Discourses Biological and Geological

Discourses Biological and Geological

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Discourses Biological and Geological

Discourses Biological and Geological

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Excerpt

The contents of the present volume, with three exceptions, are either popular lectures, or addresses delivered to scientific bodies with which I have been officially connected. I am not sure which gave me the more trouble. For I have not been one of those fortunate persons who are able to regard a popular lecture as a mere hors d'œuvre, unworthy of being ranked among the serious efforts of a philosopher; and who keep their fame as scientific hierophants unsullied by attempts--at least of the successful sort--to be understanded of the people.

On the contrary, I found that the task of putting the truths learned in the field, the laboratory and the museum, into language which, without bating a jot of scientific accuracy shall be generally intelligible, taxed such scientific and literary faculty as I possessed to the uttermost; indeed my experience has furnished me with no better corrective of the tendency to scholastic pedantry which besets all those who are absorbed . . .

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