As a physiologist, I most fully recognize the fact that the physical force exerted by the body of man is not generated de novo by his will, but is derived from the oxidation of the constituents of his food. But holding it as equally certain, because the fact is capable of verification by every one as often as he chooses to make the experiment, that, in the performance of every volitional movement, that physical force is put in action, directed, and controlled by the individual personality or ego, I deem it just as absurd and illogical to affirm that there is no place for a God in nature, originating, directing, and controlling its forces by his will, as it would be to assert that there is no place in man's body for his conscious mind.—Modern Review.
|NEW VIEWS OF ANIMAL TRANSFORMATIONS.|
ONE of the results of teaching at the Museum is, that it always has considerable influence upon the teachers themselves. Forced by the nature of this institution to keep himself constantly acquainted with what is known and what is sought, with what is definitely acquired to science, and with the object of aspiration, obliged to coordinate recent with preceding discoveries, to test theories, to bind together the new material continually accumulating about the stones forming the vast edifice of science, the professor sees the lines of this structure slowly modified, he himself contributing to this result, and sometimes ends his career under the sway of other ideas than those which at first inspired him.
I confess that this has been my experience. Last year I began a series of investigations upon transformation. I had not taken sides upon this doctrine. If some general ideas had drawn me toward it, I had ever present the reiterated objections of the most illustrious French naturalists, among whom were the men I most love and venerate. But, as I proceeded with my lectures, it seemed to me that these objections were not insurmountable, that they did not touch the foundations of
- Introductory lecture to a course on Zoölogy at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, delivered March, 1879.