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September 1912

In the Noon of Science
by John Burroughs

With the rise of the scientific habit of mind has come the decline in great creative literature and art. With the spread of education based upon scientific principles, originality in mind and in character fades …

In the light of physical science our bodies are mere machines, and every emotion of our souls is accounted for by molecular changes in the brain-substance. Life itself is explained in terms of chemico- mechanical principles …

[But] let us give physical science its due … The sources and nature of disease, the remedial forces of nature, the chemical compounds, the laws of hygiene and sanitation, the value of foods, and a thousand other things beyond the reach of our unaided experience, are in the keeping of science … It is only when we arm our faculties with the ideas and with the weapons of science that we appreciate the grandeur of the voyage we are making on this planet. It is only through science that we know we are on a planet, and are heavenly voyagers at all.

Vol. 110, No. 3, pp. 322-331

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