University of California
Form L 1
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below
SEP 2 g 192)
JUN 7 i<fc
JAN 2'- 1930,
WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
WARFARE IN THE
ESSAYS ON METHOD, MALIGNITY,
REPAIR AND ALLIED SUBJECTS
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
PROFESSOR ARTHUR KEITH
M.D., F.R.C.S., F.R.S., ETC.
E. P. BUTTON COMPANY
68 1 FIFTH AVENUE
first Published in 1921
Page 3 line 5 from bottom, for rater read rarer
41 ,, 10, for predominately re&d. predmninantly
,, 121 ,, 13, for hystoirlal read hyxte.roidal
131 ,, 10 from bottom, for aniwo-acidx read amino-acida
,, 198 ,, 1, iorcha nc/e aasuredly read change, assured fi/
, 2t6 , 7 from bottom, for Spring read Summer
PROFESSOR ARTHUR KEITH, F.R.S.
AS I read over the manuscript pages of these essays,
by my friend Morley Roberts, there came back to me
the memory of a night in London, when I set out from a
scientific meeting to guide a provincial colleague to his
hotel through streets obliterated by a blinding November
fog. The way was familiar to me, yet in the end the
stranger from the country proved the better guide, for it
was he who ultimately took us straight to our destination.
By the mere use of his map-fed imagination my friend had
mastered the details of London better than I had done after
years of residence. Imagination with him had turned the
dry and dusty maps, plans, contour-lines and guide books of
a great city he had never seen into a living reality, in which
he could find his way with confidence, and even offer help
to befogged citizens. In these essays by Mr. Morley Roberts
we have a parallel case. He has not lived, toiled, and
earned a livelihood in any one of the multitude of quarters
into which the bewildering City of Modern Science is
sharply divided. Yet by the sheer force of his imagination,
one which is at once intimate, intuitive, accurate, and vivid
he has absorbed the atmosphere of the place, become
familiar with its inhabitants, their ways of thought, and
their industries to a degree which is rare among even the
most experienced natives of this great city. Had he been
merely an intelligent visitor to their strange dwelling-place,
one who had wandered through its docklands, its business
quarters, its Smithfields, its Covent Gardens, its Mayfairs,
its Kensingtons, and its Hampsteads, and reported faith-
fully in these essays what he had heard and seen, then he
would have accomplished a rare feat. But he has done more
than this ; he is a serious student who has made frequent
journeys to the city of science in search of explanations to
the riddles of life, and has brought back suggestions and
answers which should obtain the ear of all thinking people,
and which deserve the closest scrutiny from men of science.
I look on these essays as a contribution to knowledge of an
altogether new kind. The man who suggests the most
likely path to truth stands next in the hierarchy of great-
ness to him who actually finds it.
How is it possible, the reader of these essays may well
ask, that one who has been known these thirty years past
to a wide circle of readers as a writer of fiction, can know
anything concerning the secrets of life and of disease with
which men of science are not already familiar ? The
explanation is not far to seek. As a writer of true fiction
it was Mr. Morley Roberts' business to study human
nature and human action, and to grasp the conditions,
under which millions of individuals might be massed in
communities, and yet remain free and happy. In the
body of the healthy living animal, where billions of vital
units are massed together in ordered harmony, Nature has
accomplished this miracle. What was more natural, then,
than that an author endowed with a vast share of 'intel-
lectual curiosity and gifted with the diagnostic acumen of
the born physician should seek for a solution of his diffi-
culties in the workshops of men of science ? He went to
them at first as a student of sociology in search of facts
which would help him to understand the laws which should
regulate the conduct of human beings living under the
ever-changing conditions of our modern civilization. But in
time it began to dawn upon him, as he watched the labours
of the men who are striving to unveil the mysteries of living
matter physiologists, pathologists, psychologists, em-
bryologists, bacteriologists, biochemists, anthropologists,
zoologists, and botanists that the student of sociology
had at least as much to give as to receive. He found that
the problems which face the students of that most marvel-
lous of living organized communities the healthy human
body the problems of disease and of health, of malignancy,
immunity, inhibition, heredity, cell division, evolution,
growth, repair and old age had their parallels and analogues
in organized human societies. He therefore commenced
to ascertain how far the obscure phenomena of biology
could be elucidated by applying the explanations which are
familiar to students of social phenomena. Thus it comes
about that in these essays we have records of a unique
kind records made by a layman after years of hard think-
ing and close observation which he now places before his
professional brethren with a skilled pen, a rare wealth of
apt simile, using always the diffident and modest language
of the real searcher after truth. No one who loves that
search will lay this book down unrewarded.
Men who have grown grey in those quarters of the City
of Science, which are devoted to the service of medicine,
are accustomed to the visits of strangers of diverse types.
They have seen chemists like Pasteur and Lavoisier, and
clergymen like Stephen Hales and Priestley, force their
ways into their workshops, ultimately revolutionizing
their industries. They are also familiar with the newly
fledged student of first-aid, who breaks his way through the
circle of spectators surrounding a street accident, and
brushing aside the skilled surgeon, takes charge of the case.
Occasionally, too, they come across those visitors who, letting
their imagination rise on untrammelled wing, picture for
them a future full of marvels. In Morley Roberts we have a
visitor of a new kind one who compels his imagination
when in flight to observe the laws of gravity, time, and space.
Nay, so like a native does this visitor carry himself, that for
several years there were many besides myself that had no
suspicion that Morley Roberts, the erudite writer on medical
and allied problems, was the same Morley Roberts who is
known in Bohemia as an artist of noted skill with pen
and brush. In these essays he has earned for himself the
freedom of the City of Realities or Science.
With one last word my privileged task of introducing
the reader to these essays is finished. Their author has
drawn large drafts on the Bank of Science ; I, for one, am
willing to endorse his bills.
THE questions discussed in this book arose originally as
side-issues in the prosecution of studies for a much
larger book, to be entitled Social Physiology and Pathology,
in which I meant to deal with the health and diseases
of social organisms, as well as with the laws underlying
political energy as it seeks blindly to adapt societies to a
changing environment. I had mapped out a work, more,
I own, than was sufficient for a lifetime, in which inquiry
was to be made in the order and failure of order in societies,
their well-being and their disorders, and finally discovered
that such labour demanded a considerable knowledge of
several sciences, especially that of pathology, so that true
distinctions could be drawn between fatally morbid pro-
cesses and those morbid states which foreshadowed, and
indeed foretold, new social variations. In spite of the un-
happy fact that statesmen and politicians of all kinds
ignore science, it seemed to me that such a book might at
last prove useful even to them if its trend were understood,
and its doctrines appreciated, by a few critics. Yet, finding
that those who undertake unprofessional work must at
least subscribe to the first of the monastic vows, I put the
project aside with regret, although I believe that much
of this short volume will indicate to those interested in the
x AUTHOR'S PREFACE
complex phenomena of sociology many conclusions as to
social diagnosis which only extended labour could make
quite clear. Although I cannot carry out the labour
originally proposed, such investigations as I have been
able to make may throw a useful light on the funda-
mental principles of social adaptation, and also discover and
illuminate a number of vexed questions in biology. It
would be ungrateful of me if I did not acknowledge that
the impulse to attempt such a task sprang, not, as might
possibly be imagined, from the work of Herbert Spencer,
but from a little-known book by a great physician, who
never received his full meed of appreciation as a teacher.
I refer to the late Dr. Henry Gawen Sutton, once a colleague
of Sir Andrew Clark's at the London Hospital, whose
Lectures on Pathology, taken down by an ardent student,
contain a sounder criticism of life and more real wisdom
than a library of metaphysical treatises. His pathology
may, indeed, be out of date, but the knowledge that has
passed him by has not yet reached the height of his vision,
since his intuition, though sometimes curiously and
roughly phrased, often condensed into five words the life-
time's thinking of a true philosopher.
It is generally supposed that any one who is outside
the circle of professional investigation, and attempts to
enter it with no credentials, does so at the peril of entire
neglect if not of contumely. On this point I can only say,
and I do so with gratitude, that the encouragement received
from most of those best qualified to speak upon the subjects
treated has been most generous, while the exceptions to the
general rule are so few that the very fact of their existence
AUTHOR'S PREFACE xi
accentuates the kindly and helpful attitude of the great
majority. Even in the cases where I have ventured to
differ from high authorities on obscure points which are
still unsettled, I have found them ready to listen and
eager to discover the possible value of any suggestion.
To subjects purely scientific I have thought it worth
while to add a short paper, originally published in Folk-
lore, which deals with the Thargelian Pharmakos. The
etymology and significance of the word Pharmakos,
and its relations to magic medicine, are very obscure, and
any possible elucidation of its meaning should be of interest
to such modern descendants of the ancient therapeutic
magicians as practise medicine with more modesty as
well as with more success. I cannot refrain from stating
here that the friend mentioned in the paper, to whom I
owed the knowledge of the existence of the Turkic word
vourmak, was the late Mr. Max Montesole, whose vast stores
of linguistic learning were always open to those who could
not aspire to equal his own, and whose death no one who
knew him will cease to deplore. With this acknowledgment
of gratitude I wish to combine my sincerest thanks for help
and encouragement to such men of science, who are
happily still at work, as Professor W. M. Bayliss, Professor
E. W. MacBride, Professor J. T. Cunningham, Professor
Marcus Hartog, Dr. Chalmers Mitchell, and Professor
Benjamin Moore, while for help given me upon special
points I desire to add to these the names of Sir John Bland-
Sutton, Dr. Lambert Lack, and Mr. Sampson Handley. In
saying so much I by no means imply that what I ventured
to put forward always met with acceptance. On the
xii AUTHOR'S PREFACE
contrary, as may easily be imagined, it often encountered
severe, if kindly, criticism, from which I derived the greatest
benefit, even though it did not in some cases wholly convince
me. Last of all, but assuredly not least, I must thank
Professor Arthur Keith, whose almost unequalled general
knowledge has ever been at the service of all interested in
science, while his openness of mind and his readiness to
consider fresh views, whether orthodox or the reverse, are
as well known as they are remarkable and exemplary.
FOREWORD BY PROF. ARTHUR KEITH, F.R.S. . T
AUTHOR'S PREFACE . . . . .be
I. METHOD IN SCIENCE ..... i
II. MALIGNANCY . . . . . .27
III. REPAIR IN EVOLUTION . . . .61
IV. INHIBITION AND THE CARDIAC VAGUS . . 93
V. THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY . . . .127
VI. THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION . . . 143
VII. HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT . . .183
VIII. THE ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING . . 203
IX. THE PHYSIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS. . .227
X. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 237
XI. THE PHARMAKOS AND MEDICINE . . . 255
APPENDIX A. THE INFECTION THEORY OF CANCER . 265
APPENDIX B. THE PERONEUS TERTJUS . . . 275
APPENDIX C. MARCUS TERENTIUS VARRO . 277
INDEX . . . . . . 279
WARFARE IN THE HUMAN
METHOD IN SCIENCE
THE general method of investigation, suggestion,
and proof used in this volume was originally
adopted as a means of studying social disorders and dis-
eases, for if society is an organism at all, on whatever
plane of development, it must be liable to disease, and
possess a physiology not remote from that seen at work
in other organisms of a lowly type. As the work progressed
many side-issues presented themselves, and it was seen that
if the notion of developmental diseases in man and other
animals had their analogues in society, by which we could
learn the nature of, and possible remedies for, social
disorders, these should present real analogies with bodily
morbid states. Such analogies certainly seemed highly
suggestive in the physiology of both kinds of organisms.
If, for instance, even the casual study of cerebral physio-
logy and neurology threw a light, however dim and un-
certain, upon the nature of politics and the methods by
which a national organism is directed during normal or
abnormal circumstances ; if the nature of the tropisms or
instincts of an animal, even of a high type, showed real
2 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
resemblances to the instincts of a race ; if the higher associa-
tion centres, or " intellect," dealing with doubtful issues
over the pyramidal tract, showed a marked likeness to the
methods of trial and error necessary in investigating the
entirely unknown, it seemed quite probable that obscure
phenomena of " volition," instinct, and intellect could also
be approached with the light held up to us by social pheno-
mena themselves. On advancing further, it even appeared
possible, with such a conception to work by, that organic
diseases, especially those of development, might in a
measure be elucidated by the careful study of social pheno-
mena presenting somewhat similar errors of growth and
failures of order. It may, indeed, be said that this method
of working up from sociological phenomena, to those seen
in more advanced and orderly sciences, promises even better
results than the reverse process. By it we advance from
phenomena among which we live and act, and of which
we are a part, to those rendered obscure by their very
approach to economy of energy and perfection of machinery.
Whether we understand society or not, we can at least
draw some simple conclusions as to the ways in which
it works, and if it is granted, as a temporary hypothesis,
that the principles of organization are similar throughout
nature, it is obvious investigation may show that the
assumption is justified by the light thrown upon subjects
with which we are less familiar. It seems certain that
sufficient use has not been made of these weapons of
To criticize accepted methods is to run counter both to
class and individual prejudices. This is true in science as
in politics, for to the conservatism which revolts against
change, there is added the fear that a new orientation of
thought may so discount accepted values as to disturb the
METHOD IN SCIENCE 3
position attained by the orthodox. Nevertheless, from
time to time there arises the necessity of revising not only
accepted doctrines, but also the methods by which they
are reached. It seems as if such an hour had now come
round, for in many of the sciences the accumulation of facts
long ago passed reasonable limits, while those who have an
insatiable passion for their collection display little energy
in putting them into order. Moreover, they appear to
resent, or at the least to deprecate, any such attempt on
the part of others. According to many " now " is never the
accepted time for a new hypothesis, although true method
is the application and adaptation of the whole apparatus of
reasoning to any given problem. Little has been done to
elucidate it, but it surely implies the use of every weapon of
analysis in order to avoid all possible waste of available
energy. For any advance in thought implies an intelligent
logical use of foresight and surmise, and without them
science must become at last a mere rubbish heap. Over-
insistence on facts and perpetual discouragement of think-
ing atrophy the imagination, without which the most
diligent seeker after truth must presently perish in the pit
he has digged for himself. Such resemble a man who
makes bricks, and resents the architect and builder using
them. This revolt against acknowledged logical methods
has sometimes had its justification, but with the general
progress of knowledge the life of a radically unsound hypo-
thesis is usually a very short one. If Herbert Spencer's
idea of a tragedy was a hypothesis killed by a fact, such
tragedies must grow rater if it is recognized that know-
ledge is only knowledge, and a fact only a fact, when both
agree with what is certain in other sciences, and contradict
no general principles.
The evil results of extreme specialism, combined with a
4 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
refusal to appeal to such principles, can be seen in almost
every branch of scientific work. In private a professor of
pathology may, and too often does, pour scorn upon the
labours of the physiologist, which looks much as if he
believed that the right method of teaching shipbuilding
was to study wrecks upon the beach. Again, the physio-
logist, aware though he be of the pathologist's failing,
is yet apt to take a similar view as regards biology, while
the biologist himself, whose work should necessitate an
appreciation of all that appertains to all life, completes the
vicious circle by ignoring what has been done by students of
disease. So much cannot be denied by those even slightly
acquainted with scientific, and especially medical, habits of
thought. And yet, in spite of this, there are those who
know that science cannot be so divided, and that none, who
aspires to more than a hodman's work, is properly equipped
without a general knowledge of all the sciences related to
his own. This may seem a hard saying ; but it proposes
no more than should be attainable by those with imagina-
tion and intellectual curiosity, and it admits, even pre-
supposes, that he must be as ignorant of special details in
such sciences as his fellow- workers must be of his own.
It is by co-ordination of knowledge that advances are
made. Yet it is common to sneer at the very word " co-
ordination." It may be true that the solitary pioneer, or
specialist, not seldom hits upon precious facts. But he
more often shares the fate of the ignorant prospector who,
by ignoring geology, wastes his labour and dies in a wilder-
ness where no gold can be found. The proper method for
any scientific man is to employ all knowledge whatsoever,
in order to attain such a degree of insight into the value
of others' observations as well as his own as to be able to
use and test both. To grasp general conclusions in what
METHOD IN SCIENCE 5
we know, and to ignore them in what we are ignorant of, is
It may be said that every one admits that general
laws apply in all things, and that to insist on the fact is
both otiose and absurd. A belief, however, may produce
small results if it is not put into practice. Every one, of
course, recognizes that nothing whatever occurs anywhere
which can contradict the laws of energetics. And yet
vitalism flourishes. Almost all will agree that chemistry
is capable of becoming in time an exact science, and while
yet inexact, has general laws which some day must be shown
to exist, even in the realm of what those, who wish to avoid
the connotational pitfalls of the word " mind," may be
permitted to call " mentation." But, nevertheless, many
are prone to argue that conclusions reached in sociology,
for instance, can have no meaning for a physiologist,
biologist, chemist, or physicist. Though general laws are
in action through all nature, their opinion is that any
argument founded upon them is an argument from analogy,
and a mere illustration. Resting, as they believe securely,
on the absurd dictum that it is dangerous to argue from
analogy, they refuse to draw any conclusion, even a ten-
tative one, by its use, being ignorant of the value placed
on such reasoning by a logician like John Stuart Mill, and
forgetful that analogy is pure, if incomplete, induction.
For it can only be built on facts.
The bulk of this book was written, and the suggested
methods employed, before I became aware that in one place,
at least, Herbert Spencer had suggested a way in which
sociological problems might give clues to the elucidation
of physiological problems. I may, perhaps, be excused for
not having read his paper on " Transcendental Physiology "
till lately. Indeed, a great deal of his physiological know-
6 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
ledge seems inadequate even for his day, and perhaps shows
signs that the facts, or supposed facts, were found for him
by assistants, and never properly considered. Whether this
is true or not, he did suggest that we might not only work
forward from the economy of the animal to the social
organism, but that, in selected cases, analogies drawn from
the body politic might sometimes be used to elucidate
physiological problems. He says : " Hints may be ex-
pected if nothing more. And thus we venture to think
that the Inductive Method, usually employed alone by
most physiologists, may not only derive important assist-
ance from the Deductive Method, but may further be
supplemented by the Sociological Method." He does not
seem to have suggested elsewhere that much more than
hints were to be looked for, or that the method might be
employed not only in physiology, but also in biology and
pathology. In no place can I find it said that it might
prove of assistance in discovering how general principles
worked in any science whatsoever, if each problem were
worked backwards and forwards from one science to
There is no need to go deeply into the question of ana-
logical reasoning. It is sufficient to point out that, used
with caution, it is the most rapidly fruitful form of all
ratiocination. Maine called it, "in the study of juris-
prudence, the most valuable of instruments," even when he
uttered a caution against its premature employment.
For any aseful analogy must show sufficient points of com-
mon likeness between two sets of observed facts to suggest
that a general law rules in both. A true analogy is not
merely a fanciful likeness, such as may be made out of one
point. Although Mill wrote : " There is no analogy, however
faint, which may not be of the utmost value in suggesting
METHOD IN SCIENCE 7
experiments or observations that may lead to more general
conclusions," there is no need to push it to an absurd
extreme, as Herbert Spencer himself did, when he endorsed
Liebig's comparison of blood corpuscles, as a circulating
medium, to money. But from one point of likeness we may
proceed to two or three, or as many as we will, until there
is complete identity in all essentials. To dismiss an
analogy, in which there are many points of resemblance, as
pure fancy is unwise, to say the least of it, since it stimulates
the imagination in the liveliest way. Most advances in
thought are made by the imaginative, who yet hold steadily
to the view that the most ingenious hypothesis cannot
become theory unless it is in accordance with the greater
general laws of the more inclusive sciences, and at last
enables us to prophesy about unknown phenomena, and
to put into order disconnected facts. Used in this way
the discovery of suggestive analogies is the parent of real
progress, and it ought not to be necessary to say so. If it
were not necessary we should see the method used, and
students, young or old, would not be so greatly burdened
with mere isolated observations.
If, then, we admit that general laws are everywhere the
same in their working, however much obscured by the com-
plexities of the less inclusive sciences, and allow that
analogies tried by such laws are a legitimate field for the
scientific imagination, we must conclude that observed
sequences in one science ought to be discoverable in all
others. And if certain sequences are clear in one and
obscure in another, while there are still sufficient points of
likeness to suggest a like kind of explanation in the obscure
set, we may legitimately conclude that we are face to face
with the same general laws.
To illustrate such points is not altogether easy, since
8 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
their comprehension depends entirely upon a fairly adequate
apparatus in more sciences than one. This is not common,
and the very possession of such knowledge seems to render
its owner suspect in the eyes of the exclusive specialist.
It is easy for him to show that upon recondite and very
special points no one but himself can be sufficiently
informed. But when we reflect that on these very points
few specialists agree, though they are at one on many
general principles, we can afford to discount such criticism.
It is illegitimate to call any one a sciolist because he is not
conversant with every obscure and debatable point, since
the real weakness of the sciolist is eagerness to insist on
small points, and to fail in the grasp of great ones. Without
demanding of men of science any general philosophical
theory, we may still ask them to admit that it is the greatest
privilege of any worker, when surveying the whole field of
knowledge, to discern in it real likenesses. It has been
said that the highest type of intellect is that which discovers
likenesses, while the second order is apt to insist upon
differences. If this is so it must be admitted that the highest
type is not common. To hold the balance between rash
generalization and a refusal to generalize at all is not easy,
and it may be supposed that the qualities which enable
any one to do so can seldom be found in those deeply
committed to specialism. Yet the ranging of phenomena
under superior headings, which is real " explanation," cannot
be achieved unless likenesses are seen where none appear
on the surface. The history of science shows that any
new discovery or generalization has usually been met with
hostility by the best informed on special facts. If the work
of Harvey had been dependent for acceptance on the vote
of specialists it would assuredly have been rejected And
if it is now said that the phenomena seen in any society,
METHOD IN SCIENCE 9
considered as a closed system or organism, can throw light
upon special points of physiology, pathology, and biology,
or even on debatable points in physics, such a statement
will not easily meet with assent. But the fact remains
that those who reject it still admit that the laws of physics
rule everywhere, and that the doctrines of energetics can be
seen in whatever place work is being done. To admit so
much, and refuse to see that in all phenomena there must be
discoverable essential points of likeness, is a contradiction.
