Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/486

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we not in possession of marine biological laboratories, where most remarkable investigations have been and are still being carried on? To mention only the more important of these laboratories, where would morphology be without the works that have been produced in Naples, Roscoff, Banyuls, Wimereux, Marseilles, Villefranche, and so many other stations? In truth, those who would pretend that morphological science can advance and develop without the aid of these marine laboratories could equally well defend the paradox that astronomy can advance without the aid of observatories.

I need hardly say that I do not limit the term "morphology" to investigations in the structure and organization of the various organisms to be found in the sea; I would also include under it the most lofty questions and most abstract generalizations to which we are led by morphological research. Researches in organic evolution, to which Darwin has given so powerful and fruitful an impetus, can not be undertaken without due consideration of the marine fauna. The sea is really the source of organic life in its ensemble; researches on the relationships of different animals, on their origin, on their individual development, from the first visible germ to the completion of their life-cycle, are continually and necessarily leading us back to marine organisms. In order to form a conception of the development of the organic horizons as they extend through the successive periods of the history of our planet, we are obliged continually to recur to the comparative study of marine forms.

But the researches of present and future science are not limited to morphology and its conclusions. We demand a knowledge of the functions of the various organs whose structure has been studied, in order to understand the rĂ³le which they played in the elaboration of life; we are desirous of knowing how the varied functions over which the organs preside are exercised. This is the aim of physiological investigation, which up to the present has been carried on only on man and a few animals predestined to experiment, such as the dog, the rabbit, and the frog.

I do not hesitate to say, if there were no marine laboratories in existence, they should be created for the prosecution of physiological investigation. In every case existing and future laboratories should be constructed in such a way as to admit of the carrying out of physiological experiments on a grand scale. The field is almost new; it has hardly been touched as yet, but the few works which have been produced in this line prove that most magnificent results await us in the future, and that general physiology will be quite as much enriched and even improved by means of such laboratories as has been the case with morphology. Many of my friends, themselves directors of marine laboratories, have felt the need of physiological equipment; many of them have expressed themselves to this effect in articles and other publications. In Naples they have taken a step in advance in this direction; but, to render these studies productive, delicate instruments are needed, apparatus costly beyond the means of existing laboratories. Will your fellow-countrymen furnish such means? It would be a glory to the United States could these projects there be realized, which have to be abandoned in other countries on account of insufficient resources.

You justly call your prospective laboratory "biological." I ardently wish that your countrymen, so nobly generous when it comes to founding scientific institutions, would saturate themselves with the meaning of the word "biological." Biology includes much more than morphology and physiology, which treat only of the mainsprings of individual life; it includes also the life of organisms in its totality; it should study the reciprocal relations which animals living in a