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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1759

Darwin elephant392

This pungent bit appeared in Punch magazine 8 February 1862, and was a vicious attack against the Americans (almost entirely directed at the Union North) in the second year of the U.S. Civil War. What Mr. Punch saw in “his” editor’s mind was a “sinking” of the American race to the level of the “Red Indian”, the whole of the nation reverting to some previous developmental state, far removed by their actions to a more primitive people, a different sort of “evolution”–in fact, what the spoofing (?) and chiding editors saw in the Americans’ actions was a reverse of Darwin’s theory. These same people were already uncomfortable with Darwin (at this point three years past the publication of the Origin1) but so long as using the book to a comfortable goal was concerned it seemed a perfect fit, a proof for the reverse of the Origin. As we see in the second short article:

“If there is any truth in the theory of the Origin of Species there may be an inversion of the originating process…”

Chief (and first) among the complaints was the blockade action against the Confederate port of Charleston (South Carolina). The “stone fleet” is incorrectly described in the wonderful “Science in 19th Century Periodicals” website as being of Confederate origin. The Stone Fleet was actually part of a Northern action, being a large contingent of ships brought south and sunk in the waters off Charleston Harbor in the hopes of preventing Confederate blockade runners from escaping the ring of Federal ships already present there. There were also a number of ships sunk off the coast of beautiful Tybee Island, there to be used as breakwaters and landings for Union ships operating just south of Savannah.

The behavior of the United States, so far as Mr. Punch was concerned, just wouldn’t “do”.

“SEVERAL scientific observers of late years have noticed the fact that the physiognomy of the American of the United States is beginning to exhibit a resemblance to that of the Red Indian.The barbarous act of sinking a stone fleet at the entrance of Charleston Harbour and the ferocity with which the permanent ruin of that port and city was anticipated by the Northern Press indicate an internal and moral change corresponding to that of the exterior Vindictive war is as characteristic as lankiness of features or a sallow complexion. It may be that when LORD MACAULAY’S New Zealander alter having visited London Bridge shall extend his peregrination to New York he will find the site of that once populous city to have reverted to hunting grounds their inhabitants hunting grounds their living in wigwams wearing top knots and mocassins and having their coloured faces tattooed. The representatives of the present Yankees will then be armed with tomahawks, rush to the tight with war whoop, scalp their enemies slain in battle, and torture their prisoners at the stake. Such is the level of humanity to which the people who have outraged civilisation by a crime against the commerce of the world are too evidently descending. Their posterity when about to go forth to battle will put on their war paint and even now perhaps the Government of MR. LINCOLN might supply a powerful stimulus to valour by issuing some pots of that ornamental material to the Federal army.”

Later in the year Mr. Punch again addressed “Brother Jonathan”, (a reference from Revoutinary War days to Americans in general, but more so during the Civil War, when “Brother Jonathan” and “Johnny” were both used…its also intersting to note the use of “Johnny Red” and also the appearance in “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”) and again invoked Mr Darwin and the Origin, and again using the “Indian type” as the state to which the “model Republic” was sending itself towards, with Americans “descending to the very lowest place”, an “inversion of the originating process”.

“Thus Jonathan you see you are sinking from bad to worse from savage to lower savage and your manifest destiny at that rate of decadence is the zero of humanity.”

It is a rather bad letter, brother-to-brother, so to speak., Mr. Punch claiming that Americans will descend to gorillas, “Apes with foreheads villainous low”. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) Mr. Punch slips easily into very vile characterizations of other types of human beings in use by metaphor–these don’t need to be singled out here but can be found in the original, below. And so the Manifest Destiny of American–”declared” or at least the phrase originated just 17 years earlier by John O’Sullivan in the Democratic Review in an article “Annexation” regarding Texas–so far as England was concerned was to be excruciatingly, intolerably, low; so low inn fact that it is the very proof of the stuff that the Origin of Species theory runs in reverse.

I’m not sure why the editorial cartoonist used the elephant in the hunt scene and how it relates to Mr. Darwin, though I guess it sends the overall message of The Ridiculous regarding the American affair, at least in the eyes of Punch–England still smarting from the Trent Affair, still newly developed.