And to say, even if there are real likenesses which enable
us to use such a method as a key to discovery, that the
time is not yet come, or the knowledge acquired, for such
an organon to be used, is simply an assertion without
proof. To go on merely accumulating facts, and we must
remember that no " fact " is a fact until it is made part
of a whole, is after all labourer's work, and within the power
of any one with diligence. We may reflect curiously on the
truth that the national neglect of science is again repeated
by many men of science themselves when they refuse to
recognize the place of fresh thought in their work, or, by
reason of their conservatism, place more than reasonable
difficulties in the way of those who try to co-ordinate their
The logical method here advocated, if it has its dangers,
is of peculiar suggestiveness. To apply observations in a
well-known science to one in a state of less order, of which
the genera] laws seem still unknown, requires, it would
seem, less skill than the art of selecting certain points in
the obscurer study, which show that some general law is at
work, and using them to solve problems in the more
advanced science. To put this as clearly as possible, it
may be said that while sociologists need find no difficulty
in applying with success the analogies of bodily disorders,
10 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
pathologists, without a special logical apparatus, will easily
go astray in using social phenomena as a guide to the ex-
planation of disease. But used with care, the method may
have great results. We are not confined to applying it to
physiology alone, nor need we seek real analogies in nothing
else than the social organism. If we get rid of the artificial
barriers between all the sciences, we can use biology to ex-
plain pathology and pathology to explain biology, provided
nothing assumed contradicts chemical or physical general-
izations. Such a process of regression may seem as obscure
as it will appear unsound to the over-cautious, but it is
possible that those who are weary of the prevalent method
of seeking to explain the facts of any science within its
own boundaries, such as is seen in bacteriologists without
any zeal for colloidal chemistry, will, perhaps, be inclined to
welcome any extension of Spencer's suggestion. To choose
short illustrations is not easy, and the best I know are
supplied in the body of this book. In this place I shall
endeavour to use the method more as a means of suggestion
than a method of proof, and shall apply it briefly to mitosis,
budding, the nature of the cell-nucleus, and to other
problems of heredity.
When dealing so briefly with the inter-relations of the
sciences, it is impossible to do more than make suggestions.
Yet, even at length, it would not always be easy to show
the pathologist that he should recognize what help physio-
logy may give him. I have been assured by a very
great physiologist that his notion of pathology was that
it tended to death, and need not be taken into account. He
had not considered the possible value of repair in evolution,
in spite of the obvious truth that in all branches of life,
thought, and mechanical invention, breakdowns lead to
new contrivances. The biologist, too, may refuse, and indeed
METHOD IN SCIENCE 11
does refuse, to consider the possibility of social phenomena
throwing light upon the problems of heredity mentioned
above, and the transmission of acquired or altered char-
acteristics. It is now orthodox in biology to adopt a
modified Weismannism, and no one would be more dis-
inclined to ask whether, in the evolution of societies and
their heredity, we can find anything to support or under-
mine the germ-plasm theory, than an orthodox believer.
Nor would he allow us to ask whether there are sociological
phenomena which suggest that altered characteristics can
be transmitted. Before answering, or attempting to answer,
either question as an example of method, it may be pointed
out that, even with the example of J. T. Cunningham's work
on hormones before them, most of the unorthodox biolo-
gists are almost as neglectful of the help in the'elucidation of
evolutionary problems given them by physiologists, who
have worked on the secretions and catalytic functions
of the endocrines, as their orthodox brethren. In speaking
thus of the biologist it must not be assumed that he alone
is indifferent to other work. The orthodox school of psycho-
logists, directly descended from the introspectional philo-
sopher and the theologian, are equally opposed to the bio-
logical school of sociologists. We can, in fact, find no school
without such " idols." In attempting what is, perhaps,
the vain attempt of their destruction, the most simple
example I can choose to illustrate the method advocated is
what I believe to be a real analogy between the problems
of heredity in biology and sociology. I may therefore
be permitted to use a portion of an unfinished paper on
" The Possible Mechanism of Transmission," with a view
to demonstrating anew the obvious fact that, since general
laws do obtain in the universe, their particular application
in all cases must have essential points of resemblance.
12 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
The function of the endocrine glands, in their relation
to general heredity, has been studied far too little. It is
true that Keith has explained popularly their probable
r61e with regard to racial types, but generally speaking
the hasty generalization of Weismann, upheld by many
whose record with regard to the dangers of premature
hypothesis might, perhaps, have safeguarded them, has been
a deadening influence upon biological speculation. And,
indeed, even those who have studied environment in the
belief that direct adaptation occurs, have been too apt to
speak of its influence in general terms, rather than to
inquire into the means by which it modifies an organism.
There seems to be no biologist who has properly grasped the
whole possibilities of catalysts as " tools " or instruments
by which the functions associated with protoplasm can
be activated, increased and, in certain cases, inhibited, or
has laid stress on the way in which all that they " create "
can once more give rise to other like but more complex
instruments. Instead of regarding protoplasm as modified
by the tools it employs, we hear of different kinds of pro-
toplasm. The very expression is an unverified hypothesis,
and ignores all that has been done on catalytic action by
the physiologists. Such assumptions differ very little
from those made by the vitalists who explain life by vitalism,
and vitalism by life. But when it is seen that proto-
plasm may, and actually does, alter in accordance with the
non-living organic tools it uses, just as races differ in accord-
ance with their " tools " or catalysts, it seems obvious
enough that varying organic phenomena follow each other
in accordance with the original catalytic tools employed,
which, in due order, are specialized by embryonic or highly
adapted glands such as the endocrines. For, as some may
be lost, so new ones can be acquired, and some again can
METHOD IN SCIENCE 13
be modified in changing internal or external environments.
Without the help of chemistry and physiology such a con-
ception could hardly have been reached, though a realistic,
not verbal, interpretation of Weismannism might have led
to the view that " determinants " were catalytic in nature.
Since we now recognize such a morphogenetic character of
catalysts and hormones, we need assume no other instru-
ments until it is shown definitely that they do not and
cannot satisfy the equation of life. If biologists had not
ignored pathology by following Darwin's lead blindly when
he assumed, without a shadow of proof, that unfavourable
variations must be without effect on evolution, they might
have inquired eagerly into the causes of disease, and have
found that much of it must inevitably be attributed to
factors, or the want of them, originally taken up from the
environment. The simplest example is, perhaps, that of
iron, and the latest recognized that of accessory food factors,
fat or water soluble.
If then the success or failure of morphogenesis is to be
attributed to such " tools " employed in a particular ener-
gizing field of the environment, it is easy to imagine, and
even to prove, that they must go over in the sperm or egg-
cell, or be re-acquired from the yolk, or from the parent
during gestation. Darwin's pangenes can thus be trans-
lated into the language of hereditary morphogenetic
Such a statement leads to an inquiry concerning the
nucleus of a cell. To what extent do biologists believe that
it is alive ? They write of the nucleo-plasm as if it were,
but all the physical phenomena of mitosis suggest that it is
not of the complex molecular structure furnished with
reversible catalysts dominating and directing anabolic and
catabolic processes which we call " life," but that it is com-
14 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
posed of chemical substances, which are determinants of
future morphogenesis. Such a view is in keeping with
Darwin's pangenes, and does not contradict Hartog's
physical mito-kinetic interpretation of the mitotic cell-
If, then, by following the suggestions of chemistry and
physiology, rather than by relying purely on limited experi-
ment and the microscope, we finally rid biology of the view
that there is true nucleo-plasm, and proceed on the assump-
tion that the nucleus is a varying vacuole, or " tool-shop,"
and food store-house in which catalysts, or determinants,
or activators, are kept, and from which they may be drawn
by various physical causes, use is being made of at least
three sciences, or four if we include physics, and we seem
on a path likely to lead to result. At least we shall not
ignore the environment, since it is, and must be, the field
from which all morphogenetic materials were originally
drawn, however complex they appear when used, com-
bined, and specialized by special organs, themselves the
earlier results of similar catalysts working in the embryo.
Yet another science may be used to help towards a
possible demonstration. An illustration is not a proof,
but, as suggested before, when it contains a larger number
of points of likeness it ceases to be a mere illustration.
The observed phenomena then seem peculiarly related to
each other, and if the illustration deals with familiar
phenomena the previously inexplicable problem may have
an intense light thrown upon it. It was such considerations,
combined with the scientific postulate that all biologic
phenomena, on whatever plane of development, follow the
same laws, which led me to seek in sociology and social
life some real illustrations of budding and mitosis, being
convinced that if found, they would be of a similar nature.
METHOD IN SCIENCE 15
It seemed to me that such biologic parallels were to be
discovered in the phenomena of colonization, especially in
examples of definite emigration parties in different vessels.
The departure of a portion of the community carrying its
own tools and weapons is obviously a real illustration of
budding, and indicates far more than, on a casual view, is
seen upon the surface. Provided the new environment is
not very different from the old one, the new civilization will
follow closely on that of the old. But when the environ-
ment changes, as new materials are discovered, the form will
and must change. A colonial " bud " which discovers iron
and makes weapons and tools from it will, in accordance
with its environment, and the stresses of life, become either
an agricultural, a hunting, or a fighting people. If tools
are catalysts, and catalysts are tools, we are surely in posses-
sion of some hint as to the mechanism of the transmission
of altered and acquired characteristics, and all the allied
sciences have lent their aid to the conception.
It is, however, in another illustration that we can best
discern the meaning and mechanism of mitosis. What can
be a better illustration of an extruded zygote than a ship
carrying a party of males and females, and furnished with
all the tools familiar to the mother-country in order to
cope with what is expected to furnish a suitable, and fairly
like, environment ? In such a vessel we have the human
protoplasm (on its plane probably no more complex than a
" unit of life "), and a definite provision of tools and weapons
for carrying on the communal life of the new unit. On
arrival at its destination we observe at once the influence of
the environment. It may be deadly, the " cell " may die, it
maybe wrecked, or it may never proceed to further develop-
ment and division. But supposing "the environment is
good, the new community, with the help of its tools, will
16 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
repeat in all essentials the life- history of the parent. If,
on the other hand, it is not so like the mother-country in
agricultural prospects, but more fruitful in game, we should
get a hunting community. The iron ploughs would be
turned into spears. Furthermore, we must remark that
the nature of the new organism depends very largely on
what was in the ship, and its nature. If unfertilized, i.e,
without men, it must either die or get fertilized by native
males. In that case the " tools," or catalysts of both
parties would be utilized according to the common ability
of both. There would arise a different species, and a
further budding or colonization would carry away a new
set of morphogenetic materials.
Provided, however, that the ship was " fertilized," an
iron or wooden ship might develop two different kinds of
civilization, especially if they were wrecked, and the tools
of mitotic material lost. But without disaster a state would
develop in accordance with its tools and seeds and weapons.
There is no need to be led away from the physical side of
the problem to that complex of physics and bio-chemistry
which we call psychology. The knowledge and traditions
of the colonists are its protoplasmic character, which again
has been determined, and is, the result of long ages of other
tools. That is to say, the character is the tools used plus
the protoplasmic energy.
On this analysis we see how transmission of un-
altered characters takes place, and even the Wies-
mannists may agree. But, furthermore, we observe that
race characteristics and habits and customs are modified
by the environment, and that a new metal, a new
cereal or root or fruit, may not only bring about
modifications, but be transmitted. Some real thing,
tool or catalyst, is transmitted and carried away
METHOD IN SCIENCE 17
when further budding or mitosis occurs. Without push-
ing these examples to extremes, it is worth showing
that phenomena, strictly and curiously analogous with
mitosis may occur. If a new colony gets too big for its
environment, and is " determined " (that is, driven by cir-
cumstances to enforced behaviour) to divide, what then
happens ? Stock is taken of the weapons, the tools, the
food. It is conceivable that all the tools must be assembled
and divided. We should in such a case get something like
a mitotic pattern. It would be rude and rough compared
with patterns in cells, just as cell patterns are probably
rude and rough compared with an experimental electro-
static pattern of mito-kinesis, where pure physical pheno-
mena are seen undisturbed. And yet it would be pattern
in so far as it was a new special order. Some celestial
observer, with a powerful microscope, would see peculiar
phenomena of arrangement and division, not to be under-
stood or even guessed at until actual division occurred.
The human " plasm " would divide : the " nuclear "
matter would be parted, and there would presently be two
organisms where there had previously been but one.
And once more the environment would play its part.
Some new discovery might make a new race. After genera-
tions it is conceivable that such a race, furnished with all
sorts of acquired means and methods, might find its
ancestors as barbarian as we find many primitive races
and, in its turn, would send forth colonies to acquire
further characteristics, or to lose those which it pos-
sessed, and revert to the savage or embryonic state.
If, as Mill declared, an analogy is an incomplete
induction, its incompleteness can be compensated
for by the discovery of other analogies, so that in
the end we approach, and may practically reach, com-
18 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
plete induction. I am little concerned with the techni-
cal logic of this or any other argument, since school
logic is but the skeleton of living reasoning. Live
reasoning is the art of persuasion, and usually consists in
the choice of examples which reinforce each other so that
a contradictory conclusion seems improbable. The view
taken as to the functions in development of catalysts,
or tools, organic or inorganic, can obviously be supported
by the reverse phenomena of involution, disease, and death.
If growth depends on the embryonic possession, and later
differentiation or acquirement of catalysts, old age and
decay as obviously depend on an increasing failure to manu-
facture, acquire, or use them. According to Child, if I
interpret him rightly, degeneration commences at birth, or
even earlier. As shown by the decreasing heart-rate,
there is a gradual slackening of metabolism possibly due to
the strain on the organism of manufacturing its own com-
plex catalysts, and dealing with its own food. Little by
little the strain increases, until the organism shows signs
of failure, and there is a loss of catalytic balance with
concomitant loss of activity. We have to account for the
diversion of available energy, and to say no more than that
it fails naturally is no explanation. Opotherapy, or the
exhibition of activating or inhibiting drugs, may prolong
the drama ; but the end comes when the body can no longer
be spurred on by what it makes or ingests.
There is also in the phenomena of a serious or fatal
disease an inverted parallelism to those of growth and life.
Infection, or " shock," whatever that may be, affects the
functions of every tissue and gland, and many classic cases
of " fever " may be mapped out by symptoms caused, not
by the infection, but by prematurely vitiated secretions,
and the consequent loss of catalytic power to deal with the
METHOD IN SCIENCE 19
disease, with nutriment itself, or with excretions. It seems,
then, that in birth, life, disease, and death itself, what we
witness is the use, acquisition, or failure and gradual loss of
When we consider that in all inductive arguments what-
ever we can only attain a high degree of probability, a
proposition put very clearly by Jevons, it assuredly seems
that catalysts can be acquired, as they can even more
certainly be lost. Such a theory is not only of value in
biology and the ordinary course of practical medicine, but
may probably be employed with advantage in the study of
the origins of disease lately commenced at St. Andrews by
Mackenzie. His research will undoubtedly deal with the
future effect on the youthful organism of the passing ail-
ments of children, the lasting results of early innutrition
or want of food factors, and into the probability of such
disorders as periodontitis having early undiscovered
stages which affect the whole metabolic or catabolic
machinery of the patient. It should not be forgotten that
studies of this kind were suggested by Galton. If con-
sidered analogical reasoning should thus tend to support
the intuition and clinical knowledge of the physician it
cannot be disdained. It is obvious, and should need no
proof, that the imagination, controlled by knowledge, is an
integral part of the logic of discovery. It is the Mount
Pisgah of science.
Since I hope to have shown with some plausibility that
such obscure phenomena as mitosis and the vexed question
of transmission of acquired and altered characteristics can
be illustrated, and made clearer by the examples just given,
and since such considerations threw light on the nature of
a cell-nucleus, and enabled us to think of it as a store-house,
while we look on catalysts as tools picked up on the
20 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
path of evolution to enable protoplasm to do better and
quicker work, it seems at last that such problems as
variations of all kinds, healthy or morbid, may really find
solutions in the study of sociology as a mixed biological,
physiological, and pathological science. And since all
developmental diseases are truly variations from the average
or normal type, it looks as if in the future such a study might
enable the pathologist to discern the real nature of malig-
nancy, and all the disorders connected with the endocrine
organs, which are the regulators of development and orderly
growth. No study of any science coming finally under the
inclusive head of biology can leave us in doubt of the
entire interdependence of all parts of an organism,
however much such interdependence is masked during
normal or static conditions. But when there is a grave
state of disorder these relations become obvious. It is
so in a " body," and it is so in a state.
During the late condition of Europe such phenomena
were to be seen very clearly. Variation after variation
followed on stress, and as the nations responded to the strain
put upon them, it was seen how energy was diverted from
its normal channels and poured, regardless of economic
considerations, into new and enlarged growths of offensive
organs. There is no need to labour these points. It must
have been obvious to every one that we were then (as we
are now) in the presence of biological factors dealing with
variation, and likely to present, if kept in unrestrained
action, all the phenomena of developmental disease. For
the essence of all development is symbiotic equilibrium,
balance, and symmetry. Without, in this place, applying
biology any further to the study of the social organism, it
may be asked whether such phenomena do not enable us
to grasp, if not in detail, at least in their broad outlines, the
METHOD IN SCIENCE 21
nature of the bodily disorders we know as developmental.
For all such disorders are either failures of growth or over-
growth, and at the back of them is the hierarchy of the
glandular system, each member of which is like a State
department claiming so much energy, money, and men, as a
contribution towards the active production of the necessary
organs, or tools, by which a nation meets the stresses of
the environment by increased growth on one line or new
growth on another. The functions of stress, failure, and
repair, which are as relevant to societies as to animals,
are considered in another part of this book.
Thinking upon such lines, and bearing in mind the fact
that during abnormal stress there is a tendency to reju-
venescence, marked by the jettison of old ideas, old men,
and even of the most sacred customs, since by such a jetti-
son the activity of a cell's or State's protoplasm is thereby
increased just as it is hindered by the reverse process
we reach the conception that such a process can be over-
done, and a state of protoplasmic activity attained which is
embryonic, or anarchic. No observer of war phenomena
can have failed to observe the tendency to weakness in
central control, accompanied, and indeed measured, as it
was by the increased and violent activity of various depart-
ments of State responding according to the nature of the
stresses laid upon them. If central (or shall I say glan-
dular ?) control by inhibition had broken down, we should
have seen phenomena on a parallel with those of malignant
tissues. Perpetual stimulation or irritation by itself tends
to overgrowth of the bodily or social tissue or organ in-
volved ; but when such a tendency is not controlled by other
tissues or organs, there is a tendency to invasiveness or
destructive parasitism. Such observations seem to show
that carcinomas and allied phenomena have their analogues
22 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
in a social body, and preclude us from thinking of them by
themselves, or attributing them to special, rather than to
general, causes. It is, moreover, impossible not to notice
the connection beween such phenomena and the doctrines of
energetics. When only so much free energy is to be shared
among co-partners, its over-consumption by one implies
not only over-activity in one place, but starvation in
another, with a resulting loss of balance.
Such particular consideration of certain unsolved
problems leads directly to an analysis of any organism as a
whole, and as interdependent parts. When taken as a
whole, it can once again be regarded as part of a wider, more
inclusive organism ; but to regard it on any plane as com-
posed of parts, forces upon us the fact that they exist in
symbiosis as separate cell states. Symbiosis is, however,
usually construed as mutual help, and this is only a partial
statement of the facts, unless the organism is static in
static circumstances, that is, unless it is perfectly " adapted "
to an unchanging environment. Such a condition is ideal
" anarchism," a state of affairs in which each unit functions
freely according to its nature, and in no way interferes with
other units, since it lacks any qualities, or secretions, which
exercise irritating or depressing functions on its neighbours.
Such a form of life, while ideally possible, has probably
never been attained, and ordinary symbiotic equilibrium is
only reached practically in organisms of which the parts are
not only helpful among each other, but are actually ' ' hostile ' '
in other ways. The use of the word " hostile " is, of
course, no more than verbal shorthand to express the fact
that each part has its own work, and in many cases its own
frontiers, or limiting membrane. This is a rough state-
ment of the biological conception of any organism, and we
can only conceive equilibrium in such a symbiotic com-
METHOD IN SCIENCE 23
munity as a result reached by, and in spite of, internal
stresses. In such an organism each part is excited or
inhibited, or both, by the secretions of the other parts.
Any secretion is an excretion, but these excretions have
found their uses, either as activators or catalysts, or as
direct depressants or inhibitors. That the biological
conception is universally true of all organisms is suggested
not only in biology proper, but by the hostility, open or
subdued, which characterizes classes in society, and it
suggests, and in many cases supplies, a real key to the com-
prehension of developmental disease. As was suggested
above, it throws a light upon the effects of diseases other
than developmental, since death frequently occurs from
an indirect effect on parts of the organism, some of which are
destroyed, and others stimulated. When recovery occurs,
it often happens that the grave disturbance of a violent
infection is found to have disturbed the symbiotic life of
the organism, and by reducing some part, or gland, to partial
impotence, either by excitation or inhibition, leads to later
failures of development or to lethal overgrowth. We can
thus imagine a slight organic " social " disturbance in a
human being leading directly to acromegaly or other
disorders of the pituitary, or to myxcedema, Graves'
Disease, and all the possible effects of hypo- or hyper-
In carrying the analogical method so far, I am well aware
that it will be said that such suggestions are without
foundation, that they are true but unimportant, or that
they are important and that every one knew them long ago.
But I have been more impressed by a single fact than I
shall be by all such criticisms combined. When I suggested
to an eminent pathologist that, without a considerable
knowledge of biology, very much of pathology could not be
24 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
properly understood or explained, he replied, possibly not
without humour, that he had no time for the course of study
I was so good as to map out for him. I accepted the rebuke
in good part, but could not help thinking what a lamentable
thing it was for scientific discovery that each worker in
any particular branch of research apparently hastened to
forget the very nature of explanation, which is the intro-
duction of order in all forms of knowledge, and the arrange-
ment of every fact under the headings of more inclusive
sciences, so that each phenomenon can be seen from all
possible points of view.
It was before remarked that there is much well-founded
complaint of the neglect of science in England ; but the truth
is that none neglect it like many scientific men who might
be supposed to know better. It is not only so in the
sciences directly connected with medicine, but in all others.
In no psychology whatsoever can any recognition of the
valuable work done by Robertson Smith, Tylor, and Fraser
be observed. While the introspective philosopher digs in
the morasses of his own mind, and with each shovelful
proclaims some individual accident or hasty explanation as
a universal truth, the more advanced experimentalist in
mentation relies mainly upon the compilation of statistics.
