THE FOLLOWING very interesting article is from the pen of William Hanna Thomson, M.D., prominently connected with many New York hospitals for years. According to this article the relationship between the various species of animal organism can be discerned with much greater certainty by blood tests than by merely outward shape. The Doctor's illustration of an elephant always elephanting from the smallest speck at the beginning to its largest development is a forceful one and well illustrates the distinctions of nature. His remarks respecting the bacilli or disease germs are also to the point. These germs, known for thousands of years and reproducing their kind with marvelous rapidity, yet without change, without Evolution, without development of any kind, are quite in opposition to the Evolution theory.
"As to the origin of different species, if Charles Darwin was after that he would have found in the microscopic world the most ancient, stable and specific living forms that exist on earth. Thus, we have known historically tuberculosis ever since Hippocrates described it 2,300 years ago, and it is plainly alluded to in Eber's Egyptian papyrus, 1,700 years before Hippocrates.
"Now, as the life cycle of the tubicle bacillus is only twenty or thirty minutes, instead of being three score years and ten, it follows that counting only venerable bacilli, half an hour old, we have 7,240,000 generations through which it has descended without once changing in its evil ways.
"It would seem that according to the original plan all life must at first be microscopic, and so it is. Thus at one time in its individual existence an elephant is a barely perceptible microscopic dot. We cannot be at all sure that the real elephant is not as much smaller than that dot, as that in turn is smaller than the full-grown beast himself. Size or bulk has no necessary connection with life, however formidable it be.
"The living agent which causes hydrophobia, or yellow fever, easily slips through the pores of a Berkfield filter, which stops the larger bodies in the virus of smallpox. They are too small to be seen by any microscope yet made. Prof. Simon Flexner doubts if the human eye is constructed to catch sight of them, however it be aided by [R4847 : page 198] a high-power microscope. Yet these little agents are more dangerous to man than either a lion or a rhinoceros, while each remains after its own kind. Yellow fever [bacilli] no more resembles hydrophobia [bacilli] than a horse resembles a fish.
"Therefore the biologist, or student of life, finds himself in the realm of the inconceivably little. In that single cell with which the elephant has to begin his physical life there is a vast collection of necessary things.
"First, every one of the millions of cells of his future body must develop from that first cell. They are all constructed on the elephant-cell pattern, and according to no other pattern. Each cell must contain an even, never an odd number, in its nucleus of those little bodies called chromosemes, and upon which heredity depends, because finally that first cell contains something which determines that it will grow into an elephant and not into a frog, according to its hereditary descent from the first elephant. "As a result, the absolute absurdity of the supposition
of the spontaneous generation of life appears when we consider that it is not a living substance or thing which we are investigating, but a thing which can be a dot and then an animal, and then a dot again for any number of times. It would be easier to imagine a watch spontaneously generating itself than for an oak to become an acorn and then an oak again, and so on through all the years of its geological period.
"Reproduction of like from like by means of an inconceivably complex series of connected changes is a characteristic of life only. It has not a single analogue in the non-living kingdom. There is no such thing as hereditary fire, though it may spread, any more than a hereditary glacier, however it may grow by accumulating snow and ice.
"Inorganic chemistry, or that which deals with non-living substances, is simplicity itself by the side of organic life-originated chemistry. Thus one atom of hydrogen, one atom of chlorine, and one atom of sodium will make one molecule of sodium chloride or common salt. These three separate atoms might come together by chancethat only deity of the materialistanywhere where these atoms exist, say in the planet Saturn. But for any animal on this earth with red blood it must, in order to live, have in its blood cells that definite substance called hemoglobin.
"Now a molecule of hemoglobin must contain the following number of different atoms in their due proportions, namely, of hydrogen atoms, 1,130; of carbon atoms, 712; of nitrogen, 214; of oxygen, 245; of sulphur, 2, and of Iron, 1, or 2,304 atoms in all. Moreover, if that one atom of iron, in its peculiar relation to the rest ("masked," as some physiologists say) were left out, the animal could neither absorb oxygen nor give off carbonic acid; in other words, it could not breathe. "I once asked a well-known physiological chemist, himself of German extraction and educated in Germany, how could those atoms in a molecule of hemoglobin thus come together by chance. His brief reply was, 'No chance.'
