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The lateral line sense organs are all supplied by a single system of nerves related to the nerves of the ear and quite distinct from those for the general tactile and chemical senses of the skin and the cutaneous taste buds. That the lateral line organs respond to slow vibratory movements has been clearly shown by Parker, but the distinctive features of the pit organs are unknown and, in fact, our knowledge of the functions of the system as a whole is still very incomplete.
It is clear that cutaneous organs of touch, lateral line organs, and the organs of equilibrium and hearing in the internal ear form a graded series, and all have probably been derived in evolution from a primitive type of tactile organ. When therefore we both hear and feel a musical tone of the piano we are reminded of the long and dramatic evolutionary history of the very intricate human auditory organ, whose first and last stages both may function at the same time in our own bodies.
We cannot here recount the details of the long series of very tedious scientific investigations required to replace the conjectures of amateur naturalists and fisher folk by accurate knowledge of the sensory life of fishes. And even with this precise information we are far from a true understanding of the fishes' minds. To learn the structure and behavior of any animal requires only sufficient scientific skill and industry, but to understand the mind of an animal is the most baffling of all scientific questions.
Our own thoughts are purely personal matters. Even with the aid of language, facial expression, and gesture, we are able to communicate our ideas and feelings to our intimate friends only imperfectly, and this difficulty is multiplied many fold when we try to understand even the most intelligent of the brutes. The only recourse is to see how an animal behaves in a given situation and then in the light of what we know of human and animal
bodily structure and function try to imagine how we would think in such a situation, taking into account the animal's limitations of nervous organization. Obviously this is a poor and uncertain method at best, and no wonder many psychologists have given up the problem in despair and decided that the only scientific procedure is to pay no attention to animals' minds and limit our inquiry to their objective behavior. Indeed, so impressed are some of them by the futility of scientific study of even the human mind by introspection that they advocate throwing overboard the whole science of psychology. But this is too much like sinking the ship, cargo and all, to get rid of the rats.
No, if we wish to attain the heights of a true understanding of the significance of mind in evolution, we must keep to the steep trail and not yield to the temptation to take smoother paths leading to the rest shelters by the way. But we must watch our steps. By this I mean that, although we can interpret the animal mind only in terms of our own experience, yet we must not uncritically read our thoughts and feelings back into animals' minds. The only safe rule is to assume that an animal acts reflexly or unconsciously except when it can be shown that the unconscious mechanisms are inadequate to account for the behavior and intelligence alone is adequate. And these are very difficult things to prove in regard to animals so far removed from us in behavior type as are the fishes.
The popular dramatization of animal. life and imputation to them of human thoughts and feelings may have a certain justification for literary or pedagogic purposes, the same as other fairy stories. But let it not be forgotten that this is fiction for children, not science nor the foundation for science; and there is a long, long road to travel before we shall be able to understand in any but the most shadowy outlines what a fish's mind is really like.
Recollections of English Naturalists
Few things in life bind together all sorts and conditions of people, irrespective of age, money, or any class affiliation; but natural history is a bond of such charm that it brings all to a common fellowship
By T. D. A. COCKERELL
NGLAND is a land of amateur naturalists. The organization of British science for public ends, now going forward with extraordinary vigor as a result of the war, has in the past been sadly inadequate to meet the needs of the country. It is true that such institutions as Kew Gardens and the British Museum have rendered incalculable services to the British dominions and the world in general; but even these have not always received adequate support, and the government has never in the past shown any real disposition to foster research.
Yet there can be no doubt that the English, as a people, possess in a high degree those aptitudes which lead to success in science; and when conditions become more favorable who can say what may not be accomplished? The main obstacle, undoubtedly, has been he inadequacy of British education. Not only were the people in general brought up without scientific instruction; but the leaders, who mostly had every advantage which wealth and position could confer, did not, as the phrase is, suspect anything about science. Most of them able and sincere men, they will seem to posterity like valiant soldiers going to battle, having forgotten their weapons.
In spite of all this, brilliant scientific work was done, and the century of Darwin and Huxley, Bentham and the Hookers, Wallace and Bates, and a host of others, will always shine brightly in the annals of biology. One has only to consult a monograph on any branch of zoology or botany to see how great and
varied have been the British contributions. Not only this, but the country has been and is full of lesser men, spending their leisure moments in the study of plants, insects, birds, or fossils; forming societies and organizing excursions; everywhere worshiping at the shrine of nature, and gathering data for the advancement of knowledge.
