From the author; “In this little volume the author gives but his own personal opinions upon the subjects discussed, and although the sentiments are expressed with an assurance born of conviction, yet he claims not infallibility. He has ever been unable to accept the usual explanations of the great physical forces; and the inadequacies of mooted theories have impelled him to efforts for more philosophical interpretations. If in his investigations he has been forced to strange and unusual conclusions, he has been actuated only by an honest desire to promote the advancement of science.
He is not insensible to the responsibility of the position which he thus voluntarily assumes, in asserting his opinions upon problems so vast and momentous. It is no enviable position to occupy, that of antagonism to so large a proportion of the scientific world and, too, upon subjects of strictly scientific import. That he does thus find himself placed in such relations at the present time, has not been a matter of his own seeking. No other consideration than the profoundest sense of duty and responsibility could have influenced him in the course pursued. Perhaps some apology is yet due for so boldly trespassing upon hypotheses which were very generally thought to be well established, and certainly secure from such treatment. The attempt, in a measure, to develop so extended a field of research, in so few pages, has led to much crudeness in the presentation. For this a reasonable indulgence may be claimed.”