Instead of the two cities sending their armies to war, they agree to choose three men from each city; the victor in that fight will be the victorious city. From Rome, three brothers from a Roman family, the Horatii, agree to end the war by fighting three brothers from a family of Alba Longa, the Curiatii. The three brothers, all of whom appear willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of Rome, are shown saluting their father who holds their swords out for them. Aside from the three brothers depicted, David also represents, in the bottom right corner, a woman crying whilst sitting down.
She is Camilla, a sister of the Horatii brothers, who is also betrothed to one of the Curiatii fighters, and thus she weeps in the realisation that, in any case, she will lose someone she loves. The painting is considered a paragon of neoclassical art. Mozart's opera, The Marriage of Figaro , premieres in Vienna. Twining's Tea creates a logo that is still in use today, making it the world's oldest, continuous use logo.
He opened Britain's first known tea room at No. Altamira held many titles and was also a director of the Banco de San Carlos. She was raised by her mother, the former Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, and received no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart. Louvre opens in Paris. David was the leading French painter, as well as a Montagnard and a member of the revolutionary Committee of General Security. The painting shows the radical journalist lying dead in his bath on 13 July after his murder by Charlotte Corday. Painted in the months after Marat's murder, it has been described by T.
Clark as the first modernist painting, for "the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it". Buried in the 2,page philosophical tome is a chapter about variety in nature in which Hutton anticipates Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. John Dalton's Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colors gives an early account of red-green color blindness, which he refers to as Daltonism, since he is afflicted with the condition. James Hutton's Theory of the Earth published, interpreting certain geological strata as former sea beds. Hutton proposes geological theory of gradualism.
Publication of Thomas Malthus' Essay on the Principle of Population , a work that Darwin asserted helped him frame the principle of evolution by natural selection. Painting by Jacques-Louis David : The Intervention of the Sabine Women shows a legendary episode following the abduction of the Sabine women by the founding generation of Rome. The genesis of Les Sabines and the work itself represented a significant departure for the day. Historical depictions had been typically commissioned. David however, conceived, produced and promoted his work for profit.
He produced marketing material to accompany the first exhibition. The first mammoth fossil fully documented by modern science is discovered near the delta of the Lena River in by Ossip Schumachov, a Siberian hunter. Schumachov allows it to thaw a process taking several years until he can retrieve the tusks for sale to the ivory trade in Yakutsk.
He then abandons the specimen, allowing it to decay before its recovery. The specimen, which became known as the Adams Mammoth, is stuffed and mounted, and continues to be on display at the Zoological Institute. Charles White publishes An Account of the Regular Gradation in Man, and in Different Animals and Vegetables , a treatise on the great chain of being, showing people of color at the bottom of the human chain.
First performance of Ludwig von Beethoven's 1st Symphony in C. Painting by Francisco de Goya : The Nude Maja Spanish: La Maja Desnuda portrays a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows, and was probably commissioned by Manuel de Godoy, to hang in his private collection in a separate cabinet reserved for nude paintings. Goya created a pendant of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, known today as La maja vestida The Clothed Maja ; also in the Prado, it is usually hung next to La maja desnuda. The subject is identified as a maja based on her costume in La maja vestida.
The painting is renowned for the straightforward and unashamed gaze of the model towards the viewer. With this work Goya not only upset the ecclesiastical authorities, but also titillated the public and extended the artistic horizon of the day. It has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since In Natural Theology , William Paley uses the analogy of a watch requiring a watchmaker to argue that the universe implies an intelligent designer. Painting by Francisco de Goya : The Clothed Maja Spanish: La maja vestida is a clothed version of the earlier La maja desnuda — and is exhibited next to it in the same room at the Prado Museum in Madrid.
It was twice in the collection of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, also in Madrid, being "sequestered" by the Spanish Inquisition between and , and has been in the Museo del Prado since Jean Baptiste de Lamarck's theory of evolution presented with the publication of his Philosophie Zoologique , which emphasized the fundamental unity of life and the capacity of species to vary.
Seven volumes are published during his lifetime, the remainder after his death. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of in the Peninsular War. Along with its companion piece of the same size, The Second of May or The Charge of the Mamelukes , it was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's suggestion.
The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era. According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May is "the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention".
Ingres' contemporaries considered the work to signify Ingres' break from Neoclassicism, indicating a shift toward exotic Romanticism. Grande Odalisque attracted wide criticism when it was first shown. It has been especially noted for the elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism. The work is displayed in the Louvre, Paris. The painting was commissioned by Napoleon's sister, Queen Caroline Murat of Naples, and finished in Ingres portrays a concubine in languid pose as seen from behind with distorted proportions.
The small head, elongated limbs, and cool color scheme all reveal influences from Mannerists such as Parmigianino, whose Madonna with the Long Neck was also famous for anatomical distortion. This eclectic mix of styles, combining classical form with Romantic themes, prompted harsh criticism when it was first shown in Critics viewed Ingres as a rebel against the contemporary style of form and content. Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is true to the Romantic style and Friedrich's style in particular. Gorra's analysis was that the message conveyed by the painting is one of Kantian self-reflection, expressed through the wanderer's gazings into the murkiness of the sea of fog.
The work has become an icon of French Romanticism. On 5 July , at least people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practised cannibalism. The event fascinated him, and before he began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches.
He interviewed two of the survivors and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. He visited hospitals and morgues where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead. As he had anticipated, the painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure.
However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting. A baby, who would later become Queen Victoria of England, is born carrying a new genetic mutation. Three generations later, that mutation may have changed the course of history. Christian Friedrich Nasse formulated Nasse's law: hemophilia occurs only in males and is passed on by unaffected females.
It hangs in the National Gallery in London and is regarded as "Constable's most famous image" and one of the greatest and most popular English paintings. Painted in oils on canvas, the work depicts as its central feature three horses pulling what in fact appears to be a wood wain or large farm cart across the river. Willy Lott's Cottage, also the subject of an eponymous painting by Constable, is visible on the far left. The scene takes place near Flatford Mill in Suffolk, though since the Stour forms the border of two counties, the left bank is in Suffolk and the landscape on the right bank is in Essex.
Etienne Geoffroy publishes Anatomical Philosophy discussing similarities between skeletal structures — such as bat wings, paws and hands — that support the evolutionary claims of Lamarck. He also argues that arthropods and vertebrates have similar but inverse body plans, an assertion that will ultimately be widely accepted. Between , Thomas Andrew Knight, John Goss, and Alexander Seton all independently perform crosses with the pea and observe dominance in the immediate progeny, and segregation of various hereditary characters in the next generation.
However, they do not study later generations or determine the numerical ratios in which the characters are transmitted. Thomas Andrew Knight confirms reports of dominance, recessivity, and segregation in peas, but does not detect regularities. The Diary of Samuel Pepys is published in Britain. Pepys had been a secretary of the Admiralty, a member of Parliament, and President of the Royal Society, and his Diary presents an important and entertaining picture of London during the Restoration period. Karl Ernst von Baer first demonstrated the mammalian ovum; he regarded the sperm cells as "Entozoa," i.
A year after discovering the mammalian egg cell, Karl Ernst von Baer publishes Entwickelungsgeschichte der Thiere tracing the developmental history of animals. The Institution will be founded in A woman personifying the concept and the Goddess of Liberty leads the people forward over a barricade and the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution — the tricolour flag, which remains France's national flag — in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic known as Marianne.
