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The lesson is that man may also do this. With
With any considerable part of the time that the supposed inhabitants of Mars have had, man can scarcely fail to reach a stage at which he will become absolute master of his physical environment, and at which the operations which he now performs will seem like the work of ants. Just as he has now learned that in union is strength, and that the way of safety, success, and achievement lies through association, so he will then have learned that this is as true of races as of individuals, and that the union, association, and complete fusion of all races into one great homogeneous -the race of man is the final step in social evolution.'
LESTER F. WARD. WASHINGTON, D. C.
* This article was finished in its present form on September 19, 1902. On the 20th the following item appeared in many of the newspapers of the country:
“THE INHABITANTS OF MARS. “In his recent expressions as to the habitability of the planet Mars, Professor Hough, of Northwestern University, has the weight of authority with him, though many astronomers will question seriously his bold declaration that the planet is actually inhabited with sentient beings of a high type. The whole tendency of recent investigation has been to strengthen the view that Mars both in its atmosphere and in its chemical character is fitted to support animal life.
“The point of interest in Professor Hough's announcement is the declaration that, as the law of evolution has resulted in the development of a sentient race on earth, that law, operating in the case of the Martians, must have produced there a race now greatly superior to the people of earth in intellectual development. Mars, Venus, and Mercury, he reasons, are old planets, and presumably habitable. Mars, being very much older than the earth, and having solidified and cooled long before the earth was fit for animal habitation, the process of evolution there presumably began much earlier. Judging from the published excerpts from Professor Hough's report, he is ready to believe that the Martians have advanced to a stage of cultivation and intelligence which is hardly conceivable to the minds of earthly races.”
Struck by the coincidence both in the date and in the idea expressed, but wishing to be sure of its authenticity, I immediately wrote to Professor James, president of Northwestern University, who kindly turned my letter over to Professor Hough. In due course of mail I received a letter from him to the effect that what he had to say as to the habitability of other planets had not yet been put in shape for publication, and that the newspaper report was simply dictated to the reporter.
SHORTENING THE COLLEGE COURSE: THE SOCIAL
POINT OF VIEW.
EVERYONE at all familiar with the history of modern education knows that during the past four or five centuries all progressive peoples have been steadily strengthening and enriching their systems of public instruction. To provide a more extended and a better training for all children has been the aim constantly before enlightened statesmen and ruling bodies. One cannot fail to be impressed with the vigor of this movement, if he will compare what is being done today in America, or England, or France, or Germany with the best that was done anywhere in the world, even as late as in the time of John Locke, who has told us much of the ideals and practices of his age. Then a boy was thought to be well equipped for life if he received eight or ten years of tuition in the classics; and only the favored few, the élite, who had leisure, were expected to have such an elaborate schooling as this. But now in most of the great nations every child is given the privilege of, and is even required to pursue, a long course of training at public expense. In our own country and in some others it is not only the common or elementary school that is free to all children ; but anyone who chooses and is qualified therefor may spend four years more in the high school as a ward of the public, and many in every community avail themselves of this opportunity. And this is not all; among us nearly every commonwealth maintains its university, which is practically free to the youths of the state who have mastered what is presented in the schools below; and here they may remain at least a half-dozen years, if they wish and have the ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered them.
The ambition everywhere, these later years, has been to lengthen the school period for all children. Public sentiment has approved every effort that has been made to achieve this end. The cry has come from all quarters: "Keep the boy at school.” Parents have sacrificed their own comforts that they might
give their offspring a "better schooling than they had themselves;" communities have sacrificed present advantage that the rising generation might be more broadly and thoroughly disciplined than the one passing off the stage. Theorists have taught that the well-being of any nation is in the long run always dependent upon the breadth and depth of its educational régime, and lawmakers have written upon the statute-books provisions which are designed to compel indifferent or hostile men, if there are any, to put themselves into line with this tremendous upward tendency in every department of educational activity. Statesmen everywhere have indorsed the sentiments of Lord Brougham: “The schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full military array.'
