Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/126

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is in danger of wasting its strength on that which is not significant, and that in studying, for example, the problem of life it frequently forgets both what life itself is as well as how to live.

It is very distinctly to the former type of mind that Professor Brooks belonged; for, keen-sighted pioneer and influential biologist that he was, he was also in thorough sympathy with life and the living in all of their aspects, past, present and future, emotional, intellectual and religious. Perhaps for that reason, too, he was the great teacher and the inspirer of men that with one acclaim he is acknowledged to have been. Technical philosopher he was not, sophisticated philosopher he was not, but sympathetic philosopher he was, and in this respect) since he was biologist also, he was unusual. Contributions to philosophy, also, he did not make, but rather, conversely, he let philosophy make contributions to him, and in. this he was again unusual. And yet all the time he was on the lookout in the various fields and aspects of biological science for that which was of genuine significance, for that which had a bearing on some of those great questions whose solution is of paramount interest and importance and which, therefore, are eternal questions.

These statements concerning Professor Brooks will be made more convincing by considering some of the typical instances in which he brings philosophy and science together. In fact, it is only such instances that can be cited; for of system, either in philosophy or biology, Professor Brooks was quite innocent. Significant and typical of the general attitude which he took, and forming indeed a discussion of one of the most salient problems in biology, physics and philosophy, are the data, the arguments, etc., advanced in Lecture II., entitled "Huxley and the Problem of the Naturalist," in The Foundations of Zoology. Here Professor Brooks cites in particular Huxley*s statement: "If the properties of water may be properly said to result from the nature and disposition of its component molecules, I can find no intelligible ground for refusing to say that the properties of protoplasm result from the nature and disposition of its molecules," and follows this with comments which amount to his taking this position: Huxley's statement can be granted to be valid, but, so granting it, it does not mean that there is or ever can be the possibility of an a priori deduction of the properties of protoplasm from those of its constituents, but that the connection between these must be bridged by induction. For the properties of protoplasm, or indeed those of the organism at any level are not the additive result of those of the parts, but contain something quite new. Thus Professor Brooks indicates the limitations of the mechanistic view of life, limitations which, however, are found as well in the inorganic realm, and which, therefore, demand that in applying theoretical mechanics to nature, either inorganic or organic,