But both alike ignore the light thrown upon the workings of
the brains of our far-off ancestors, as seen in thought crystal-
lizing into custom, myth, and ritual. The very logicians,
who ex hypothesi are exponents of reason, prefer, so it seems,
to dally in the ruined schools of mediaeval philosophy,
rather than study the natural logic of the mind of man as
shown in every branch of folk-lore. There has been little
endeavour, or none that has met with favour, to analyse the
natural hostility of group to group, such as is seen exempli-
fied in " the tribal spirit," into its constituents, nor has it
METHOD IN SCIENCE 25
been recognized that in every organism, or even manu-
factured mechanism, the facts of hostile symbiosis are
fundamental. Only thus can we link the very passions
of politics and all strife to proved law. In another place I
have endeavoured, as far as possible, to use anthropology
as a key not only to unlock past history, and to elucidate
possible factors of human progress, but to show that certain
conditions were the true parents of all the enlarged animal
instincts and powers of inference seen in the modern human
brain. It is easy to fail, but it is a duty to try, and while
endeavouring to map out the ancient paths of evolution, we
must surely avail ourselves of every scientific lamp however
If the rough suggestions of this paper carry any weight,
and suggest reflections upon method, it will certainly be
admitted that students have rarely taken sufficient ad-
vantage of the truth, that not only is evolution going on all
around them in every phenomenon they observe, but that
processes vitally similar to those they seek to explain are
this day occurring in the great social organism of which they
are a part. Without hope of moving those in whom evolu-
tion has done its work, and involution has begun, it may be
said that to seek to solve the problems of heredity without
taking serious notice of the fact that societies give birth to
and bud off from other societies, and to rely mainly on
microscopic research when great macroscopic phenomena of
the same kind are within arm's-length of the worker, appears
almost ridiculous. If Lyell worked on the hypothesis that
the observed daily changes in the surface of the earth,
though due only to causes that seemed too slight to consider,
might account for the world as we see it, and even help to
prophesy results in future ages, we may say that in all we
observe or experience are keys to the problems which other
26 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
sciences than geology seek to solve. For it may be repeated,
even again, that general laws are indeed general, and that
each special case is but that universal clad in its peculiar
garment of individual particulars. Necessary as the study
of these may be to some special application in life, it is by
putting them aside, and by divesting truth of its accidents
by the use of the generalizing imagination, that the greatest
results can be attained. The very evolution of the brain
itself has placed in our hands the mighty powers of surmise
and expectation, while experience has given us, when we
consider in the broadest spirit all that has been achieved,
a guide by which we can hope to direct our steps aright.
CHILD, C. M. " Senescence and Rejuvenescence."
CUNNINGHAM, J. T. " Heredity of Secondary Sexual Charac-
ters in Relation to Hormones," Proc. Zool. Soc. London,
GALTON, Sir FRANCIS. " Enquiries into Human Faculty."
HARTOG, MARCUS. "True Mechanism of Mitosis," Leipzig, 1914.
JEVONS, W. S. " Elementary Lessons in Logic," 1880.
KEITH, ARTHUR. " Differentiation of Mankind into Racial
Types," Address, Brit, Assoc., 1919.
MAINE, Sir H. G. "Ancient Law" (Pollock ed.), 1905.
MILL, J. S. " System of Logic," 1886.
SPENCER, HERBERT. " Transcendental Physiology," Essays,
1901, vol. i.
"P)EFORE trying to show how a general biological
-D and sociological principle can assist the investigator
of malignancy, I may say that it was the form of it
known as X-ray cancer which led me to attempt a co-
ordination of the many apparently unrelated facts con-
nected with it. To one not unfamiliar with speculation
from the time of Durante and Cohnheim, it seemed remark-
able that such a new aspect of the problem did not lead
the medical profession to discard theories formed before
X-rays were known. For, in the welter of conflicting
opinions as to the causes of cancer, it was at least certain
that here were agents which not only might, but, if suffi-
ciently applied, must in the end produce it. It seemed to
me then, as it seems now, that when such were discovered
all arguments as to the part played by " rests," or irritation,
or an acquired bad habit of tissues (Adami), or some
unknown infection, protozoal or bacillary, were partly
beside the point. Those martyrs to science, the early
radiologists, must have died in vain if no one recognizes
the high importance of the facts to which their agonies
bore witness. That radiologists, so far as I am aware,
have not seen the full value of X-ray dermatitis and
malignancy in cancer theory is, I can only suppose, due
to the immense calls upon their time and the peculiar
28 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
interest of their daily work. But among them orthodoxy
has scarcely had time to rear its head, and those who have
seen tissues increase or rarefy almost under their own eyes
will probably regard with suspicion a hypothetic unique
infection, let us say, which has the remarkable power of
causing the proliferation of vigorous invasive tissue. Any
theory of malignancy which does not co-ordinate their
work with all relevant physiological and pathological
facts cannot be a true one. But, by taking their labours
into account, and linking them with certain physiological
and pathological phenomena, it is, I think, possible to
show that a fresh general view may reveal its true nature.
If it is then seen that there is no invariable single ante-
cedent to malignancy, it must be admitted that there are
many exciting " causes" of which X-rays are but one. If
such is the case, it follows logically that it is in the tissues
concerned, their nature and relationship, that the true
cause must be found. Those who have learnt by bitter
experience how to upset, and happily more often to restore,
somatic equilibrium, will be most ready to admit this
conclusion. Dynamite may be detonated in many ways,
but the scientific cause of the explosion is not the man
with the match, or the motive which led to its use, though
these may be causes in law or psychology, or even the
fulminate cap, but its inherent molecular instability. Per-
haps the most valuable work done of late is that which
shows the means and methods by which an unstable
organism is kept in equilibrium, and an explanation of
malignancy must take it into account.
It is, however, not common for investigators to work
under the influence of general ideas which cannot easily
be shown to have strict relevance to their objects. Though
to avoid this prevents the concoction of fantastic views^
it is certain that too strong a revulsion against theory
tends to atrophy the imagination, which is the most powerful
weapon of analysis. If our hypotheses and experiments
are always closely related to the particular matter in hand,
we learn to distrust unduly the tentative inductions we owe
to those who do not fear to put forward provisional results
which seem to have no immediate bearing on investigation.
Thus we do not commonly speak of an organism as a
republic of cells, or a federation of organs, and though this
seems unprofitable to many, we do so with advantage, since
it helps to clarify our ideas on general metabolism. The
conception is even more useful when it tends to show that
symbiosis is not only found in groups or societies, but in
those close cell-systems to which we commonly restrict the
term " individual." The more such ideas are studied the
more fruitful they become, though progress has not so far
advanced but that it is commonly taken for granted that the
essence of symbiotic life is mutual or inter-organic help.
We ignore the fact that when two individuals, and definite
cell-colonies may with advantage be called such, preserve
individuality, there is in their relations a certain real, if
subdued, hostility. Mutual help, even if indirect, un-
doubtedly exists, but how easily their relationship may
become one of parasite and host all zoologists are aware.
There is often a great reluctance to admit that what is true
of an organism as commonly conceived, is also true of
loosely knit human societies, and that the converse is not
mere fancy. But when we observe that this fundamental
reserve hostility is in fact self-protection in those political
federations which help each member even while they
provide against encroachment on the part of others, or of
the federal authorities, and then compare such observations
with organic life, it may not, to those with scientific imagina-
30 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
tion, seem far-fetched to declare that the phenomena of
zoological and political symbiosis are intimately related,
and alike biological. Even in the healthy there is always
armed neutrality of tissues, and at any time there may come
a breakdown leading to warfare in the human body. Such
a conception helps us to see that, whatever the waste in
material, the methods by which life is built up, from
the apparently simple amoeba to the hugest empire,
are marvellously economical so economical, indeed,
as to suggest that life could be constructed only in
Whether such views are regarded as commonplaces or
extravagances every political student will recognize as
true the statement of fundamental inter-state hostility,
while every biologist or physiologist knows that balance
between opposing forces in the organism is a sine qua non
of its existence. To such a degree is this carried in health,
that every definite organ now appears to rule and to be
ruled, to control and to be controlled. The regulators of
metabolism are also the regulators of growth, and all alike
appear conditioned by the chemical messengers of their
environment. This is known to be true of the ductless
glands, and as we learn more of their functions we may
presently infer that all glands, ductless or not, have several
functions, and go on to suspect that every portion of the
whole body influences every other part, either for good or
evil. What was help may become refusal of aid, and what
was due inhibition may exhibit itself as destructive. If
we carry these general views with us, and seek for light,
not only in the lesser laboratory, but in the great laboratory
of life all round us in which ceaseless experiment is carried
on, we may presently be able to infer from the theory of
hostile symbiosis the real nature of malignancy, and to
suggest certain paths of inquiry and experiment with the
view to discovering a cure.
However much remains to be learnt of the glandular
system, it is known that the tissues respond or fail to re-
spond, and that characteristics are moulded in one way
or another, in accordance with the presence or absence,
the hypertrophy or atrophy, of these glands. When
sex is once determined the genital glands dominate
growth ; testes are more frequently correlated with larger,
ovaries with lesser, size. Ovariotomy allows undeveloped
male homologues greater opportunities ; early castration by
preventing differentiation preserves female characteristics.
If growth and size are mainly determined by the pituitary
and thyroid, emasculation appears to permit the pituitary
to exercise a greater influence on the legs, since the
eunuch's are longer than normal. Among the unsolved
problems of these organs is the phenomenon known as
unilateral acromegaly ; but the very fact that it occurs, and
that perfect symmetry is rare, shows how remarkably a
hormone, or regulators which Gley has named " harmo-
zones," can work or be inhibited. It seems that the
tissues are moulded according to the stimulation they
receive from secretions of which the chemical constitu-
tion may presently be as well known as that of adrenalin,
which exercises so powerful an influence on the blood-
pressure. A bone may be a function of many variables;
but one is a gland placed beside the brain. It seems prob-
able that the parathyroids influence the growth of nervous
tissue, since they control the irregular discharges of motor
nerves, and we yet learn that some forms of epilepsy are due
to hypo-parathyroidism. Thus not only growth, but much
normal behaviour, is ruled by what Bland-Sutton well calls
a glandular pantheon. That this is obviously so may
82 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
reasonably lead to the inference that interacting stimula-
tion and regulation is a function of all tissues, and that this
is the method of growth and order in every animal what-
soever. All cases of excessive or defective growth must
be classed as the result of stimulation, or the want of it, as
surely as we see atrophy follow a failure of function or
hypertrophy on its excess. But if this is generally true of
all the obviously controlled tissues, it may easily enough
be true of those which are regulated we know not how,
and, if that be granted for the sake of discussion, it seems
possible not only to class all cases of malignancy, but
to suggest possible means of combating it by other than
That some method should be adopted for clearing up the
confusion of theory seems obvious when the battle-ground
of the cancer authorities and specialists is surveyed without
prejudice. Unless there is definite reason for coming to
other conclusions, it is usually safest to work on the principle
that earnest and able workers are rarely entirely wrong.
That the constitutional view of cancer, held by Paget,
though undoubtedly " humoral," and therefore suspect,
is still advocated by some is not surprising when it takes
the form of " predisposition," if the word is interpreted in
the light of modern physiology and heredity. To go no
further than to speak of the cancerous diathesis, after the
more ancient manner, is however a denial of explanation.
The theory of infection may also have something to com-
mend itself, if it is only on the ground that infections
may stimulate a latent proclivity, though to declare that
malignancy is due to a special pathogenic organism is to
ask us to believe that every form of it has its own special
bacillus or protozoon, or that a single one can exhibit its
potentialities in a thousand shapes, while it is necessary to
ignore other very definite phenomena which can with
difficulty be brought into line with such views. Moreover,
few pathologists will admit that what is seen in cancers has
any great likeness to those diseases definitely traced to
infection. For such a theory to be complete explanation, it
would be necessary to class all inflammatory hyperplasias
with malignant overgrowth. It is, of course, impossible to
deal with all that has been said in support of the infection
theory, which at the moment seems the orthodox view ; but,
so far as I have yet discovered, no exposition of it can be
reconciled with the complete pathology and histology of
these disorders. 1 All the evidence alleged to support it can
be interpreted as irritation tending to upset metabolic
balance, and the conclusions drawn from it are not com-
patible with X-ray cancer, or with the physiological and
pathological phenomena at the base of chorion-epithelioma.
Such an explanation will, I feel sure, be found a super-
fluous luxury, and as such to be dispensed with by the
economic philosopher. There are also workers who seem
satisfied with the notion that the phenomena in question
are due to loss of function in some cells, and increase of
function in others. This is no doubt true, but, again,
that is the very thing which needs to be explained.
We are often told that irritation is the cause of cancer,
and the mere statement seems to be considered ex-
planation. This is not the case for, though irritation is
often followed by cancer, all that is proved is that in some
of the organisms concerned resistance to irritation is
weakened, whereas in others it is maintained. Not every
clay-pipe smoker, even with syphilis, or every burnt
Kangri-user in Kashmir, or every chimney sweep, or pitch
or paraffin worker, gets cancer. We wish to know why
1 See Appendix A. The Infection Theory of Cancer.
34 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
these differences exist, and we shall then be able to class
malignancy among other phenomena of normal and
abnormal growth. The attribution of malignancy to foods
is possibly not without value, if it leads to a diet which is
not irritating to the intestinal canal, and the fact that
salmon or trout fry, when fed abnormally on hog's liver, may,
it seems, suffer from an overgrowth of thyroidal tissue, which
later may become malignant, is of importance ; but we are
still as far as ever from the knowledge of causes which leads
to explanatory classification. It appears that all these
views are true as far as they go. If it can be shown that
they all point in one direction, we should not be far from
There are, however, other theories to be taken into
account, which appear of greater value, since they are more
than re-statement, and seek explanation in the nature and
functions of the very tissues which become abnormal.
Such endeavours take into consideration not only pathology,
but physiology as well. If it is said, by the way, that there
is no greater hindrance to scientific advance than the
separation of physiology and pathology, few, who are not
specialists in either branch of learning, will be found to
deny it. The opinions, for they are little more, of Thiersch
and Waldeyer, have at any rate the advantage of contact
with the physiological side of the problem. Thiersch
held that with advancing age the connective tissue ceased
to be able to hold the epithelium in check. It was a
brilliant guess, but it failed to account for carcinomas in the
young, nor does it in any way explain sarcomas. Yet
how near the truth it was may possibly be shown later,
though, according to Bainbridge, the modern view of the
function of epithelium during development is that it
determines the character of the connective tissue, and
that cancer cells mould or determine connective tissue " to
their requirements." This may mean much or nothing,
for I confess to having seen few such loose statements.
Waldeyer's opinion was more complicated than Thiersch's,
and fuller of assumptions. He held that the epithelium
was weakened and, being pressed on by the connective
tissue, was in parts isolated, and thereby in some inexplic-
able way liable to transformation into cancer cells. Since
this transformation is the problem, we should be no further
advanced if insistance on the material of change were not
distinctly useful. Durante and Cohnheim, also, seem to
have been in favour of the theory that the epithelium and
connective tissue directly influenced each other; but
Cohnheim was led away by the sequestration or " cell-
rest " theory which is due to him. Modern research seems
to support his opinion that tumours are frequently to be
attributed to such causes ; but the malignity of some and
the benignity of others is still to be explained. It is absurd
to suppose that embryonic " rests " always occupy the
sites of tumours started by irritation, and Cohnheim himself
excepted certain cases where that seems the immediate
cause of malignancy. Ribbert held that such " rests " can
be created post-natally, and that epithelium, when cut off
from its ordinary physiological control, can proliferate
malignantly. Implantation tumours by themselves are suffi-
cient disproof of this view. Adami attributes cancer to an
acquired " habit of growth." The cells devote themselves
to mitosis. After what I have said I need not add that
this is merely re-description. It deals with " how ? "
not with " why ? " Green attributes cancer largely to the
influence of the combustion products of coal or peat, with
a high percentage of sulphur, as well as to low-lying valleys.
While such may be contributory factors to a loss of sym-
36 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
biotic equilibrium, they certainly do not " explain "
malignancy. For it cannot be too frequently insisted on
that true explanation is the classification of phenomena
under some more inclusive law. Observations, however
useful they may prove as regards prevention, are not
explanation. For instance, if it be true that atrophy of
the thyroid is common, or almost invariable, in cancer, we
are not much further advanced in explanation, although in
certain cases, say those of familial proneness to malignant
disease, such an observation might be useful.
The sole general results which I am able to extract
from the argumentative confusion of the subject is that
epithelium and connective tissue somehow or other possess
the capacity of invasive aberrancy under long-continued
irritation. This may be no more than a re-statement, but
it suggests that the only hope of explanation lies in the
discovery of the reasons for tissue stability or instability.
Is there any reason for supposing that instability or in-
vasiveness is in certain conditions a physiological quality in
epithelium ? That connective-tissue cells are capable of
reparative work of an invasive order we know already. It
seems that the reply to the question about epithelium is
ready to hand. Bland-Sutton was, perhaps, on the very
verge of a possible explanation of cancer when he declared
that in the normal action of the trophoblasts of the
fertilized ovum could be seen the physiological type of the
invasive action of epithelium. In chorion-epithelioma
such a physiological type becomes pathological. This
dictum implicitly asserts that where the trophoblastic
action becomes malignant, there is a loss of balance ; the
multi-nuclear cap of the villus is not inhibited by the normal
uterine reactions which usually prevent such invasion.
What is it in the normal uterus which does inhibit it ?
We are not going beyond what is known of repair if we say
that the reaction tissues are mainly connective. In the
normal gravid uterus the erosive action of the trophoblast
is thus in all probability stayed by a connective-tissue
reaction. Yet this erosive action is malignancy. Cells in
contact with the trophoblast dissolve are, as it were,
digested. As the larva of the blow-fly dissolves dead cells,
so the trophoblast cap dissolves live uterine cells, by some
chemical product, some cytolitic secretion. In normal
gestation such action is neutralized sooner or later, and
since malignant epithelium, when active, pierces connective
tissues as if they did not exist, the reaction which stays
its course in the uterine wall must be more than mere
fibrous growth. We seem compelled to assume that some
cells can neutralize malignant cytolitic action by their
products, and thus restore physiological balance. The
resumption of pathological action in chorion-epithelioma
comes on in the period of involution, when all the uterine
tissues lose their activity. It seems hardly too much to
say that the secretions or cell-products of the active con-
nective tissue are those which inhibit, or fail to inhibit,
the alien epithelium. H. B. Spencer, after quoting Sir
John Williams, who stated that pregnancy had no influence
in causing benign ovarian tumours to become malignant, and
that in old women such are rare, goes on to say that the
cause of this rarity cannot at present be stated. A light
is, however, thrown upon these facts if it is remembered
that during gestation and the retrocedence of the aged
ovary there is great connective-tissue activity.
If the implications of the argument are clear, it will be
seen that the conclusion to be drawn tentatively is that in
such reactions lies hidden the mystery of malignancy.
It will, perhaps, be objected that the multi-nuclear cap of the
S 7 5 1 u
38 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
trophoblast is in a sense of alien origin, whereas ordinary
malignant growths are autochthonous. In this very fact
of partial alien origin lies support of the view suggested. It
is more than conceivable that the male element in the
zygote is here the earliest possible origin of malignant
energy. It would not be wholly surprising if future investi-
gation traced such cases to the peculiar energy of some
spermatozoa. The ease with which a sperm-cell enters the
unfertilized ovum might be a measure of the likelihood of
chorion-epithelioma, provided that the resistance of the
ovum were a measure of the general tissue resistance of the
maternal organism. But even granting that the alien, or
partially alien, origin of the trophoblast renders malignancy
more likely than with ordinary somatic tissues, it may be
replied, on the lines adopted at the beginning of this paper,
that all such tissues are, in spite of their symbiotic life,
fundamentally alien and hostile. A breakdown in their
relations as established by evolution may, and in many
forms of disease does, occur. By the study of the glan-
dular system the interdependence of all tissues is inferred.
There is, also, undoubtedly self -protection. ' Thus far
and no farther " is embryological law. With deficient
inhibition we see this law abrogated. For in a new environ-
ment we may see any variation. Thus the polymorphism
of malignant epithelial cells described by E. H. Kettle is
just what might be expected on the loss of normal control.
The whole body is a group of organs and tissues which are
not always harmonious, and the behaviour of malignant or
benign aberrant tissue is by no means a phenomenon
standing by itself. Probably all tissues might become
malignant if they were as capable of free and rapid pro-
liferation as connective tissue and epithelium. Invasiveness
is natural to embryonic tissues. But have not embryo-
legists been apt to regard the cessation of invasion at
a given stage as a " natural " fact, i.e. just the result to be
expected of that kind of cell or tissue ? But to cease
growing means either a failure of energy or inhibition, and
growth must be analysed into excitation and inhibition.
In a very true sense " malignancy " or invasiveness is char-
acteristic of all growing tissue. It is not a wild illustration
to point out that in society we are all potential criminals at
the mercy of excitation and inhibition, nor otiose to observe
that the liability to crime on the part of aliens in this or any
country is due to unaccustomed stimulation and the lack
of former inhibitions. Such criminality is an analogue of
malignancy. I owe to Professor Keith the suggestion that
the negro in the United States is even a better example.
The negro community there is as much a transplanted tissue
as a cancer metastasis, it tends to spread, excites violent
reactions, and might conceivably prove definitely malignant.
I am aware that the remark may excite ridicule ; but it can
be pointed out that the reaction against the immigrant
negro in the north is comparatively slight, and that when
trouble occurs it is very frequently due to the presence of a
Southerner who, by his previous contact with the race,
has been "sensitized " so as to react violently. Without
desiring to push the analogy to its farthest extreme, it is
obvious that a large negrine irruption tends to break up and
push apart previous social bonds and regulations. I do
not see how it can be denied that such illustrations help
us to understand the more obscure somatic phenomena.
It must be quite obvious by now that the views here
advocated link the general theory of malignancy to the
doctrine of the endocrine organs, that glandular hierarchy
or pantheon which rules growth and metabolism. When
we observe that the absence of a particular secretion limits
40 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
growth, or that its undue increase makes such growth abnor-
mally large, we are assuredly dealing with phenomena
closely connected with the existence of epithelial or con-
nective-tissue neoplasms. In both sets of phenomena the
root fact is failure of proliferation or its excess. If we delve
deeply enough into causes it will not seem absurd to put
cancers and giantism or acromegaly into related sub-classes.
