By George Henry Lewes
IN THE STRUGGLE OF life with the facts of existence, Science is the bringer of aid; in the struggle of the soul with the mystery of existence, Science is the bringer of light. As doctrine and discipline its beneficence is far-reaching. Yet this latest-born of the three great agents of civilisation—Religion, Common-Sense, and Science—is so little appreciated by the world at large that even men of culture may still be found who boast of their indifference to it, while others regard it with a vague dread which expresses itself in a dislike, sometimes sharpened into hatred.
I shall be told, perhaps, that the growing demand for popular expositions of scientific results and the increasing diffusion of scientific inquiry point to a different conclusion. It is true that there never was a time when Science was so popular. It is true that every year the attendance on lectures and the meetings of scientific associations is larger. The tide is rising. The march of Science is bit by bit conquering even the provinces which most stubbornly refuse allegiance to it. But, meanwhile, among the obstacles it has to overcome are certain prejudices and misconceptions which are the grounds of a deep-seated dread.