In recent times there has been heard above the general acclamation hardly a voice raised in opposition to the multiplication of school advantages and the extension of the educational period for all persons. But just now there are some indications of disaffection which are quite threatening. A few people occupying high positions in the councils of the nation have discovered that it is possible to carry the educational business too far. It has been pointed out that in Germany, for instance, the thing has been overdone, and there have been produced already a good many learned paupers, doctors of philosophy who have to beg for bread. The universities are charged with having spoiled many good carpenters and mechanics and clerks; and some think the presence of this large body of men whose wits have been sharpened, but who are putting them to no good use, and who are restless and dissatisfied, is a source of danger to the empire. One distinguished German educator recently expressed grave doubts respecting the wisdom of the United States accepting the Carnegie and other gifts, because of the danger of our getting on our hands a lot of overeducated men who could not be utilized to advantage in the social organism.
Among us it is being said that boys do not get into practical work early enough. Our grandfathers set up for themselves at twenty-one, but the young men of today are working over their books as late as twenty-five, and in some cases they are studying even at thirty. Statisticians have shown that the age of graduation from college into professional or business positions is being raised constantly as the years go by. The courses in all grades of schools are being made harder from decade to decade; the examinations for entrance to college are growing stiffer all the time; the requirements for entering upon one's life-work are made more exacting each year; and as a result many young men are not beginning to help themselves until the race is half run. And as a corrective it is urged that we cut down the college course at least by one-fourth; and it is even suggested that we grant the bachelor's degree at the completion of two years of study. This will enable boys to get into business earlier; if they engage in mercantile pursuits, or if they desire to prepare themselves for the professions, they can in any event save a couple of years by this arrangement. This plan in a moderate form has already been in operation in a few of the universities for some time, for there may be finished in six years the regular college course and a professional course, which together required seven years for completion heretofore, thus practically shortening the scholastic period by one year.
It should be emphasized that the considerations urged in favor of curtailing the educational period are strictly practical, perhaps one might say financial, and they take account only of the affairs of the individual and ignore the needs of the society of which he is a member. It is represented that boys do not become self-supporting early enough; but, so far as I have been able to ascertain, no one has shown, or has even thought it necessary to show, that from the standpoint of the community there is a demand for more men in the professions or in business, which could be supplied if young men would only get started earlier. If one may place any faith in popular belief, there is an overcrowded condition in every profession now; law and medicine and teaching and engineering and commerce have all the men, such as they are, that can be employed, so that, there is, as a matter of fact, no call for boys to get under way
younger than is the custom at present, so that the ship of state may be kept sailing on.
Those who assert that young men of today dally too long in schools before taking up the burdens of real life are determined in their views, not by any present public need of their services, not by any bad social condition, but simply by their feeling (which we all possess to a greater or less degree) that as soon as a boy comes of age he ought to shift for himself. And the age at which he is assumed to arrive at his majority has been passed down unchanged from remote times. Many of us do not consider that the period of immaturity may be continually lengthening, due alike to transformations in the social organism and to gradual modifications in human nature itself. It has never occurred to some persons that it is exceedingly arbitrary to say on just what day a boy attains that development of mind and body which should fit him to live a perfectly independent life. The neurologists are telling us today that the brain goes on developing until the age of thirty-three at any rate, and it would be more rational from one point of view to make the latter rather than the earlier age the age of majority.
Few seem fully to appreciate a point to which John Fiske called attention some years ago, and which others have exploited at some length since, that the long period of unripeness in the individual of the human species has been one of the primary factors in the advancement of mankind. The chick comes of age very soon after birth. Before the expiration of its fourth or fifth month of terrestrial experience it has achieved the summit of its evolution; it can earn its own living by this time, and look out for itself generally without assistance from its parents. The same is true in principle of the colt and calf and kitten and puppy. But the human child is compelled to mewl in its nurse's arms for many long months; and for many long years he requires the constant care and protection of his elders. As Mr. Russell has said:
It is written that he is born like the wild ass's colt; but this overstates the fact in his favor, for the wild ass's colt is greatly his superior at birth. And