not alluded to, in Lord Avebury's interesting book " The Origin of
Civilisation," and other works. Love gradually triumphed and it
is hoped will continue to triumph over all. The evolution of sex
(combined with other aids), is the great instrument by which Nature
has gradually and almost imperceptibly wrought this great work.
74 Thoughts on Natural Philosophy.
thought and peoples, meet, to join in the promotion of
the manifestation of love to man, to the gradual
elimination of differences; and the evolution of pure
and true religion, love in activity, unhindered, as far
as possible, by the crude superstitions, or errors of
thought and conduct of partially evolved humanity.
We cannot love too well, and too wisely, it is the
life beautiful. I know of no better book to read
(with the salt of common sense, and in the light of
knowledge) on this subject than the New Testament,*
supplemented, as far as possible, by wide reading in
other religions and directions), therein love is indeed
an art, developed in connection with one of the most
beautiful poetic tragedies that the world has ever read,
and illustrated by the most superb devotion on the
part of many of its disciples. Men are still in process
of evolution, some being much more backward than
others ; but as their environment is improved, and
they respond more fully thereto, aided by its beneficent
stimulants, we may hope that the unbeautiful may
fade and fall away, to the manifestation of one of
nature's greatest works, noble manhood. This is the
ideal to which nature is working, and art is aiding ;
and all that is best and true is living to attain. Mean-
while tolerance, patience, mutual sympathy and help
are needful, while we learn to live the life beautiful, and
acquire knowledge and wisdom.
*'' Ethics and Religion/' published by Swan, Sonnenschein & Co.,
is a useful book.
Thoughts on Natural Philosophy. 75
N.B. The sense in which the word "vortices" is used is as
expressing the motions communicated to the surrounding ether by
the rush and whirl of the stars, planets, atoms, etc., resulting in
Cyanogen, this is merely a name for an arrangement of material
portions, moving at certain speeds, in certain ways ; and conse-
quently having certain characteristics. Never let either simple or
difficult words blunt your perception of this fundamental truth
Physicists, Geologists, etc., know that many modifications of
physical law are brought about by physical law, by the formation
of cements, by pressures, etc., etc. These have not been mentioned
in detail. I have given the outline, the filling in and decoration
is left to abler hands to perform at their inclination and leisure.
Maintenance of energy. Professor S. Arrhenius is the author
of one theory on this subject, and there are others. The potential
is acknowledged to exist.
Recapitulation. The author has endeavoured to show that, " All
*mass is mass of the ether, all momentum, momentum of the ether" ;
and that the ether is matter. Change is caused by material motion,
and collisions of the masses, or the ether. Electricity and magnetism
are material motion in a certain condition of stress. Gravitation is
a result of vortication caused by the natural motions of the ether,
and the ether masses. All resulting in inanimate and animated
nature as at present existing and changing.
The X, or original cause (if any) of matter, in motion, is left
open to speculation and proof. Predicate what you may as to this,
the mode of expression, the natural manifestation (in a material
universe and with material beings) is by material motion.
* Professor Sir Joseph John Thomson, Cavendish Professor of Physics,
76 Thoughts on Natural Philosophy.
Heredity. Weismann's " unalterable " germ-plasm. The chroma-
tin, Professor Weismann says, grows. A tree also grows, and from
other matter forms, by physical force and law, what we term wood,
and a tree, but talk of unalterable trees would not be a satisfactory
explanation, or strictly true; and as something does not grow out of
nothing in living cells, the chromatin grows out of other matter that
becomes chromatin. Nature, according to Weismann, is continually
making new chromatin, and has been doing so from the first
appearance of that substance. The woid " unalterable" used, in
an unrestricted sense, with regard to chromatin is consequently
incorrect. It is evident that the chromatin is alterable, in the sense
that the fresh chromatin is new chromatin, made out of other matter
than the old.
Another point is, that to say that the germ-plasm is the cause of
heredity (although it may be interesting biologically) cannot be
regarded philosophically as a satisfactory explanation, as we shall
see if we examine the subject closely. Germ-plasm is merely a
compound word applied to certain arrangements by nature of material
portions moving at certain speeds and in certain ways, acting and
reacting on one another, and upon and by material forces within and
without the cells. Weismann draws attention to the importance of
these forces, in the cases of pigeons, ivy, etc , and it is not difficult
for the student (if he is not led astray by an "unalterable" theory) to
sift from the other interesting statements and arguments, etc., in
Weismann's learned book sufficient to make it clear that the only
satisfactory explanation of heredity, and other natural phenomena,
is that given in my theory of material motion as developed in my
Leakage of Life. The author is glad to receive evidence that his
theory is making headway in scientific circles. In proof of which he
gives an extract from the Daily Mirror of 2Oth September, 1909 :
"We are exhilarated by a dry atmosphere; depressed by a damp
one," Dr. A. F. King writes in the current number of the Popular
Science Monthly, ''because the moist air, being a conductor, carries
off some of our electricity to the earth, while dry air is a more com-
plete insulator, and prevents this leakage."
Thoughts on Natural Philosophy. 77
An eminent medical scientist interviewed by the Daily Mirror
bore out this statement, and explained that it was due to the fact
that man was a complicated machine run by electricity.
"The human body," he said, "is built up of innumerable cells.
Each of those cells has life, and is, in itself, a tiny electric battery
operated by weak chemical reactions.
" Life can, therefore, be defined medically as the electrical outcome
of weak chemical interchanges conducted in the body by the circula-
tion of the blood, which carries oxygen to produce these electrical
" This is true, because if you stop the supply of oxygen you stop
these chemical reactions, the electrical output of the cells ceases, and
death is instantaneous.
" Therefore, the electrical forces of the cells are an essential
phenomenon of the orderly life of the whole body, and they supply
nergy to the brain and nervous system.
" Enveloping all these billions of cells is the skin, and the resistance
of the *skin to the electric current is enormous. In the oidinary
way skin may be said to be an absolute non-conductor.
" Now, on a humid day the water in the atmosphere water is one
of the best conductors of electricity known destroys this insulation
of the body, and allows the electricity it contains to escape.
" The skin becomes damp, and the minute globules of water in the
air form millions of conducting chains, which lead the electrical
forces of the body in other words, its life itself to the earth.
" As a result a new burden is imposed upon the vital processes of
the man (or animal). They must repair the waste of electricity, and
the consequence is that a ' slack ' feeling is produced which is really
the symptom of the wastage of vitality.
"This is extremely marked on a hot, moist day, for the excess of
slightly saline perspiration is exceedingly favourable to a very pro-
* And the dry air in which it is enveloped on a dry day.
7 8 Thoughts on Natural Philosophy.
" On a dry day all that the system has to contend with is the
natural loss of tissue caused by ordinary exertion; there is far less
wastage of vitality and a consequent feeling of superabundant energy.
Hence the exhilaration of mind and body.
" The troops in South Africa, for instance, describe the dry air of
the high veldt as being ' like champagne ' in its effect upon them.
" It may safely be said that the effect of a damp, gloomy day is to
deplete the system of life.' 1
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