That the latter are due to abnormal glandular activity we
know. With normal pituitary influence no overgrowth
occurs. Connective-tissue proliferation ceases at a point
when the glandular system becomes balanced. This is
obviously the case with what we see in repair of normal
epithelium and connective tissue. When the epithelium is
stripped away, and the underlying structures damaged, the
connective-tissue cells proliferate rapidly. As the young
epithelial cells invade the edges of the wound the under-
lying cells become fibrous and deep scar- tissue. Excessive
and unhealthy granulations only arise when the epithelium
does not do its work. Histologically there is a great like-
ness between round-celled sarcoma and granulation tissue,
and, after all, granulation is no more than connective-
tissue cell proliferation growing outwards into a wound
where normal tissues are wanting. A sarcoma might
almost be called inverted ingrowing granulations . That the
varied phenomena of malignancy exceed in variety those
attributable to merely defective or hypertrophied glands
is only what might be expected. Such glands are highly
specialized epithelium with very definite work. The
general epithelium of the body is much less differentiated
and nearer the embryonic type. It is found practically
everywhere. Connective tissue is the somatic network;
in no part is it absent. It exhibits a remarkable capacity
for many forms of rapid specialization, and may be looked
on as highly unstable because of these very qualities. But
its instability is obviously a function of many variables.
From the universal presence of these two tissues we infer
that normally there is nothing in the organism which
inhibits the existence of either in any part. They can grow
anywhere, and if aberrancy occurs at all it is in them we
should look for it, if they did not, in some analogous to the
action of the endocrines, inhibit each other's undue growth.
The age incidence of sarcoma and carcinoma suggests most
forcibly that they do so. Sarcoma is predominately a
disease of youth, though it may be found at any age. It may
develop in utero. Repair is most active when it is com-
monest, and epithelium is most delicate. Epithelium
reaches a peculiar state of activity, as shown by its
products and conduct, at a later age in which connective-
tissue activity is lessened and repair slackens. It is a period
in which persons of failing metabolism tend to accumulate
toxic products in the connective tissue which depress and
inhibit its activity. It is the age of cancer. When cancer
occurs in the adolescent there is frequently a history of
heredity. That the unbalanced should breed unbalanced
offspring is not surprising. The cancer house and the
cancer valley are unhealthy, most low-lying. From a defec-
tive environment we do not expect tissue health or balance,
i.e. the normal influence of one tissue on another in a
federated system. It is by no means necessary that such
influences must be exerted by definite glands. Every glan-
dular secretion is but a specialized form of some unknown
epithelial product. Snake venom arises in a specialized
salivary gland ; the secretion of the salivary gland in
embryonic epithelial cells. Epithelium as the parent tissue
of the true glands must have its own unspecialized secre-
tion, which is poured into the circulation and exerts its
42 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
influence everywhere. We can hardly go wrong if we
say that every cell in the body influences every other cell,
and that those which are in an immense majority have
much power. Newton's law of gravity might almost be
translated into a somatic law, even if some physiological
Einstein presently corrected it.
It is, therefore, by no means mere guesswork to assume
that the relations of epithelium and connective tissue are the
essence of the cancer problem. Quite independent of their
cross action in repair we actually see in atrophic " scirrhus "
of the mamma that this slowly developing cancer is sur-
rounded by more or less dense strands of fibrous tissue, and
is often known as withering or contracting cancer. Patients
may live for twenty years or more with this variety of the
disease. In old age the connective tissue appears to give
way, and the few imprisoned anarchic epithelial cells may
resume their invasive qualities. It was such cancers
which showed the older physicians that there were attempts
at repair in malignancy ; but they attributed its arrest to
mere mechanical action, a view not tenable when we
consider the great erosive effect of really wild epithelium.
Handley has shown that in melanotic cancer at a later stage
of permeation, there is inflammation accompanied by
round-celled infiltration and fibrous growths, while in
Paget's Disease there is peri-lymphatic fibrosis. From the
experiments in vitro of Champy, much can be learnt as to
the relations of these tissues. He demonstrated that when
renal tissue was grown in a nutritive plasm it showed,
after nine hours, new tubules of a primitive order, while
still further away from the original section the epithelial
cells did not form tubules, and were of a simple embryonic
type. This can only be attributed to loss of control by
normal inhibitions. When the same worker cultivated
simpler epithelium and connective tissue together, the
epithelial cells retained their characteristics; but when
they spread and grew apart from the connective tissue they
lost their usual order and appearance, and were no longer
true epithelium. Only one inference can be made. It is
that these tissues are to each other controlling environment.
Bayliss says in commenting on this, " It seems that cells,
when they have taken special functions in the organism, are
normally prevented by some means from continuing their
primitive multiplication, and that when this influence which
restrains their growth is removed, they start afresh and
produce simple embryonic tissue. There is significance in
these facts in connection with the formation of malignant
tissues." Assuredly nothing could be truer and, working
with the analogy of the endocrines, we are forced to
conclude that like effects are produced by like causes.
The " influence " at work must be some product of the
connective tissue. In an unstable organism any depressing
factor inhibiting the activity of that tissue, such as un-
eliminated katabolic toxins accumulating in the lymphatics
and connective tissue generally, may end in allowing the
explosive epithelium to break out into embryonic activity.
Such instability has many analogues in pathology.
If it be granted that these facts are of importance, it
seems that it is by using them, and by following the indica-
tions afforded us by chorion-epithelioma and X-ray cancer
that we are likely to solve the problem. No doubt it may
seem strange to bracket such diseases, but if it be found
that two disorders so different in origin point the same way
we cannot be far from the truth. In X-rays we have an
exciting cause of epithelial overgrowth which not only
may, but if sufficiently applied, must produce malignancy.
The symptoms of X-ray dermatitis are those of profound
44 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
irritation, epithelial overgrowth, attempts at repair, which
in mild cases succeed and in severe ones fail disastrously,
leaving the skin in epithelial anarchy. It is cracked and
fissured in every direction, heaped up in one place and
broken down in another, until it becomes a picture of dis-
order rarely seen even in the domain of dermatology. Such
an exhibition of ineffective energy spent at the surface in
vain efforts at repair makes it less surprising that what we
may call the potential of the deep epithelial layers of the epi-
dermis becomes abnormally kinetic. It may be said that the
cells of that layer grow malignant because they find existence
impossible in their normal position. It seems certain that
in large doses the effect of the rays on connective tissue is
depressing : they are, at any rate, totally unable at the last
to resist, either by mechanical or chemical means, the push
of the escaping epithelium. It is stated by Darier and
Wolbarth that in X-ray dermatitis there is hypertrophy of
the epidermis, and pronounced degeneration of the corium,
the most marked result being, as I anticipated before
I was aware of the actual facts, the rarefaction of the sub-
epidermal portion. I may also mention the work of
Lazarus-Barlow and his co-workers at the Middlesex
Hospital. He points out that in certain conditions the
influence of radium rays is one of stimulation. In experi-
ments on rats, which produced what can only be described
as squamous-cell cancer, it is especially to be noted that
there was degeneration of the subjacent connective tissue,
which even extended to bone and cartilage. Obviously
radium was here used in time quantities, which carried
stimulation into degeneration. These changes are, I may
perhaps venture to say, only such as could have been pre-
dicted, and I did in fact predict them before being aware
of his resiilts. The same can be said of those obtained
lately by Russ and his colleagues with regard to lympho-
cytosis, leucopenia, and immunity. They add immensely
to the value of their work by pointing out that a large
lymphocyte count is not by itself sufficient to procure or
preserve immunity. If the general connective tissue and
its catalysts are not active this is to be expected. These
catalysts, immune bodies, or anti-bodies, are almost
certainly connective-tissue cell products. Russ, indeed,
says there is some as yet undetermined relationship between
the number of lymphocytes and the occurrence of immunity.
But if cancer actually depends on the weakening of con-
nective-tissue cells of all kinds, the relationship is no longer
undetermined. We have a real explanation why large
doses of X-rays, which are more or less fatal to lymphocytes,
destroy immunity, and we get a clue to the reason for
small or stimulating doses conferring it on susceptible
animals. Hernaman-Johnson states definitely that clinical
observation and microscopic research show that carcinoma
is favourably influenced as the result of this dual action.
Mathematically speaking, the good influence of small doses
acts as a " couple," the peccant tissue is inhibited, and
the limiting or resisting tissue is stimulated to activity.
With such phenomena before us there is no need to posit
some unknown cause. In all explanation it is illicit to
import the unknown when the known can be made to
account for the facts. If radium and X-rays, according
to their dosage and application, can cause different effects
in both tissues, and by restoring or impairing them produce
amelioration or further destruction, the case for infection
falls to the ground. It is also said by Knox that the
curative effect of radium depends in many cases on the
Becquerel rays stimulating the connective tissue and pro-
ducing fibrosis. Under the battery which brings about
46 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
these results it can hardly be thought that any specific
cancer protozoon continues to live. Those who believe
in the infection theory must take up the position that the
agent is everywhere in the body or the environment ready
to infect the patient in the so-called pre-cancerous stage
of X-ray malignancy. Such a hypothesis is a multi-
plication of causes. The only true pre-cancerous stage is
seen when the underlying connective tissue weakens or
rarefies. This is assuredly the case in leucoplakia, although
I have not so far been able to see sections proving it.
The destructive powers of the X-rays on connective
tissues, in combination with the resistance of the skin,
are sufficient to account for the results. In what other
way can we interpret the conclusions reached by J. B.
Murphy and Sturm ? These workers found that the
entire lymphoid tissue of the body could be destroyed
in from seven to twenty-one days by repeated small doses
of X-rays. In such a condition the theory of this paper
would infer that an immense reduction of organic resist-
ance followed. What do we find ? First, there is a greatly
lessened resistance to alien implants ; second, a lowered
resistance to cancer grafts ; third, the destruction of
acquired immunity to cancer ; and, fourth, a lowered
resistance to the tubercle bacillus and other infective agents.
Murphy, however, remarks that the chief objection to
accepting the lymphatics as a great factor of resistance to
cancer growth is that the lymph nodes are common points
for metastatic growths. This appears to be no such
objection as he imagines since the very existence of the
primary focus is in all probability due to general loss of tone
of all connective-tissue cells, stationary or wandering,
highly evolved or semi-embryonic. I draw the con-
clusion with confidence that, as with chorion-epithelioma,
where infection is negatived by the whole of the pheno-
mena of ovum and uterine interaction, X-ray malignancy
and allied phenomena point straight to the conclusion
that the explanation of cancer lies in the relations of epithe-
lium and connective tissue; that benignity is a normal
reaction and malignity a failure ; that irritation is only a
means by which the normal reactions of these tissues are
destroyed ; and that infections are only causes so far as they
excite or depress and thereby destroy the balance of tissues
which exercise outside control by their mechanical nature
and products. I have so far found no theory but the one
here advocated that reconciles all these phenomena, and
it is a fact that it enabled me to prophesy many observa-
tions quite unknown to me at one period of investigation.
Conclusions of this kind are necessarily as relevant to
sarcoma as to carcinoma. The immense activity of con-
nective tissue in youth suggests that it might at any age get
out of hand. Fowls seem specially liable to it. Luckily
they mostly die young. An aged fowl, which should be
liable to carcinoma, is a rare object. As a domestic
animal which, owing to the caprice of breeders, is in a
peculiarly fluent condition, it is particularly liable to loss
of balance. Uterine or mammary cancer is rare in bitches,
a fact very properly attributed to their commonly dying
before involution sets in. It may also be due to their
habits, since they are not so much exposed to sexual stimuli
as human beings, who only practice continence during the
oestrus. It is said that castrated animals are more liable
to malignant diseases than others. They have been thrown
out of normal balance by operation. The peculiar deadli-
ness of sarcoma seems natural enough if we remember that
it is to connective tissue that all repair is due. It is a
case of " quis custodiet ? " when the guardian tissue
48 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
becomes anarchic. Whatever influence epithelium may
have upon it, epithelial tissue cells cannot surround, or
attempt to encapsule, aberrant connective tissue, for as
soon as they proliferate freely they are themselves malignant.
It|seems to me that these views make it easy to under-
stand why a healed gastric or other ulcer may become the
originating point of cancer. That there is ever an ulcer
at all shows that connective-tissue reactions are weak.
When such an ulcer heals there is scar tissue with epithelium
already some stages on the way to embryonic epithelium.
Ex hypothesi, the underlying fibrous tissue is not very
resistant, and when the irritation continues which first
caused the ulcer the over-stimulated and already partly
wild epithelium proliferates, and is not properly inhibited.
Given such conditions, carcinoma can be predicted. The
results are no longer a puzzle.
That benign tumours should often become malignant
is, according to the theory advocated, just what might
be expected. With senescence there is in the whole body
an increase of static elements as compared with the
cytoplasm ; a tendency to rigidity, and a loss of the federal
unity of the body which we call health. There is less
response to regulative stimulation or inhibition, and less or
more of the normal hormones to respond to. The result
should naturally be an increase in the autonomy of separated
parts, and the increasing dominance of any tissue which
is in excess. That the chief tendency of malignancy is
towards carcinoma, is what we should expect at an age
when epithelium in any case tends to become rampant,
but that a benign connective-tissue tumour, in which the
epithelial portions are at a minimum, should at last break
bounds is by no means surprising. When thinking upon
such lines, and dealing with phenomena of senescence, it is
a not uninteresting speculation if we venture to attribute to
a temporary rejuvenescence the partial cures or allevia-
tions of symptoms often found when a new empirical remedy
is tried in inoperable cases. To inspire hope by whatever
means is a function of the physician and, to do so is, in the
language of the physicists, to free energy. The hopeless
patient, when concentred on his symptoms and his feelings,
is doubly the host of a parasite, his energy is bound within
a narrow circle, his horizon of life contracted to a mere
point. As a result his functions fail : he eliminates
less and less toxin, the static elements increase till the cyto-
plasm of his whole organism is as unable to cope with its
work as his cerebral cytoplasm is to face the general situa-
tion. If he is afforded hope in any way whatsoever the
engine works again : there is at least a temporary rejuven-
escence, and the partially freed tissues tend to resume their
functions. At such a stage the progress of a tumour ma^
be arrested by the renewed action of connective tissue or
epithelium, or of the general regulative metabolism of the
Though cancer " cures " may thus exercise a favourable,
if brief, influence on those who suffer, their number and
character bear bitter witness to the confusion of the whole
subject. In theory I have been unable to find any general
principle at work. If it were not that in looking back
upon the past of pathology it is seen that most advances
have been made rather by trial and error, than by any
great grasp of the human mind, those who are not wedded
to one particular theory might indeed feel hopeless. Amid
the din of battle, the confusion and the shouting, it is hard
to discover order. Yet to those who are somewhat with-
drawn from the arena, facts do sometimes emerge which
seem of real relevance. The long-known occasional cure
50 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
of cancer due to erysipelas is one of them, and the very
failure of Coley's fluid, composed of the toxins of 5. ery-
sipelatosus and B. prodigiosus, to fulfil the hopes of its
inventor, may, if considered in a proper light, be of the
greatest assistance. That these toxins, without the acute
attack, fail of their purpose, suggests very forcibly that it is
not such toxins which inhibit the growth of the aberrant
tissue, but that it is overcome by the immense reactions of
the connective tissue which result in the cure of the acute
infection. So far as Coley's fluid excites the connective
tissue, so far it may possibly do good. Such a view is
greatly strengthened by the experiments of Ehrlich and
Apolant, if they can be regarded as authenticated. This
is, I think, thought by many not to be the case ; but their
results fall in so completely with the views advocated in this
paper, that I find it impossible to disregard them. That a
transplanted mouse carcinoma should in certain cases
produce sarcoma seemed to some impossible ; and to some a
proof that the transplanted tissue was really sarcomatous.
Yet if it is granted for the moment that epithelium and con-
nective tissue live in symbiotic hostility, such a phenomenon
is by no means so surprising as it looks. It is but re-
action overbalancing itself. On continued transplantation
with one strain it is said that the connective tissue overcame
the epithelium, till it at last consisted of scattered cells only,
so that finally the graft was a pure sarcoma. In another
strain this " power to induce sarcoma " was lost, and the
tumour remained epithelial in character. The phrase
" power to induce sarcoma " is, to say the least of it,
unhappy. By the phenomenon, if correctly reported, we
have to understand that the host's connective tissue did not
react. No explanation of these observations is to be found
in any theory but that of the action and reaction of the two
tissues concerned. When their balance is upset, one pro-
liferates abnormally. Anything that throws the organism
out of gear is a possible factor of malignancy, and that is the
reason why, with the increase of wealth, a new and highly
varied environment, which tends to produce variation,
makes for the increase of such disease.
If the value of a theory depends on the aid it gives in
explanation, the one here advocated certainly helps to
make it clearer why some forms of malignancy are more
deadly and liable to metastasis than others. So far there
has been no real explanation of the fact that the forms of
it which deviate most widely from the tissue of origin are
most rapid and destructive. It has remained an observa-
tion, and to say this extreme aberrancy from type
renders it more deadly is only to repeat in another
form what has been said before. But if it is under-
stood that the immediate and total somatic environ-
ment determine cell character, it is obvious that extreme
aberrancy implies that the determining tissues generally
are weakened to an extreme degree, and that any
cancer growth or embolus will nowhere meet with much
resistance. That environment has definite results is well
known. In speaking of the relatively more deadly femoral
sarcoma, as compared with a similar tumour in the tibia,
Bland-Sutton says : " This would appear to indicate that
the two tumours, though structurally alike, really have
different causes, yet these are facts which lead us to
suppose that variations in tissue actually constitute a
different environment." He adds that echinococcus disease
is the only condition which supports this view. Yet surely
in studying all diseases we are compelled to come to the
conclusion that different reactions, in different patients, with
the same disorder, can only be due to their bodies consti-
52 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
tuting a different environment. Further investigation will
almost certainly show that there is some reaction differ-
ence in the region of the femur when compared with that
of the tibia. The comparative immunity of joints from a
burrowing sarcoma supports the view that some tissues have
a more powerful resistance than others. It may be that the
great resistance of cartilage is due to its lack of channels ;
but it is far more likely that it is due to the cell products
of its closely arranged cells. In studying the various types
of malignancy we cannot but be struck by the varying
amounts of normal, or fairly normal, connective tissue
about them. That the small, round-celled sarcoma should
be more deadly than most of the other varieties is what
would be expected from the scantiness of the still growing or
surviving stroma. Such varieties as are more difficult to
distinguish from normal cells seem obviously those in
which the whole of the normal inhibition of the environ-
ment has not been overcome. These are points in which a
considerable knowledge of biology might be of assistance to
While it is impossible to deal here in detail with every
kind of tumour, something may be said of embryomas and
their malignant forms. Obscure and difficult as the subject
is, there seems reason to believe that when it is understood
many of the basal problems of biology will be solved with
it. That they are due to some ovum, or embryonic ovarian
tissue, developing parthenogenetically, seems more than
likely. Shattock's remarkable paper on these tumours
supports the view that embryonic ova may be fertilized by
errant spermatozoa ; but there are many reasons for coming
to the conclusion that an embryonic " rest " may develop
without such assistance. Such views do not account for
infantile feminine or testicular embryomas. It is more
likely that any epithelium in regions where reproductive
processes commence may, under some abnormal stimula-
tion, develop incompletely determined epithelial products
or rudimentary organs. The prodigious fertilit}' of em-
bryomas in such products suggests that the imperfect
parent tissue is doing its best to be normal, if the phrase is
permissible ; but that such a result is impossible, owing to
the necessary lack of normal excitation and inhibition,
i.e. of the usual environment. That a simple product of
epithelium, such as hair, may be perfect is not surprising.
The epithelium from which it grows is practically the only
environmental stimulus it requires. That teeth, on the
other hand, are rudimentary, misshaped, and monstrous,
may be regarded as the result of their lacking a normal
environment. That embryomas are frequently very
deadly is what may be expected from the possibilities of
the unspecialized tissues from which they originate. The
study of interaction of the various tissues should include
far more than the endocrine organs, since it is more
than likely to solve the problems of heredity, as well
as those of malignant growth. The divisions between
physiology, pathology, and biology are responsible in a
very large measure for the slowness with which they
It follows from all these considerations that it must
not be supposed that reaction against one kind of over-
growth or the other is due entirely to the tissues principally
concerned. Such a view would be a partial denial of the
entire independence of the whole organic federation.
There is reason to suppose that the blood-stream is hostile
to intrusive epithelium. Small cancerous emboli excite
thrombosis, and are sometimes buried, and perhaps
destroyed, in a blood clot in which lymphocytes are
54 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
probably very prominent. The erosive agent of the
chorionic villus is in its multi-nuclear cap, or giant cell,
sometimes without warrant called a plasmodium. Pro-
perly speaking a plasmodium consists of fused cells, and
there is reason to suppose that a giant cell is one which
accumulates nuclear material without normal fission.
If we regard the nucleus not as a " director," which is a
common psychological fallacy, but as a workshop con-
taining the non-living tools, weapons, or catalysts, by
which the cytoplasm works, it is easy to understand that
when there is active use and much waste of such tools,
mitosis does not occur. In normal gestation, when uterine
reaction is complete and erosion ceases, there is probably
no longer any multi-nucleated cell, for where such are
found pathological conditions exist. If we knew when
such a cell is again formed in fragments of the decidua
we should be able to point to the very moment when
chorion-epithelioma starts. It begins when the uterus
has involuted, and is no longer in its highly developed
and vascular form. I say highly vascular because, as
remarked before, it seems that the blood plasm itself
exerts a direct inhibitory influence on malignant cells.
When considering this aspect of the problem I came,
independently of any suggestion, to the conclusion that
in some carcinomatous conditions I should expect to
find multi-nuclear epithelial cells, closely resembling the
cap of the trophoblast. This inference was confirmed
by Mr. Sampson Handley, who told me, not at all to my
surprise, that whereas no such cells are formed at the
distal part of a carcinoma while still advancing in the
lymphatics, they are to be found as soon as the growth
comes in contact with the blood. This implies that there
is a new reaction in the growth, and such a reaction seems
obviously due to the inhibiting action of the blood-stream
and the catalysts it carries.
