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4 1 4 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

ceivable. The tendency, indeed, of modern science is to
break down the wall of partition between organic and inor-
ganic, and to reduce both to the operation of forces which
are the same in kind, but whose combinations differ in com-
plexity.

Consider now the question of personal identity, in rela-
tion to this of molecular form. Twenty-six years ago,
Mayer, of Heilbronn, with that power of genius which
breathes large meanings into scanty facts, pointed out that
the blood was “the oil of life,” the combustion of which,
like that of coal in grosser cases, sustained muscular action.
The muscles are the machinery by which the dynamic power
of the blood is brought into play. Thus the blood is con-
sumed. But the whole body, though more slowly than the
blood, wastes also, so that after a certain' number of years
it is entirely renewed. How is the sense of personal iden-
tity maintained across this flight of molecules ? To man as
we know him, matter is necessary to consciousness, but the
matter of any period may be all changed, while conscious-
ness exhibits no solution of continuity. Like changing
sentinels, the oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon that depart
seem to whisper their secret to their comrades that arrive,
and thus, while the N on-ego shifts the Ego remains intact.
Constancy of form in the grouping of the molecules, and
not constancy of the molecules themselves, is the correlative
of this constancy of perception. Life is a wave which in
no two consecutive moments of its existence is composed
of the same particles.

Supposing, then, the melocules of the human body
instead of replacing others, and thus renewing a preexist-
ing form, to be gathered first hand from Nature and put
together in the same relative positions as those which they
occupy in the body; that they have the self-same forces and
distribution of forces, the self-same motions and distribution
of motions—would this organized concourse of molecules

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