By the time Delacroix painted Liberty Leading the People, he was already the acknowledged leader of the Romantic school in French painting. Charles Lyell's multi-volume Principles of Geology appear between amd , advancing the theory of uniformitarianism, i. The Beagle plans a two-year voyage to map the coast of South America. This turns out to be a five-year trip. Patrick Matthew publishes On Naval Timber and Arboriculture with an appendix describing what Charles Darwin will later name natural selection. After becoming aware of Matthew's hypothesis, Darwin will acknowledge it in a reprint of On the Origin of Species.
Robert Brown published his observations reporting the discovery and widespread occurrence of nuclei in cells. In Vienna, kitchen apprentice Franz Sacher, 16, creates what comes to be known as Sachertorte , for a dinner in honor of Austria's Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. This picture, like many of his works, forms a meditation both on his own mortality and on the transience of life. The painting is set on a sea shore and shows in the foreground an aged man with his back turned to the viewer, walking towards two adults and two children on a hilltop overlooking a harbour.
The figures are echoed by five ships shown in the harbour, each at a different distance from the shore, an allegorical reference to the different stages of human life, to the end of a journey, to the closeness of death. The figures have been identified as Friedrich and his family. The aged man is the artist himself, the small boy is his young son Gustav Adolf, the young girl is his daughter Agnes Adelheid, the older girl is his daughter Emma, and the man in the top hat is his nephew Johann Heinrich.
Completed just five years before his death, this picture, like many of his works, forms a meditation both on his own mortality and on the transience of life. He observes that the many varieties of finches on the islands seem to have developed from a common ancestor found on the mainland of South America. The painting depicts a Romantic panorama of the Connecticut River Valley just after a thunderstorm. It has been interpreted as a confrontation between wilderness and civilization. Twice-told Tales , by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is published and is an immediate best-seller.
Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre : Still life with plaster casts is the earliest, reliably dated daguerreotype. Charles Darwin formulates the theory of natural selection to explain evolution. Fearful of the reaction his theory will cause, he delays publishing. Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre : The earliest reliably dated photograph of people , taken one spring morning in from the window of the Diorama, where Daguerre lived and worked. It bears the caption huit heure du matin 8 a. Though it shows the busy Boulevard du Temple, the long exposure time about ten or twelve minutes meant that moving traffic cannot be seen; however, the bootblack and his customer at lower left remained still long enough to be distinctly visible.
The building signage at the upper left shows that the image is laterally left-right reversed, as were most daguerreotypes. Schleiden and T. Schwann develop the cell theory. Schleiden notes nucleoli within nuclei. Voices of the Night , the first book of poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , is published. Anna, the Duchess of Bedford , introduces the ritual of afternoon tea in Britain, although tea has been available in England since the late s. The polka makes its U. The saxophone is invented in Belgium, by the year old instrument maker Antoine Joseph Sax Charles Darwin's Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle appears.
Martin Barry expressed the belief that the spermatozoon enters the egg. The Fair is the first in the tradition of U. In London, the periodical Punch begins publication. Charles Darwin's book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle , is published. During the year Darwin composes an abstract of his theory of species evolution. His paper describes cell division in plants with remarkable accuracy, and discusses seed formation in flowering plants. The Open Door is an early calotype, included in The Pencil of Nature , the first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs.
The Pencil of Nature , published in six installments between and , was the "first photographically illustrated book to be commercially published" or "the first commercially published book illustrated with photographs".
About this book
It was wholly executed by the new art of Photogenic Drawing, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil and regarded as an important and influential work in the history of photography. Since photography was still very much a novelty and many people remained unfamiliar with the concept, Talbot felt compelled to insert the following notice into his book: The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil.
They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation. Charles Darwin first outlines his thoughts on natural selection in an unpublished essay. Robert Chambers, a Scottish journalist, publishes anonymously his Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation , an early book outlining an evolutionary view of the natural world.
Beagle , is published. Darwin's book claims to supply evidence for the geological theories of Charles Lyell , from areas that Lyell himself had never seen. Scientific American is founded by Alfred Beach The first issue is published on August The publication, in newspaper format, presents science for the general reader. Poe's collection The Raven and Other Poems is published. Jakob Mathias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann announce that cells are the basic units of all living structures. On the archetype and homologies of the vertebrate skeleton , by Richard Owen , is published. In the book Owen argues that the skull, and other parts of the body, are formed by the modification of the vertebra of different animals.
Richard Owen describes "homologies" — similarities of design in bird wings, fish fins and human hands. Painting by Gustave Courbet : The Stone Breakers French: Les Casseurs de pierres is a work of social realism, depicting two peasants, a young man and an old man, breaking rocks. The painting was first exhibited at the Paris Salon of The book describes thousands of experiments, many involving the production of hybrids, on more than species of plants. Mendel will study this book in detail when he attends the University of Vienna in the early s, and will cite the book in the opening of his paper of The painting records the funeral in September of his great-uncle in the painter's birthplace, the small town of Ornans.
It treats an ordinary provincial funeral with unflattering realism, and on the giant scale traditionally reserved for the heroic or religious scenes of history painting. Its exhibition at the —51 Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and brought Courbet instant fame. The New York Times begins daily publication. The editor of the Times is Henry J. It is the first world's fair, and is attended by more than 6 million people.
London is the world's largest city, with a population of nearly 2. Moby Dick , by Herman Melville, is published. Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple : Daguerreoype of the moon. Whipple was an American inventor and early photographer. He was the first in the United States to manufacture the chemicals used for daguerreotypes; he pioneered astronomical and night photography; he was a prize-winner for his extraordinary early photographs of the moon; and he was the first to produce images of stars other than the sun — the star Vega and the Mizar-Alcor stellar sextuple system, which was thought to be a double star until Roget, a 73 year-old physician and English scholar, will publish 28 editions of the Thesaurus during his lifetime he dies at age Whipple kept several distinctive pieces of furniture in his studio that he used to solidify his compositions by disposing them within an image in characteristic ways without having the sitter use them.
In fact, it is this unique posing style that identifies Whipple as the artist of the portrait of Henry Winthrop Sargent and his family, taken in Boston in the early s. The empty armchair at the lower left faces the viewer and draws the eye in. The covered table at the far right connects an occupied chair to the edge of the plate and suggests a vanishing point while giving diagonal movement to what is basically a horizontal composition.
The corner of a plain backdrop, barely perceptible at the right, aids the illusion of movement and space. Caroline Olmsted Sargent appears to be reading a letter to her assembled family. Her oldest son, Winthrop Henry Sargent, sits facing her, and their profiles echo across the space as he leans toward her. Henry Winthrop Sargent, at the apex of the composition, leans dynamically into the gathering, supporting his weight on the back of a carved side chair.
The division of the family into two pairs of linked figures creates powerful parallel diagonals; but despite this calculated arrangement, all of the sitters appear to be at ease and engaged with one another. The first son of a poverty-stricken furniture maker, Felton became one of the most renowned classical scholars in the country and, in , Harvard's president. This witty photograph lampoons the rigid formality of the portrait process through narrative gesture the implied reach across two separate images and nuance the delicate crush of the soft hat's crown.