If these conclusions are of any weight, and it is allowed
that malignancy is a failure of developmental machinery,
we are impelled to ask if there is any one gland in the
human body, for instance, which, on the principles of
interactions between epithelium and connective tissue,
may be more to blame than another. The thyroid is
suspect since it is frequently in a morbid condition in
malignant states ; but no proof has been adduced of its
responsibility. There are, moreover, much greater
reasons for suspecting another gland, directly responsible
for definite under- or overgrowth, such as the pituitary
body, since its direct connection with bone development
is now admitted on all hands. But if the pituitary can
determine infantilism, gigantism, and acromegaly by over-
growth or failure of bone-growth, and growth in all tissues
generally, it is hardly extravagant to suggest that it may
be directly responsible for bone sarcomas. If this is true
we might then call sarcoma of the bones " local explosive
osteomegalies." If there is such a thing as anarchy
among the osteoblasts and osteoclasts, in which each under
abnormal stimulation functioned regardless of normal
inhibitions, we should expect such phenomena as we
see in femoral sarcoma. It is at least a possible explana-
tion to suggest that the deadly character of such a sarcoma
is due to a breakdown in a bone exposed, perhaps, to
greater single stresses than any in the body. But if the
pituitary can influence one form of connective tissue,
however highly specialized, it may equally influence
other forms. From one point of view, the beginnings
of all late sarcomas, not only those of bone, might be
regarded as cases of overdone repair, while those of early
56 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
life might be looked on as the result of over-stimulated
activities in cases which under other conditions might
have been the subjects of gigantism. Any glandular
secretion may very conceivably have abnormal local
effects. But, if early or late hyper-pituitarism has relation
to sarcomas, hypo-pituitarism may equally well result
at any time of life in under-inhibition of epithelium, a
state, according to the theory here supported, which
seems a necessary preliminary to cancer.
While I offer these views with the greatest diffidence,
I may remark that though their acceptance might lead to
further discoveries, and even to cure, their rejection would
by no means invalidate my conclusions as to the relations
of the two great tissues concerned. A breakdown of one
or the other may conceivably be determined by any dis-
order of one or more of the endocrine glands. Such sug-
gestions may, at any rate, lead to definite observations of
the pituitary being made in fatal cases of malignancy, a
thing, so far as I know, which has not been done. If
any changes in it could be detected, they might offer a
rational basis for therapeutics, though it is highly probable
that a morbid secretion without visible change might be
responsible for invasive tissues.
To put aside such speculations for a moment, and return
to the general aspect of the problem, it must be owned that
the confusion in theory is more than equalled by that in
experimental therapeutics. Outside of surgery, which with
radiology seems to present the patient with his only chance
of prolonged life, most attempts at cure appear quackery, or
empiricism run mad. Preparations of all kinds of tissues
have been injected, and the results discredit optimism
itself. Yet if it is agreed that the fundamental principles
of life are inter-organic stimulation and inhibition, and that
want of order is the result of failure in metabolic regulators,
such views lead at once to considered experiment The
arguments used to establish this theory may be deemed
insufficient as proof yet, if they lead to trial, verification
may follow. Such trials should be directed to assisting the
reaction of all connective tissue in cases of carcinoma, and
that of epithelium in those of sarcoma. How this can best
be done is for the physiologist, radiologist, and pathologist
to determine ; but even if the suggestions as to the pituitary
prove to be without foundation, it may be suggested that
after the excision of a carcinoma efforts should be made to
irritate or stimulate the connective tissue in the neighbour-
hood of the removed focus. We know now that this may be
done by radiation, while the injection of doses of epithelial
juices might assist the process. Since many forms of
cell proliferation are inhibited by their own products, it
is not unlikely that aberrant epithelium may be rendered
inactive by injections of healthy epithelial products, or by
prepared and filtered cancer juice. With sarcoma similar
trials might be made, and in the meantime, while such
experiments are in progress, on operated or inoperable cases,
it should be the task of the physiologist or bio-chemist to
separate from epithelium and connective tissue the chemical
compound, or complex of compounds, by which they exer-
cise their direct influence. Difficult as such a task may
prove, the labour might well be worth undertaking, when we
consider its possible results. In any case, much might be
learned by the further study of normal epithelium and con-
nective tissue in nutrient media, while they are subjected
to X-rays or radium, or both, or to the influences of various
endocrine secretions or toxins. Malignant tissues in vitro
should be observed under similar conditions. We might
then learn how and why certain epithelial cells become
58 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
multi-nuclear, and whether such can be inhibited by the
products of connective tissue, or of lymphocytes or
lymphoid tissue. Even if little were learnt, a result I
refuse to contemplate, the result would be that one field
of research had been worked out on scientific lines. Such
research, however, would almost certainly suggest that
these diseases are indeed diseases of development, and must
be combated by rendering the organism stable rather than
by seeking any single cure, although it is by no means
impossible that some simple and direct cure may be found.
If it were discovered that some drug or drugs could
stimulate or inhibit epithelial and connective-tissue
growth the results might be of the greatest service.
If the results provisionally arrived at are summarized,
it may be said that :
1. The general biological conception of the organism
as a federation of organs and tissues, living in symbiosis, and
yet fundamentally hostile, or " selfish," is helpful in the
study of disease.
2. If atrophy or hypertrophy of the endocrines accounts
for certain disorders, the failure of normal relations between
less specialized tissues may account for others.
3. Order does not exist without control, and the essence
of malignancy is lack of control.
4. There is reason to suppose that epithelium and
connective tissue influence and control each other, and that
their failure to do so is the real cause of malignancy.
5. Irritation, including the effects of infection, acts by
destroying such balanced action.
6. The phenomena observed in the chorionic tropho-
blast, in chorion-epithelioma, in X-ray dermatitis and
cancer as well as the experimental growth of the two tissues
liable to malignancy, support the view of this relation-
ship between epithelium and connective tissue, and suggest
that a morbid condition of the pituitary may be a funda-
mental cause of the disease.
7. Malignancy is thus brought into relation with the
phenomena of growth, and can be classed with develop-
mental diseases, such as those due to endocrine atrophy
8. Research should be directed to the discovery of the
tissue products or secretions by which epithelium and
connective tissue preserve their individuality and prevent
reversion in each other.
ADAMI, J. G. " Medical Sidelights on Evolution," 1919.
BAINBRIDGE, W. S. " Cancer Problem," New York, 1914.
BAYLISS, W. M. " Principles of General Physiology," 1915.
BLAND-SUTTON, Sir JOHN. " Tumours," 1918, Lecture III.,
Chem.Journ., vol. xxx. pp. 186-208.
BUTLIN, Sir H. " Unicellula Cancri," 1912.
DARIER and WOLBARTH. Quoted by Hartzell, M. B., " Diseases
of the Skin," 1917.
ERLICH, P., and APOLANT, H. " Mouse-Tumours," Berlin Klin.
Woche, July 1905.
GREEN, C. E. " Cancer Problem," 1919.
HANDLEY, SAMPSON. "Melanotic Sarcoma," Hunterian Lecture,
1907, Lancet, London, 1905, vol. i. p. 909 ; ibid., 1907,
vol. i. p. 930; "Paget's Disease," Brit. Journ. of Surgery,
vol. vii. No. 26, 1919.
HERNAMAN- JOHNSON, F. " Comparative Value of X-rays and
Radium in Malignant Disease," Aberdeen, B.M.A.
KETTLE, E. H. "Pathology of Tumours," 1916; Path. Sect.,
R.S.M., April 15, 1919.
KNOX, ROBERT. " Radiology," 1918.
MURPHY, J. B., and STURM, E. Journ. Exper. Med., Jan.
PAGET, Sir JAMES. " Lectures on Surgical Pathology," 1853.
60 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
Russ, SYDNEY, and CHAMBERS, H. " Exper. Studies with Small
Doses of X-rays," Lancet, London, April 26, 1909.
SHATTOCK, S. G. " Ovarian Teratomata," Lancet, London,
1918, vol. i. p. 479.
SPENCER, HERBERT B. " Lettsomian Lecture," Brit. Med.
Journ., London, Feb. 21, 1920.
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION l
dissatisfaction with much orthodox biological
A opinion is growing can hardly be denied. Not a
little of this feeling is due to the fact that what is often
given as explanation cannot be resolved into factors
capable of appreciation, and, possibly, of measurement by
the intellect. The theory has to be accepted as more or
less a matter of faith, and the very definite relations of
biology to the allied sciences are almost entirely ignored.
If the views advanced in the previous chapters carry any
weight, this alone is sufficient to account for discontent.
Where there is a general tendency to rely on authority,
speculation is discouraged, for orthodoxy everywhere
rests on the native conservatism of man, and even the
revolutionary is at last capable of fatigue. As a
result, tentative hypotheses offered by the great leaders
tend to become objects of worship, and among their
less enterprising followers there arises a more or less fervent
conviction that, however unsatisfactory they appear now,
they will presently become demonstration. Thus the
theory of the germ-plasm, even in its later modified form,
seems held too dogmatically by many : the " nature " of
1 V. " The Function of Pathological States in Evolution," Zool.
Soc. Proc. 1918. The paper has been added to and altered.
62 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
inherited living matter accounts for every organ as it
appears ; while all changes are due to obscure variations
of an advantageous kind which give the survivors in the
struggle a better chance. On analysis, such opinions do
not seem truly scientific, for the " nature " of the germ-
plasm can barely be distinguished from the directing
entelechy of Driesch, and if the Weismannian cloud of
ids and biophors is now somewhat condensed, the magic
determinant still remains in a concealed vitalism which is
exactly analogous, as regards the organism, to pantheism
as regards the universe. Nor, if we are told with certainty
that altered characteristics are not transmitted, is the
theory of small advantageous variations much more
satisfactory, if we know neither how they come, nor how
they are inherited. To say so much must not be regarded
as treating with disrespect its great author, without whom
we might still be wandering in the barren field of teleology.
To regard these theories as hasty and, perhaps, un-
sound explanations is not to accept without scrutiny
the theory of the transmission of acquired, or modified,
characteristics. Though this is a view that can be
defended on the physico-chemical grounds of catalysts
which are measurable determinants of a really scientific
order, experiments to prove the fact must take a very
long time, and we are compelled to rely on other methods
of proof. That the experiments of Tower and Kammerer,
for instance, suggest the transmission of modifications
cannot be denied. Such as oppose the general view that
the environment has thus an inheritable moulding influence
on the organism, seem to reply that those are only rare
and doubtful cases, whereas the theory of inherited
advantageous variations, whether continuous or dis-
continuous, can be made responsible for the whole of the
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 63
phenomena. As the conclusion is gradually being
strengthened that large variations of a Mendelian character
deal with other characteristics than those which are racial,
all who rely on inherited spontaneous variations are forced
back on the Darwinian view that small variations can
gradually, if of an advantageous kind, convert one species
into two or more, and that all living characteristics, or
organs themselves, are due to such a cumulative effect.
It is, of course, inferred and definitely stated by Darwin,
that any variation in the least degree injurious would
inevitably be destroyed. It is this statement I propose
to examine, and for the purpose of such an inquiry it
must be clearly understood what is meant by the word
" disadvantageous " or injurious.
At first sight nothing seems clearer. Why should we
doubt that any functional or organic failure is a handicap
in the biological race ? By functional trouble, of which
the cause is not obvious, we mean some hindrance, which
may be recovered from, to normal or physiological action.
It is due to factors which, for the most part, are unknown.
We do not doubt that there is a failure somewhere, which,
as regards certain cells, might be called organic, but often
we cannot do more than guess where the actual failure
occurs. In that advanced disorder of function which has
visible lesions, and destruction or irremediable alteration
of the individual parts of the machine, there is undoubted
organic disease. Can anything seem more certain than
the conclusion that any organism which fails in the estab-
lished functions of its species is as a fact severely handi-
capped, that the variation is disadvantageous, and cannot
possibly be transmitted either directly or by survival?
There are, however, some reasons for believing that this
inference is inaccurate, and that the function of disease
64 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
in evolution is of much greater importance than that of
mere elimination. But pathology has very naturally
been neglected as a study by biologists. On the views
generally held, it has seemed sufficient to recognize that
disease destroyed organisms which obviously left offspring,
if it left them at all, that were handicapped even more
heavily than their parents. It has been understood that
their elimination was only a matter of time, and that neither
their virtues nor their failures could influence the race.
If there is one thing more than another which has
struck me when attempting to study these questions, it
is that too many men of science appear to believe that
any serious investigation of other branches than their
own is for them a waste of time. In no case is this more
common than in that of the biologist, who yet, by the
very name and nature of his task, should include in his
apparatus a considerable knowledge of everything which
deals with the organic, and even inorganic, world. Science,
however, is kept in more or less water-tight compartments,
and it seems left to the mathematician to hold the opinion
that his own branch of learning has, somehow or another,
deep relations with all things, including life itself. Even
by him it does not seem to have been pointed out that
in things living and non-living certain principles of con-
struction rule alike. However much they were wedded
to mechanico-physical explanations, biologists have
assuredly often ignored the fact that any organism is
construction, and knowing little of the laws of construc-
tion have ignored basal facts familiar to every architect
or even every artisan. It was reserved for Wolff, in
formulating his law of bone-growth and reaction to stress,
to propound a principle more far-reaching than he recog-
nized, when he showed that living bone, reacting to normal
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 65
or abnormal stimulation, can be proved to develop in
accordance with the principles of engineering and archi-
tecture, although he apparently laid far too little stress
on the action of muscle in bone transformation. This
law may, I feel assured, be extended to every living tissue,
and in such an extension will be found the key to many
phenomena still awaiting explanation.
To one who holds this view, the work lately done by
Starling on the Law of the Heart, which shows that the
force with which the heart contracts is directly propor-
tional to the length of the muscular fibres at the end of
the preceding diastole, is by no means surprising. It
is indeed on a par with the conclusions of Wolff as regards
bone, and might, I believe, have been deduced from it or
from the form I suggest, provided it is understood that each
varying tissue has its own acquired typical reaction.
If, then, it can be shown that disease has had a pro-
found effect upon the evolution of all organisms, and
that analogous results are found in every kind of human
constructive effort in such numbers as to suggest as a law
that all great variational developments result, not from
the happy-go-lucky aggregation of small advantageous
variation, or from discontinuous variation, whether of a
Mendelian character or not, but rather from partial failure
and repair, we seem to be in sight of a general principle of
profound importance. If this principle proves sound, it
is obvious that immense labour has been spent by biolo-
gists endeavouring to explain life without seeking help
from other workers. Though they may show some general
knowledge of the cell, and even special knowledge of the
reproductive cells, I find few who appear to have studied
general embryology, to speak only of one branch of physio-
logy. On the other hand, many physiologists and
66 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
pathologists have done good work in some branches of
evolutionary theory. Bland-Sutton, in his fruitful little
book Evolution and Disease, pointed out that, " Pathology is
only a department of Biology, and it is important to bear
this in mind in studying disease." It is true that he went
little further than to show that what is pathological in one
organism may be physiological in another, and that many
diseases are reversions, that is, failure in normal growth.
Yet this greatly needed to be shown, and it is not to be
expected of a great pathologist and surgeon, and, per-
haps, the less the greater he is in his own branches of work,
that he should attempt tasks from which many of the
biologists themselves seemed to shrink. Claude Bernard
made similar remarks as to pathology. It is to be re-
gretted that a stumbling-block was placed in the path
of progress by Darwin's hopeless dictum as to the explana-
tion of variation, just as another was by Huxley when he
declared consciousness an insoluble problem. In every
science great discoverers have too often delayed progress
as much by authoritative unsound opinion as they have
advanced it. Every Bible is first a book of revolution, and
then a refuge for reaction. Yet no man can possibly know
all he should know for the purposes of his own work.
This fact affords the only justification for those, who
cannot pretend to profound knowledge in any special line,
attempting to solve problems which by their nature are
beyond the specialist. They may have been able to grasp
in a measure the general conclusions of each science, and
by a happy, perhaps accidental, combination, show at least
part of the forest to those more particularly occupied with
the trees themselves, or the flora of the undergrowth.
It is remarkable that hitherto no one seems to have made
the observation that reaction to an actual, or threatened,
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 67
breakdown is one of the basal laws of all construction
and organization. Yet none can read engineering without
observing that all development has followed such lines.
As new stresses are introduced, failure is threatened, and
steps are taken to obviate disaster. What is a patch on one
engine becomes organic in the next. Since waste of energy
can be looked on as pathological, we observe the reaction
in the engineer against such failures, as the atmospheric
engine is succeeded by improved forms ending in the quad-
ruple expansion engine. Many other instances could be
adduced in general or special engineering evolution ; but
the best illustration of the facts which need elucidation
can perhaps be found in Gothic architecture. If such a
demonstration of this general principle can be made it
will go far to obviate the objection, very likely to be urged,
that what occurs in human construction has no relevance
to the living organism, especially if it can be suggested
forcibly that human intelligence is in itself a reaction,
and that the law obtains in developments of all kinds.
It is, indeed, not going too far to declare that there is no
real qualitative difference between the cytoplasm of a test-
bearing protozoon as it elaborates its peculiar envelope
and the general cerebral protoplasm of a human com-
munity constructing some great edifice. That trial and
error are at the base of evolution is indeed implied in
the current teaching as to variation, and its extension to
intellectual processes will surprise no worker who has had
to deal experimentally with the unknown. We may expect,
but never know, where to look for failure till we see it.
When it is seen we can do our best, as reacting agents, to
remedy it. Having said so much, and leaving aside
the wider implications of such views, we may turn to such
a problem of construction as the evolution of a cathedral,
68 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
in the hope that it may throw a light on other than archi-
tectural puzzles : merely observing, on the way, that
no general principle yet discovered is confined in its appli-
cation to one branch of knowledge. Having once found it,
our task is to employ it as a weapon of further analysis.
It is more or less a commonplace that function creates
structure, however Lamarckian that may sound, and in
the case of architecture of a religious order the function
which constructs is public worship. In fine climates the
necessary structure is often a roofless temple. In tropical
climates a flat roof may be needed as a protection against
the sun. In temperate climates a walled enclosure is
insufficient, and a flat-roofed structure cannot keep out
rain effectually or bear heavy snow. Thus arose the
pointed or sloping roof. But it has been said that " Gothic
architecture is not a style. It is a fight." The arch is a
mighty warrior. It gives and receives thrusts. The sloping
roof partakes of the same nature. Need created it, and the
nature of materials and the positional energy we call gravity
caused thrusts which endangered the simple walls of the
building, walls at first meant to support nothing but flat
roofs probably covered with brush or the like material. To
build stronger walls might have occurred to the primitive
architect, but as the danger was immediate, he probably
at once shored those in existence, and then built others
at a right angle to act as buttresses. In the meantime
the worshippers increased in numbers, and it is indulging in
no flight of fancy to suppose the later builder saw that if
the new external walls were roofed over, and doorways
cut into the main building, there would be an immediate
increase of space by the creation of chapels. Such a series
of embryonic additional walled spaces, with further door-
ways in them leading to each other, obviously gave him the
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 69
aisles. The flying buttresses, which are such a feature in
great Gothic architecture had, I can only suppose, a like
origin. They were originally buttress walls carried up to
the roof. At some period a genius, already acquainted with
arcuated structure, saw that if the inside of these walls
was cut away, they would still take a heavy thrust and
lighten the rest of the building. If, however, on being
converted into such slender stone shores they showed signs
of yielding, what could be easier than to pile some of the
removed material upon the base of the flying arch, and
thus create the beginning of the pinnacle ? Though an
architect might develop such a rough statement, he would
be the first to admit that it represents in few words much
of the evolution of a church : that is, he would own the
structure sprang from need, and that each new need
caused a constructional failure which, when strengthened
and corrected, was the cause of further structure. He
would further tell us that all good ornament is organic ;
that it springs naturally from the work already done, being
in its origin just the little more needed to give a margin
of safety, though on it later are exercised the aesthetic
faculties of man, which are again a response to the need
of full satisfaction for the instinct of workmanship.
Human ornament is in fact strongly homologous, if we may
use that word here, with the beauty of very energetic
birds, who carry out by virtue of their free energy the
extension of structures and colours already existing in their
less brilliant forms. That, however, is by the way. The
main fact we are concerned with is that the building as a
whole is evolved through trial and error, through failure
and repair, through a threatened structure to a more com-
plete and adequate one for increased function. In a word,
the great origin of structure was failure after failure duly
70 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
compensated for. Is there any reason for believing that
variation in the structure of living organisms follows
exactly the same principle ? Are we entitled to say that
the mammal, for instance, with all its complexity, is the
result of infinite ages of functional failure or disease which
was met by processes of repair and reaction ? In a word,
can we speak of the evolutionary value of disease, of im-
paired function, of disadvantageous variations ? It seems
possible to do so, if what is true of one structure is roughly
true of another.
It may seem absurd to talk of the value of dis-
advantageous variation; but it is no more absurd than
to imply that all variation is advantageous because it is
perpetuated. What is useful at one period may be harmful
at another, and embryologists thoroughly understand that
developments useful in foetal or larval life may open up
many dangers for the adult. The real point to be con-
sidered is whether organisms as a species do not vary and
run great, even largely destructive, risks by an increased
pressure of function which, in the few that finally react, or
whose descendants react, to such stress, results at last in
structure that is advantageous as altered. The given
variation in itself may be a failure of what was normal
function in the species, and we should therefore as patho-
logists or physiologists speak of it as a disease ; but if
the few that recover become a new species, a mended race,
it is no longer disease. After many generations it may be
truly advantageous to individuals. Have such processes
occurred in the evolution of organisms, as they undoubtedly
have in the arts and social progress, where we often observe
political failure of organization result in ad hoc reaction
which leads to a changed social form ? I have no doubt
that they do, and many organs in mammals, to speak only
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 71
of them, show it. It is, in fact, a universal principle. As
beavers patch up a dam when it yields or threatens to give
way, so tissues, organs, and societies react to threatened
disaster. In no tissue is this clearer than in bone. It
is true that Wolff's law only deals directly with mechanical
stresses, since it runs : " Every change in the form and
position of the bones or their function is accompanied
by certain definite changes in their internal architecture,
and by equally definite secondary alterations of their
external conformation in accordance with mathematical
law " ; but I hope to show reasons for concluding that
such a law may be stated in more general terms, and
applied to every tissue and organ, provided we add, as
suggested before, that the more complex the tissue or the
organ the greater the liability of failure, and that each
tissue reacts in a typical way.
It is unnecessary to go into details of osteogenesis and
morphology. It has been recognized by engineers that the
head of the femur is formed exactly in accordance with
mechanical law. Had any of them been required to design
a structure fit for undergoing the stresses borne by the femur
in its development and af ter-life, he would have sketched a
figure extremely like it, not only in its general shape, but
in the trabeculae which support the bone in every direc-
tion where extra stresses are applied by normal function.
