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BY FRANZ BOAS.
NEW YORK, DECEMBER 23, 1892.
phasized at certain periods than at others. If, for instance, many individuals of retarded growth should die during the period of
adolescence, this might give the real explanation of the curious THE GROWTH OF CHILDREN.
overlapping of the curves of growth of girls and boys, the girls being heavier and taller than boys between about the twelfth and
fourteenth years. I am strengthened in this opinion by the obDURING the past years a vast number of observations referring servation made by Dr. G. M. West, that the extent of this period to the growth of children have been accumulated. The method and the amount of overlapping is the smaller the more favorable of treating the results of such observations has been largely a the conditions under which the individuals live. It would be incomparison of averages and of the frequency of occurrence of teresting in this connection to study the curves of a people which cases between certain limits, for instance, frequency of occur- has a very high death rate among young children. rence of statures from inch to inch, or of weights from pound to A second point of view which seems to limit the physiological pound.
value of the curves relating to growth is the following. I bare In discussing the results of such observations, the question shown on a former occasion (Science, Nos. 483 anů 485, 1892) arises in how far the results have a physiological meaning and in tbat, owing to the asymmetry of distribution of cases in the years how far they are purely statistical phenomena. It is generally preceding maturity, the average of all observed values cannot be assumed that the figures express physiological facts.
considered the most probable value belonging to the age under Serious objections, however, may be raised against this point consideration. I have also shown that this asymmetry and the of view. In almost all cases, excepting observations like those of increase of variability during the period of adolescence are purely Wretlund, Malling. Hansen, and Carlier, the observations have been statistical phenomena. Dr. H. P. Bowditch, in his interesting taken only once on a great number of individuals, not repeatedly discussion of the growth of children (22d Annual Report of the through a long number of years on the same individuals. For State Board of Health of Massachusetts, p. 479 ff,), has compared this reason the classes, when arranged according to ages, will be children of the same percentile rank from year to year. He disdifferently constituted. The younger classes contain many indi- cusses the feasibility of such a proceeding and considers it likely viduals who will not reach the adult stage, while the older classes that the same children on the average will remain in the same contain only few individuals who will die before becoming adults. percentile grade. I believe it can be shown that the children are When we assume that all classes are equally constituted, we as- more likely to vary in rank than to remain stationary in this sie sume implicitly that the value of the measurement under con- spect. Any correlation between measurement and mortality sideration bas no fixed relation to the mortality, which assump- must have a disturbing effect. Besides this, we will consider tion seems to be very doubtful. Without considering details, it for a moment all those children separately who will, as adults, would appear very likely that individuals far remote from the have a certain percentile rank and investigate their position during average, showing either too small or too large measurements, the period of rapidly decreasing growth, during adolescence. It approach the limits between physiological and pathological varia- seems reasonable to assume that the average individual (not the tion, and are therefore more likely to die. This would imply a average of all individuals) will retain its percentile grade throughgreater variability of the measurements of deceased individuals out life. For instance, the man of the eightieth percentile grade of a certain age than of the living individuals of the same age. will have belonged to the same grade when a seventeen-year-old The series of living individuals of all ages can be equally con- boy. At this period a number of these individuals will be in adstituted only when the measurements of the living and the deceased vance of their age, while others will be retarded in growth. It show the same values. This fact has already been pointed out seems likely that the retardation or acceleration is distributed by H. Westergaard (“* Grundzüge der Theorie der Statistik," p. according to the law of probability. As the amount of growth is 188).
decreasing rapidly at this period, the number of retarded indiWe have a few observations which seem to make the identity viduals will have a greater influence upon the average than those of the series of measurements of the living and of the deceased of accelerated growth, that is to say, the average of all observed individuals of the same age very improbable. The most important values will be lower than the value belonging to the average boy among these is the peculiar decrease in the brain-weight after the of seventeen years of age, and as the latter will probably have the twentieth year in males. This can hardly be explained in any same percentile rank throughout life, the average will represent other way than by assuming an increased death rate among men a different percentile rank. We can show in the same way, by with very large brains at an age of about twenty years.
