Punch,  47 (1864), 146.

Mother Goose on Modern Science



Poetry, Drollery


Societies, Scientific Practitioners, Astronomy, Geology, Time, Stratigraphy, Human Development, Evolution, Controversy, Cosmology, Comparative Philology, Gender

    Written to represent a woman of limited literary ability, who is clearly irritated by the claims made by scientific practitioners. She begins by criticising the British Association for the Advancement of Science as a 'nasty good-for-nothin' lot' who engage in 'Ass-stronomy, geehology, and all that nonsense, botheration'. Proceeds to dismiss claims about 'the earth's age bein' so old as they makes it out', and ranks 'all them mouldy bones and things they find in them there strater' as worth less than 'a rotten tater'. Questions the value of excavating bones that do not contain any meat, and laments the 'row and rumpus / About Dewelopment and things as we was never meant to compass', disputes that 'comes to nothink'. Anticipates that 'one of these days' British Association members will 'find out that they've been all on 'em mistaken', and will be 'Forced to go back to what folks thought of old about the 'evinly bodies'—that the world is flat and, 'Beneath the crystial firmament' stands 'stock still'. Concludes by delighting in the possibility that 'relyin' on our senses' and 'our ideers' will displace 'all that there philosophy and wain pretences'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]