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A Mechanico-Physiological Theory of Organic Evolut

A MECHANICO-PHYSIOLOGICAL THEORY OF ORGANIC EVOLUTION

BY CARL VON NAeGELI

SECOND EDITION

CHICAGO THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING CO. 1914

COPYRIGHT, 1898 BY THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING CO. CHICAGO

PREFATORY NOTE.

Mr. V. A. Clark, as a student in horticulture in the University of Vermont, first undertook a critical examination of Naegeli's _Mechanico-Physiological Theory of Evolution_ as a part of his regular junior work. After a half year's study and the preparation of a short thesis, Mr. Clark had become so far intimate with Naegeli's work as to make it seem best for him to continue the study through his senior year. This study involved extended translations from the text, including Naegeli's _Summary_, which, considering its difficult accessibility to American students, has been chosen for publication. The work has been done chiefly by Mr. Clark, but has all been under my immediate supervision, and I have given the whole matter a final restudy and revision. Those who have had any experience with similar work will know how impossible it is that all mistakes should have been avoided, and it would be a kindness to the translators if readers would point out any defects, in order that they may be corrected.

F. A. WAUGH.

University of Vermont, July 1, 1898.

A MECHANICO-PHYSIOLOGICAL THEORY OF ORGANIC EVOLUTION.

SUMMARY.

In this summary I shall in general pursue a course the reverse of that which my main work follows.[A] I shall proceed from the primitive, unorganized condition of matter and endeavor to show how organized micellar substance has arisen in it, and how, from this micellar substance, organisms with their manifold properties have arisen. Since such a synthesis of organisms out of known forms of matter and force is still far removed from a conclusion strictly in accord with physical law, the process becomes comprehensible and obvious only by exact knowledge of the discussion that has preceded. Although the synthetic method reveals more clearly the weaknesses of the theory than do analytic investigations, yet I considered it helpful to make this presentation in order to give a clearer idea of the mechanico-physiological theory, and at the same time to test its worth.

[A] See Appendix, Translators' Notes.

1. FORMATION OF UNORGANIZED BODIES (CRYSTALS).

When separated and promiscuously moving molecules of any substance in solution or in a melted condition pass into the solid form by reason of removal of the causes of separation and motion (warmth or solvent), they arrange themselves into solid masses impermeable to liquids. These minute bodies grow by accretion, and when molecular forces are permitted to act undisturbed, assume the regular outer form and inner structure of crystals. The number of crystals, their size, changes of form and growth, all depend on external conditions.


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