Physiological Riddles. II.—Why We Grow [2/4]
Physiology, Wonder, Vitalism, Force, Natural Law, Physiological Chemistry, Energy
Joseph LeConte , George Berkeley , Georges Cuvier
Reports that the 'figment' of a 'Vital Principle' independent of matter has 'long been overthrown' by the labours of physiologists such as William B Carpenter, whose work has 'revealed the proofs of a profounder harmony in Nature' (167). Indeed, 'Life is in league with universal forces, and subsists by universal law' (168). Like a yeast-plant, the growth of the animal body is necessarily concomitant with the processes of decay: 'Life is an action produced by its opposite. It has its root in death, and is nourished by decay' (171). In his account of 'the labyrinth of the vital phenomena' (172), Hinton pointedly 'leaves on one side' the controversial question of 'the first origination of Life' (168).
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