Sir Leslie Stephen finds that moral laws are the conditions needful for the good of the social organism, and are imposed as such by society upon its individual members.
At the same time the world as a developed whole is regarded as an organism which is permeated with the divine Spirit, and so we may say that the world-process is a self-realization of the divine Being.
He looked on the actions of the individual organism and of society as determined by the needs of self-preservation.
An organism was to him something controlled by a formative organizing principle.
It can only be understood by subordinating the mechanical conception to the vital, by conceiving the world as one organism animated by a spiritual principle or intelligence (Weltseele).
In fact, while holding firmly by the former, Bonnet more or less modified the latter in his later writings, and, at length, he admits that a " germ " need not be an actual miniature of the organism, hut that it may be merely an " original preformation " capable of producing the latter.4 But, thus defined, the germ is neither more nor less than the "particula genitalis" of Aristotle, or the "primordium vegetale" or " ovum " of Harvey; and the " evolution " of such a germ would not be distinguishable from " epigenesis."
The organism is made up of molecules which are analogous to them.
It is not true, for example, that a fish is a reptile arrested in its development, or that a reptile was ever a fish; but it is true that the reptile embryo, at one stage of its development, is an organism which, if it had an independent existence, must be classified among fishes; and all the organs of the reptile pass, in the course of their development, through conditions which are closely analogous to those which are permanent in some fishes.
What little differentiation can be found to exist in the protoplasm of the simple unicellular organism shows the importance of an adequate water-supply, and indeed, the dependence of life upon it.
This method of study has to a large extent modified our ideas of the relative importance of the parts of such an organism as a large tree.
The organism is largely dependent for its vital processes upon gaseous interchanges.
The cell-walls of plants render the entry of solid material into the organism impossible.
In some cases the zoogloea thread or tube has not been seen, the organism consisting entirely of the bacterioids.
The cells in which the fungoid organism is vigorously flourishing are exceedingly active, showing large size, brilliant nuclei, protoplasm and vacuole, all of which give signs of iptense metabolic activity.
Botrytis, Ergot, &c. Now it is clear that if an organism gains access to all parts of a plant, and stimulates all or most of its cells to hypertrophy, we may have the latter behaving abnormallyi.e.
The nodules on the roots of leguminous plants are induced by the presence of a minute organism now known to do no injury to the plant.
6); and it has been suggested that the association of these two is analogous to the association of the rods and cones of the animal eye with their pigment layer, the light absorbed by the red pigment-spot setting up changes which react upon the refractive granule and being transmitted to the flagellum bring about those modifications in its vibrations by which the direction of movement of the organism is regulated.
V.): In all cases there are two factors, the nature of the organism, which is much the most important of the two, and the nature of the conditions.
It is inconceivable that external conditions can impart to an organism the capacity to develop something that it does not already possess: can impart to it, that is, the capacity for variation in the direction of higher complexity.
Just as every crystallizable chemical substance assumes a definite and constant crystalline form which cannot be accounted for otherwise than by regarding it as one of the properties of the substance, so every living organism assumes a characteristic form which is the outcome of the properties of its protoplasm.
AdaptationThe morphological and physiological differentiation of the plant-body has, so far, been attributed to (I) the nature of the organism, that is to its inherent tendency towards higher organization, and (2) to the indefinite results of the external conditions acting as a stimulus which excites the organism to variation, but does not direct the course of variation.
No biological generalization rests on a wider series of observations, or has been subjected to a more critical scrutiny than that every living organism has come into existence from a living portion or portions of a pre-existing organism.
It is within common observation that parent and offspring are alike: that the new organism resembles that from which it has come into existence: in fine, biogenesis is homogenesis.
Every organism takes origin from a parent organism of the same kind.
Any organism may pass through a series of free-living larval stages.
But by a process of successive and continued artificial cultures under different conditions, the virus of the organism is found to become attenuated; and when this weakened virus is administered, the animal is rendered immune against further attacks.
This has taken the form of inoculating the soil with the particular organism required by the particular kind of leguminous crop. To this end the endeavour has been made to produce preparations which shall contain in portable form the organisms required by the several plants, and though, as yet, it can hardly be claimed that they have been generally successful, the work done justifies hopes that the problem will eventually be solved in a practical direction.