Notes:

1. The title in full by C.R. Darwin, On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life, would stay so until it was shortened to The Origin of Species in its sixth edition of 1872. By the time these two articles in Punch appeared, the Origin already in its third edition (published in April 1861). In all of this, the enormously popular book was printed in not-large quantities. The first edition of November, 1859 sold out on the first day, and was printed in an edition of 1250 copies, of which about 1170 were for sale. Darwin was immediately put to work on a second edition (rather than simply reprint the first edition), and the work appeared two months later, in January 1860, in an edition of 3000 copies. The third edition appeared in April 1861 in an edition of 2000. The fourth edition appeared in 1866 (2000 copies); the fifth, in 1869 (2000 copies0, and the sixth and last in Darwin’s lifetime came out in 1872, in 3000 copies, the largest print run during CD’s lifetime. So, the most important book in the history of biology (?) sold a total of 13,170 copies or so as published in England by John Murray.

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JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

"The Gorillas Dilemma", 1862.

This poem, which appeared in the London Punch in October 1862, three years after the first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, addresses the confrontation between Richard Owen and Thomas Huxley (and by extension, of course, Charles Darwin). Owen had earlier attacked the Origin in an anonymous review in the Edinburgh Review (volume 111, page 521, 1860), and Thomas Huxley, of course, who was one of the earliest and who became the greatest of Darwin's "disciples" (and known as "Darwin's Bulldog").

Owen wrote with a very heavy and dark pen, in 1860:

"To him, indeed, who may deem himself devoid of soul and as the brute that perisheth, any speculation, pointing, with the smallest feasibility, to an intelligible notion of the way of coming in of a lower organised species, may be sufficient, and he need concern himself no further about his own relations to a Creator. But when the members of the Royal Institution of Great Britain are taught by their evening lecturer that such a limited or inadequate view and treatment of the great problem exemplifies that application of science to which England owes her greatness, we take leave to remind the managers that it more truly parallels the abuse of science to which a neighbouring nation, some seventy years since, owed its temporary degradation. By their fruits may the promoters of true and false philosophy be known."

Tough stuff. And Darwin took it personally and seriously, absorbing the blows against himself (and his supporters, especially Huxley and Hooker), as well as the spurious and ethically-challenged mistaken assertions that Owen tricked out in his piece. "It is painful to be hated in the intense depth with which Owen hates me" Darwin wrote a few months later ( Darwin Correspondence, volume 8, April 1860, page 154.)

Huxley and Owen would have it out over the years (though Darwin himself would not partake due to illness and such, preferring to respond through written help to Huxley and others).

And so the poem:

" (To Professor Owen & Huxley)

SAY am I a man and a brother,
Of only an anthropoid ape?
Your judgment, be 't one way or 'tother,

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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1716

Luke Howard achieved some fame and did the world a great service by (finally) identifying and classifying some of the most-overlooked objects in the natural world–clouds. Throughout the history of humans giving names to things, even in the groups of the greatest of the classifiers, like Aristotle, clouds managed, somehow, to escape their classifying grid-vision–until Luke Howard, which took until the early 19th century. (I wrote about him here.)

Louis Lewin (1850-1929)–Dr. Lewin–classified another sort of "cloud", more of the internal, botanically-induced psychoactive variety than the outside, high-in-the-actual-sky clouds. Lewin was a pharmacologist and leading toxicologist, and what he did, really,was help to establish the field of ethnobotany through his deep scientific investigation of drug use around the world. This was an entirely new approach to this issue: by investigating how the plants produced their effects Lewin took another step into a new field apart from the prevailing anthropological approach, which looked at the methods and beliefs and such in the use of the drugs. Lewin experimented with peyote, te, heroin, coffee, annabis, alcohol, opium, kava and of course tobacco, as well as many other drugs, and published them in his book Phantastic, die Betaubenden und Erregenden Genussmittel fuer Artze und Nichtarzte ("Narcotics and Stimulating Drugs, their Use and Abuse) in 1924, expanding it in a second edition in 1927.

Lewin167

Lewin organized and classified the drugs into categories that remained basically unchanged: Inebriantia (inebriants such as alcohol or ether) ; Exitantia (stimulants such as khat or amphetamine) ; Euphorica (euphoriants and narcotics such as heroin) ; Hypnotica (tranquilizers such as kava); and of course the Phantastica (hallucinogens or entheogens such as peyote or ayahuasca). [This list with links transfered from an article on Lewin from wiki.]

[The original of this interesting work is available on our blog bookstore site, here.]

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1517

In the last year or so of his life, Mr. Darwin (who died 19 April 1882, aged 73) published a work that was somewhat outside his main thrust in publishing for the preceding 25 years or so–a work that proved to be quite popular, evidently selling at a better clip than the Origin of Species of 1859.

http://www.astrolabium.be/IMG/jpg/img10.jpg

This was a book on mould, and earthworms.

