General Biology, Volume 1

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H. Holt and Company, 1886 - Biology - 193 pages
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Page 1 - Aoj/or, a discourse), which is therefore often deh'ned as the science of life, or of living things, or of living matter. But living matter, so far as we know, is only ordinary matter which has entered into a peculiar state or condition. And hence biology is more precisely defined as the science which treats of matter in the living state. The Relationship between Living and Lifeless Matter. Although living matter and lifeless matter present this remarkable contrast to one another, they are most intimately...
Page 2 - Lake Ontario. However changeful in the contour of its crest, this wave has been visible, approximately in the same place, and with the same general form, for centuries past. Seen from a mile off, it would appear to be a stationary hillock of water. Viewed closely, it is a typical expression of the conflicting impulses generated by a swift ^rush of material particles. Now, with all our appliances, we cannot get within a good many miles, so to speak, of the crayfish. If we could, we should see that...
Page 31 - You are doubtless aware that the common nettle owes its stinging property to the innumerable stiff and needle-like, though exquisitely delicate, hairs which cover its surface. Each stinging-needle tapers from a broad base to a slender summit, which, though rounded at the end, is of such microscopic fineness that it readily penetrates, and hreaks off in, the skin.
Page 7 - ... basis for subsequent study of more special branches of the science. It deals with the broad characteristic phenomena and laws of life as illustrated by the thorough comparative study of a series of plants and animals taken as representative types...
Page 2 - Now, with all our appliances, we cannot get within a good many miles, so to speak, of the living organism. If we could, we should see that it was nothing but the constant form of a similar turmoil of material molecules, which are constantly flowing into the organism on the one side and streaming out on the other.
Page 31 - Each stingingneedle tapers from a broad base to a slender summit, which though rounded at the end is of such microscopic fineness that it readily penetrates and breaks off in the skin. The whole hair consists of a very delicate outer case of wood, closely applied to the inner surface of which is a layer of semi-fluid matter, full of innumerable granules of extreme minuteness.
Page 6 - Under these circumstances, it is really quite an open question whether a crayfish has a mind or not ; moreover, the problem is an absolutely insoluble one, inasmuch as nothing short of being a crayfish would give us positive assurance that such an animal possesses consciousness...
Page iii - It has not been our ambition to prepare an exhaustive treatise. We have sought only to lead beginners in biology from familiar facts to a better knowledge of how living things are built and how they act, such as may rightly take a place in general education or may afford a basis for further studies in General Biology, Zoology, Botany, Physiology, or Medicine.

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