As opposed to the inflexible silk top hat worn by dandies and professors alike, the broad-brimmed felt hat was worn by outdoorsmen and was practical, casual, and fundamentally democratic. Painting by Gustave Courbet : The Meeting French: La rencontre is traditionally interpreted as Courbet greeted by his patron Alfred Bruyas, his servant Calas, and his dog while traveling to Montpellier. The composition is based on the Wandering Jew. In Watertown, Wisconsin, the first kindergarten in the U. Carl Schurz Margarethe Meyer Schurz.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha" appears. Poet Walt Whitman publishes a volume of twelve poems, Leaves of Grass , at his own expense, and meets with no commercial success. Rudolf Virchow states the principle that new cells come into being only by division of previously existing cells: Omnis cellula e cellula. The pose of the nude may be compared with that of another by Ingres, the Venus Anadyomene , and is a reimagination of the Aphrodite of Cnidus or Venus Pudica. Two of Ingres' students, painters Paul Balze and Alexandre Desgoffe, helped to create the background and water jar.
The first exhibition of The Source was in , the year it was completed. The painting was received enthusiastically. The painting has been frequently exhibited and widely published. Kenneth Clark in his book Feminine Beauty observed how The Source has been described as "the most beautiful figure in French painting.
The discovery was made by limestone quarry miners and consists of a skullcap, two femora, the three right arm bones, two of the left arm bones, ilium, and fragments of a scapula and ribs. The fossils were given to Johann Carl Fuhlrott, a local teacher and amateur naturalist.
The first description of the remains was made by anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen and the find was announced jointly in In , the specimen was the first to yield Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA fragments. The description of this discovery represents the beginning of paleoanthropology as a scientific discipline.
Louis Agassiz publishes Essay on Classification advocating a theory of multiple creations and contradicting both evolution and Noah's ark. Gregor Mendel, a monk at the Augustinian monastery of St. Madame Bovery , by Gustave Flaubert, is published. The dramatic effects of sunlight, clouds, and water in Le Gray's seascapes stunned his contemporaries and immediately brought him international recognition. At a time when photographic emulsions were not equally sensitive to all colors of the spectrum, most photographers found it impossible to achieve proper exposure of both landscape and sky in a single picture.
Le Gray solved this problem by printing two negatives on a single sheet of paper: one exposed for the sea, the other for the sky, and sometimes made on separate occasions or in different locations. Le Gray's marine pictures caused a sensation not only because their simultaneous depiction of sea and heavens represented a technical tour de force, but also because the resulting poetic effect was without precedent in photography.
The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes. The painting immediately drew negative criticism from the middle and upper classes, who viewed the topic with suspicion: one art critic, speaking for other Parisians, perceived in it an alarming intimation of "the scaffolds of Central Park, in New York City, is opened to the public. Rudolf Virchow finalizes the cell theory originally announced by Schleiden and Schwann 11 years earlier by declaring that cells are the basic units of all living things, and all cells are formed by the division of existing cells.
Alfred Russel Wallace sends to Darwin a manuscript — "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type" — that shows clearly that Wallace has independently formulated a model of evolution by natural selection. Darwin's and Wallace's ideas are jointly presented to the Linnaean Society of London. In Manchester, England, the first "playgrounds" for children are opened, complete with swings and horizontal bars for climbing and hanging. Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species.
It is a hand-tinted ambrotype using the set collodion positive process, made circa Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Louis Agassiz attacks Darwin's the origin of species, rejecting the idea of evolution of the species and arguing that each species was created separately. Thomas Henry Huxley sometimes known as Darwin's bulldog clashes with Bishop "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce about evolution at the annual meeting of The British Association for the Advancement of Science, in what has come to be known as the Huxley-Wilberforce debate.
Bishop Wilberforce is supposed to have asked Huxley sarcastically whether "it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed descent from a monkey. A masterwork of Degas' youth, the painting is a portrait of his aunt, her husband, and their two young daughters. While finishing his artistic training in Italy, Degas drew and painted his aunt Laura, her husband the baron Gennaro Bellelli, and their daughters Giulia and Giovanna. Although it is not known for certain when or where Degas executed the painting, it is believed that he utilized studies done in Italy to complete the work after his return to Paris.
Laura, his father's sister, is depicted in a dress which symbolizes mourning for her father, who had recently died and appears in the framed portrait behind her. Laura Bellelli's countenance is dignified and austere, her gesture connected with those of her daughters. Her husband, by contrast, appears to be separated from his family. His association with business and the outside world is implied by his position at his desk. Giulia holds a livelier pose than that of her sister Giovanna, whose restraint appears to underscore the familial tensions.
McClernand to Lincoln's left. The picture by Ingres depicts an idealized nude holding a jar from which water pours, an allusion to a spring or river source, and symbolizing poetic inspiration. Gray was considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. His Darwiniana was considered an important explanation of how religion and science were not necessarily mutually exclusive. As a professor of botany at Harvard University for several decades, Gray regularly visited, and corresponded with, many of the leading natural scientists of the era, including Charles Darwin, who held great regard for him.
Gray made several trips to Europe to collaborate with leading European scientists of the era, as well as trips to the southern and western United States. He also built an extensive network of specimen collectors. When hung in the Salon of Paris in , it was met with jeers, laughter, criticism, and disdain, and was attacked by the public, the critics, the newspapers.
Guards were stationed to protect it, until it was moved to a spot high above a doorway, out of reach. A smaller, earlier version can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery, London. The painting features a nude woman casually lunching with two fully dressed men. Her body is starkly lit and she stares directly at the viewer. The two men, dressed as young dandies, seem to be engaged in conversation, ignoring the woman. In front of them, the woman's clothes, a basket of fruit, and a round loaf of bread are displayed, as in a still life. In the background, a lightly clad woman bathes in a stream.
Too large in comparison with the figures in the foreground, she seems to float above them. The roughly painted background lacks depth — giving the viewer the impression that the scene is not taking place outdoors, but in a studio. This impression is reinforced by the use of broad "studio" light, which casts almost no shadows. The man on the right wears a flat hat with a tassel, of a kind normally worn indoors.
Despite the mundane subject, Manet deliberately chose a large canvas size, measuring The style of the painting breaks with the academic traditions of the time. He did not try to hide the brush strokes; the painting even looks unfinished in some parts of the scene. Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres : The Turkish Bath Le Bain Turc depicts a group of nude women in the bath of a harem, and is painted in a highly erotic style that evokes both the near east and earlier western styles associated with mythological subject matter. Painted on canvas laid down on wood, it measures x cm.
The work is signed and dated , when Ingres was around 82 years old, and was completed in In that year Ingres altered the painting's original rectangular format, and cut the painting to its present tondo form. Photographs of the painting in its original format survive. It seems based on an April written description of a Turkish harem by Lady Mary Montagu, where she mentions having viewed some two hundred nude women.
Its erotic content did not provoke a scandal, since for much its existence it has remained in private collections. It is now in the Louvre, Paris. Naudin confirmed Sageret's work, in general discussed work of the early hybridizers, and reported dominance and segregation in Datura jimsonweed hybrids. He did not deal with single characters and reported no statistical observations on the second generation. His theoretical explanation of his facts was a forerunner of Mendel's ideas, but inferred rather than deduced.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland first published. Painting by Ford Madox Brown : Work is generally considered to be his most important achievement. It exists in two versions. The painting attempts to portray, both literally and analytically, the totality of the Victorian social system and the transition from a rural to an urban economy. Brown began the painting in and completed it in , when he set up a special exhibition to show it along with several of his other works.