comparing the composition of the same percentile grade year Bowditch and Roberts have shown that, on the average, chil- after year, that its composition must change. During a period dren of well-to-do parents are taller and heavier than those of of retarded growth the individuals in advance of their age will be poorer parents. Carlier bas shown the same phenomenon by less remote from the percentile rank in question than those whose proving that a number of children of a certain class when brought growth is retarded. Therefore the composition of each percentile under more favorable conditions (i.e., in a military training school) grade cannot remain constant. grow more rapidly than the rest who are left in their former con- The interest of a knowledge of the actual anthropometric conditions. We know that the mortality of children is greater ditions of children of a certain age shall not be depreciated, but among the poorer classes than among the well-to-do classes. this raw material does not allow us, or at least allows us only in Therefore among the young children a greater percentage belongs a very imperfect way, to draw inferences of physiological value. to the poorer classes, who are at the same time shorter of stature, In order to enable us to draw these inferences, the material than among the older children. This fact expresses itself un- which we make a subject of our study must be in every way doubtedly in the averages of measurements collected in our public homogeneous. This can be accomplished in two ways. schools.
large number of children may be measured once, and year after These considerations seem to me sufficiently important to year those who die and those whose further fates are unknown doubt the physiological value of any figures obtained by means of must be eliminated from the list. When all have become adults, single observations. It does not seem unlikely that the correla- the survivors and those who died during their first, second, third, tion between measurements and mortality is more strongly em- etc., years must be treated separately. Furthermore, pains must
be taken to discover if any marked difference exists between the Psaltriparus minimus has a brown crown patch, while P. plum social composition of these groups. While this method may give beus has a lead-colored crown like the back. satisfactory results at a moderate expense, it is far inferior in P. lloydi has an ashy crown and black bars on sides of head. value to the method of repeated measurements at stated intervals. This is a southern bird, wbile the other two may be found as far In this case the same subdivisions must be made, and changes in north as Oregon or Washington. the social status and in the health of individuals must be recorded and eliminated. In order to carry out such a plan, it would be
A DEFINITION OF SOLUTIONS.") necessary to organize a bureau with sufficient clerical help to carry on the work. The questions underlying physical and men
BY C. E. LINEBARGER, CHICAGO, ILL. tal growth are of fundamental importance for hygiene aud education, and we hope the time may not be far distant when a work
WITHIN recent years great progress has been made in our of this cbaracter can be undertaken.
knowledge of solutions. This has been in main due to the application of the laws established for gases to solutions. Solutions
are intermediate between liquids and gases. The theory of gases SOME ODDITIES IN BIRD-LIFE.
has been well developed, and the next problem is to devise a genBY C. W. SWALLOW, WILLSBURGH, OREGON.
eral theory of liquids. There are two ways of getting at the naIt is not my intention, in this article, to describe any new spe
ture of liquids, – through the critical point and through solucies that are unknown to ornithologists, but there are many
tions. Pellato bas recently shown the need of precision in the nature-lovers that cannot identify the birds easily; with such, I definition of the critical point, and has deduced from a considerahope these descriptions may help and create a stronger desire to
tion of the iso-thermal curres of carbon dioxide determined by know more of the birds.
Andrews: a definition at once concise and precise. It is my I will try to describe a few birds that are not as well known
intention in this paper to subject to examination the existing to the general observer as the robin, and which, by their rarity
definitions of solutions, and, if they be found inadequate or inor peculiar habits, make them especially interesting to study.
