Life, Its Nature, Origin and Maintenance: An Address Delivered to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at Its Meeting at Dundee, in September, 1912

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Longmans, Green and Company, 1912 - 36 страница
 

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Страница 35 - The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years : few and evil have the days of the years of my life been...
Страница 14 - But though I cannot express this conviction of mine too strongly, I must carefully guard myself against the supposition that I intend to suggest that no such thing as Abiogenesis ever has taken place in the past, or ever will take place in the future.
Страница 7 - But in the strict sense such application is not justifiable, since the use of the terms dead and living implies either in the past or in the present the possession of the recognised properties of living matter.
Страница 17 - ... upon it from the study of the evolution of matter in general, we are led to regard it as having been produced, not by a sudden alteration, whether exerted by natural or supernatural agency, but by a gradual process of change from material which was lifeless, through material on the borderland between inanimate and animate, to material which has all the characteristics to which we attach the term "life.
Страница 22 - The strides which were made in the advance of the mechanical sciences during the nineteenth century, which is generally considered to mark that century as an age of unexampled progress, are as nothing in comparison with those made in the domain of biology, and their interest is entirely dwarfed by that which is aroused by the facts relating to the phenomena of life which have accumulated within the same period. And not the least remarkable of these facts is the discovery of the cell-structure of...
Страница 18 - It is true that up to (he present there is no evidence of such happening ; no process of transition has hitherto been observed. But, on the other hand, is it not equally true that the kind of evidence which would be of any real value in determining this question has not hitherto been looked for? We may be certain that if life is being produced from non-living substance, it will be life of a far simpler character than any that has yet been observed — in material which we shall be uncertain whether...
Страница 31 - There are, however, organs in the body yielding internal secretions to the blood in the shape of hormones, but exercising at the same time other functions. A striking instance is furnished by the pancreas, the secretion of which is the most important of the digestive juices. This — the pancreatic juice — forms the external secretion of the gland, and is poured into the intestine, where its action upon the food as it passes out from the stomach has long been recognised.
Страница 15 - J the apparently fatal objection was raised that it would take some sixty million years for a meteorite to travel from the nearest stellar system to our earth, and it is inconceivable that any kind of life could be maintained during such a period. Even from the nearest planet 150 years would be necessary, and the heating of the meteorite in passing through our atmosphere and at its impact with the earth would, in all probability, destroy any life which might have existed within it. A cognate theory,...
Страница 30 - Another internally secreting gland which has evoked considerable interest during the last few years is the pituitary body. This is a small structure no larger than a cob-nut attached to the base of the brain. It is mainly composed of glandular cells. Its removal has been found (by most observers) to be fatal — often within two or three days. Its hypertrophy, when occurring during the general growth of the body, is attended by an undue development of the skeleton, so that the stature tends to assume...
Страница 14 - Nor should we expect the spontaneous generation of living substance of any kind to occur in a fluid the organic constituents of which have been so altered by heat that they can retain no sort of chemical resemblance to the organic constituents of living matter. If the formation of life — of living substance — is possible at the present day — and for my own part I see no reason to doubt it — a boiled infusion of organic matter — and still less of inorganic matter— is the last place in...

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