He wrote a detailed catalogue explaining the significance of the picture. The picture depicts a group of so-called "navvies" digging up the road to build an underground tunnel. It is typically assumed that this was part of the extensions of London's sewerage system, which were being undertaken to deal with the threat of typhus and cholera.
The workers are in the centre of the painting. On either side of them are individuals who are either unemployed or represent the leisured classes. Behind the workers are two wealthy figures on horseback, whose progress along the road has been halted by the excavations. The painting also portrays an election campaign, evidenced by posters and people carrying sandwich boards with the name of the candidate "Bobus". A poster also draws attention to the potential presence of a burglar. The setting is an accurate depiction of The Mount on Heath Street in Hampstead, London, where a side road rises up above the main road and runs alongside it.
Brown made a detailed study of the location in Franz Schweigger-Seidel and A. George Germany independently prove that a spermatozoon is a single cell and contains nucleus and cytoplasm. The results are published the following year. Blue Danube Waltz Presented Johann Strauss the younger first presents his Blue Danube Waltz, which later became one of the most popular and familiar works of European music.
German zoologist Ernst Haeckel publishes General Morphology of Organisms, the first detailed genealogical tree relating all known organisms, incorporating the principles of Darwinian evolution. Bidwell United States reports controlled pollination in maize. Rockefeller [iron, steel, oil, business, money, industry] Reflections on growing up in the media [radio, communication, war] On the Invention of the electric chair [death, Tesla, Edison, Faust, electricity] Figuring out the value of Pi [mathematics, Bible] The Industrial Revolution comes to America [Evans, Crystal Palace, millwright, industry] Black and White in pre-revolutionary Virginia [Jefferson, religion] Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, and a change in science [Bacon, Pope, Royal Society] Count von Zeppelin learns about flying in St.
Paul, Minnesota [balloons, dirigible, Hindenburg, flight, transportation] Justus Liebig and the first research laboratory [Gay-Lussac, dye, chemistry, Edison, benzene, aniline] Fourier, Egypt, and modern applied mathematics [science, heat transfer, Napoleon, France] In which I learn that technology is communication [design] We build a dirigible to get to the gold rush [America, Giffard, balloon, transportation, flight, Porter] The two Eiffel towers [Statue of Liberty, France, construction, Iron] The secret dome of St.
Paul's Cathedral in London [Wren, construction, design, architecture] Hoover Dam: "Replenish the earth and subdue it. Coast and Geodetic Survey measures America [geography, instrumentation] A. Milne's moral fables for an unproductive America [Christopher Robin, production, literature, trade] Diving into what was once a Minoan shipwreck, years ago [archaeology, anthropology, Greece, Bronze age] The size of things: How big or small is the world around us? Graham red squirrel and the U.
An old mischief [anatomy, du Chatelet, Kant, Rousseau, gender] Lynn White, the stirrup, and the feudal system [medieval warfare, Martel, horse, Knights in armor] Mary-Claire King and the grandmothers [Argentina, biochemistry, genetics, women, revolution, Carlton, Wheaton, mathematics] A quiet man in a bow tie: Not as dull as you think [engineer, design, stereotype, tractor, winch] In which Japan learns Shakespeare and adopts Western culture [literature, art museum, Macbeth] Parents and children: About the legacy of creativity [Dunbar, Symons, sanitary engineering, water quality, environment, women, astronaut, civil] The computer earns a grandmaster rating in Chess [chess, robot, Kasparov, IBM, Deep Thought] The Cornish pump: a wonderfully adaptive technology goes west [steam engine, mining, Newcomen, Watt, Irish] Dorothea Erxleben, Germany's first woman doctor [women, science, Halle, medicine] K.
Englehardt, the Robot Lady, makes humane machines [design, women, robotics, production, service] Of dinosaurs and dogs: How do our joints work [zoology, anatomy, biology, science] A look at voting machines [Edison, vote, politics] The Tollund Man and other bog people of Northern Europe [archaeology, anthropology, iron age, embalming, Denmark, religion, food] Success, failure, and Biosphere-2 experiment [ecology, space, NASA, Oracle, Arizona, waste, Bass, greenhouse, Matson] A sonic measurement of the ocean's temperature [acoustics, global warming, whales, sound, globe, Heard] A countess balloons over Italy's Apennine mountains.
A question of connectedness. Maybe not. You and your computer [Turkle, hacker, Pac-man, sociology] Little yellow Post-its -- a footnote to invention [3-M, sales, office, merchandising, invention, Silver, Fry] James Black, Joseph Black, upset stomachs, and Tagamet [medicine, Pharmacology, chemistry, invention, histamine, antihistamine, beta-blockers, cimetidine, antacid] Gould contemplates the severed head of Lavoisier [France, French Revolution, Marat, Corday, science, chemistry, oxygen, Franklin, Lacepede, Lagrange] Banting, MacLeod, Best, Collip and more create insulin [diabetes, Scott, Paulesco, medicine, pharmacology] Design and visual cues: When words fail us [signs, button, door, visual, cues] Coming up to speed on wooden race tracks [Oldfield, transportation, automobile, car, racing, Ford, Stanley Steamer, Prince, Runyan] In which you help me teach a new thermodynamics class [information theory, entropy] The Bay Psalter: Mrs.
Robert Stirling and his hot air engine [music boxes, nonelectric fan, jet plane, jet engine, turbojet] Mrs. Marcet, alias Mrs. Mencken tells us why TV couldn't replace newspapers [literature, books, technological change, Gresham's Law] The Prisoners' Dilemma -- and our own moral dilemma [philosophy, psychology, ethics] In which we rebuild the Ise Shrine for the 60th time [Japan, Japanese, Shinto, architecture, religion] Of mentors and servants: Will books survive the electronic communications media?
Taylor] Will digital clocks win out over clocks with hands and faces? Lewis gives us an object lesson in medieval history [Tolkien, religion, philosophy, literature, teaching] Socrates, and the technologies of democracy, in the Agora [Greece, Athens, random selection, Acropolis, Parthenon, philosophy, Rockefeller] In which power and gold shape California [Sutter, Lienhard, Marshall, water wheel, Pelton wheel, metallurgy, Watt, Boulton, Boswell] Paper and CD-ROM encyclopedias shoot it out. Who wins? But physics remembers. Bill draws a whole generation back into the mainstream of American life [education, government spending, military, handicaps] The Library of Congress: how just over volumes shaped America in [books, printing, librarianship, cataloging, Jefferson, Madison, government] Watching microwave transmission towers forming a new metaphor for the communications age [electricity, antennas, AM radio, FM radio, television] John Forbes Nash Jr.
Powell seeks racial equity in the skies [Black, transportation, race, flying, airplanes, flight, war, military, Tuskegee Airmen, Coleman] The remarkable tale of Bessie Coleman, first Black woman to fly [Black women, flight, flying airplanes, race, Texas] Was there once a first language? Washington and its safe old cog railway [meteorology, sport, mountain climbing, weather, risk] The invention of eyeglasses ca. Thoughts on creativity and timelessness [water clocks, Jesuit missionaries, China, psychology] Discovering Neptune: whom, if anyone, should we credit?