accurate, to propose another. Definitions, the preliminaries of
As scientific know). The first species I will notice is Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes science, are but landmarks of classification townsendii). This is a rare bird to me, as I have never secured
edge advances, the classifications and definitions change: they but one specimen. It may almost be called a hybrid between
are provisional and progressive. Until within a few years, our the thrushes and Aycatchers, yet, by its color and flight, it some
notions of the nature of solutions were so vague that it was not what resembles the shrikes. These birds are not as large as the
possible to insist upon precise definitions; but now that we robin, being a more slim bird with longer tail. They measure in
have a theory of solutions that rivals the theory of gases in siminches somewhat as follows: Length, 8.5; extent of wings, 13.5;
plicity and even surpasses it in the accuracy of its experimental wing, 4.5; tail, 4.25; tarsus, .75. Their bill is about one-half
results, it is time that a suitable definition be adopted. inch long and strongly resembles the flycatchers, being broad and
Among the formal definitions of solutions (which are not very flat and slightly toothed. Bill and feet are black; the back is
pumerous) of acknowledged authorities, I will quote for the sake brownish asb, or slaty; the breast is lighter, shading into light
of comparison the following:asb on the crissum; top of head brownish black, lighter at base
(a) “ Auflösung heisst, wenn sich ein fester Körper mit einer of bill; throat light ash; a light ring about the eye; wings and
Flüssigkeit (einem tropfbar-flüssigen Körper) so verbindet, dass er tail brownish-black; priinary wing-feathers sligbtly edged with
in dieser Verbindung füssig wird. ... Die Flüssigkeit nennt white and the secondary wing-feathers and outer tail-feathers
man dann das Lösungsmittel, der vorher feste Körper heisst aufquite extensively white-edged, the primaries and secondaries gelöst, und die neue Verbindung eine Auflösung” (Berzelius, with a spot of yellow or tawny, giving the wing the appearance
Lehrbuch der Chemie, I., 424, fifth edition). of having a bold bar of this color at the point of primary coverts;
(6) “ The liquefaction of a solid or gaseous body by contact with tail forked and slightly double rounded.
a liquid, the solid or gas being diffused uniformly through the This seems to be the only species of the genus found in the
liquid and not separating when left at rest” (Watts' Dictionary United States. They are probably more common between the
of Chemistry, article Solutions). Rocky and the Cascade ranges; but stragglers may be found west (c) “Lösungen sind homogene Gemenge, welche man durch of the Cascades, even to the Pacific Coast; as I am informed by mechanische Mittel nicht in ihre Bestandteile sondern kann" Mr. R. H. Lawrence that the species has been taken at Astoria. (Ostwald, Lehrbuch der allgemeinen Chemie, I., 606). They are reported from New Mexico by A. W. Anthony in the In these typical definitions there are three questions that reAuk. Dr. Coues gives tbeir range as north to British Columbia, quire examination: (1) What is the state of aggregation of solustating that they build on or near the ground, laying bluish-wbite tions? (2) Is homogeneity necessarily a cbaracteristic of solueggs, spotted with brown.
tions alone? (3) What is to be understood by mechanical meads, The Busbtits (Psaltriparus), although very small, dull-colored and is it true that solutions cannot be decomposed into their conbirds, are quite interesting and odd, as is also their nest, which stituents by such means ? is an ingeniously woven, pensile structure that may be found in As to the first question, it is seen that the two first definitions bushes at the height of one's head, or twenty feet or more up in regard a solution as liquid, which is, indeed, the common contrees. One that I found last spring was near the end of a long ception. Yet undoubtedly solids have the power of dissolving hemlock limb, about twenty feet from the creek over which it one another under certain conditions, so that a solution may be hung. It was securely fastened to the small, slender twigs in solid. The expressions “ solutions of gases in gases,” of “liquids three places. It was about nine inches long and four and one- in gases," and even of
solids in gases
are quite general and half in diameter, outside. It was well and thickly woven, of
used by good authorities. Thus the state of aggregation of solumoss and cottony substance, being strong enough to hold a num- tions may be gaseous, liquid, or solid. (See, however, the definiber of pounds weight. The entrance was a small hole in one tion proposed below). side near the top, and the bottom was well lined with feathers. But are there not homogeneous mixtures that are not solutions, They lay from six to nine small white eggs. These diminutive no regard being had, however, to mixtures of powders, etc.? birds are only about four inches in length, with short, rounded Every one knows what solutions of crystalloids, such as sugar or wings less than two inches, and a narrow graduated tail some
1 By solution is understood in this paper the roady-made mixture, no refwhat longer than the wing. They are of a slate color above, erence belog had to its mode of formation; for the action of the solvent upon shading into ashy on the under parts. They have no bright
the substance to be dissolved as well as the product of the action is commonly
called a "solution." colors and are not crested. Bill and feet black. These lively
? De la Definition et de la Determination du Point Critique, Jour. de Phys. little busybodies keep up a continuous twittering as they fit from
(3). I., 225. twig to twig. There are but a few species found in the United
3 Phil. Trans. II. 1869. States.
* Van't Hoff. Zeitschrift für physikalische chemie, 5., 322.