The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms, published in London (in October) by John Murray in 1881, actually went through a number of printings, with more than 7,000 copies sold by the end of 1882. It is a delightful book, and I can well picture the Old Man at Downs, studying the Worm Stone, thinking deeply about these little dirt-eating bits of nature, thinking about their actions on the landscape and what it meant over Very Long Periods of Time. The book of course is a tour de force, a lovely piece of thinking. It was also the target of this popular, anti-intellectual stab at the man's work, a cartoon appearing in the satirical Punch magazine for 1881, decrying The Descent of Man for bringing the lofty human down to less lofty heights, and then stating that Darwin's newest reached even lower and into the very muck. Well that certainly wasn't the reach of this work, which was a pretty straightforward affair hailing back to Darwin's early interests in geology, returning to a subject of moulds which he had published on in 1839 and 1840. Punch did take a stab at Darwin, trying to open up a hole into which the man might follow his worms, but of course that dog just wouldn't hunt.

Formation... is just a very smart book, with fantastic observations and ideas. And it hasn't much to do with getting Man muddy. Or dirty, for that matter.

On the other hand….

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WkKZJVG5wTk/TCRgu4bhEQI/AAAAAAACl-k/vPXu6kJS-cA/s1600/tremors-poster.jpg

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1513

Pound-for-pound, hole-for-whole, this well may be the most beautiful book ever written on holes–it is at the very least one of the most beautiful botanical works ever published, which is saying a lot. The point about the holes though is that they are mostly simply there; the author (and no one yet on the face of the planet at that time) didn't and couldn't understand their function as "cells".

Stephen Hales (1677-1761)1, a long-lived medically-trained, amateur scientist and clergyman from Kent, was a pioneering plant physiologist whose widespread interests and experimentation established fundamental areas of that science, and whose overall impact on that field was not to be surpassed by any other individual for hundreds of years. Among his momentous discoveries was his realization that the flower was the sexual organ of plants, which lead to a reorganization of thinking on the life of plants and propagation.

These images come from his Anatomy of Plants, which was published in 1682–the first of which (below) shows a terrifically-sectioned piece of a vine stem, presented laterally-horizontally-laterally. (Grew's monumental work was more or less begun in 1672 with the publication of his The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun, a smallish 200+ page book illustrated with three images, and then incorporated his An Idea of a Phytological History Propounded (1673), and The Comparative Anatomy of Trunks (1675) and ten years more of work and careful observation into the Anatomy, which is a folio-size volume of 83 spectacular engravings and which runs 350 or so pages.) In the work it is obvious that Hales was familiar with the micro-appearance of cells–as was Anton van Leeuwenhoek and of course Robert Hooke, who basically found and named the things in his Micrographia of 1665–but they what they were seeing were the thickened walls of dead cells, and could not have any understanding of what we think of as "cells" today.

Minor point, really, given the overall importance of the work, which was perhaps among the most important publications (including the works by Fuchs, Caesalpino, Malpighi, Ray and the 1483 Theophrastus) in the history of botany from Gutenberg's invention and deep into the 18th century.

Makers of British botany, Plate 7 (plate from Grew's Anatomy) - right figure.png

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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1493 [Thanks to Morbid Anatomy for surfacing this fantastic image!]

Part of this blog's series on Blank, Empty and Missing Things: the Skin.

The impact of the sciences in (on?) art has been a frequent visitor to this blog–the photographic work of Etienne Marey and the coming of the futurists, the structuring of the fourth dimension, the discovery of the microscopic world, and so on., are fantastically interesting events which at some time bear some responsibility in the history of art.

The artwork below appeared in Jugend, Band 1, (February) 1896, and is called "Das Neue Strahlen", calling directly on the announcement just a few months earlier in 1895 of Roentgen's “Ueber eine neue Art von Strahlen".

It seems to me–and this is just working on long memory–that this is an extremely early application of the X-Ray in the art world. And while the anatomy is nothing new, the getting-to-the-anatomy is: for the first time in human history, it was possible to see the structure of a body without performing a dissection, and it is this advance that the artist is exhibiting. It is difficult to appreciate the impact of this advancement now–perhaps it would seem to people in 1895 something like a sudden announcement today that almost all surgery from this point forward is now accomplished with nanobots or a biological robotic element or whatever and which would eliminate virtually all previous complications of cut-and-stitch operations. Monumental. It was something like that for Roentgen's discovery in 1895.

