Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/197

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
185
THERMAL DEATH-POINT OF LIVING MATTER.

serving faculties by "object-teaching," appealing to the senses of sight and hearing, those two great avenues of knowledge, or giving much instruction orally, we require the scholar to spend most of his time in studying and poring over books, mere books. The mind is treated as a kind of general receptacle into which knowledge almost indiscriminately must be poured, yes, forced, without making that knowledge one's own, or creating that self-reliance which is indispensable to its proper use. In this way the brain does not work so naturally or healthily as it ought, and a vast amount of time, labor, and expense, is wasted—nay, worse than wasted. From this forced and unnatural process there often results not only a want of harmony and complete development of all parts of the brain, but an excessive development of the nervous temperament, and not unfrequently an irritability and morbidness which are hard to bear and difficult to overcome. And not unfrequently it ends in a permanent disease of the brain, or confinement in a lunatic asylum.

When we take a careful survey of the various discussions and diverse theories on this subject, considered metaphysically, and then compare them with the great improvements and discoveries in the physical sciences for the last fifty years bearing upon the same subject, the change or progress looks mainly in one direction, viz., that all true mental science must ultimately be based upon physiology. Here is a great work to be performed, and when accomplished it will constitute one of the greatest, most valuable, and most important achievements, that was ever wrought in the history of science. A vast amount of positive knowledge has already been accumulated on this subject, by various writers, but a great work, by way of analysis, observation, and induction, and of further discoveries as to the functions of the brain, remains to be completed. This work must be performed, in a great measure, by persons profoundly versed in the physical sciences; and no small proportion of it must come from the observations, labors, and contributions, of medical men.

 

THERMAL DEATH-POINT OF LIVING MATTER.[1]
By H. CHARLTON BASTIAN, M. D., F. R. S.,

PROFESSOR OF PATHOLOGICAL ANATOMY IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON.

II.

ALTHOUGH it is doubtless true that the superior dryness of seeds does enable them to resist the influence of heat longer than moist eggs are able to do, and therefore also enables them apparently to resist for a brief period a temperature notably higher than would have proved fatal to them had they been in a moist state—it

  1. From author's advance sheets.