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92 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

materialism—a word which, to many minds, expresses some-
thing very dreadful. But it ought to be known and avowed
that the physical philosopher, as\_,such, must be a pure ma-
terialist. His inquiries deal with matter and force, and
with them alone. The action which he has to investigate
is necessary action; not spontaneous action—the transfor-
mation, not the creation, of matter and force. And what-
ever be the forms which matter and force may assume,
whether in the organic world or in the inorganic, whether
in the coal-beds and forests of the earth, or in the brains
and muscles of men, the physical philosopher will make
good his right to investigate them. It is perfectly vain to
attempt to stop inquiry as to the actual and possible actions
of matter and force. Depend upon it, if a chemist by
bringing the proper materials together, in a retort or
crucible, could make a baby, he would do it. There is no
law, moral or physical, forbidding him to do it—his in-
quiries in this direction are limited solely by his own ca-
pacity and the laws of matter and force. At the present
moment there are, no doubt, persons experimenting on
the possibility of producing what we call life out of in-
organic materials. Let them pursue their studies in peace ;
it is only by such trials that they will learn the limitswof
their powers.

But while I thus make the largest demand for freedom
of investigation—while I as a man of science feel a natural
pride in scientific achievement, while I regard science as the
most powerful instrument of intellectual culture, as well as
the most powerful ministrant to the material wants of men;
if rouask. me whether science h_a§.s91v.ed.-Qr i$_._likely.in 0. ur
day to solve, the problemof‘this universe, Inmust shake my
head in doubt. You remember the first Napoleon’s ques-
tion, when the savans who accompanied him to Egypt dis-
cussed in his presence the origin of the universe, and solved
it to their own apparent satisfaction. He looked aloft to

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