Army, U. Navy, arctic] Matthew Boulton makes Sheffield silver plate -- and steam engines [Watt, metalurgy, manufacturing, art] Redating paleolithic technologies backward in time [archaeology, paleontology, cloth, fabric, weaving, ceramics, clay, anthropology, toolmaking] In which Don Quixote says, "Facts are the enemy of truth. Augustine, theology] A surprising answer to the question, "How much risk is really acceptable to us? Francis of Assisi, Renaissance, cyberspace] In which Adam's navel poses the question of pre-creation history [evolution, fossils, art, Darwin, Ompholos, Gosse, geology, hippopotamus, anthropology] How would Thorstein Veblen do in the information age?
Peter's] How we name the chemical elements. I don't think so. Have a nice day. It's been going on for a long time. Edmund Fitzgerald; "Only a lake! Some surprising facts [airplane, speed, production, invention] Another way of looking at the 14th century Plague [yersinias pestis, Black Death, famine, medieval, economics, wages, human life, The Hundred Years War, The Peasants Revolt, aerial photography] The Erie Canal [transportation, Great Lakes, Buffalo, Hudson, Niagara, Jefferson, Gallatin, Clinton] The Rocket Boys , a moving story of adolescence and engineering [von Braun, rocketry, Sputnik, space program, West Virginia, coal mining] Technology in Alexandria, ca.
Polomar, Mt. Willard Gibbs pictures gear teeth [Amistad, Yale, visualization, geometry, mechanics, science] Georg Cantor, the man who counted beyond infinity [mathematics, set theory, infinity] Ship of gold in the Deep Blue Sea: an impossible treasure recovery [gold rush, SS Central America, shipwrecks, oceanography, Rocket Boys, submersibles, engineering] What is gold worth today?
Parker, slave, freedom-fighter, inventor, and businessman [Uncle Tom's Cabin, Civil War, slavery, abolitionists, Rankin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, iron, agriculture, Black] A prediction of technology in the year [futurism, future, transportation, medicine, energy, predictions, chaos, butterfly effect] On saying goodbye to lighthouses and cabooses [obselete, obsolescence, Smeaton, Eddystone Light, Pharos, metaphor, symbolism] The other great fire of Peshtigo, Wisconsin [disasters, Chicago Fire, Mrs. Paul's Cathedral, Willis, medical dissection, instrument makers, science, medicine, prodigies, brain surgery, antiseptic, intravenous] Lord Kelvin's miscalculation of the age of the earth [Bible, science, heat transfer, Fourier, Darwin, Heaviside, geology, religion] Alkahest , the universal solvent [chemistry, solution, reaction, reagent, nitric acid, dissolve, Boyle, Paracelsus, van Helmont, alchemy, alchemists, glycerol, sal alkali, alkahest, patent, intellectual property priority, Du Pont] GE, light bulbs, and the product-driven innovation cycle [General Electric, invention, design, manufacturing, Langmuir, electric light bulb, heat transfer, cooling, argon, deposition] In which the author of Oz contemplates electricity [L.
Frank Baum, electrical, Edison, Tesla, Wonderful Wizard of Oz, future] High-pressure steam engines and transportation [railroads, Watt, Cugnot, Trevithick, steam engines, power, external condenser, condensation, vacuum] Donatello: Of his age or for all time? Eliot, change] The last days of Pompeii, rather like our own lives [Rome, Roman, Heculaneum, volcano, vulcanism, volcanic ash, lava, archaeology, urban architecture, restoration] Thoughts on airplanes, annular jets, and the inventive Zeitgeist [Zeitgeist, annular jets, fluid mechanics, invention, airplanes, Jacob Brodbeck, Gustave Whitehead, John Montgomery, Maxim, Ader, Richard Pearse, patent office] The Literary Digest tells us about science in [science, Dostoyevsky, William Randolph Hearst, Henry James, racism, Black, Negro, religion, Booker T.
And where did they go? Open Golf Tournament] In which goats learn to spin spider webs [biotechnology, bioengineering, genetic engineering, Nubian goats, spider webs, DNA gene replacement, kevlar, strength of materials] The Rev. Dionysius Lardner: keeping up with a world in flux [handbooks, steam power, hydrostatics, pneumatics, railroads, trevithick, technological change, Mary Shelley, locomotives, coal, conservation, water power] Edgar Allen Poe's amazing cosmology [Edgar Allen Poe, cosmology, physics, gothic literature, poems, poetry, philosophy, Romantic poets, Laplace, relativity theory, black holes, theology, eschatology, Einstein] The two Silk Roads: One by land, the other by sea [shipping, world trade, marine transport, Egypt, Orient, Silk Road, Rome, Romans] A new way to activate your pleasure center: Cooperate!
Louis Bridge, shipping, railroads, construction, yellow fever, cholera, de Lesseps, Vollmar] On being unreasonable: a repudiation of common sense [Gilbert and Sullivan, Pinnafore, Joel Cohen, negotiation, flag flapping, common sense, abstraction, superheated liquid, heat tranfer from an insulated cylinder] Good engineering: Romance and Reality in the High Middle Ages [medieval music, Gregorian chant, Kenneth Clark, Civisilation, High Middle Ages, Machaud, vielle, Adam do le Halle, musicology] Radio Days -- a tribute to early radio [H.
A new variety raised by man will be a more important and interesting subject for study than one more species added to the infinitude of already recorded species. Our classifications will come to be, as far as they can be so made, genealogies; and will then truly give what may be called the plan of creation.
The rules for classifying will no doubt become simpler when we have a definite object in view. We possess no pedigrees or armorial bearings; and we have to discover and trace the many diverging lines of descent in our natural genealogies, by characters of any kind which have long been inherited.
Rudimentary organs will speak infallibly with respect to the nature of longlost structures. Species and groups of species which are called aberrant, and which may fancifully be called living fossils, will aid us in forming a picture of the ancient forms of life. Embryology will often reveal to us the structure, in some degree obscured, of the prototypes of each great class. When we can feel assured that all the individuals of the same species, and all the closely allied species of most genera, have within a not very remote period descended from one parent, and have migrated from some one birthplace; and when we better know the many means of migration, then, by the light which geology now throws, and will continue to throw, on former changes of climate and of the level of the land, we shall surely be enabled to trace in an admirable manner the former migrations of the inhabitants of the whole world.
Even at present, by comparing the differences between the inhabitants of the sea on the opposite sides of a continent, and the nature of the various inhabitants on that continent in relation to their apparent means of immigration, some light can be thrown on ancient geography. The noble science of Geology loses glory from the extreme imperfection of the record. The crust of the earth with its imbedded remains must not be looked at as a well-filled museum, but as a poor collection made at hazard and at rare intervals.
The accumulation of each great fossiliferous formation will be recognised as having depended on an unusual concurrence of favourable circumstances, and the blank intervals between the successive stages as having been of vast duration. But we shah be able to gauge with some security the duration of these intervals by a comparison of the preceding and succeeding organic forms.
