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SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM. 1 1 7

Now there is nothing in this process which necessarily
eludes the conceptive or imagining power of the purely
human mind. An intellect the same in kind as our own
would, if only sufficiently expanded, be able to follow the
whole process from beginning to end. It would see every
molecule placed in its position by the specific attractions
and repulsions exerted between it and other molecules, the
whole process and its consummation being an instance of
the play of molecular force. Given the grain and its envi-
ronment, the purely human intellect might, if sufficiently
expanded, trace out a priori every step of the process of
growth, and by the application of purely mechanical prin-
ciples demonstrate that the cycle must end, as it is seen to.
end, in the reproduction of forms like that with which it
began. A similar necessity rules here to that which rules
the planets in their circuits round the sun.

You will notice that I am stating my truth strongly, as
at the beginning we agreed it should be stated. But I
must go still further, and affirm that in the eye of science
the animal body is just as much the product of molecular
force as the stalk and ear of corn, or as the crystal of salt
or sugar. Many of the parts of the body are obviously
mechanical. Take the human heart, for example, with its
system of valves, or take the exquisite mechanism of the
eye or hand. Animal heat, moreover, is the same in kind
as the heat of a fire, being produced by the same chemical
process. Animal motion, too, is as directly derived from
the food of the animal, as the motion of Trevethyck’s walk-
ing-engine from the fuel in its furnace. As regards matter,
the animal body creates nothing; as regards force, it creates
nothing. Which of you by taking thought can add one
Cubit to his stature ? All that has been said, then, regard~
ing the plant may be restated with regard to the animal.
Every particle that enters into the composition of a muscle,
a nerve, or a bone, has been placed in its position by mo-

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