Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/698

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

value is in the proof that there is no shadow of evidence for any other view.

When embryologists talk about the doctrine of evolution in embryology as antagonistic to the doctrine of epigenesis; when biologists seek for the origin of species in "laws of variation" which are not the outcome of selection; when they talk about a "principle of organic stability" which does not owe its origin to the same agency—it seems to me that they fail to grasp the significance of Darwin's work, and that they are wandering from the only path in which we can have any well-grounded hope for progress—the path which takes its departure from that conception of specific types which leads us to seek for the origin of the "events" which exhibit the type in the physical properties of living matter, and to seek in the order of Nature external to the organism for the origin of the "law of error" which forms a type out of these events.


EXERCISE is not a remedy which in some mysterious way may prove beneficial in disordered conditions of the system, still less a specific in any given disease, but it may be made the means of producing gentle or powerful effects of a definite kind, which vary with its form, intensity, duration, time of application, method of administration, and the condition of the patient. The problem presented to the physician in a given case is not merely the prescription of exercise, but rather such proportioning and contrasting of the muscular activity to periods of rest that the total result shall be beneficial; here, as always, the patient is to be treated rather than the disease. Exercise employed systematically and with discrimination is of the highest value in the prevention of debility and disease, and also in he treatment of certain chronic affections. In many acute and some chronic diseases exercise is positively and actively injurious, and it is always liable to prove so when employed without due regard to its physiological effects. Though most of the useful effects of exercise can be obtained under skilled supervision with little or no apparatus, its practical importance is ignored in hospitals, but little recognized in asylums and imperfectly appreciated in private practice. The neglect of exercise as a therapeutic resource is traceable to failure to appreciate the indications for its employment, and perhaps

  1. From advance sheets of Handbook of Therapeutics, edited by Frank P. Foster, M. D., in press of D. Appleton & Co.