24 AUGUST 1878, Page 3

On Wednesday, Mr. G. J. Romanes delivered before the Associa-

tion an address on "Animal Intelligence," which has not been well reported, but appears to have been intended to show that animal instincts are the hereditarily transmitted habits,—now no longer intelligent,—resulting from original exercises of real intelligence ; and that in the absence of language, or some definite system of signs, the intelligence of man would not much exceed that of the brute, at least in relation to the power of forming abstract ideas. This is a very "large order" as commercial men say, and in the absence of Mr. Romanes's evidence, we may take leave to doubt that it was at all adequate to his conclusion. If Mr. Romanes holds that all the astonishing and elaborate instincts by which many species of insects provide for the proper nutrition of the young which they are never to see, have, once at least, been either the results of foresight, or the results of coincidence operating by "natural selection" to create an instinct, he seems to us much more credulous than those who hold that such instincts are due to the creative intelligence, and not to the creature's intelligence at all. Such high intelligence as even insects must in that case have possessed, would imply a great deal more than the particular instincts in which alone it has resulted.