I Have the honour this evening of calling your attention to the growing desire of students of natural history, and more particularly of microscopical observers, for the discovery and description of new genera and species, in consequence of which desire our floras and faunas are encumbered with names and synomyms, two thirds of which have no claim to be there at all. This evil has been, and still is, most virulent amongst the students of the Diatomaceæ, probably because the Diatomaceæ have attracted the attention of a larger number of microscopic observers than any other class of minute organisms. Professor Ehrenberg unfortunately adopted the plan of constituting new genera and species from mere fragments; and however allowable it may be for geologists to make genera and species of the fragmentary remains of the organisms of past epochs, it is surely not desirable that recent forms, occurring as fragments only, or even in small quantities, should be made into new species.

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