Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/180

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When there was brought to me a copy of the account as set forth in the Philosophical Transactions, it was joined with the information that there existed an appended account of pigs, in which a parallel fact had been observed. To my immediate inquiry—"Was the male a wild pig?"—there came the reply: "I did not observe." Of course I forthwith obtained the volume, and there found what I expected. It was contained in a paper communicated by Dr. Wollaston from Daniel Giles, Esq., concerning his "sow and her produce," which said that

"she was one of a well-known black and white breed of Mr. Western, the Member for Essex. About ten years since I put her to a boar of the wild breed, and of a deep chestnut color, which I had just received from Hatfield House, and which was soon afterward drowned by accident. The pigs produced (which were her first litter) partook in appearance of both boar and sow, but in some the chestnut color of the boar strongly prevailed.

"The sow was afterward put to a boar of Mr. Western's breed (the wild boar having been long dead). The produce was a litter of pigs, some of which, we observed with much surprise, to be stained and clearly marked with the chestnut color which had prevailed in the former litter."

Mr. Giles adds that in a second litter of pigs, the father of which was of Mr. Western's breed, he and his bailiff believe there was a recurrence, in some, of the chestnut color, but admits that their "recollection is much less perfect than I wish it to be." He also adds that, in the course of many years' experience, he had never known the least appearance of the chestnut color in Mr. Western's breed.

What are the probabilities that these two anomalous results should have arisen, under these exceptional conditions, as a matter of chance? Evidently the probabilities against such a coincidence are enormous. The testimony is in both cases so good that, even apart from the coincidence, it would be unreasonable to reject it; but the coincidence makes acceptance of it imperative. There is mutual verification, at the same time that there is a joint interpretation yielded of the strange phenomenon, and of its nonoccurrence under ordinary circumstances.

And now, in the presence of these facts, what are we to say? Simply that they are fatal to Weismann's hypothesis. They show that there is none of the alleged independence of the reproductive cells; but that the two sets of cells are in close communion. They prove that while the reproductive cells multiply and arrange themselves during the evolution of the embryo, some of their germplasm passes into the mass of somatic cells constituting the parental body, and becomes a permanent component of it. Further, they necessitate the inference that this introduced germplasm, everywhere diffused, is some of it included in the reproductive cells subsequently formed. And if we thus get a demon-