"But the complexity of hemoglobin is thrown into the shade by those chemical substances which medical research has discovered in the investigation of the mechanism of immunity against infectious diseases. Thus some serious infectious diseases, such as smallpox, yellow fever, and typhoid fever, usually attack the same person only once. Hence he is said to be thereafter immune against them. With other infections, like pneumonia, the reverse is true, for the first attack often appears to predispose to subsequent attacks. Of four children exposed simultaneously to scarlet fever, one soon succumbs to a malignant development of the disease; the second is made very sick by it, but recovers; the third has it so lightly that it wants to play all the while, while the fourth escapes altogether. Now the medical profession very properly wishes to know the "how" of this varying susceptibility and immunity, because such knowledge would lead to an immense saving of life.
"But this research now resembles exploring a strange world, to describe which a new language has to be invented which none but these scientific leaders can understand, while they speak of antigens, amboceptors, complements, enzymes, lysins, precipitins, agglutinins, toxins, anti-toxins, anti-antitoxins, etc. Nor are these at all fancy names, for they refer to subjects which already have been shown to have great practical bearing in the preservation of human beings from disease and death. "Modern science now finds that the problem of the origin of life becomes more and more inscrutable in proportion to the progress of investigations of the subject.
One fact alone, among many others of like import, suffices to illustrate this statement, and that is the infinite complexity of the chemistry of any living thing or of anything which has been produced by vital agency compared with the chemistry of things with which life has nothing to do.
"Thus, in the precipitins alone we encounter one of those biological marvels by which science has recently revealed the fact that the blood is the most hereditary thing about us, for its hereditary elements override everything in the makeup of the physical animal body, whether it be the shape of the skeleton, of the lungs, of the alimentary canal, or of the skin. It even overrides ancestral habits as to the great food questionDarwin's chief creator, which works by the strife in nature about how to eat or keep from being eaten.
"Some of the most recondite investigations in the history of medicine have been about the mechanism of immunity, or why a single attack of certain infectious diseases renders a person immune from a second attack. It was through these investigations that some valuable antitoxins were discovered in the immunized blood serum, which raises hope that we may yet find the antitoxins for the worst forms of our deadly infections just as an anti-venom has been found for the cobra's poison, and another for that of the rattlesnake. But each of these antitoxins is specific in that it does not afford any protection except just against its own poison. This led Prof. Wasserman of Vienna to investigate whether the blood of each kind of animal did not contain some ingredients which would be specific to that animal, that is, not to be found in any other animal, a fact which, if found, might be of use in medico-legal cases.
"His results made this so probable that Prof. George H. F. Nuttall, of the University of Cambridge, took the subject up, and has so extended its application that a single drop of blood from any animal now suffices not only to show by its peculiar chemical reactions what animal it comes from, but also how nearly related, or the opposite, an animal is by his blood to other animals.
"It begins, therefore, to look as if the whole classification of zoology may have to be rearranged according to these blood tests. Thus, a drop of the blood of a walrus shows no relation with a drop of whale's blood, or of the blood of any other cetacean, such as seals or porpoises, which, like the walrus, are mammals that have taken to the sea. Instead of that, the blood of the walrus immediately reacts with the blood of horses, asses, and zebras, thus proving that he is an equine that no longer crops grass, but goes where he can live on an exclusively fish diet. Likewise, the hippopotamus is shown to be a modified pig.
"Where blood relationship exists, but is distant, these reactions are proportionately faint, but where no reactions occur there is no relationship at all. Thus, geology indicates that birds are descended from reptiles, and, oddly enough, the blood of a bird shows a distinct, though very faint, reaction with the blood of a snake, but none whatever with that of a winged bat or the flying squirrel, for these are mammals. "These facts are quite sufficient to indicate how inconceivably complex the problems of life are. It may seem strange that we cannot know what life is until we also know what death is. Thus a stone never dies; but a flower, an insect, or a man dies simply because they once lived, and for no other reason."
This illustration shows how the world in general views the attitude of the clergy of all denominations in respect to things present and things hereafter. It sees the clergy surrounded and entangled by the devouring influences of doubt respecting everything religious. We are in danger of still worse things, if possible, in the near future. It is a sad picture but, alas, a very true one! Ah, that we had power of tongue and pen to arouse Christendom, and especially The educated and the clergy, to a re-investigation of God's Word from the standpoint of the Divine Plan of the Ages. What Blessings it would bring them! What opening of the eyes of understanding! What confidence in God and in the Bible! What fresh hope for themselves and for the world, especially in respect to the future life!