The important point to note is the fact that femoral
development follows stress in individual development,
from which we must draw the conclusion that it followed
stress during evolution, not that its value for complex
function was gradually increased by chance or " spon-
taneous " variation, unless we attribute to " spontaneous "
a meaning which Darwin never gave it, seeing that he
denied knowing how variation arose. All the variations
72 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
were definite responses, and it is easy to infer that before
response became rapid and easy every kind of disaster and
disablement must have occurred to those subjected to
reaction-provoking stresses. The very process of adapta-
tion (and on these lines "adaptation" is no longer a
mystic word) implies long periods of disordered function
and poor structural response even in those who survived
after repair. But now bone is so plastic and fluent that
when it is grafted the osteoblasts and osteoclasts use and
shape it according to the form of the main bone of which
it becomes a part. For, according to Keith, Wolff's law
may be more simply expressed if we say : " Osteoblasts at
all times build and unbuild according to the stresses to
which they are subjected."
When we speak of repair it may be noted that the
treatises on this subject are strictly limited in their
purview. They mostly follow Hunter, a vitally important
figure in the history of pathology, and indeed of all medical
science, who, however, lacked the apparatus of knowledge
now at every one's disposal. We learn a great deal about
the repair of wounds and fractures : of the functions of
the fibroblasts or of the wandering cells of the blood-
stream, and are told, lately, much of regeneration ; but of
the evolutionary value of organized exudations we hear
little or nothing. Nor has it been suggested that it is to
this and analogous processes that much new structure is due.
That this is so is strikingly apparent, as I shall attempt
to show, in many organs of a highly specialized type. In
no structure, perhaps, is the process so clearly seen as
in the mammalian heart, which is a perfect museum of
evolutionary failures and dislocations, compensated for by
an extraordinary complication of patched-up tissues and
altered muscle in which, perhaps, one tissue takes on
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 73
the functions of another, and some evolutionary rem-
nants long survive without function. I was, indeed, first
led to take this general view of the variational value of
pathological conditions by observing that the heart, when
laid open from any aspect, powerfully suggested an
organized or cured aneurism. By this I do not mean
that it is now in any way aneurismal, or that the heart is
descended from such a large and definite breakdown. The
view put forward is that the complex machinery of the
chorda tendinece, the columnce carnece, the papillares
musculi, the moderator band and the valves generally,
gives it the appearance of a repaired organ, and inevitably
suggests that, during its evolution, fibrosis and the reactions
of stressed tissues moulded and re-moulded it on the
general lines of mechanical construction, breakdown, and
repair. Many must have made the same observations,
even if they have not come to similar conclusions. The
anatomist and pathologist perhaps know their subjects
too well, and are necessarily greatly dominated by current
theory. The general adaptation of the heart to the work
it performs may well delight the anatomist as he studies
its machinery. His main business is not evolution. The
pathologist, on the other hand, observing its many failures,
is scarcely likely to discern that by failure itself may come
eventual perfection, and while the physiologist considers
its functions rather than its apparatus, he studies it as it
is, not as it was. In each case the observer may not see the
forest for the trees. Yet when we look at the partially
repaired aneurism with its fibrous growths, and turn to the
opened heart, the essential likeness of the chorda tendinece,
for all their definite functions, to the rude fibres of an
aneurism, is obvious. Is such a likeness an accident of
evolution and pathology, or are we to consider the heart
74 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
as much an organized dilatation sac of the whole fused
circulatory canal as the cured aneurism is of a part of it ?
It is in embryology that we seek for confirmation of what
is suggested by anatomy. But even anatomy alone offers
powerful proof of the view that the heart, as we know it,
is the latest result of repeated failures of the circulatory
canal under strain, and of the repairs effected by the stressed
tissues in their response to changed and abnormal stimuli,
just as bone alters under its particular stresses. During
embryological life there is found in the heart a small patch
of non-functioning muscle in the anterior segment of the
mitral valve. Its presence is intelligible if we consider
it a relic of a disrupted and repaired organ. The muscles
of the heart are obviously homologous with those of the
arteries. Yet they have become striated although they are,
of course, still involuntary. Non-striated muscle is the
earliest in evolution. It seems that the increased func-
tioning of the cardiac muscle has converted it into its
striated form, so that it resembles skeletal muscles, which
are much more active than non-striated muscle. The
whole histology of cardiac muscle probably represents the
result of great strains. Structures such as the disks or
bands of Ebarth are found nowhere else, and may be the
result of peculiar stress. There are even portions of muscle
which no longer perform muscular functions. Their
fibres do not contract, but serve instead to conduct
stimuli as if they were nervous tissue. All tissue is con-
ductive, but the Bundle of His, with its Purkinje fibres,
which carries the impulse from the auricle to the ventricle,
transmits messages at ten or twelve times the normal
muscular rate. When it fails there is heart-block. In
the embryo the valves arise from the cardiac walls, and are
composed of muscular tissue, which by the action of fibro.
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 75
blasts gradually become non-muscular. This must have
been originally a pathological process. It is a reversion,
a degeneration made use of. We observe analogous, or
shall I say homologous ? results in the hypertrophied heart.
The normal male heart weighs about eleven ounces. In
some cases of aortic stenosis it may weigh over thirty ounces.
In such hypertrophied muscle are often found fibrous
tissues which probably represent the connective tissue of
muscular fibres which have atrophied from overstrain. The
attachments of the mitral valve are less muscular and more
fibrous than those of the tricuspid. The greater elasticity
of the tricuspid papillares musculi and the annular muscles
of the base of the ventricle thus allows an overfull right
ventricle, which is so much less powerful than the left,
to be relieved by the temporary functional incompetence
of the tricuspid valve. In the reptile with a functioning
foramen the valves are purely mechanical, as pressure is
relieved by the patent orifice. The fossa ovalis in the
mammal is a remnant of the early communication between
the auricles. In a large number of normal hearts there is
a small valvular passage yet remaining in the left margin
of the fossa. None of these phenomena seem capable of
explanation as the result of spontaneous variations
arising from some theoretic instability of the organism.
To argue that they are is to give biologic mystics a chance.
It appears obvious from all these facts taken together
that cardiac evolution has been a series of caused varia-
tions due to increased and varying stresses, which acted
not only as a moulding force on the shape and musculature
of the heart, but on all its appendages. In the muscle of
the ventricular walls with its extraordinary complexity of
layers and interlaced fibres lies powerful evidence of such
reactions. In both ventricles there are seven muscular
76 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
layers, while in the arteries there seems but one. In the
left ventricle these layers are obviously thicker and stronger
than in the less stressed right cavity. But how did the
ventricular cavities acquire more layers than the arteries ?
No new muscle fibres arise after birth, and yet there is
obvious reason for believing that stress can be responded
to by increase of muscle fibre during evolution. In the
gravid uterus the smooth fibres of the wall increase
to eleven times their normal length, and are from two to
five times as broad. So far as we know there cannot be
new fibres in it. But in evolution new fibres are un-
doubtedly found. In the arteries, the fibres of non-striated
muscle in the tunica media are for the most part circular,
but they appear to have more or less longitudinal branches
which interlock with like branches of the neighbouring
fibres. One of the most prominent features of an in-
dividual aneurism is the thinning out, and sometimes the
disappearance, of the tunica media. The muscle fibres in
such cases are completely broken down, and if the aneurism
is repaired in individuals the work is done mostly by an
increase of the connective-tissue elements. The process
is said by some to be a reparatory endarteritis, in which
the tissues of the adventitia proliferate actively. But the
evolutionary process has obviously taken the path of
increase and reactive proliferation of the muscular elements
of the media.
Without attempting a task of which I am incapable and
endeavouring to elucidate the problem of the origin of
circulatory systems in a primary vascular sponge-work,
through which the fluids of the primitive organism were
propelled by contractile tissue, it may be noted that the
columns and chordce rise from such a sponge-work which,
at an early embryonic period, fills the primitive ventricle.
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 77
To interpret such an origin and their present functions it
seems they must be looked on as reaction products found
useful when the chambers of the heart arose as dilatations
of the primitive tube. Such dilatations were probably,
I would even say certainly, failures of the walls. The
incomplete pathological disaster of a repaired aneurism
helps us to understand such evolutionary failure and repair
as enabled the evolving heart to endure greater stresses,
and be once more repaired. It may be added that the
sponge-work of the evolving primary ventricle is strictly
analogous to the vascular spongy tissues seen in the male
organ. Every pathologist will admit that such a structure
may be logically compared with a vascular aneurism.
The path laid down by pathology is trodden by physiology.
It follows that during evolution there must have been an
immense destruction of organisms whose circulating canals
did not react, and numbers which retained their unaltered
" specific " characters. The same process goes on to-day.
Though many die of cardiac disease, it may be that much
youthful functional trouble, and even more serious adult
disorders, are even now re-moulding the heart. No organ
is perfect ; if it does not degenerate it progresses. Though
such processes are " disease," it by no means follows that
they will be destructive, any more than that the functional
incapacity of the tricuspid valves in athletes, which
probably precedes what is known as " second wind," is
anything now but a cardiac safety-valve.
As we learn more of the heart and its latent capacities
we may, perhaps, say with the late Dr. H. G. Button, " we
trust nature too little, to say the least of it." But there are,
of course, great difficulties to overcome before we can hope
to understand how the cardiac musculature has altered,
and may still be changing by the addition of new fibres.
78 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
As yet, little is known of myogenesis. Like a neuron, a
muscle cell seems to last a lifetime, and though both may
degenererate or die, neither proliferates after the early
period of development. But whatever their histogenesis,
new fibres do appear in evolution. Harvey did not refuse
to believe in the validity of his own conclusions, because
he lived before Leeuwenhoek. With considerable hesita-
tion I venture to suggest that morphogenetic stress is at
its height during foetal development. The child in utero
has not, perhaps, the calm and happy life commonly
attributed to it. On the contrary, it probably leads a
strenuous existence, and if it inherits a new weakness this
is shown just where and when new stresses find plastic
embryonic tissues to respond to them. If such a specu-
lation is sound it accounts for many phenomena. But in
any case, whatever the machinery of inheritance and
evolutionary repair, it is certain that new fibres arise where
they are needed. 1 The origin of the cremaster muscle as a
lately evolved support for the testis certainly strengthens
this view. Hunter could not account for its appearance
during embryonic life, when the testis occupies its original
position, and the cremaster serves no purpose. In the
testiconda such a muscle is not found. It must obviously
have arisen as the result of stress during the evolutionary
descent of the testis, and cannot be accounted for except
by such stresses and foetal hormonic influences.
If such views in any way represent the biological
history of the heart, it is obvious that many of the opinions
of variation usually held are without foundation. Every
variation is definitely caused ; it is in no sense accidental
or spontaneous ; it may not even be at once advantageous
to the individual ; on the contrary, it may be a severe
1 See Appendix B. The Peroneus Tertius.
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 79
handicap which puts greater general stress on all who
experience it, though such stresses fall short of those which
cause death. Variations of this order may only be advan-
tageous to the whole species as a continuing race. They
may destroy, and doubtless have destroyed, individuals
without number at an earlier age than the usual life-period
of the unvaried type. We may possibly imagine a part of
humanity, now responding to stresses which make the
heart do more work and fail earlier, displaying such energy
during their shorter life as to displace those with a normal
cardiac mechanism which survives to the average age of
man. It is to be inferred from these considerations that
the structure of an organism is not a congeries of minute
fortuitous advantageous variations, nor the gradual
massing of details in an orthogenetic line, nor the result of
large discontinuous variations due to chromosomatic
inheritance, but a complex of definite reactions to definite
stresses. The true theory of living structure is that its
growth is neither casual nor foreseen, but that it is what we
may call, in political language, the " opportunism " of the
organism as a whole. Every advance is a forced, even a
desperate, experiment. Life, like a hypothesis or a dam,
is built up by stopping leaks.
The evolution of the stomach seems to have followed
the lines suggested for cardiac development. From the
physiological point of view, an intestinal tube which be-
comes dilated cannot be considered anything but patho-
logical. It has failed under the stresses on it, but the
organism which reacted turned a weak dilatation sac into
a strong permanent food pouch. The results to the reacting
organisms were many. The ingested food became tem-
porarily static, was more thoroughly dealt with, and the
organism was not continually feeding. Its whole available
80 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
energy was not devoted to nutrition ; it had time at its
disposal, and could develop other functions leading to
further structures. That the mammalian stomach is
such an organized failure is suggested forcibly by the
musculature. In the small intestine this is composed of
two layers of fibres, circular and longitudinal. In the
stomach it is made of three sets, an inmost layer of oblique
fibres being added. This oblique layer is obviously a
later growth and, as would be expected on the lines laid
down as to disaster and repair, its strongest fibres are
found supporting the greater curvature or dilatation of
the stomach. When speaking of these muscle fibres, it
is, of course, understood that they not only resisted the
passive strains of ingested food, but also exercised their
active basal function of contractility as well. This later
oblique layer is naturally less well developed than the
longitudinal and circular fibres. Other oblique fibres are
formed about the pylorus, where they form the sphincter.
I suggest that these oblique muscle fibres arose at points of
strain, under intense stimulation. The dilated pouch has
reacted in accordance with mechanical law, just as the
heart did with its more complex arrangement of oblique
fibres woven into a structure capable of giving in the left
ventricle a thrust of over fifty pounds. The reacting
organism is no fool of a mechanic either in its bones or its
muscles, and these phenomena are additional reasons for
extending Wolff's law to all tissues if it is understood that,
while bone responds to gravitational and compressional
stresses, and to the tensile stress of muscle, the fibres of
muscle produce the very stresses to which they respond
by increase of bulk and strength. If protoplasm did not
so react there would be no problems to solve.
Such views on the mammalian gastric apparatus are so
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 81
obviously supported by the embryology of the organ that
there is no need to go into details beyond noticing that
in the fourth week there comes the first dorsal bulging in
the foregut. But if evolution is still proceeding, is it
absurd to suggest that the common symptom of a general
disturbance of health known as dilated stomach may be a
pathological process actually in the process of becoming
physiological ? According to some physicians, few modern
stomachs do not suffer at times from an amount of
dilatation which is pathological ; i.e. the gastric mus-
culature fails to react correctly. The stomach may yet
be such a functioning dilatation pouch as to enable the
human race to do with no more than one meal a day, or
even less. Our descendants will have all the more time
for work. This by no means implies that the empty
stomach should be any larger than it is now in healthy
subjects. Before the invention of X-rays the gastric
apparatus was always pictured in text-books as usually
seen on the post-mortem table. The dead stomach was
shown as the portrait of the live one : the weakened pouch
of the sick man as that of the live and healthy subject.
But nowadays it is known that such extreme dilatation is
natural only when a large meal has been taken. When the
healthy stomach has emptied itself it has contracted so
that it nearly resumes its ancient cylindrical character
and then goes into a state of rest or relaxation. With
further development it might hold still more, and yet react
in the same way. The suggestion that functional failure
or disease, which becomes organic and destructive in many,
may, in reacting and surviving organisms, alter their outlook
on life and all their activities, seems to me powerfully
reinforced by these considerations. The disadvantageous
variation does work, and finally improves the race. It
82 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
is a big subject, not to be enlarged on here ; but there still
remains much work to be done as to the indirect influences
of diseases, infections, and otherwise, upon physical and
cerebral development. It may be suggested that the
acuity of sensation and perception of those affected, but
not disabled, by tuberculosis and the slow acquisition of
immunity, may have modified human character to a
It can even be shown that disadvantageous variations
actually become permanent racial characters. We may
consider hernias. During the processes of evolution, a
mammalian hernia seems to have occurred almost univer-
sally, and to have established itself as normally physio-
logical. The tunica vaginalis of the testis is actually part
of the original peritoneal sac, as can be seen in the embryo.
This was, of course, observed by John Hunter. During
foetal life it is separated from the parent sac. In whatever
sense we now call such a change physiological, it seems
impossible to regard it as originally anything but patho-
logical. I certainly do not know how we can describe the
scrotum as anything else than the coverings of an evolu-
tionary hernial sac, which is not only of no advantage, but
a positive danger to most male animals. This view has been
supported by Bramann. In some, the pigs for instance,
the testicles do not descend into an external pouch, but
are supported and protected by the normal skin tissues,
not by a thinned and delicate integument of later develop-
ment like the scrotum, a tissue still scantily supplied
with the non-striated muscular fibres which might have
reinforced it, and are, perhaps, now developing slowly.
When we consider the rarity of muscular fibres in human
skin tissues in comparison with those of animals, their
greater frequency in the scrotum and perinaeum suggests
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 83
that they are a reaction product, a forced revival of the
primitive panniculus. They act in the dartos, or deeper
layers of the scrotal dermis, at right angles to the rugse,
and are something of a support. The pink colour of this
structure is due to the presence of these muscular fibres.
They are not connected in any way. with the cremaster
muscle, and therefore are not affected by the cremasteric
reflex. In many senses the descent of the testes cannot
be called advantageous. It causes a weak spot, recognized
as such by men and animals. The Japanese wrestlers
are said to be trained from earliest youth to return
the testes into the inguinal canals. If the translation
of the testis from a safe place to an exposed one has had
any good results, they have been indirect and only
discoverable, though not yet discovered, over long periods
during which the change must have been disastrous to
many. To argue that they were advantageous to begin
with is to destroy the authority of reason. It is true
that at the present stage of human development an un-
descended testis rarely produces normal spermatozoa. But
to argue that the testes descended because the rise of
intra-abdominal pressure produced conditions incompatible
with racial continuance seems to ignore physical causation
in favour of a partially teleological explanation. It cannot
be argued that their present situation was always the best,
or that their early position was disadvantageous in face
of the fact that in elephants, seals, and walruses the testes
remain undescended, and that the boar's are at least in-
conspicuous and protected by normal skin tissues. As a
rough partial illustration, it may be said that though an
emigrant's descendants might do badly in his native village,
it does not follow that they might not have functioned
there successfully if their parent had not left it.
84 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
It may seem an undue extension of the view that
pathology has played an immense part in evolution, if it is
suggested that it was upon pathological conditions that the
very existence of the Metazoa depended. There can be
no doubt that they originated from some protozoon by a
failure of normal physiological fission. We see here how
theories of disease may be modified according to the point
of view taken. From that, shall I say, of a protozoan
Hippocrates or Hunter nothing can be more obvious than
that a failure of mitosis would be a calamity, the birth of
a monster, of Siamese twins, among the normally con-
stituted unicellular organisms. It is still in the processes
of reproduction that we find the strongest evidence of the
part played by disease.
When considering such problems in this light, it seems
somewhat difficult to account for the satisfaction of
many with the theory of small cumulative advantageous
variations. What ground is there for imagining such
machinery could result in a complex series of adaptations
such as the uterus, and what we may call its habits and
customs in dealing with the embryo from the entrance of
the ovum till birth ? Even those who adapt to their
own ideas some theory of large discontinuous variation
will, in the end, be compelled to attribute the uterine growth
and functions to a mystic power or virtue in the original
germ. They may follow some philosophers, and " unpack "
powers out of a conjurer's bag without telling us how
they got there. Yet if we regard the uterus as the result
of tissue reactions under abnormal stimuli, being guided
in research by the processes seen every day in disease, the
variations, whether small or large, continuous or discon-
tinuous, assume an aspect neither fanciful nor mystical,
and our need for biological faith is reduced to a decent
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 85
scientific minimum. To say so much is not to deny that
small variations may finish, or polish, a rough incomplete
adaptation. From an eolith to the perfection of Chellean
art may be such a process, but the first eolith was no small
The fact that the embryo acts upon the maternal
organism as a parasite against which the mother has to
be protected, is commonly recognized, but I have not seen
the obvious conclusion drawn that the whole history of
the mammal must have been due originally to a pathological
accident in some one or more of their ancestors. The
mammalian animal still lays eggs, but they are not ex-
truded. When such retention first took place, it must
have been due to an accidental pathological delay of the
travelling ovum, owing perhaps to catarrh of the tube.
Even now the mother has to be rendered immune to the
products of the offspring. Many of the phenomena of early
gestation are those of immunization, in some cases a very
slow process, as is shown in human beings by vomiting and
malaise. It has, moreover, not been clearly or generally
recognized, except by pathologists, that the very methods
by which the ovum attaches itself to the uterine wall are, so
far as the hostess is concerned, actually pathological and
bordering on the malignant. Yet they have resulted in a
series of protective reactions which save the parent and
permit the growth of the parasite. The method by which
the ovum becomes partially buried in the tissues is obviously
of a destructive kind, and curiously analogous to the
malignant processes seen in chorion-epithelioma. Bland-
Sutton remarks, "This disease is instructive because the
erosive action of the trophoblast is the physiological type
of the invasiveness so characteristic of many varieties of
cancer." It must, I think, be added, that it is the balance
86 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
established by reaction which makes the trophoblastic
action physiological. 1
That the influence of the ovum on the undeveloped tube
must have been of an exceedingly dangerous character is
now seen in tubal pregnancies during which the chorionic
villi frequently penetrate the wall of the tube, which does
not react as powerfully as the uterus. Such a process in
the uterus, which is itself a tubal dilatation, is now normal,
because these villi, the earlier nutrition roots or organs of
the parasite, are prevented from injuring the uterine wall
irrevocably by the transformation of the reactive uterine
decidua and the chorionic villi and the allantois of the
foetus into the combined temporary organ known as the
placenta. It may be noted that the non-placental mammals
are less exposed to the destructive and toxic effects of their
offspring, as they are born at an earlier stage than in the case
of the deciduate mammals. The marsupial foetus is about
half an inch in length when transferred to the milk-pouch.
It is impossible to look at the placenta without recognizing
that it is what we may call a compromise growth, one which
serves the embryo without destroying the parent hostess.
That all mammals are not yet fully armed against any
morbid alteration of function in the penetrating chorionic
villi is seen, as suggested above, in chorion-epithelioma,
where the energy of the villi trophoblasts leads to a
malignant overgrowth of the epithelial elements, which the
maternal tissues fail to inhibit. The hydatid mole, which
does not as a rule become malignant, is a case where
such inhibition has been sufficient. These phenomena
establish on a firm foundation the view that the uterus and
its reactions during gestation are definite protective pro-
cesses or variations springing originally from a purely
1 See Chapter II., Malignancy.
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 87
pathological accident in some ancestors of the mammalians.
