Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/53

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43
THE STUDY OF PHYSIOLOGY.

on the outer border of each system of trades, together with the several observations by which these limits were determined, are all clearly and distinctly shown for each month, on a single sheet.

In 1863 the publication of Maury's charts was discontinued; but in 1846 other charts, similar in nature, though entirely different in the method of compilation, were begun, are now in progress, and will be continued, until sets for all the navigable waters of the globe are completed; and it is a description of these new charts that will constitute the second paper of this article.

 
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THE STUDY OF PHYSIOLOGY.
By P. H. PYE-SMITH, B. A., M. D.
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE BIOLOGICAL, SECTION OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.

BIOLOGY is the science of the structure, the functions, the distribution, and the succession in time of all living beings. If the proper study of mankind be man, he has learned late in the inquiry that he can only understand himself by recognizing that he is but one in the vast network of organic creation; that intelligible human anatomy must be based upon comparative anatomy; that human physiology can only be approached as a branch of general physiology, and that even the humblest mold or sea-weed may furnish help to explain the most important problems of human existence.

The branch of physiology which is concerned with man, not as an individual, but a family, the branch which we now call Anthropology, is obviously related to practical politics, and it was not without reason that the late illustrious pathologist Rokitansky began a speech in the Upper House of the Austrian Parliament on the autonomy of the Bohemian nation with the words, "The question really is, whether the doctrine of Darwin be true or no."

In another department, that of psychology, the physiology of the nervous system has already thrown more light upon the mysterious phenomena of consciousness than was gained by the acutest minds of all ages without the help of anatomical methods.

All the improvements of modern agriculture and stock-breeding rest upon more or less fully understood scientific principles, and the more perfectly the results have been first worked out in the laboratory the more safe and the more lucrative will be their application in the field.[1]

Still more important is the relation of physiology to the national health. The commonplaces of hygiene which are now, one may be

  1. I need only refer to the fruitful labors of Mr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert in this direction.