We must be cautious in attempting to correlate as strictly contemporaneous two formations, which do not include many identical species, by the general succession of the forms of life. As species are produced and exterminated by slowly acting and still existing causes, and not by miraculous acts of creation; and as the most important of all causes of organic change is one which is almost independent of altered and perhaps suddenly altered physical conditions, namely, the mutual relation of organism to organism,-the improvement of one organism entailing the improvement or the extermination of others; it follows, that the amount of organic change in the fossils of consecutive formations probably serves as a fair measure of the relative, though not actual lapse of time.
Friday, March 13, 2009
A number of species, however, beeping in a body might remain for a long period unchanged, whilst within the same period several of these species by migrating into new countries and coming into competition with foreign associates, might become modified; so that we must not overrate the accuracy of organic change as a measure of time.
In the future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be securely based on the foundation already well laid by Mr. Herbert Spencer, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history. Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual.
When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity.
And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity; for the manner in which all organic beings are grouped, shows that the greater number of species in each genus, and all the species in many genera, have left no descendants, but have become utterly extinct.
We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretell that it will be the common and widely-spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant soups within each class, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species. As all the living forms of life are the lineal descendants of those which lived long before the Cambrian epoch, we may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world.
Hence we may look with some confidence to a secure future of great length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection. It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects hitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.
These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction: Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according. When John Dewey looked at a spectrum he saw a continuum-a shading of one colour into another, with no boundaries to indicate precisely where one colour ends and another begins. Mind fades into matter, subject into object, means into ends. The individual merges with the social, liberal education mixes with vocational; science itself is part of a spectrum of things people do, like plowing the earth and sailing ships.
There are no eternal essences with fixed outlines. The species move. No philosopher wasted less time brooding in metaphysical towers than this absent-minded, carelessly dressed pedagogue with the rimless glasses and Vermont drawl. He was active in hundreds of liberal organizations: and causes. His influence on political thought, spelling out the meaning of such terms as "freedom" and "democracy," has been immense. He was never afraid to take partisan positions even when they were unfashionable; for instance, his vigorous condemnation of Stalin's purge trials at a time when most liberals tried to look the other way.
Perhaps his greatest influence was in the field of elementary education. The old-fashioned bolted-down desk symbolized for him the old restraints.
He wanted to unbolt them. He wanted to unbolt the mind. It could be done, he believed, only by extending the scientific attitude into every phase of human activity. By a pleasant coincidence, John Dewey was born the same year that The Origin of Species appeared. For Dewey, evolution was the great dissolver of fusty absolutisms, and in the selection chosen here he gives his reasons for thinking so. Originally a lecture delivered in , it has become one of his best known, most influential essays, going to the very heart of his pragmatic philosophy. In later and more technical writings his style was often involved and dull, a fact which led Max Eastman to observe that if Dewey ever wrote a quotable sentence it had become permanently lost in the pile of his 36 books and magazine articles.
Perhaps we can recover such a sentence in this essay.
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That the combination of the very words origin and species embodied an intellectual revolt and introduced a new intellectual temper is easily overlooked by the expert. The conceptions that had reigned in the philosophy of nature and knowledge for two thousand years, the conceptions that had become the familiar furniture of the mind, rested on the assumption of the superiority of the fixed and final; they rested upon treating change and origin as signs of defect and unreality. In laying hands upon the sacred ark of absolute permanency, in treating the forms that had been regarded as types of fixity and perfection as originating and passing away, the "Origin of Species" introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion.
No wonder, then, that the publication of Darwin's book, a half century ago, precipitated a crisis. The true nature of the controversy is easily concealed from us, however, by the theological clamour that attended it. The vivid and popular features of the anti-Darwinian row tended to leave the impression that the issue was between science on one side and theology on the other. Such was not the case-the issue lay primarily within science itself, as Darwin himself early recognized. The theological outcry he discounted from the start, hardly noticing it save as it bore upon the "feelings of his female relatives.
Religious considerations lent fervour to the controversy, but they did not provoke it. Intellectually, religious emotions are not creative but conservative. They attach themselves readily to the current view of the world and consecl8te it. They steep and dye intellectual fabrics in the seething vat of emotions; they do not form their warp and woof. There is not, I think, an instance of any large idea about the world being independently generated by religion.
Although the ideas that rose up like armed men against Darwinism owed their intensity to religious associations,. Few words in our language foreshorten intellectual history as much as does the word species. The Greeks, in initiating the intellectual life of Europe, were impressed by characteristic traits of the life of plants and animals; so impressed indeed that they made these traits the key to defining nature and to explaining mind and society.
And truly, life is so wonderful that a seemingly successful reading of its mystery might well lead men to believe that the key to the secrets of heaven and earth was in their hands. The Greek rendering of this mystery, the Greek formulation of the aim and standard of knowledge, was in the course of time embodied in the word species, and it controlled philosophy for two thousand years. To understand the intellectual face-about expressed in the phrase "Origin of Species" we must, then, understand the long dominant idea against which it is a protest. Consider how men were impressed by the facts of life.
Their eyes fed upon certain things slight in bulk, and frail in structure. To every appearance, these perceived things were inert and passive. Suddenly, under certain circumstances, these things-henceforth known as seeds or eggs or germs-- begin to change, to change tepidly in size, form, and qualities.
Rapid and extensive changes occur, however, in many things as when wood is touched by fire. But the changes in the living thing are orderly; they are cumulative; they tend constantly in one direction; they do not, like other changes, destroy or consume, or pass fruitless into wandering flux; they realize and fulfil each successive stage, no matter how unlike its predecessor preserves its net effect and also prepares the way for a fuller activity on the part of its successor.
In living beings, changes do not happen as they seem to happen elsewhere, any which way; the earlier changes are regulated in view of later results. This progressive organization does not cease till there is achieved a true final term, a , a completed, perfected end. This final form exercises in turn a plenitude of functions, not the least noteworthy of which is production of germs like those from which it took its own origin, germs capable of the same cycle of self-fulfilling activity. But the whole miraculous tale is not yet told.
The same drama is enacted to the same destiny in countless myriads of individuals so sundered in time, so severed in space, that they have no opportunity for mutual consultation and no means of interaction. As an old writer quaintly said, "things of the same kind go through the same formalities"-celebrate, as it were, the same ceremonial rites. This formal activity which operates throughout a series of changes and holds them to a single course; which subordinates their aimless flux to its. To it Aristotle gave the name,.. This term the scholastics translated as species.
The force of this term was deepened by its application to everything in the universe that observes order in flux and manifests constancy through change. From the casual drift of daily weather, through the uneven recurrence of seasons and unequal return of seed time and harvest, up to the majestic sweep of the heavens-the image of eternity in time --and from this to the unchanging pure and contemplative intelligence beyond nature lies one unbroken fulfilment of ends. Nature as a whole is a progressive realization of purpose strictly comparable to the realization of purpose in any single plant or animal.
The conception of species, a fixed from and final cause, was the central principle of knowledge as well as of nature. Upon it rested the logic of science. Change as change is mere dm and lapse; it insults intelligence. Genuinely to know is to grasp a permanent end that realizes itself through changes, holding them thereby within the metes and bounds of fixed truth.
Completely to know is to relate all special forms to their one single end and good: pure contemplative intelligence. Since, however, the scene of nature which directly confronts us is in change, nature as directly and practically experienced does not satisfy the conditions of knowledge. Human experience is in flux, and hence the instrumentalities of sense-perception and of inference based upon observation are condemned in advance.
