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1 1 6 FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

position by a power external to themselves. The same
hypothesis is open to you now. But if in the case of crys-
tals you have rejected this notion of an external architect,
I think you are bound to reject it now, and to conclude
that the molecules of the corn are self—posited by the forces
with which they act upon each other. It would be poor
philosophy to invoke an external agent in the one case and
to reject it in the other.

Instead of cutting our grain of corn into slices and sub-
jecting it to the action of polarized light, let us place it in
the earth and subject it to a certain degree of warmth. In
other words, let the molecules, both of the corn and of the
surrounding earth, be kept in that state of agitation which
we call warmth. Under these circumstances, the grain and
the substances which surround it interact, and a definite
molecular architecture is the result. A bud is formed; this
bud reaches the surface, where it is exposed to the sun’s
rays, which are also to be regarded as a kind of vibratory
motion. And as the motion of common heat with which
the grain and the substances surrounding it were first
endowed, enabled the grain and these substances to exer-
cise their attractions and repulsions, and thus to coalesce
in definite forms, so the specific motion of the sun’s rays
now enables the green bud to feed upon the carbonic acid
and the aqueous vapor of the air. The bud appropriates
those constituents of both for which it has an elective
attraction, and permits the other constituent to resume its
place in the air. Thus the architecture is carried on.
Forces are active at the root, forces are active in the blade,
the matter of the earth and the matter of the atmosphere
are drawn toward the root and blade, and the plant aug-
ments in size. We have in succession the bud, the stalk,
the ear, the full corn in the ear; the cycle of molecular
action being completed by the production of grains similar
to that with which the process began.

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