However complex the embryology of the uterus and its
appendages, the broad facts are compatible with this
view, which is strengthened by the later parasitic history
of the offspring after birth. The mammae appear to be a
compromise between the needs of the infant and the pro-
tection of the mother ; it has been suggested that they
originated in sore or tender spots on the epithelium most
exposed to the assaults of the parasite. Whether this is
true or not, the growth of the nipple is a complex variation
depending on the mechanical action of sucking with a
reaction proliferation of the epithelial elements of the
sweat and sebaceous glands, and an increased blood-supply
as special maternal protection against oral infection. It
seems to me that few stronger instances can be found of
the fact that the development of many organs, if not all
of them, is the result of direct reactions or adaptations,
which are in the nature of repair to tissues otherwise likely
to suffer disastrously.
It is large macroscopic results of this order which enable
us to reason about other finer reactions, and even help us
to link to the general process those of a microscopic and
ultra-microscopic character which we class under " im-
munity." Such phenomena are reactions under stress
which, by the provocation of catalysts, influence life. If,
indeed, much of human character is similar reaction,
perfect or imperfect, to the infections to which the race has
been and still is exposed, psychology itself must at last be
classed as the result of physical reactions a conclusion
fully in accord with the work of Pavlov on conditioned
If any further illustration of the conclusions so far
suggested is necessary, it may be found in the fixation of
88 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
the mesentery, and the changes undergone during its
development. It has often been pointed out that the
embryonic processes by which it is made secure are
histologically those of plastic organized exudations, i.e.
those which have been invaded by fibroblasts. These
attachments do not come about at the same period of
foetal development, and it seems of significance when we
note that the mesentery of the small gut has an oblique
attachment, to the posterior abdominal wall from the
duodenum to the right iliac fossa, only found in animals
which have assumed the upright posture. This comes
into existence as late as the fourth or fifth month of
foetal development. Before this band formed there must
have been a great series of disasters, for even now the
last part of the mesentery to become attached to the
abdominal wall, that is, the angle between the ileum
and ascending colon, sometimes remains free. A volvulus
may easily form there by rotation of the ileo-colic
loop. The whole history suggests a series of lymph
effusions, caused by pathological states, some of which
were sorted out by the lethal process of natural selection,
the remainder surviving and leaving offspring with the
liability to organize the effusion in the safe way. The
pathology of those cases, in which what are known as Lane's
Kinks can be found, is obviously of a similar character.
The stasis of the affected bowel causes lymph effusion, and
the formation of bands which are morphologically homo-
logous with the early attachment of the mesentery. In
Keith's paper, " Nature of Peritoneal Adhesions," I find
noted the normal loose network of connective-tissue bands
between the elephant's lung and the pleura. This is a
physiological development of evolutionary adhesions, and
clearly supports the pathological development of many
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 89
large variations. With regard to mesenteric bands the
same worker says : "In securing a proper fixation of the
abdominal viscera Nature calls to her aid processes which
are usually regarded as pathological." In this passage
" Nature " can obviously be translated into a series of
modifiable and transmissible phenomena.
After reviewing phenomena such as these, the conclusion
seems inevitable that single small favourable variations
have not done the whole work of evolution. They may
play their part as correlated changes ; but they then take
their place in a series of which the causes can be recognized.
In combination with reasonable views of use and disuse, and
of increased or decreased blood-supply, they may, perhaps,
be held to explain such phenomena as the delicate
co-aptation of some cardiac valves. Their place in the
explanation of the phenomena of mimicry seems obvious.
But though they may help us to comprehend how tissues
become finished structures, if they are combined with the
results of functional energy, they yield no hint as to great
or decisive developments, and the mechanism involved in
them. If the reasons adduced for the thesis laid down carry
any weight, it is obvious that many, if not most, of the
really decisive variations in all internal structure depended,
and still depend, not on variations which can be called
favourable, but on those that for the major portion of the
organisms involved are directly disastrous ; not on varia-
tions which are small, but on those which are big
enough to be appreciable as the cause of immense
functional and structural results ; not on changes
which can in any sense be called spontaneous, by
which we may suppose are meant those no cause can
be assigned to, but on variations, which, though they
occurred ages ago, were obviously due to the very
90 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
same causes that the pathologist can demonstrate to be
working at the present day. Only such organisms as
respond by direct reactions in a manner that finally turns
out to be useful, or at the very least compatible with life
and reproduction, are able to survive. The whole of
growth and development thus becomes largely a function
of effective morphogenetic repair to organic failure and
Though this is not the place to deal at length with the
vexed question of transmission of modifications, it may
be remarked that the foregoing arguments seem to imply
that such alterations, as a matter of fact, are inherited. I
think some progress can be made if we simply assume
provisionally that organisms do tend to repeat them-
selves, and that it is unlikeness rather than likeness which
requires explanation. We know that gross unlikeness is
almost always due to a lack or excess of some internal
secretion, hormone, or enzyme, and from this it may be
inferred that likeness is due to such catalytic machinery
coming over in the zygote, and to each differentiation
producing anew its own peculiar products which stimulate
or inhibit further growth and differentiation. Some
time ago I was struck by a remark of Starling's, that each
new organism seemed a fresh " creation." He gave this
up on account of the difficulty he found in the " time
element " of the problem ; but I venture to think he was
right in his surmise. 1 There is a growing body of opinion
in support of this view, as the names of Cunningham,
MacBride, Dendy, and Bourne seem to bear witness. We
must certainly take into account these hormonic regulators
of metabolism, and if we accept the view that hyper-
thyroidism is the direct cause of the phenomena seen in
1 See Chapter VII., Heredity and Environment.
REPAIR IN EVOLUTION 91
Graves' Disease, just as hyper- or hypo-pituitarism causes
giantism or infantilism in children, while a later overgrowth
of the gland causes acromegaly, I see no difficulty in accept-
ing the hypothesis that growth is determined, i.e. stimulated
or finally inhibited, by non-living catalysts or secretions
not necessarily confined to the endocrine organs. In this
way a bridge may perhaps be built between the orthodox
Weismannian and the Lamarckian. Growth and character
are caused by determinants ; but these are not parts of the
cytoplasm itself, they are the machinery by and through
which living matter acts. The organism is not built
up by special protoplasm, or by entelechies, or by any
mysterious elan creatif. It arises from the definite influence
of definite catalysts originating, in an orderly sequence,
as the organs become differentiated, while the individual
is as a whole exposed in an infinite progression to the
internal and external stimuli of a like but slowly changing
environment to which it reacts. The factors which did
the work are working now.
To recapitulate the tentative conclusions arrived at,
it may be suggested that :
1. Mechanical reaction to stress is a general law of all
2. Morbid conditions in many cases give rise to repair
which becomes physiological.
3. Such repairs lead to new functions, new stresses,
further morbid states, and further repair.
4. These factors are some of the main causes of specific
and generic differences.
5. In all probability transmission of changes caused
in the way indicated takes place by a morphogenetic reply
in utero to increased functional stresses.
6. As it is a narrow view to assume that pathology
92 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
in all cases tends to death, the study of pathology and
general physiology should be part of the preparation of
BAYLISS, W. M. " Principles of General Physiology," 1918.
BLAND-SUTTON, Sir JOHN. (i) "Tumours," 1918 ; (2) "Evolu-
tion and Disease."
BRAMANN. " Descensus Testiculorum," His. Arch., 1884,
HUNTER, JOHN. "Works" (ed. Owen), vol. iv., " Descent of
Testis," p. i.
KAMMERER. P. v. MacBride's paper, infra.
KEITH, ARTHUR. " Nature of Peritoneal Adhesions," Lancet,
London, 1914, p. 362; "Menders of the Maimed," 1919.
LEWIS, T. " Mechanism of the Heart Beat," 1911.
MACBRIDE, E. W. " Are Acquired Characters Inherited ? "
Trans. S.E. Union of Scientific Societies, 1917.
STARLING, E. H. (i) " Physiology " ; (2) " Law of the Heart,"
SUTTON, H. G. " Lectures on Pathology."
WOLFF, JULIUS. " Law of Bone Transformation," Acad. Science,
INHIBITION AND THE CARDIAC VAGUS J
THE history of science records the birth, life, and
death of many conceptions, which, although they
seemed to reconcile contradictions triumphantly, in the
end did but serve to show how hypotheses can rise to the
rank of theories, and yet finally be disposed of by some stray
fact. Just as some conqueror in his hour of victory falls
to a chance bullet, so they succumb at last. They may for
the time be " true " ; they serve, that is, as a temporary
shelter or clearing house for contradictory observations,
and thus produce the semblance of order. Deep within
them there may be even some hint of real explanation.
It was so with the ancient view of the arteries, to which the
very word bears witness. They were, indeed, air vessels
even if the observations leading to such a conclusion were
1 An abstract of this paper was printed in The British Medical Journal,
September 14, 1918, and since re-writing and developing it, I note that
R. M. M'Nair Wilson (" Meaning of Tachycardia," ibid., January 17,
1920) practically adopts Luciani's view, with which I was not acquainted,
that the vagus is " a nerve of diastole," and adds, " this nerve would
seem not to be inhibitor in the narrow sense, but rather to act by in-
creasing the filling time in response, no doubt, to stimulation from the
cortex." Although I do not wholly agree with this in all its implications,
yet as I have expressed doubts as to whether tachycardia is to be attri-
buted to disturbance of the pace-maker itself, it is of interest to me to
note that Wilson holds the view that it is due to a compensating accelera-
tion when the ventricular systole cannot get rid of the diastolic intake.
This, I imagine, is also the opinion of T. Lewis, who states that tachycardia
does not originate in the pace-maker.
94 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
incomplete. So, too, with Phlogiston, which was both false
and true, and passed away as explanation when the actual
nature of combustion was discovered. Many such con-
ceptions must exist now, and possibly among them may be
reckoned some orthodox conceptions of physiology.
It is a mark of false but useful theory that in the end
it raises more questions than it disposes of. In its
explanation other hypotheses are built up which contradict
each other, while none can be found to reconcile them. But
if the original conception is held obstinately, even further
observations are tortured into supporting it. In such
cases free speculation and criticism may play a useful part.
If there is any physiological subject in which speculation
of all kinds is allowable on such grounds it is, perhaps,
Inhibition. There are facts of observation in abundance, as
any text-book of physiology proves, while the hypotheses,
sometimes misnamed theories, which seek to explain
them are both difficult and contradictory. It seemed to
me, when considering the subject, that the function of
the cardiac vagus, in which, according to accepted views,
inhibition means not only cessation of action in some
muscles, but the actual weakening of the whole heart,
might form a key, if not to unlock the mysteries of inhibition,
at the least to show some possible flaws in accepted opinion.
It appeared likely that not only had results obtained
in the laboratory, often of a pathological or traumatic
origin, not been compared with normal physiological action,
but that few inquirers had sought for analogies in other
organisms by which inhibition and its action could be
understood. It certainly appeared as if some clue were
needed to the problem, so far without real explanation, as
to the manner in which the vagus centre could "put the
heart out of action," and yet increase the action of the
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 95
intestine. In saying so it has not been forgotten that
inhibition is admitted by most to be no more than a
covering word for various observations. Such a covering
word, however, tends to obtain illegitimate sanctions by
continued use, and if it is asked to shelter not only mere
physiological stoppage of action, as when a muscle is thrown
out of gear, but also a pathological process in which the
subject may die of cardiac failure, a better one must
surely be sought.
In the first place, it may be asked whether inhibition,
in any case, is a safe word to employ, even if the facts
observed are found to support the general notion. Nothing
is clearer than that the use of a word, which is, as it were,
sanctified by special employment in other connections
than those of science, needs the closest examination. The
connotation of the term as commonly employed is purely
"psychological," that is to say, it is a "portmanteau"
word for the interruptions of functions by " forbiddance,"
or obvious and useful shorthand for a complex of con-
ditioned reflexes which, on being excited, repress certain
actions by turning energy in other directions. For we
cannot suppose that an "inhibited " clergyman does not
in some way employ his energy on paths previously little
used or not used at all. Just as spoken words are sound
signals which excite reflex action, so the bishop's written
words of inhibition, when they stop a certain function,
set others in action, whether it be over emotional tracts
of indignation, surprise, or anger, or over carefully con-
sidered remonstrance worked out by " volition " over the
pyramidal tract in motor reactions which produce an answer
and demand investigation. Yet using the common verbal
shorthand, we say the clergyman has been "inhibited" by
the bishop, as if some direct influence, not to be analysed
96 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
into historic ecclesiastical tradition and custom, has pro-
duced mere inability, and reduced the inhibited to temporary
paralysis. Taking the word into science has produced
similar results since some eminent physiologists have used
the very word "influence " of the supposed vagus action
on the heart. They would doubtless own that they, too,
employed the word as shorthand ; but if, as I think the
facts show, all sorts of inhibition, save those due to the
pathological conditions vaguely summed up as "shock,"
are the result of substituted excitational actions, direct
or upon other paths, there is no more need to use the
word as opposed to excitation than there is to say that
work is inhibited by the sound of the dinner-bell. What
really happens in such a case is the conditioned reflex-
closing of some synapses of the brain, and the easy opening
of others leading to the reflex instinctive satisfactions of
The answer to these questions seems to depend upon
the processes which take place in one muscle when its anta-
gonist is stimulated. There are probably few more difficult
subjects in physiology than that of contractile tissue ; but
to say that when a muscle goes out of action it is "in-
hibited," surely takes us no further, since it is only putting
into obscure words what we already know. It was the
belief that the action of the stimulated cardiac vagus was
excitatory of some really active process which led me to
inquire whether inhibition in the sense of weakening ever
occurred save in pathological cases, for, if it did not, it
seemed to follow inevitably that the relaxation of a muscle
was in some way a positive process in which there was some
substituted action, not a time of rest. For a muscle's time
of rest should be the refractory period. At first it seemed as
if the facts could be explained, if not by a process of
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 97
" drainage," at least by the deduction that a muscle " went
out of action " owing to the fact that it sent no afferent,
and received no answering efferent messages. Yet as I
believed that there was a definitely active process shown
in the diastole on normal physiological stimulation, it at
last seemed certain that muscle-lengthening was not at all
an inhibitory but an exciting process. It did not seem
legitimate to say that lengthening took place " naturally,"
even if the word was interpreted as implying local processes
of communicated strains, and cessation of strains, acting
directly as kinds of primitive reflexes. What then is the
action of muscle when lengthening ? As there are de-
formations of the muscle cells in contraction, why should
there not be active deformation in its opposite ? Such
deformations must depend on physico-chemical factors
such as surface tension and osmosis. If a muscle cell
alters its shape when stimulated to contract, we can
imagine its molecules ranged in a column of two,
" forming fours," and closing up. In the opposite
process the column of two molecules will become a
column of single ones. Thus relaxation becomes a
positive lengthening process of active deformation. If
there are no special muscles of diastole in the heart acted
on directly by the vagus as a motor nerve, some such
process must account for the active diastole. It was
a long time after some of these considerations occurred
to me that a real explanation of cardiac negative pressure
We find it, however, stated authoritatively that
stimulation of the cardiac vagus is followed, not by the
mere throwing out of action of another muscle, but by
a slowing of the rate, a diminution of the energy, and a
slackening in the rate of conduction of the Bundle of His and
98 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
of the whole heart. The vagus fibres are thus conceived
as actually depressant fibres, while the accelerator (or aug-
mentor) acts, it is said, in exactly the opposite way. Since
such views are founded on observations first made by the
Webers, which cannot be placed in the category of ordinary
reflex inhibition with substituted action, some further
examination of the deductions drawn may surely be
made with a view of determining whether the cardiac
vagus really plays the part assigned to it, and whether
the view stated above can throw light not only upon
ordinary " inhibition," but on the real nature of the cardiac
Although there is great reluctance on the part of physio-
logists to acknowledge that experiments, however great
their value, are often misleading, it is just as true to say so
as to say that what happens in vitro is not always repeated
in vivo. If it were, practical medicine would be less
uncertain than it is. But just as the living organism with
its unmeasured complexities thwarts and disappoints both
physician and pharmacologist, so the animal experimented
on, in conditions which are pathological and unnatural from
the very beginning, cannot always show, and cannot be
expected to show, the reactions due to natural stimuli when
subjected, probably under conditions of trauma, to stimuli
with which evolution has not made it acquainted. To say
so much is not to urge any vital objection to experiment,
but merely to caution those who, when they obtain interest-
ing results, believe they are physiological. If in general a
negative effect obtained by nerve stimulation requires
explanation, how much more is needed to make it credible
that evolution has contrived, by the mechanism of the
cardiac vagus, a means not only of weakening the organism,
but of actually bringing about its death ?
When any man dies of sudden heart failure without
cardiac disease or degeneration it is commonly attributed
to "shock." Whatever "shock" may be, and something
relevant to the subject may be urged later, it is usually
brought about by violent stimulation of an unusual kind,
such as severe trauma with its concomitant results. It is
obvious that the heart, especially in delicately balanced
organisms, is subject to continual fluctuations in its rate
and energy. In it any excitatory, or depressant, stimuli
bring about reflex cardiac results, in which, doubtless, the
vagus is often implicated. In a minor degree they, too,
may often be said to suffer from shock, for in that con-
dition the state of the circulation is a major factor. If
they are depressed there is weakening and slowing of the
heart, a possible accumulation of blood in the abdominal
veins, or even some loss of the fluid constituents of the blood
by failure of osmotic balance, such as seen in undoubted
traumatic shock (Bayliss), temporary anaemia of the brain,
collapse, and possibly loss of consciousness. Such results,
although they may upon occasion save the life of those
who suffer from them, are undoubtedly dangerous, and in
that sense pathological. It seems possible, then, that the
equivalent or allied phenomena seen in animals, when the
cut vagus is stimulated artificially, may be of a similar
kind, and that any physiological deductions as to the
action of the cardiac vagus are, to say the least, some-
Since shock has been of late the subject of much re-
search, and of especially valuable practical work by
Bayliss, something at least is known of its nature. Judg-
ing, however, from recent notices of it in medical journals,
it is to be observed that the main symptoms of severe, or
possibly lethal, shock only are dilated upon. The influence
100 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
of damaged muscle products, and the loss of blood fluid
through the walls of the veins and arteries, are certainly,
as it seems, the principal phenomena of the drama ; but
since all physiological phenomena can only be conceived
as verging gradually into pathological forms, and as we
cannot understand pathology, except as divergence from
useful function or structure, it inevitably follows that
stimulation itself can be so accentuated that it becomes,
firstly, excessive, secondly, abnormal, and at last crosses
the vague border-line and becomes pathological. So, from
the psychological, or complex cerebral point of view, we
see the varying results of mild and severe surprise, mere
fright, or excessive terror exciting more and more violent
motor reactions or producing collapse, paralysis of all
effort, total unconsciousness, or even death. There is
therefore no need whatever to confine the use of the word
shock to extreme phenomena. Anything which interrupts
normal function, whether by vaso-motor means, by the
excitation of some glands, or by producing synaptic
block, or its exact opposite, may be ranked under its
In accordance with what is laid down elsewhere, some-
thing more may be learnt of these phenomena if any
mechanical, biological, or social analogies can be discovered.
Incidentally such an inquiry should throw some light,
however dim, upon inhibition itself. When a social
" shock," such as a great national calamity, is experienced,
what are the phenomena observed ? The outstanding fact
is that every one's attention is diverted from his task,
and that for a time, longer or shorter according to circum-
stances, work ceases, or is greatly slackened. In certain
factories, for instance, in which the energy used is
supplied by machinery, the engineer might even stop it
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 101
altogether. It may be remarked, by the way, that in
such a case energy would be stored in the boilers if the fires
were not drawn or neglected. Such a storage of energy
may be seen during temporary slowing of a physiological
process, such as at first follows on vagal stimulation of the
intestine. If the social shock is not too great, some-
thing of the same result follows. If the work in hand is
very necessary, it is probably returned to with greater
vigour after the pause. Or it is diverted to functions
still more necessary in the new circumstances. But when
such a shock is very great, it is not followed by physio-
logical renewed action, nor is it diverted. Action is entirely
"inhibited," and energy is wasted. How is that energy
wasted ? Energy must do work. What then is done ?
It was said by a great physician that unity was health, and
separation disease. He spoke truly, for with separation
in any organism there is waste of energy. Nothing gets
done. In a social organism there follows on great shock a
degree of disintegration, with concomitant anger, argument,
recrimination, so that energy is wasted in mere social heat
instead of used in combined directed labour. Shock, then,
is plainly a disruptive phenomenon, whether seen in a
social or animal unit. In the animal no organ works well
and none works with another. Secretions, hormones, cata-
lysts, and the whole machinery of life are altered. The
nervous system ceases to function rightly ; tone, nervous
or muscular, is lowered, the blood accumulates in the
splanchic area, the veins lose their serum. Instead of real
symbiosis there is a dead indifference if the psychological
phrase may be allowed : the fundamental hostility at the
bottom of symbiosis may cease its powerful action. It is
almost as if in a wrecked ship all hands broke into the
spirit room, for in the shocked organism excretion is inter-
102 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
fered with, and there is no cell unpoisoned, unintoxicated.
Such effects of wasted, or undirected, energy may be seen in
special cases to which the word shock cannot be employed.
In the failing heart auricular fibrillation is the untimed
contractions of disorganized fibres. It is the same with
cardiac flutter. In a racing boat , when exhaustion overtakes
the crew, they do not pull together. Unable any longer to
receive the rhythmic stimulus of stroke, each man's
reaction time or personal equation masters him. And
each man's differs. The boat slows and, perhaps, finally
stops. " The crew went to pieces." It is so with utter
exhaustion. It is so in shock. And undoubtedly the
liability to such complete disruption increases as the
organism becomes higher, and the degree of interdepen-
dence of the organs increases. In the most developed
nervous types the heart seems the first organ to feel shock
of any kind. Something or another has " gone to pieces " ;
some function has been interrupted, whether by a disin-
tegrative process in cells leading to an interruption of revers-
ible reactions of colloids, or by some other failure. The
processes by which energy is stored and released in
muscle are as obscure as they are remarkable, and it is
possible that cardiac shock may be found at last to be the
result of an abnormal colloidal process depending upon an
excessive " trigger action " of the cardiac vagus.
For many reasons it seems impossible to accept un-
reservedly the physiological doctrine that stimulation of a
nerve is but "trigger action" to the muscle it sets going,
and that no more energy passes over from the end-plate
than an amount so small as not to be measurable. If some
of the conclusions as to nervous action were not called
in question by other accepted, or partially accepted, views,
it might seem hazardous to make such an assertion.
