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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/103

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY

 

AUGUST, 1907




THE PROBLEM OF AGE, GROWTH AND DEATH
By CHARLES SEDGWICK MINOT, LL.D., D.Sc.

JAMES STILLMAN PROFESSOR OF COMPARATIVE ANATOMY IN THE HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

II. Cytomorphosis. The Cellular Changes of Age

Ladies and Gentlemen: I endeavored in my last lecture to picture to you, so far as words could suffice to make a picture, something of the anatomical condition of old age in man, and to indicate to you further that the study merely of those anatomical conditions is not enough to enable us to understand the problem we are tackling, but that we must in addition extend the scope of our inquiry so that it will include animals and plants, for since in all of these living beings the change from youth to old age goes on. it follows that we can hardly expect an adequate scientific solution of the problem of old age unless we base it on broad foundations. By such breadth we shall make our conclusion secure, and we shall know that our explanation is not of the character of those explanations which I indicated to you in the last lecture, which are so-called 'medical,' and are applicable only to man, but rather will have in our minds the character of a safe, sound and trustworthy biological conclusion. The problem of age is indeed a biological problem in its broadest sense, and we can not study, as we now know, the problem of age without including in it also the consideration of the problems of growth and the problems of death. I hope to so entice you along in the consideration of the facts, which I have to present, as to lead you gently but perceptibly to the conclusion that we can with the microscope now recognize in the living parts of the body some of those characteristics which result in old age. Old age has for its foundation a condition which we can actually make visible to the human eye. As a step towards this conclusion, I desire to show you this evening something in regard to the microscopic structure of the human body.