As I look back upon the activities of thirty years ago, I marvel at the pure zeal exhibited, the love of nature which could not be suppressed,-and then at the lack of organization for the application of all this energy to public ends. There was, no doubt, even a certain advantage in the disinterested and socially detached position of most scientific men. They were not in science "for revenue only," as is too commonly the case in America. They were not obliged to tilt at windmills, or break their heads against the walls of stupidity and ignorance. No, they were free to pursue their studies as they would, tracing the pattern of life without bias and without hindrance. Darwin, the greatest of their kind, regretted that he had not been able to do more direct service to humanity; but who today, for humanity's sake, can wish him to have done otherwise than as he did? May not the same be said, at least in some measure, of the great host of nonprofessional naturalists who followed in Darwin's footsteps?
Yet, after all, we must have organization; and England came very near to fearful and irremediable disaster because she could not quickly use even the science she had. Although in the last
century the English schools were so deficient in scientific courses, the youthful naturalist had access to some excellent sources of information. There were elementary "natural histories," suited even for children, with good colored illustrations. For those a little older, shilling books furnished guides to the butterflies, beetles, common objects of the countryside, common objects of the seashore. The book on butterflies contained a complete account and good figures of every species found in the islands. Then there were the museums. Not only the great British Museum, but many of the towns, such as Dover and Bristol, had museums, with good collections of the local fossils, insects, and other objects. Thus the boy was largely independent of formal instruction, and could puzzle out things for himself.
At the next stage, approaching manhood, the amateur scientific journals assumed great importance. The best of these, now unfortunately extinct, was Science Gossip. In its prime this magazine had great influence, of a kind which I think no periodical has today. It was really an organ of the amateur naturalist, in which he recorded his discoveries and advertised his duplicates for exchange. It was the means of bringing together innumerable devotees of the same subjects, who might be in different parts of the country or belong to quite different social groups. Free from commercialism and free from preaching, it really represented the democracy of naturalists, the rank and file. Another much less ambitious paper, The Naturalist's World, was published in Yorkshire. It was the organ of a society which carried on its affairs through the mails. It had something of the flavor of Gilbert White, and illustrated very well the saying of William Morris, that the secret of happiness is in the appreciation of the small affairs of life. To the modern rather supercilious doctor of philosophy, these pro
ductions would doubtless seem almost contemptible; but I can say, with many many others, that they gave us extraordinary pleasure at the time, and stimulated an interest which will never
In a country like England, where the sorts and conditions of men are so diverse, few things bring all together on a common level. Natural history did this, and herein was one of its greatest charms. My brother and I, ardent conchologists, corresponded and exchanged with people in many parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Sometimes our correspondents would come to London, and we would invite them to tea at our house at Bedford Park. On such occasions the whole family would be agog with curiosity to see the stranger. He might be a country minister, an officer in the army, an aristocrat, a man in a small way of business, -almost anything, in fact. In any event, he was a personality, and the bond of interest always made the meeting pleasurable.
The love of snails could bridge all differences of years or social status. It would be hard to exaggerate the uniform kindness shown by older men to us youngsters; the long letters they wrote, the trouble they took in identifying specimens, their generosity with their duplicates. The one we held most in respect was J. Gwyn Jeffreys, the author of British Conchology, our standard work of reference. He lived in London, but we never saw him; a post card came from him on the very day he died, the last of a long series of letters and cards; sometimes, when there was much to discuss, coming almost daily. He was greatly disappointed that the British Museum would not purchase his collection. It was eventually sold to the United States National Museum, and Dr. Jeffreys wrote me a long letter about it, contrasting the attitude of the two countries. I fear his extremely flattering opinion of the con
RECOLLECTIONS OF ENGLISH NATURALISTS
chological activity in America was hardly justified by the facts.
It was in an effort to see J. Gwyn Jeffreys that on May 20, 1884, I went to a meeting of the Zoological Society of London. It is a custom of the scientific societies in London to allow visitors to attend the meetings, if a fellow will sign his name after theirs in the attendance book. I think it was J. I think it was J. Bland-Sutton, now an eminent surgeon, then known for his studies in comparative anatomy, who signed for me on that occasion, as he certainly did many times thereafter. Jeffreys was to read a paper on the Mollusca of the "Lightning" and "Porcupine" expeditions, but to my great disappointment he was not able to be present. The president, Professor W. H. Flower, was in the chair, and Dr. P. L. Sclater, the secretary, read the minutes. F. E. Beddard read a paper on the Isopoda of the "Challenger" expedition; Francis Day, well known for his work on the fishes of India, spoke on hybrid Salmonida; F. Jeffrey Bell, of the British Museum, gave an account of the Cuvierian organs of the "cotton-spinner," a holothurian. Then Dr. Bowdler Sharpe exhibited a new nuthatch from Corsica, and I think it was Henry Seebohm who showed skulls of Asiatic wild sheep. Altogether a wonderful occasion for a young man of eighteen, just old enough to realize that he was listening to the voices of the gods! After that, thanks to the unfailing kindness of the society, although I was much too poor to think of becoming a fellow, I was allowed to attend the meetings and use the library as much as I pleased.