Science is compelled to aim at realities lying behind and beyond the processes of nature, and to carry on its search for these realities by means of rational forms transcending ordinary modes of perception and inference. There are, indeed, but two alternative courses. We must either find the appropriate objects and organs of knowledge in the mutual interactions of changing things; or else, to escape the infection of change, we must seek them in some transcendent and supernal region.
The human mind, deliberately as it were, exhausted the logic of the changeless, the final, and the transcendent, before it essayed adventure on the pathless wastes of generation and transformation. We dispose all too easily of the efforts of the schoolmen to interpret nature and mind in terms of real essences, hidden forms, and occult faculties, forgetful of the seriousness and dignity of the ideas that lay behind. We dispose of them by laughing at the famous gentleman who accounted for the fact that opium put people to sleep on the ground it had a dormitive faculty.
But the doctrine, held in our own day, that. This identity of conception in the scholastic and anti-Darwinian theory may well suggest greater sympathy for what has become unfamiliar as well as greater humility regarding the further unfamiliaritys that history has in store.
Darwin was not, of course, the first to question the classic philosophy of nature and of knowledge. The beginnings of the revolution are in the physical science of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. When Galileo said: "It is my opinion that the earth is very noble and admirable by reason of so many and so different alterations and generations which are incessantly made therein," he expressed the changed temper that was coming over the world; the transfer of interest from the permanent to the changing.
Without the methods of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and their successors in astronomy, physics, and chemistry, Darwin would have been helpless in the organic sciences. But prior to Darwin the impact of the new scientific method upon life, mind, and politics, had been arrested, because between these ideal or moral interests and the inorganic world intervened the kingdom of plants and animals. The gates of the garden of life were barred to the new ideas; and only through this garden was there access to mind and politics.
The influence of Darwin upon philosophy resides in his having conquered the phenomena of life for the principle of transition, and thereby freed the new logic for application to mind and morals and life. When he said of species what Galileo had said of the earth, e pur se muove, he emancipated, once for all, genetic and experimental ideas as an organon of asking questions and looking for explanations.
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The exact bearings upon philosophy of the new logical outlook are, of course, as yet, uncertain and inchoate. We live in the twilight of intellectual transition. One must add the rashness of the prophet to the stubbornness of the partisan to venture a systematic exposition of the influence upon philosophy of the Darwinian method.
At best, we can but inquire as to its general bearing-the effect upon mental temper and complexion, upon that body of half-conscious, half- instinctive intellectual aversions and. In this vague inquiry there happens to exist as a kind of touchstone a problem of long historic currency that has also been much discussed in Darwinian literature. I refer to the old problem of design versus chance, mind versus matter, as the causal explanation, first or final, of things.
As we have already seen, the classic notion of species carried with it the idea of purpose. In all living forms, a specific type is present directing the earlier stages of growth to the realization of its own perfection. Since this purposive regulative principle is not visible to the senses, it follows that it must be an ideal or rational force. Since, however, the perfect form is gradually approximated through the sensible changes, it also follows that in and through a sensible realm a rational ideal force is working out its own ultimate manifestation.
These inferences were extended to nature: a She does nothing in vain; but all for an ulterior purpose. The design argument thus operated in two directions. Purposefulness accounted for the intelligibility of nature and the possibility of science, while the absolute or cosmic character of this purposefulness gave sanction and worth to the moral and religious endeavours of man.
Science was underpinned and morals authorized by one and the same principle, and their mutual agreement was eternally guaranteed. This philosophy remained, in spite of sceptical and polemic outbursts, the official and the regnant philosophy of Europe for over two thousand years. The expulsion of fixed first and final causes from astronomy, physics, and chemistry had indeed given the doctrine something of a shock.
But, on the other hand, increased acquaintance with the details of plant and animal life operated as a counterbalance and perhaps even strengthened the argument from design. The marvellous adaptations of organisms to their environment, of organs to the organism, of unlike parts of a complex organ-like the eye-to the organ itself; the foreshadowing by lower forms of the higher; the preparation in earlier stages of growth for organs that only later had their functioning-these things were increasingly recognized with the progress of botany, zoology, palaeontology, and embryology. Together, they added such prestige to the design argument that by the late eighteenth century it was, as approved by the sciences of organic life, the central point of theistic and idealistic philosophy.
The Darwinian principle of natural selection cut straight under this philosophy. If all organic adaptations are due simply to constant variation and the elimination of those variations which are harmful in the struggle for existence that is brought about by excessive reproduction, there is no call for a prior intelligent causal force to plan and preordain them. Hostile critics charged Darwin with materialism and with making chance the cause of the universe. Some naturalists, like Asa Gray, favoured the Darwinian principle and attempted to reconcile it with design. If we conceive the "stream of variations" to be itself intended, we may suppose that each successive variation was designed from the first to be selected.
In that case, variation, struggle, and selection simply define the mechanism of "secondary causes" through which the "first cause" acts; and the doctrine of design is none the worse off because we know more of its modus operandi. Darwin could not accept this mediating proposal. He admits or rather he asserts that it is "impossible to conceive this immense and wonderful universe including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity as the result of blind chance or necessity.
If the variations of the pigeon, which under artificial selection give the pouter pigeon, are not preordained for the sake of the breeder, by what logic do we argue that variations resulting in natural species are preassigned? IV So much for some of the more obvious facts of the discussion of design versus chance, as causal principles of nature and of life as a whole. We brought up this discussion, you recall, as a crucial instance. What does our touchstone indicate as to the bearing of Darwinian ideas upon philosophy?
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In the first place, the new logic outlaws, flanks, dismisses-what you will-one type of problems and substitutes for it another type. Philosophy forswears inquiry after absolute origins and absolute finalities in order to explore specific values and the specific conditions that generate them. Darwin concluded that the impossibility of assigning the world to chance as a whole and to design in its parts indicated the insolubility of the question. Two radically different reasons, however, may be given as to why a problem. One reason is that the problem is too high for intelligence; the other is that the question in its very asking makes assumptions that render the question meaningless.
The latter alternative is unerringly pointed to in the celebrated case of design versus chance. Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study together with the consequences that then how from it, and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside.
To assert-as is often asserted--that specific values of particular truth, social bonds and forms of beauty, if they can be shown to be generated by concretely knowable conditions, are meaningless and in vain; to assert that they are justified only when they and their particular causes and effects have all at once been gathered up into some inclusive first cause and some exhaustive final goal, is intellectual atavism. Such argumentation is reversion to the logic that explained the extinction of fire by water through the formal essence of aqueousness and the quenching of thirst by water through the final cause of aqueousness.
Whether used in the case of the special event or that of life as a whole, such logic only abstracts some aspect of the existing course of events in order to reduplicate it as a petrified eternal principle by which to explain the very changes of which it is the formalization. When Henry Sidgwick casually remarked in a letter that as he grew older his interest in what or who made the world was altered into interest in what kind of a world it is anyway, his voicing of a common experience of our own day illustrates also the nature of that intellectual transformation effected by the Darwinian logic.
