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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/798

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

These things give us ground for courage and hope, but not for rest—not as long as diphtheria is annually taking from the homes of this country its 49,677 children; not while fevers are yearly "baking to death" 126,332 of our people; and while consumption is causing years of suffering and the loss annually to this country of 102,199 valuable lives.

Were this wholesale slaughter the work of a national enemy or of visible wild beasts, the public would not be slow in its appreciation of any attempt to meet the common foe. But the struggle is none the less real, and the intelligence and often the courage and self-sacrifice required to carry it on are no whit less than in the struggles of a race to subdue a savage continent or a human enemy. With the conquest of all the continental areas assured to man, if war, according to the hopes and theories of some, were a thing of the past, the next great step in the development of the race must be this conquest of the forces of disease. A comparatively small branch of the human race has come to face the issue squarely on experimental lines, and to realize the fact that success can be achieved in no other way. The fate of the Hindus stands as a warning that even an Aryan strain may lapse into the abject imbecility of zoölatry and mysticism. The race that meets this stupendous issue, that succeeds in giving to men the laws by observance of which can be attained, not only freedom from disease, but also the development of the highest type of man, that race alone can carry out to its full perfection the evolution of mankind. In course of its development this race will be able to bestow incalculable benefits upon other races and upon even the animal species which it finds useful to preserve.

 

IV.—THE ARGUMENT AS TO THE UTILITY OF VIVISECTION IN SPECIAL CASES.

Attempts to prove or disprove the utility of vivisection by special cases have needlessly complicated and embittered the discussion. Matters involved in the warmest medical controversy have been freely introduced, and naturally an abundance of strong language has been at the disposal of either side. It must therefore be distinctly understood as we proceed that this is not the place to settle medical controversies nor to write a complete history of useful medicine. We are to deal not with medical controversy nor with medical history, but with pure argument—argument to prove from special instances the use to humanity of vivisectional methods of investigating the processes of living Nature. This being our purpose, we must leave to experts all discussions of such things as antitoxine, hydrophobia inoculation, etc., and confine our attention to cases about which there is the