The Evolution of the Earth and Its Inhabitants: A Series of Lectures Delivered Before the Yale Chapter of the Sigma Xi During the Academic Year 1916-1917

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Yale University Press, 1918 - Climatology - 208 pages

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Page 106 - It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.
Page 106 - There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Page 105 - But expectation is permissible where belief is not ; and if it were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions, which it can no more see again than a man can recall his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter.
Page 105 - ... may not, some day, be artificially brought together. All I feel justified in affirming is, that I see no reason for believing that the feat has been performed yet. And, looking back through the prodigious vista of the past, I find no record of the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of forming a definite conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter, and needs strong foundations. To say, therefore,...
Page 88 - ... to receive .the form of that creature to which it is by formative power disposed. To question this is to question reason, sense, and experience. If he doubts...
Page 92 - ... the study of the cell has on the whole seemed to widen rather than to narrow the enormous gap that separates even the lowest forms of life from the inorganic world.
Page 84 - is a definite combination of heterogeneous changes, both simultaneous and successive, in correspondence with external coexistences and sequences.
Page 14 - as if the bodies attracted each other directly as their masses and inversely as the square of their distance apart. As to knowing why this is so, I cannot tell.
Page 99 - It may then be summed up as a general law universal in its application to all matter, although varying in intensity in different types of matter, and holding throughout all space as generally as the law of gravitation — a law which might be called the Law of Complexity — that matter so far as its energy environment will permit tends to assume more and more complex forms in labile equilibrium.
Page 103 - Osborn is led to a second hypothesis that "they were gradually bound by a new form of mutual attraction, whereby the actions and reactions of a group of life elements established a new form of unity in the cosmos, an organic unity or organism quite distinct from the larger and smaller aggregations of inorganic matter previously held or brought together by the forces of gravity.

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