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Richard A. Proctor's Lecture

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Richard A. Prootor, advertised as the " Celebrated English Astronomer " lectured before the Students' Association Friday evening last upoa "TheMoon and ether Satélites." The audienoe was quito large and intelligent - an audience not likely to be instructed tuuch or deceived at all by astronómica! common places, however wonderful those common places might seem to the weavers of Nottingham or the rainers of Cornwall. We happen to be arquaiuted with somo of the students of Michigan University and we believe that there are at least a score of them who can prepare and deliver a better lectare uponthe "Moonand othor Katellites" than Richard A. Proctor. There was not a single í'act or a single idea in his leeture which cannot be picked up in the ordinary text-books and popular treatises upon the subject. He was introduced to tbe audience as a Professor ! Professor of what? He is certainly not a professor of tbe Christian religión, for he announced with approval that the lowost gness of the latest scribbler upon the subject fixes the age of our globe at five hundred millions of years. Thus Richard A. Proctor at one feil stroke wipes out of existence the book of Genesis-the inspired history of the patriarchs - cart loads of xiius Christian literature, and the venerable Bishop Usher himself. The fiat part of his lecturo was devoted to proving the brilliant and original proposition : that if two masses ot metal, of different sizes, are heated to an equal temperature the largest will be the lor.gest cooling ! "The Celébrate! English Astronomer" elaborated this profound proposition with great power. Ile quoted Brewater and eaid that Xewton had noticed the f.ict. He says it has taken tb o tnoon eiglity millions of years to cool off and dry up, and that it will take the eartb. two thousand and five hundred inillions of years to reach the same condition. It 9 due "The Celebrated EngÜ6h Astronomer " to say that these two last propositions were not announced with as much confidence as the statement that a large mass of heated metal will not Cool as quick as a small ono. The truth is "The Celebrated English Astronomer" is not an astronomer at all wortby of the name - not a scientific man - as no one is worthy to be called a scientist who is not an original investigator. The performance was saved f rom beiug an utter failure and fraud by t.he pictures exhibited whioh were very good but not extraordinaryThey wero evidently designed and prepared as they were certainly exhibited by another person taan Biohard A. Prootor. It has for some time been the complaint of our roost intelligent citizens that the entertainments given by tho Students' Lectura Association are sadly degGnerating - this is probably not the fault of the assooiation - it does the best it can - but the región of farce is certainly reached when an arrant astronomical humbug like Richard A. Proctor is palmod off upon a community which has been honored for years by the residence of a practical astronomer of the genius and fame of Watson - and by the residence, if wo are to have speoulative astronomy, of a speculative philosopher as brilliant as Winohell. It Í8 a poor compliment to tlie American people to have it said that Richard A. Proctor is tolerated liere as a lecturer at all ; that he is so tolerated and able to make money byhiscommon-place and ridiculous performances, must be astonishing or ainusing tosuchEnglishmen as read the Spectator and Saturday


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Ann Arbor Argus