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His scientific analogue is, no doubt, equally selfish. He too must utterly immerse himself in his own plane of thought, and must investigate the mechanism of nature without giving consideration even to the existence of any other plane, or to whether his work be of good or evil import, valuable or useless to humanity. But such a man, unconsciously no doubt at first, but, as is now well understood, infallibly, has taken the one and only real method of discovery in science, and his work in other hands has been such as to change the mode of living and mental outlook of his kind.
But the interest of the average man will lie and must continue to rest in a just appreciation of the relations of these several worlds, the spiritual and the mechanical, to his own life. Not so much antagonistic as out of all direct connection, the one with the other, they do meet on common ground-in him. His is the unfortunate body from which, during life, neither the aspiring soul can altogether soar, nor the wheels of scientific materialism can be unmeshed. He has to make his peace with both, as he is the sufferer if his soul gets caught in the gear.
Neither the spiritual nor mechanical worlds contain him. First and foremost, neither spirit nor machine, he is an animal, born as animals are born, his normal healthy life largely occupied with the affairs of sex, with parents, mate and offspring and the domestic hearth, in later phases with the social, communal and national life.
Thus we have three distinct worlds, linked each to each, as the links of a chain, the middle link only being in direct relationship to the whole. The cold, soulless mechanism of the cosmos invades the living organism, and the principles of energy and matter · which we encounter in the inanimate world govern man no less than mechanism. All that we can learn
THE TRIPLE WORLD
by science of the purely physico-chemical processes or mechanism of the living body has been learned in those deep foundations of knowledge appertaining to the simplest state of things, wherein phenomena and events are unobscured by the intervention of life. Mechanics, the science of moving masses of matter, has been extended to include masses that are not individually capable of being apprehended, to the individual molecules and atoms of which matter is built, the mechanics of which constitute chemistry and physics.
THE SCIENTIFIC CONTROL OF THE MECHANICAL
WORLD. Naturally it is with this world that I am most concerned, for it is from here that any contribution that physical science can make to the common stock of philosophy must come, and, indeed, the clarification of thought that has resulted from the occupation and interpretation of the mechanical world, whether of cosmical systems or of the body of a man, is unique. For from this world mystery in any real sense has been banished.
I have to make this more clear. Our knowledge of matter and energy is not complete and in many respects is far from complete. But in this field we can move with an assurance, and a power of predicting events before they occur, which is true of no other realm of study. It is true also that Absolute or Ultimate Truth here, as elsewhere, may be for ever unattainable, that the fundamentals of to-daymatter electricity, the ether and energy—may in the fulness of time be displaced by still more fundamental conceptions. But do not believe that future advances in this field are going to invalidate and overthrow the conclusions already reached, so far as they concern life. We have lived long enough in this world to
have acquired the sense of direction, though whole
insoluble problems of physics, the more completely
mysteries. The advance in this direction has been
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PREDICTION AND CONTROL
The measure of the exactness and extent of our knowledge of the inanimate universe is shown by our powers of controlling it and guiding it to serve our ends. In the inaccessible regions of space the test is prediction, but, with regard to the phenomena around us, in addition to this, imitation and control follow understanding and are the signs that we are on safe ground.
Here, again, knowledge may only be beginning,
but the success achieved is a justification for the view displin, that mystery in any real sense has been banished
from the inanimate universe. In engineering we draw upon the chemical energy of fuel, and by combustion convert it into heat—the chaotic rush of molecules in every direction at once and from this chaos, by the steam-engine or other prime-mover, we produce the orderly motion of masses of matter which is mechanical energy, and this is used to lighten the heavy labour of the world and perform tasks which before would have been done by draught cattle or slaves.
The terms "vital energy or “vital force" have disappeared. Energy, like money, has many denominations, but these are honoured at fixed exchange ratios throughout the universe, whether in the living organism or in the non-living world. The power by which we live and move and have our being is none other than that which drives on the stars in their courses and maintains their splendours over the long epochs of cosmical time. Science now takes it where it is to be found, whether in fuel, waterfall or sunshine-it is all one--and uses it to do the labour of men. Science can even transfer energy from its inanimate originals and direct it into living bodies, so that now two may live where before one would have struggled miserably for an existence.
A simple people, who confused power with deity,
like the ancient Greeks or primitive Vikings, would have seen, in this control of the powers of Nature, the act of a god, and from their point of view it, truly, is the most god-like achievement man has ever accomplished. But it would be an unsophisticated person who to-day would regard physical power as an attribute of the deity. On the view I have expressed the only connection between will and power is through the agency of life, animal or vegetable.
THE BODY AS A MECHANISM. The principles of energy and matter, with which we are confronted in the inanimate world, govern man no less than mechanism. The physics and chemistry, the mechanism of molecules rather than masses, of a living organism, differ from the physics and chemistry of non- living matter notably in character, but, so far as we can ascertain, not in any fundamental way. That is to say, the physicochemical processes of the living body conform to all the laws which apply when life is absent.
As is well known, many of the peculiar products of life can be artificially or “synthetically” prepared without the aid of the organism. Cane-sugar has been made identical with that produced by the cane or beet, and so with camphor, the familiar flavouring essences derived from plants and fruits -- vanilla, pineapple, and so on-dyes, like alizarine and indigo, so that the cultivation of madder-root has ceased,
and that of the indigo plant, the woad of our ingentis ? ancestors, is dying out.
It is quite true that the methods employed are almost without exception, entirely different from those that take place in the plant, and are of such a character that they would instantly destroy life of any sort.
But we do not think, for all that, that