not now be noticed ; but reference sum of £1000 towards defraying the expenses of the may be made to the work done in the form of reports meeting, and that the entertainments provided by the from Committees appointed at the previous meeting hospitality of prominent citizens were numerous and on The most bulky and perhaps the most valuable of these a most sumptuous scale. Many visits to places of scien- reports is that by a Committee which undertook, with tific interest were also arranged for-short afternoon Prof. Liversidge as its secretary, to prepare a census of excursions for those who might not care for continuous the known minerals of the Australasian colonies. It Sectional work, and longer excursions at the conclusion disposes of New South Wales (only such information of the meeting, under special leaders, to the Australian being given as was required to supplement Prof Alps, the Black Spur and Marysville, Gippsland Lakes, Liversidge's published work), Queensland, and New Ferntree Gully, Ballarat, and Sandhurst, all of which Zealand. The portions dealing with Victoria and proved highly successful.

Tasmania are in process of completion ; and, the At the opening meeting in the Town Hall--presided Committee having been re-appointed, it is hoped that over by His Excellency the Governor, the Earl of Hope-| by next year the whole census will be complete. The toun--the President, Baron Sir Ferdinand von Mueller, publication will probably be delayed till then, and it will delivered his address, after being introduced by his if possible take the form of a separate volume. A very predecessor in office, Mr. Russell, the Government important recommendation was made by another CouAstronomer of New South Wales. Baron von Mueller mittee (Prof. Haswell, of Sydney, secretary), which when

it is carried out will do much for biological research, viz. The work was entrusted to Mr. Buchan, of the Scottish that steps be taken to establish and endow a central Meteorological Society, in 1883, and was published in the biological station at Port Jackson. Among the other beginning of this year. In addition to the tables of the reports may be mentioned one on the Polynesian races appendices, giving the results of the Challenger observaand Polynesian bibliography.

tions, the more important are those giving the mean At the final meeting of the General Committee of the diurnal variation of atmospheric pressure at 147 stations Association new special Committees were appointed to in all parts of the world ; the mean monthly and annual investigate and report on the following subjects: wheat pressure at 1366 stations ; a similar table of temperatures rust, the manner of laying out towns, the preparation of at 1620 stations; and the mean monthly and annual yeological maps, the arrangement of museums, the direction of the wind at 746 stations. It is believed fertilization of the fig, Australian tides, and the present that these tables include all the information at present state of knowledge with regard to Australasian palæonto-existing that is required in the discussion of the broad logy. A Committee was also appointed to formulate a questions raised in the Report, which includes, with the scheme for obtaining practical assistance from the various exception of the rainfall

, all the important elements of Colonial Governments in the collection of material for the climates of the globe. research-chemical, geological, or biological.

The Report itself is divided into two parts, the first special Committees were appointed for the publication dealing with diurnal, and the second with monthly, of the Transactions and for the revision of the laws of the annual, and recurring phenomena. This is the first Association.

attempt yet made to deal with the diurnal phenomena of The next meeting is to be held in Christchurch, New meteorology over the ocean—the temperature, pressure, Zealand, probably in January 1891; and Sir James Hector and movements of the atmosphere, together with such has been elected President, and Prof. Hutton, Secretary. phenomena as squalls, precipitation, lightning, and It has also been decided to hold the fourth meeting in thunderstorms. Hobart, Tasmania, so that the Association will not again In equatorial and subtropical regions, the mean temmeet on the mainland for three years. To adventure so perature of the surface of the sea falls to the daily far as Christchurch is somewhat bold in so young an minimum from 4 to 6 a.m., and rises to the maximum Association; but the success of the Melbourne meeting from 2 to 4 p.m., the amount of the diurnal variation has demonstrated its usefulness and popularity, and war- being only 099 F. In the higher latitudes of the rants the belief that many will cross the water next year. Antarctic Ocean, the diurnal variation was only 0°2. Of There is even a strong hope felt by some that the occa- the four great oceans, the greatest variation was 1oo in sion and the place may tempt a few of the members of the North Pacific, and the least oo8 in the Atlantic. This the parent British Association to make the longer voyage small daily variation of the temperature of the surface of from home, and see for themselves what is being done the sea, shown by the Challenger observations, is an and what waits to be done for science at the antipodes. important contribution to physical science, being in fact

ORME MASSON. one of the prime factors in meteorology, particularly in

its bearings on the daily variations of atmospheric

pressure and winds. The diurnal phases of the temMETEOROLOGICAL REPORT OF THE

perature of the air over the open sea occur at the same

times as those of the temperature of the surface, but the "CHALLENGER" EXPEDITION.'

amount of the variation is about 300, and when near land PREVIOUS to 1872, discussions of the fundamental the amount rises to 494. The greater variation of the

problems of meteorology relating to diurnal changes surface of the sea on which it rests, is a point of much in atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, wind, and other phenomena, may be regarded as restricted to interest from the important bearings of the subject on observations made on land. It had then, however, be the relations of the air, and its aqueous vapour in its come evident that data from observations made on land gaseous, liquid, and solid states, and the particles of only, which occupies about a fourth part of the earth's dust everywhere present, to solar and terrestrial radiasurface, were quite inadequate to a right conception and

tion, Thus the air rises daily to a higher and falls to a explanation of meteorological phenomena ; and hence, lower temperature than does the surface of the sea on when the Challenger Expedition was fitted out, arrange

which it rests. ments were made for taking, during the cruise, hourly. the air is seen in its amplest form over the open sea, the

The diurnal variation in the elastic force of vapour in lished in detail in the “ Narrative of the Cruise," Vol. II. results giving a curve closely coincident with the diurnal PP. 305-74, and are still by far the most complete yet instead of rising towards, and to, the daily maximum at

curve of temperature. But near land, the elastic force made on the meteorology of the ocean.

Elaborate observations were likewise made on deep- noon and 2 p.m., shows a well-marked depression at ma temperatures, which were at once recognized as these hours, and indicates no longer merely a single, but leading to results of the first importance in terrestrial a double maxima and minima. In other words, the curve physics, and opening for discussion the broad question of now assumes the characteristics of this vapour curve as oceanic circulation, on a sound basis of authentic facts

. observed at all land stations, or where during the warmest sion of atmospheric phenomena

was essential, requiring surface, and down-currents of drier air take their place. for its proper handling maps showing the mean tem An important point specially to be noted here is that over perature, mean pressure, and prevailing winds of the the open sea, hygrometric observations disprove the globe for each month of the year, with tables giving the existence of any ascending current from the surface of data from which the maps are constructed. In other the sea during the hours when temperature is highest. words, what was required was an exhaustive revision and on the other hand, the curve of relative humidity is ratification of Dove's isothermals, 1852 ; Buchan's iso- simply inverse to that

of the temperature, falling to the bars and prevailing winds, 1869; 'and coffin's winds of minimum at 2 p.m. and rising to the maximum early in the globe, 1875.

the morning

As regards the diurnal variation of the barometer, it is 4." Reloart of the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger shown that the special forms of the monthly curves are, during the Year $72-76." Prepared under the superintendence of John in their relations to the sun, direct and not cumulative Atmaiheric Circulation." By Alexander Buchan, M.A., LL.D.

as is the case with most of the monthly mean results of

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