X Ray

Blog--july 9--roentgen In 1895 50-year-old Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen’s ephochal discovery was announced (“Ueber eine neue Art von Strahlen", "On a New Type of Ray"), which built upon the work of J. Plucker (1801-1868), J. W. Hittorf (1824-1914), C. F. Varley (1828-1883), E. Goldstein (1850-1931), Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), H. Hertz (1857-1894) and the horribly odious Phil Lenard (1862-1947 and who didn’t die soon enough). The experiment revealed as much to humans as did the experiments and inventions of Hooke and Leeuwenhoek on the invisible worlds revealed by their microscopes. Bertha, Roentgen’s wife, sat for 15 minutes while her husband passed his rays through her hand; she ran from the room once she saw the results, revealing her very bones and no doubt a strong sense of the fragility of life, and the strong presence of death. Many had the a similar reaction to the Kandinsky's shapes and Malevich’s white circles and red rectangles and Ibsen’s drama and Einstein’s dancing dust and the rogue syncopation of jazz—these newnesses were threatening to all of the established ways of looking at physics, and art, and theatre, and listening to jazz. It was a new perspective which challenged the firmly established vision of these things, upsetting the nature of comfort and acceptance. It is probably a very natural reaction to try and protect established memory—but memory is made all of the time, and so should be relatively flexible…at least it is mechanically healthier to allow a little bending than to be rigid and brittle.

Notes

For example, one of Marey's sequenced photographs from the 1870's and Duchamp's revolutionary Nude Descending:

Marey And Duchamp's Nude Descending:

Duchamp

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1491

This is the fifth in a new series of posts on interesting, early applications of electricity, most of which are taken from the archives of the U.S. Patent Office. Unlike the general post in this blog, many of the Electro-LUXurious post images and documentation can be presented without commentary.

It has not been an easy job over the centuries in determining whether a person was alive or dead, and dead as in really truly dead, absolutely so. Consider how this would be done in case of coma and such in the days before the stethoscope, when doctors and medical people would use cones and other hearing apparatus to help the wizened old practitioner hear with their deteriorated hearing, listening for signs of life with an inferior instrument and Burial premature limited auditory capacity. (The stethoscope wasn’t invented until 1816 by Rene Laennec–who produced a monaural device much like a primitive hearing horn made of solid wood—which was a vast improvement over no stethoscope at all, by again was very crude compared to early 20th century devices.) There is little wonder about the tales of horror of premature burial (as with Poe) and the spate of burial devices where–of the dead suddenly became not so, awakening in the coffins underground, that they could activate one of the many ingenious life-saving devices to alert someone to come and dig them up. (There were also patented designs that would deliver air to the coffin as well as have an accessible ladder to the surface.)

The most fool-proof way of determining death in the 19th century was to leave the body alone for three days or so to see if it began to putrefy–this was the method proposed by Christian August Struwe, among others, who advocated the construction of special hostels for the dead ("Leishenhauser"), where they, the supposed dead, would lie in state for the period of time necessary for putrefaction. This was also among the most elegant solutions given limited technological capabilities, especially when compared to nipple-pulling, scalding, tongue-yanking and of course the infamous tobacco smoke enema (seen below).

What I am getting to though in the Electro-LUX series is the coffin/life-determination box, a sort of all-in-one affair where a body could be both determined to be dead and buried in the same thing, one of the few (?) medical devices that after performing its job be used as a coffin for its patient. It is an alpha & omega bit, supposedly sparking to life the pre-dead if they were alive, or serve as the taxi to eternity for those who were truly and most sincerely dead.

I'm having a bit of fun with this, but the issue of what constitutes being "dead" is still somewhat contentious–the issue was much larger 150+ years ago, when the philosophical/physical/biological questions were still very wide open, still.

