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SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM. 1 I 5

intangible molecules of carbonate of lime. This tendency
on the part of matter to organize itself, to grow into shape,
to assume definite forms in obedience to the definite action
of force, is, as I have said, all-pervading. It is in the
ground on which you tread, in the water you drink, in the
air you breathe. Incipient life, as it were, manifests itself
throughout the whole of what we call inorganic Nature.

The forms of the minerals resulting from this play of
polar forces are various, and exhibit different degrees of
complexity. Men of science avail themselves of all possible
means of exploring their molecular architecture. For this
purpose they employ in turn as agents of exploration, light,
heat, magnetism, electricity, and sound. Polarized light is
especially useful and powerful here. A beam of such light,
when sent in among the molecules of a crystal, is acted on
by them, and from this action we infer with ,more or less of
clearness the manner in which the molecules are arranged.
That differences, for example, exist between the inner
structure of rock-salt and crystallized sugar or sugar-candy,
is thus strikingly revealed. These actions often display
themselves in chromatic phenomena of great splendor, the
play of molecular force being so regulated as to remove
some of the colored constituents of white light, and to leave
others with.increased intensity behind.

And now let us pass from what we are accustomed to
regard as a dead mineral to a living grain of corn. When
it is examined by polarized light, chromatic phenomena
similar to those noticed in crystals are observed. And
why ? Because the architecture of the grain resembles the
architecture of the crystal. In the grain also the molecules
are set in definite positions, and in accordance with their
arrangement they act upon the light. But what has built
together the molecules of the corn? I have already said
regarding crystalline architecture that you may, if you
please, consider the atoms and molecules to be placed in

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