Interest shifts from the wholesale essence back of special changes to the question of how special changes serve and defeat concrete purposes; shifts from an intelligence that shaped things once for all to the particular intelligences which things are even now shaping; shifts from an ultimate goal of good to the direct increments of justice and happiness that intelligent administration of existent conditions may beget and that present carelessness or stupidity will destroy or forego.
In the second place, the classic type of logic inevitably set philosophy upon proving that life must have certain qualities and values-no matter how experience presents the matter-- because of some remote cause and eventual goal. The duty of wholesale justification inevitably accompanies all thinking that makes the meaning of special occurrences depend upon something that once and for all lies behind them.
The habit of derogating from present meanings and uses prevents our looking the facts of experience in the face; it prevents serious acknowledgment of the evils they present and serious concern with the goods they promise but do not as yet fulfil. It turns thought. One is re- minded of the way many moralists and theologians greeted Herbert Spencer's recognition of an unknowable energy from which welled up the phenomenal physical processes without and the conscious operations within.
Merely because Spencer labelled his unknowable energy "God," this faded piece of metaphysical goods was greeted as an important and grateful concession to the reality of the spiritual realm. Were it not for the deep hold of the habit of seeking justification for ideal values in the remote and transcendent, surely this reference of them to an unknowable absolute would be despised in comparison with the demonstrations of experience that know- able energies are daily generating about us precious values. The displacing of this wholesale type of philosophy will doubtless not arrive by sheer logical disproof, but rather by growing recognition of its futility.
Were it a thousand times true that opium produces sleep because of its dormitive energy, yet the inducing of sleep in the tired, and the recovery to waking life of the poisoned, would not be thereby one least step forwarded. And were it a thousand times dialectically demonstrated that life as a whole is regulated by a transcendent principle to a final inclusive goal, none the less truth and error, health and disease, good and evil, hope and fear in the concrete, would remain just what and where they now are. To improve our education, to ameliorate our manners, to advance our politics, we must have recourse to specific conditions of generation.
Finally, the new logic introduces responsibility into the intellectual life. To idealize and rationalize the universe at large is after all a confession of inability to master the courses of things that specifically concern us. As long as mankind suffered from this impotency, it naturally shifted a burden of responsibility that it could not carry over to the more competent shoulders of the transcendent cause.
But if insight into specific conditions of value and into specific consequences of ideas is possible, philosophy must in time become a method of locating and interpreting the more serious of the conflicts that occur in life, and a method of projecting ways for dealing with them: a method of moral and political diagnosis and prognosis. The claim to formulate a priori the legislative constitution of the universe is by its nature a claim that may lead to elaborate dialectic developments.
But it is also one that removes these very conclusions from subjection to experimental test, for, by definition, these results make no differences in the detailed course of events. But a philosophy that humbles its pretensions to the work of projecting hypotheses for the education and conduct of mind, individual and social, is thereby subjected to test by the way in which the.
In having modesty forced upon it, philosophy also acquires responsibility. Doubtless I seem to have violated the implied promise of my earlier remarks and to have turned both prophet and partisan. But in anticipating the direction of the transformations in philosophy to be wrought by the Darwinian genetic and experimental logic, I do not profess to speak for any save those who yield themselves consciously or unconsciously to this logic.
Toward a Sociobiological Hermeneutic
No one can fairly deny that at present there are two effects of the Darwinian mode of thinking. On the one hand, they are making many sincere and vital efforts to revise our traditional philosophic conceptions in accordance with its demands. On the other hand, there is as definitely a recrudescence of absolutistic philosophies; an assertion of a type of philosophic knowing distinct from that of the sciences, one which opens to us another kind of reality from that to which the sciences give access; an appeal through experience to something that essentially goes beyond experience.
This reaction affects popular creeds and religious movements as well as technical philosophies. The very conquest of the biological sciences by the new ideas has led many to proclaim an explicit and rigid separation of philosophy from science. Old ideas give way slowly; for they are more than abstract logical forms and categories. They are habits, predispositions, deeply engrained attitudes of aversion and preference.
Moreover, the conviction persists-though history shows it to be a hallucination-that all the questions that the human mind has asked are questions that can be answered in terms of the alternatives that the questions themselves present. But in fact intellectual progress usually occurs through sheer abandonment of questions together with both of the alternatives they assume--an abandonment that results from their decreasing vitality and a change of urgent interest.
We do not solve them: we get over them. Old questions are solved by disappearing, evaporating, while new questions corresponding to the changed attitude of endeavour and preference take their place. Doubtless the greatest dissolvent in contemporary thought of old questions, the greatest precipitant of new methods, new intentions, new problems, is the one effected by the scientific revolution that found its climax in the "Origin of Species.
Let me cite some of the resemblances. Like Huxley, Gould has never hesitated to engage in vigorous battle with ignorant creationists, suddenly as noisy and combative in the United States as they were in England when Huxley debated Bishop "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce and clashed with the crude Biblicism of Prime Minister William Gladstone. Like Huxley, Gould not only is thoroughly familiar with the geology and biology of his time, but has made significant contributions to both those fields and to the theory of evolution.
Gould is a leading advocate of "punctuated equilibrium"--or "punk eke," as it is sometimes called--a view also held by Huxley. Like Huxley, he is a metaphysical agnostic--a term that Huxley coined. Like Huxley, he has little patience with scientific know-nothingism. He is unashamed to call a crank a crank, or to engage in what he likes to call the "debunking" of bogus science, even though, as he once confessed, such activity "has no intellectual content whatever. You don't learn anything. In addition to informing us about an incredible adaptation in the insect world, the essay plunges into the most disturbing of all difficulties that confront those who believe in a benevolent deity.
Why is there so much evil in the world? How can a loving God be reconciled with the existence of such seemingly vile creatures as the parasitic wasps? Gould's thesis is simple and irrefutable. Mother Nature has no morals. She is silent on the problem of evil, providing not even a hint of a solution. In it he discussed the most pressing problem of natural theology: If God is benevolent and the Creation displays his "power, wisdom and goodness," then why are we surrounded with pain, suffering, and apparently senseless cruelty in the animal world? Buckland considered the depredation of "carnivorous races" as the primary challenge to an idealized world in which the lion might dwell with the lamb.
He resolved the issue to his satisfaction by arguing that carnivores actually increase "the aggregate of animal enjoyment" and "diminish that of pain. God knew what he was doing when he made lions. Buckland concluded in hardly concealed rapture: The appointment of death by the agency of carnivora, as the ordinary termination of animal existence, appears there fore in its main results to be a dispensation of benevolence: it deducts much from the aggregate amount of the pain of universal death; it abridges, and almost annihilates.
The result is, that the surface of the land and depths of the waters are ever crowded with myriads of animated beings, the pleasures of whose life are co-extensive with its duration; and which throughout the little day of existence that is allotted to them, fulfil with joy the functions for which they were created. We may find a certain amusing charm in Buckland's vision today, but such arguments did begin to address "the problem of evil" for many of Buckland's contemporaries--how could a benevolent God create such a world of carnage and bloodshed?
Yet these claims could not abolish the problem of evil entirely, for nature includes many phenomena far more horrible in our eyes than simple predation. I suspect that nothing evokes greater disgust in most of us than slow destruction of a host by an internal parasite--slow ingestion, bit by bit, from the inside. In no other way can I explain why Alien, an uninspired, grade- C, formula horror film, should have won such a following.