Here are some other examples of determining whether a person was dead, or not, all taken from Jan Bondeson’s delightful Buried Alive, the Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear (Norton, 2001):

–Christian Friedrich Nasse’s Thanatometer was a long thermometer that was inserted into the stomach, supposedly measuring a core body temperature that would determine if life was possible (and published in 1841);

–The (Englishman’s) Barnett scalding death cure, which recommended burning the skin of the arm to see if it blistered (no blister/no life);

–the German Middeldorph invented a heart flag, a needle device that would be thrust into the heart, which if functioning would trigger something or other that would cause a flag to be released at the top of the needle (a very Victorian and visual one, this);

–Christian August Struwe’s interesting Lebenspruefer (1805) was an electrical device that delivered a dual shock to the eye and lip, the logic here being that if the person was still alive that there would be a resulting twitch;

–the nameless tobacco enema, which blew smoke…(delivered in the beginning by breath through a tube and improved later to replacing the lips with a bellows, this secondary improvement by Antoine Louis2 and furthered by Dr. P.J.B. Previnaire’s much more powerful anal tobacco furnace. [Now there’s three words I’ve never strung together before].)1

–Leon Collongues believed that he could hear the capillary functions of a possibly-dead person’s fingers if placed in his ear;

–Jules Antoine Josat2 invented a nipple-pincher ("pince-mamelon") life-rejuvenation device, operating on the assumption that a deeply sedated person could not resist a strong pinch of the nipple and would have to wake up if alive.

Perhaps the most spectacularly extension of the nipple-pincher was the tongue-pulling idea of Dr. J.-V. Laborde3 (1830-1903), a research physician with wide credentials, who reasoned that a continued regimen of advanced and strenuous pulling of a patient’s tongue would over time bring them back to life if alive. This is what leads us to the point of this post: Laborde established a mortuary, and in this mortuary, where the dead were waiting to die, he employed a man whose job it was to pull the tongues of these bodies. In the misty picture of all of this that is painted in my mind’s eye, the fellow working his way from body to body pulling their tongues with a heavy pincer seems far worse than nipple squeezing or even being an anal smoke blower, though to choose between the three in a twisted Purgatorial mandate would be hard to so. Although the nipple pincher wasn’t replaced by anything mechanical, the smoke blower was (by a powerful bellows), and so was our friend the tongue puller, who after complaining of the boredom of his task was pushed aside by an electrical device.

Notes:

The text for the patent report, below:

1. From the Bondeson book, page 156:

"Antoine Louis had also proposed another method of testing life, or at least stimulating the vital spark in the apparently dead person: with a powerful bellows, he administered an enema of tobacco smoke. One of the pipes of this remarkable apparatus was thrust into the anus of the apparently dead person; the other was connected, by way of a powerful bellows, to a large furnace full of tobacco . Such enemas of tobacco smoke were thought to be very beneficial and were used to try to revive not only people presumed dead but also drowned or unconscious individuals. In 1784, the Belgian physician P.J.B. Previnaire was given a prize by the Academy of Sciences in Brussels for a book on apparent death, which described and depicted an improved bellows for enemas of tobacco smoke, which he called Der Doppelblaser. These enemas were regularly used well into the nineteenth century, particularly in Holland; modern science has discerned no physiological rationale for their use, except the pain and indignity of having a blunt instrument violently thrust up one's rear passage must have had some restorative effect."

2. Josat. From Weird Universe.net I found the following, quoting Death and Sudden Death, by Paul Brouardel and F.L. Benham:

“Josat invented a pair of forceps with claws, with which he proposed to pinch the nipples of persons whose death has to be ascertained. Josat obtained the first prize of the Academy, but Briquet, repeating the same tests on the hysterical subjects under his care, proved that they did not react under Josat's forceps any more than the dead.”

3. M. Laborde won a 2500 franc prize for his innovation in 1894 (as reported by the Revue scientifique. He sounded like an interesting man: according to the British Medical Journal (in reporting his death 25 April1903) upon his own death in that year Laborde: “as a freethinker had a civil ceremony; as an hygienist was cremated; as a member of the Societe Mutuelle d’Autopsie willed his body to be dissected; as an anthropologist willed his brain to be preserved at the Anthropological Museum…” Some of Laborde's works include Le traitement physiologique de la Mort. And Les tractions rythmées de la langue, moyen rationnel … de ranimer la fonction respiratoire et la vie … Avec … dessins, etc And: La traitement physiologique de la mort (Paris , 1894) And: La signe automatique de la mort reelle (Paris, 1900). And “Les Tractions Rhythmees de la Langue”, VIII, pp. 76 ff, ed. 2, Paris, 1897, and VIII, 2d part, pp. 406-510. And commented upon in some number, for example: Le Traitement physiologique de la mort par les tractions rythmées de la langue. Le tracteur lingual automatique Laborde, by Alix Hache.

JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

Electrical Anti-Erection "Body Wear" 1889

This is the third in a new series of posts on interesting, early applications of electricity, most of which are taken from the archives of the U.S. Patent Office. Unlike the general post in this blog, many of the Electro-LUXurious post images and documentation can be presented without commentary.

JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

I stumbled across this today, in volume of a series of volumes here of the journal The Athanaeum. I have a dozen or so volumes between 1839 and 1866, luckily including 1839 (with a number of articles about the new invention of photography) and 1859 (which includes a number of contributions on Darwin’s On the Origin of Species1), and also including the following short notice:

Darwin ad380

I’ve included some links to review of Darwin’s Origin below. I’d like to point out the closing of the Saturday Review (London) pieces, which in its final paragraphs begins its summation not very hopefully:

“In regard to that which is peculiar to Mr. Darwin’s theory, we are far from thinking that the fruits of his labour and research will be useless to natural science.”

Happily, the author gains a little steam, becoming happier with the work as he/she speeds to the end:

“On the contrary, we are persuaded that natural selection must henceforward be admitted as the chief mode by which the structure of organized beings is modified in a state of nature.”

From the great website DARWIN-ONLINE (Darwinonline.org.uk):

Anon. 1859. Charles Darwin on the origin of species. Chambers’s Journal 11: 388-391. Text Image A507

Anon. 1859. [Review of] On the origin of species. Saturday Review (London) (24 December): 775-776. Text Image [Including 15 October 1859 advertizement for Origin of species] A514

Anon. 1860. Darwin on the Origin of Species. New Englander 18 (70) (May): 516-519. Text Image A561 [This for the first American edition of 1860.]

Anon. 1860. Natural selection. All the Year Round 3 no. 63 (7 July): 293-299. Text Image A509

Anon. 1860. [Review of] On the Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection. Charles Darwin. Living Age 66, Issue 848 (1 September): 474-506. Text Image A58

Notes:

1. On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the struggle for life. By CHARLES DARWIN, M. A., Fellow of the Royal Geological, Linnæan, &c. Societies.

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1423

Darwin refuted296 I wasn't going to write anything at all about this pamphlet, but the vocabulary was so strong and vehement, and reminded me so much of what we can read in today's daily press, that I thought to at least pick out some of the choice morsels.

Darwinism Reproved and Refuted, published in Washington D.C. in 1873, is left without any attribution to the author, the writer not caring to sign his/her name, not even to use as the wood into which some shingle with a weak social sciences/psych/religious Ph.D. could be nailed. It is just left to the imagination or indignation that the writer didn't or couldn't feel confident enough to actually sign their work. It is also one of hundreds if not thousnads of anti-Darwin vehemence–there is a chance I guess that there were more of these things written than there are visible-to-the-naked-eye stars in the night sky. (The original pamphlet is available at our blog bookstore.)

The author has little room for Mr. Darwin's work1, clearly on a super-rant over The Descent… and on the theory of evolution, using such colorful words in runny purple prose like "\repugnant, revolting, unsophisticated, outrage, deadening influence, peculiar, fallacious, cunning"–and this coming from the first two paragraphs. Needless to say, even though the writer was too weak to sign their name, they did have some strong opinions.

"Utterly false, radically and fundamentally wrong, futile in the extreme, unreliable, ungrounded, false, short-sighted (in relation to god), ridiculous…" continues the author. The endowments of the Creator stuff doesn't work its way in until the third page, when the adjectival and adverbial assault was already on it way, all without the assistance of any scientific counterexamples–but then the rest of the work is dedicated to proving the godless nature of Darwin's work and its escape from scientific reality.

We find this: "Evolution is founded on materialism, which is another term for atheism"…."let this doctrine be compared with the Mosaic account of creation, and then the student of nature determine if he will choose for his progenitors Darwin's pair of ring-tailled [sic] monkeys, or 'Adam…' "

And so that's what we get to in the refutation: the Creator. Old version of a contemporary complaint to get Darwin tossed out of classrooms to protect the youth of America, replacing it with divination. The author writes: "In the investigation of nature which is the proper province of the scientist, the most effectual method of studying it, in order to render this subject clearly intelligible to the human mind, is to regard the economy of nature as a form of government, having God for its founder, its Supreme Ruler, and Law-giver."

There's not too much one can do with that, and even though it sounds antique, isn't necessarily so, because the philosophy exists today, only with fewer commas.

Notes:

1. By 1873 Darwin already had produced an epochal body of work, including but not limited to On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859), On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects (1862), On the Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants (1865), T he Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868), The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1873)