The library helped me a great deal, as it was close to my residence, and as it was compact and entirely zoological, it was very easy to make cross references and find whatever I wanted. Mr. F. H. Waterhouse, the librarian, was one of the kindest of men. He so closely resembled his brother, the distinguished entomologist at the British Museum,
that for a time I did not realize that they were not the same person. At the meetings, Flower nearly always presided, though I recall an occasion when St. George Mivart was in the chair. Sir William Flower was head of the natural history department of the British Museum (really a separate museum), and whether seen in that capacity, or as president of the Zoological Society, he was remarkable for a gentle courtesy which seemed to make everything go smoothly. Temperamentally, he was an entirely different man from Sir E. Ray Lankester, who succeeded him at the Museum.
About the time I first attended the Zoological Society, I began to go regularly to the British Museum. When I was a very small boy, my father took me to the Museum, and two things he said, as I marveled at the objects displayed, have always remained in my mind. He said, "My son, this is your Museum," and then explained how it belonged to everybody in the country, and all should support it and take pride in it. Then he said, "Perhaps some day, when you grow up, you will find something worthy to be placed in this Museum." I thought that if that ever happened, I should be the happiest person alive. To this day, the place appeals to me with an indescribable romance, and my wife says that when I die, if I get my wish, I shall go to the British Museum instead of to heaven.
At the natural history branch of the British Museum, at South Kensington, the entomological collections are mainly kept in the basement. It is also in the basement that researches on Mollusca are carried on, the specimens required being brought in a large wooden tray by an attendant. The student goes down a flight of steps, and rings an electric bell, whereupon the door opens. He signs his name in a book, and is then allowed to go to the room where he expects to work. If he goes regu
larly, he has to have a student's card. These precautions are obviously necessary; but once they have been taken, everything is done to facilitate one's work.
I undertook at one time to investigate the slugs (naked land Mollusca) in the Museum, and it seemed a marvelous thing to have before me the historic specimens of famous authors, even including some collected in the eighteenth century by Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the Museum. When a paper was written, it was necessary to submit it to Dr. Albert Günther, the keeper of zoölogy in the Museum. Günther had none of Flower's urbanity, and we were all rather afraid of him. It was currently believed that the best time to see him was just after lunch. I confess I thought him rather unsympathetic, to say the least; but I now recognize that he had a lot of good sense, and I have only kindly thoughts of him. The last time I saw him was shortly before his death, in the department of fishes. I had grown much older and altered in appearance, and as he did not recognize me, I did not speak. I have regretted that I did not find some way to express my feelings toward him; but doubtless he did not consider that his contact with me had been anything more than that of museum routine, and would have been surprised that I had given it much thought.
Occasionally I went to the meetings. of the Entomological and Linnean societies. At the Entomological, the one great event I recall was seeing the venerable J. O. Westwood take the chair, and make a communication on a new plant louse found on the breadfruit tree in Ceylon. Westwood was by all odds the greatest of entomologists, and W. F. Kirby well said of him, in my hearing, "He never gets tired." Physically, of course he did; but his zeal, like that of the botanist Sir Joseph Hooker, never faded until death came in extreme old
age. Henry T. Stainton, well known for his book on British Lepidoptera, I also saw at the Entomological. When Stainton died, Westwood read the obituary in the Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, and remarked, "The next number will record the death of another old entomologist." So it was, for Westwood had come to the end of his days.
At the Linnean I have the liveliest recollection of hearing Patrick Geddes on anabolism and katabolism, and all the theory he wove out of and around these conceptions. The presentation was brilliant and interesting, and preoccupied the mind for a long time, as does a well-acted play.
A society which I regularly attended was the South London Entomological and Natural History Society, meeting in rooms near the south end of London Bridge. It included collectors and amateurs and, in particular, students of the British fauna. There was always a good series of exhibits, especially of remarkable varieties or rare species. Here one would meet J. Jenner Weir, of Beckenham, well known as a friend of Darwin and close student of the Lepidoptera in their more philosophical aspects. Here also came J. W. Tutt, a schoolmaster by profession, with unbounded enthusiasm and decidedly radical views about entomology. It was Tutt who produced an elaborate. study of the variations of the British. Noctuidæ, naming all the forms, and who later undertook a vast work on British Lepidoptera in general, which he did not live to finish. He also published a charming series of books on his natural history rambles, and a guide to the British butterflies, and founded that lively journal The Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation. A nervous and sometimes quarrelsome man, he made many enemies; but in the course of time he gained general respect, and the affection of many. He had just been elected to the presidency