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 103
But assuredly Wrightson's Theory of Hearing, which has
able advocates, throws doubt on many accepted opinions.
Moreover, those who have had the doubtful advantage of
receiving a severe and unexpected electric shock with a
powerful muscular reaction which, as it seems, might in
some cases tear away a ligament or even snap a bone, will
have suspicions of the " trigger " doctrine. If the function
of the vagus is not to produce some kind of excitation, the
phrase " trigger action " does not apply. " Trigger action "
in a gun is a measurable amount of energy, and so is the
energy in the cartridge. And in ordinary cases, where
the gun and the cartridge are what we may call " physio-
logical," that is, in such a state that the normal hammer
fall produces the normal explosion, an abnormally powerful
hammer impact will produce no more powder energy than a
merely adequate one. Yet if a powerful nerve excitation
occurs, there is more than a normal explosion of muscle
energy. In this case, if the nerve acts as a whole, more
energy does " go over," for, if in ordinary conditions
only a few fibres are affected, with the stronger stimulation
all may be called into play. In either case the facts suggest
that more energetic stimulation does cause greater, or even
disastrous effects, showing that " trigger action " is not a
sound analogy. It is therefore easy to understand how it
is that abnormal vagal stimulation results in " shock "
or disintegrating action. There seem more analogies
between electric and nervous phenomena than the usual
nerve theories allow. For if in electric " flex," composed
of a large number of very fine wires, some of these fibres
are cut, the lamp does not light, whereas, if more volts are
applied to the unaltered wire, "shock" results, and the
incandescent filaments fuse. It should be remembered
that action resulting in shock is not an entity, totus, teres
104 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
atque rotundus, it is a function of the two variables stimulus,
and the condition of the stimulated organism. It may be
little or more and more. The further it is considered the
more justifiable it appears to regard it as a stimulus pro-
ducing pathological effects, and such views are in keeping
with the notion that the vagus normally is not " depressor,"
but, being a most delicate adjustment agent, can easily
become such. We can certainly imagine that its action is
depressing if all the vagus fibres are excited at once, which
probably never happens in physiological conditions. So
very rarely can all the fibres of the biceps be excited
together. There are nearly a thousand fibres in its trunk.
If the violent tonic spasm, produced by strong electric
stimulation, excites them all together the phenomenon is
explicable. Otherwise we must assume, as said above,
what no physiologist seems to believe, that energy does
really pass over from the end-plate into the muscle itself.
If then shock be a complex of such phenomena, and
if it is hard to conceive that evolution has made physio-
logical stimulation of the vagus a means of destruction,
it necessarily follows that its experimental stimulation,
leading to weakening and failure of the heart, is essentially
pathological, and that from what occurs no legitimate
physiological deductions can be drawn. The Webers
discovered an interesting fact ; but all they noted
must be classed as pathological or traumatic. Doubt is
thus thrown upon the view that the vagus can weaken a
muscle in one place and stimulate it in another. Nothing
will co-ordinate the facts but some proof, or suggestion
of proof, that the vagus exerts both on heart muscle and
smooth muscle an " influence " which helps both to
What then is the real function of the cardiac vagus ?
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 105
When it is considered that every act of breathing and every
change of posture send vagus messages to the heart, it
seems obvious that the nerve fibres are adapted to control
the heart's action, and enable it to do its work. Such
messages are truly physiological, and cannot be measured
in electrical language. But though they cannot be so
measured, the changes induced are of definite advantage
to the organism, and indicate one of the most delicate
adaptations to gravity, or slight efforts, to be found in the
mammalian body. Vagal or youthful irregularity of the
heart is doubtless of a similar kind. In this kind of cardiac
arrhythmia, still frequently mistaken by some medical
men for serious disease, the heart slows after every inspira-
tion, while, if the patient holds his breath, the irregularity
tends to disappear. Though it is now known, owing to the
work of Mackenzie, that it has no pathological significance
whatsoever, it certainly has a physiological signification
as showing to what immeasurably small stimuli the normal
heart can and does respond. It may eventually be found
that, though the slowing occurs during expiration, the
vagal stimulation is experienced during inspiration, when
the lungs expand. In a pathological case, the mere act of
swallowing stimulates the vagus, and produces heart-block
a few seconds later. The more these facts are considered
the less likely does it seem that a tied-up animal, with a cut
vagus electrically stimulated, can be held to show pheno-
mena on a cardiogram which are remotely relevant to
normal vagal action. Moreover, even when pressure over
the vagus is applied at the neck and slowing results, there
is no evidence to prove that the result is directly due to
the pressure, since it is, on these general lines, far more
likely to be due to the partial interruption of the circulation,
and a vagal attempt at vaso-motor readjustment.
106 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
From such considerations it follows that an inquiry
must be made as to how the vagus acts on the heart physio-
logically, and what its real functions are. Such a question
leads to a fresh study of the heart's mechanism, and the rdle
played by the augmentor as well as the vagus. Even if
the notion that the vagus normally weakens the heart be
put aside as contradicting the whole course of evolution,
and if the facts can be otherwise explained when it does
happen to have that effect, it may, at least, be admitted
that it certainly slows the heart on stimulation, just as
the augmentor or accelerator fibres quicken it. But
reasonable slowness of action by no means implies weaken-
ing or fatigue. The heart can be slowed in many ways,
by the toxins of fatigue or disease, by high blood-pressure,
by a depletion of the higher centres owing to vaso-motor
action (Mackenzie) ; but if it is slowed physiologically, it
must be for advantageous action, and what is seen in ex-
periment is, at least, partially irrelevant, even if the whole
of the phenomena, when understood, can be linked together.
Following the method hitherto adopted, we may seek for
illustrations of slowing in something that resembles an
organism, and try to discover why it happens, and what it
effects. Let such an organism or individual be a University
eight. In a well-trained crew the endeavour of the trainer
has been to get a long, slow, " well-pulled-through " action ;
but when the crew become tired they are apt to accelerate
the stroke, and make it short and " snatchy." It is found
that more power is obtained by the long and slow stroke,
and when the coxswain or the stroke oar think it time to
quicken, both are well aware the reserve power of the crew
is being drawn upon. When the slower rate is maintained,
" inhibition " is the inhibition of the accelerator, not
inhibition of the strength of the crew. By inhibiting
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 107
rapidity and the waste of unregulated energy, power is
conserved. Quite legitimately we may regard stroke as
the pace-maker, and cox as central control. If in the heart
we regard " inhibition " by the vagus as inhibition of
the accelerators themselves, we obtain a physiological view
of the whole cardiac drama, which, in fact, puts it into
line with the muscular phenomena of reciprocal innerva-
tion. I am aware that physiologists, dominated by what
they observe in the laboratory, maintain that such an
illustration does not illustrate, as they say the heart's force
is really weakened. But the objections to this are many
more than those already mentioned. All the facts of
mechanics and physics are against it. When an engine is
stopped or slowed, it is not weakened. On the contrary,
it is strengthened, i.e. energy accumulates, and the boiler
pressure rises. Questions of energetics also arise, for if,
as physiologists say, the nerve only pulls the trigger,
what action occurs in the heart muscle as it slows ? Does
it waste its energy under normal stimulation, postural,
inspiratory, or expiratory ? And if its energy is wasted,
what becomes of it, and how does its free energy become
bound energy ? It seems, having got so far, that no effort
has been made to ascertain whether the real function of
the vagus, as regards the brain itself, is not to control the
accelerator centre, and the action of the accelerator centre
to modify vagus action. Such an opinion might, I think,
correlate and explain many of the observed phenomena,
and it would certainly bring them into line with those seen
in engines of all kinds, while it does not contradict direct
It still remains, even if these views are allowed to have
any force, to ask in what way the vagus actually influences
the heart ? If it slows it, not to weaken it, but to allow it
108 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
time to recuperate and gather energy, just as the vagus
when acting on an intestine has at first a slowing, " in-
hibitory " effect upon it, on what in the heart does the
vagus act ? Such a question leads to the consideration of
the diastolic mechanism, which seems so obscure that no
information whatever is to be obtained on the subject.
After consulting all books within my reach, the utmost I
have gathered is that the diastole is "an elastic rebound,"
in some way connected with the columnce carnece. On
applying personally to certain authorities I was told it was
" a vital process." But so is the whole of life. The answer
answered nothing. We know that there is negative pres-
sure in the heart during diastole, so the old theory of the
passive diastole cannot stand. There are few, if any,
elastic connective-tissue fibres in the ventricle, whatever
there may be in the septum or the base. Is then the
diastole after all a muscular process in the sense that
certain layers contract ? One of our greatest authorities
tells me that there are no reasons for supposing that this is
so. The whole of the muscle layers seem adapted only for
the systole. It is true that in the systolic contraction there
appear to be torsion strains. If we adopt the view that
skeletal muscles are all systems, and that a single muscle
cannot exist, it is perhaps conceivable that certain layers of
cardiac muscle are stretched during the systolic torsion
contraction, and that the diastolic rebound is thus muscular.
Yet if the view is accepted that the mere lengthening of a
muscle is a positive and active process, and a change in
molecular order, which in some cases can do work, this
somewhat unlikely hypothesis can be dispensed with. We
have merely to inquire why in ordinary cases a lengthened
muscle is said to be relaxed, and why the positive cardiac
diastole, capable of producing a negative pressure, which
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 109
according to Stefani is increased by vagal excitations,
must obviously in some sense be unrelaxed. Because an
inactive voluntary muscle appears soft it by no means
follows that the lengthened cells are themselves so. They
have merely ceased to pull on their origin and insertion.
One fibre is not attached to another, and in contraction
what we observe is the general tensile strain. But in the
heart this condition of loose muscle fibre does not exist.
According to Schafer cardiac fibres differ greatly from
voluntary fibres : " their striations are less distinct ; they
have no sarcolemma ; they branch and unite with neigh-
bouring fibres, and their nuclei lie in the centre of the
fibres." Of these differences, and here I follow a brilliant
suggestion of Keith's, the really important one is that
" they branch and unite with neighbouring fibres." If the
diastolic muscle action really does work, the fibres cannot
slacken and bend as in voluntary muscle. They form an
actual network, an interdigitated or branched growth-
mechanism, and must move together. Excitation is not
transmitted from fibre to fibre in skeletal muscle, but it
does so pass in cardiac as in smooth muscle, and all the
cells are excited in waves. It is obvious that these millions
of short columnar cells, each with its restraining connections,
have to act as a body, cell with cell, fibre with fibre, and
layer with layer, since the layers are so much part of each
other that anatomists differ as to their number. In such a
formation we have a most remarkable and unique engine,
very different indeed from the fibres of voluntary muscle
isolated in their sarcolemma, and a rough illustration of
its mechanism may be afforded by comparing it with what
we see in the instrument known as a " lazy tongs," in which
interdependent, interbranched, and hinged lozenges are
shortened or lengthened at the user's will, while in either
110 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
state the whole tool remains more or less rigid. On
receiving stimulation in a normal condition of the myo-
cardium it is assuredly a case of " all or nothing," for a fibre
cannot really move by itself, although in the pathological
state of fibrillation there are useless unco-ordinated
twitches. Even if I were qualified to enter into the whole
question of muscular action, and most assuredly I am not, to
do so would be unnecessary in this question of the diastole.
It is sufficient to note that there appears a fairly general
consensus of opinion that contraction is due to surface
action, and that, though oxygen is needed for the energy
which restores potential, combustion takes no part in the
actual work done. We are here, however, not concerned
with contraction, but with elongation, and, though it is diffi-
cult to understand in what way osmosis plays a part, it is
known that in muscle action there is movement of water
(Bayliss), and that fatigued muscle readily absorbs it. It
may, perhaps, be said that during contraction the water is
expelled into " lakes " in the interstices of the network
of cells, that during the refractory period the oxidative
processes which restore lactic acid take place, and that
elongation is osmotic expansion. Thus contraction has an
outflow and elongation an inflow, which, it may be suggested,
puts the whole process on a par with vaso-constrictor
and vaso-dilator phenomena. If this is so it seems
perfectly legitimate to regard the muscle cells as complex
sets of reversible hydraulic presses, and to infer that,
though apparently less powerful than contraction, length-
ening of muscle is a process exactly analogous to vaso-
dilatation. That this process may be increased by normal
stimulation of the vagus centre can hardly be doubted,
and when it is said that the vaso-dilator centre is not yet
discovered, though known to exist since vaso-dilator
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 111
nerves leave the cranial system, it seems as if the actual
facts had been obscured by hasty theories of inhibition,
and that the portion of the bulb where the vagus arises is
the actual centre which is still looked for. We might, then,
assume that vagus action is the same as positive vaso-
dilatation, however much the phenomena are obscured in the
intestine or elsewhere by subsidiary controlling mechanisms,
such as are probably found in Auerbach's plexus, and
infer that the whole action of the heart is but specialized
vaso-constriction and dilatation by an ancestral motor
nerve and its later subordinate ganglia. It might even
be said that the Keith-Flack node is the Auerbach plexus
of the heart. If this is so, vaso-dilatation is everywhere
caused by a positive elongation of a muscular ring, which
pushes outwards while held in position by neighbouring
tissues ; the cell-lengthening being caused by osmosis.
When we deal, not with such small muscular systems as an
intestinal or arterial coat, but with a larger connected
mass of systems such as cardiac muscle, it is not more
difficult, or so it seems to me, to understand how a negative
pressure comes about in the ventricle than in a pump. In
fact, the heart in more senses than one is a double pump, for
it not only expels blood but draws it in. On further experi-
ment it may be found that even the auricles have a feeble
aspiratory power. I find myself totally unable to credit
any other view since the heart, when removed from an
animal and kept in a nutrient Ringer's solution, con-
tinues to expand and contract actively. Very many
years ago I was much impressed by observing the heart of
a pelagic shark, of the genus Carcharias, beating in the
open air of a hot tropical day. I held it in my hand, and
found some pressure needed to keep it closed. On opening
my fingers it followed them, and went on beating. I put
112 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
it down upon the deck, and placed a coin upon it. The
heart continually raised and lowered the piece of money.
When it was raised the heart was widely expanded and
semi-transparent. As the organ contracted to a mere
knot it lost its transparency. But the point is that the
detached heart, even in hot, dry air, for very many minutes
actually did work. I have been assured that I may have
mistaken the systole for the diastole. I do not see how this
can be. Ignorant as I was of physiology, I could still
observe the time of its greatest expansion when it raised
the weight put upon it. In spite of our ignorance of the
exact mechanism it seems impossible not to think that there
are direct diastolic agents, and that it is they which are
governed and regulated by the vagus. It should come
into play, especially when the heart is irritable and shows
a tendency to rely upon acceleration rather than the
"long pulled- through stroke" permitted by an adequate
diastolic action. Such action would tend to keep the blood-
pressure normal, and increase the coronary blood-supply.
It thus becomes easy to understand an efferent cranial
nerve acting not as a simple motor nerve, but as part of the
autonomic sympathetic system, and it puts vagal cardiac
action into line with its positive effects on intestinal move-
ments. It is not too much to say that the physiological
stimulus affecting the vagus probably depends on an
increased irritability in the medulla, consequent on a
lessened blood-supply, which reflexly exerts its influence on
the vagal centre. The whole drama of the heart, indepen-
dently of its automatic action, thus depends for stress and
change on the regulating effects of vagus and accelerator.
The accelerator, indeed, seems a better term than Gaskell's
" augmentor," for its chief role appears to be that of over-
coming the inertia of the " pace-maker," and urging the
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 113
heart to increased rapidity of action until the vagus once
more controls it. So the accelerator replies to a rapid
stress, the vagus to a continued one. Tachycardia as a
morbid condition is probably not always due to abnormal
alterations in the ' ' pace-maker. ' ' When the organism grows
weak, and the blood-pressure falls, the cerebral arteries
and coronary system can only be kept going by increased
rapidity, which makes up for the small volume of blood
sent into the aorta at each ventricular contraction. Every
one who has observed tired and worried workers, forced to
continue by urgent stimuli, has seen them go through such
stages. A man who works under pressure with a shovel
increases his rapidity and decreases his load. Seamen
tend under similar circumstances to take short ineffective
pulls on the gear at which they are hauling, and are apt
to do it in silence without the " pace-maker " of a rhythmic
song. I may be exposing myself to the ridicule of the
unobservant if I liken to vagus action the mate's voice
urging them to use their strength more rhythmically and
conservatively. But every worker who has toiled under
stress will be able to recall analogies in his own experience
which strengthen such an illustration.
It appears, then, as if the vagus and accelerator fibres
had no function of very great importance in health, rest, and
easy normal conditions, although without doubt they make
minor corrections in the cardiac mechanism at all times.
The necessity of explaining " inhibition " in the heart thus
seems only to exist in the laboratory, in the casualty
ward, or on the operating table. Then the conditions are
pathological ; the cases are cases of "shock," if shock is
disruption of united organic action with concomitant effects
upon the organs by which stability is assured. Such an
explanation seems in accord with what is known of the
114 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
vaso-motor system as it responds reflexly to the needs of
the somatic cells, or to emotions conditioned by adrenalin
and other glandular products. But the chief point is that
there is no real contradiction in such a view between the
cardiac and intestinal vagus action. Both tend to increase
the working power of the organ they control. Moreover,
if these arguments have any weight, such is assuredly
increased by the fact that the phenomena accompanying
the therapeutic action of digitalis no longer contradict vagus
action, but show that the drug actually assists it to work
when normal control breaks down and the degenerate
heart is under the influence of the accelerators, or a flurried
irregular stimulus of the pace-maker, with concomitant
irregular muscle fibre discharges, such as are seen in
auricular fibrillation. It is true that pharmacologists assert
that the action of digitalis differs from vagus influence.
This is only natural since they are apt to bolt their physio-
logy whole, as it is given them by specialists in that
science. So indeed the physiologist himself, with regard to
drug action, leans with too much faith on the pharmacologist.
As was once remarked to me by an eminent professor,
there is scarcely a drug known to medicine which would
not take a lifetime to study properly. Certainly clinicians
would agree. Cushny says that the inhibitory action of the
vagus tends to render tone less complete, and to produce
weaker contractions than digitalis. This is in accordance
with orthodox opinion. But the evidence is not convincing.
What is of weight is the result of the experiments with this
particular cardiac drug. Even if ancient accepted experi-
ments, drawn from the text-books or the practice of the
physiological laboratories, are repeated, they are of no
more importance than the original ones founded, as I have
endeavoured to show, on unphysiological lines. To repeat,
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 115
and keep on repeating, that a normal stimulus can have a
direct weakening effect does not convince those desirous
of examining the problem afresh. It may be recalled,
perhaps, not without advantage, that many single experi-
ments, or even dicta of authoritative ancient physicians,
are as duly repeated from one text-book to another as
wrong definitions in some big dictionary are copied in its
successors. In any case the physiologists and pharma-
cologists speak not as physicians, most of whom, I imagine,
are under the impression that digitalis in therapeutic doses
aids vagus action, slows the pulse, obtains a better diastole
directly, and allows the heart pause sufficient time to gather
up its energy and increase its general tone and its hasmic
output with relief to all the symptoms which called for its
assistance. When the heart has been thus helped the
accelerator is no longer irritated into increasing the heart-
rate, the pace-maker is restored to its normal action,
and once more dominates the irregular discharges of the
degenerate myocardium. To say, as the students of drugs
say, that the symptoms in the second, or poisonous, stage
of digitalis are like vagus action, and that cardiac work is
therefore less well done, is to mix true observations with
false. At the least it seems to imply that digitalis then
acts through and on the vagus nerve, whereas its thera-
peutic action suggests that what it does is to increase the
working capacity of the cardiac muscle by modifying its
irritability and allowing it time to recuperate, thereby
permitting normal vagus action to continue. It thus
assists the complex reversible reactions which enable
muscle to work at all. If larger doses stop action directly,
or prevent the muscle cells from being supplied with
necessary proteins, or with fuel, it is in such cases that the
word " inhibition " seems truly applicable, for poisonous
116 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
doses of digitalis no doubt slow or stop recuperative
cardiac processes as well as many others.
In such conceptions there is no mystery, and no neces-
sity for the hypothesis that the vagus, acting as a trigger,
releases some particular compound which weakens the
heart. If in 1906 Shenington used the expression "in-
hibition, whatever that essentially may be," it is far more
likely that its nature will be discovered by resort to what
we know already, than to such unevolutionary notions of
"weakening." It seems that H. O. Thomas, who was not
only interested in bone surgery, came to the conclusion
that "inhibition is the suspension of life, not the action of
special nerves." That he meant by the "suspension of
life " some reflexly caused cessation of action is literally
certain. He actually writes in 1883 : "In proof that
mechanical irritation of this nerve (vagus) induces a con-
dition of shock, we have the accepted fact that atropine
protects the nerve from the shock consequent on mechanical
disturbance. I have not yet met with any evidence which
proves the existence of any inhibiting nerve fibres in this or
any other nerve." In these views it seems, according to
Rushbrooke, that Thomas followed Joseph Lister, also of
Liverpool, who wrote on the subject in 1859. Although
most, if not all, modern physiologists are certain that
inhibition exists, and that it is centrally caused, it seems
that the doctrine cannot be looked on as established. If
physiology is to make secure its final " passage to physics,"
which physiologists, who do not resort to vitalism, are
working for, some means must surely be found to reconcile
the contradictions in cardiac and intestinal vagal action.
Perhaps some of the dissatisfaction with current theory can
be obviated by means of a different terminology, in which
the "lessened action" of reciprocal innervation, that seen
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 117
in the preliminary pauses of intestinal activity, and the
peculiar phenomena observed in the heart, are not classed
together under one word of very doubtful connotations.
It is, of course, stated, perhaps almost with violence,
that inhibition and inhibitory nerves exist, that the evi-
dence for them is overwhelming. Certainly the observa-
tions show that action ceases at times very suddenly.
Activity is cut short, and a muscle with contrary action
comes into play. Bell's " muscular sense " consisted, I
take it, not only in central messages, but in an infinite
series of reflexes. So with Duchenne's " articular sense,"
the loss of which, in his opinion, gave rise to locomotor
ataxia. It is barely conceivable that the paths of all
such delicate reflexes are known. Since the nerve cells
are not so distantly related to muscle cells, which are
peculiarly conductive, it can be imagined that many
muscular reflexes occur even without nerves, while few
neurologists, I imagine, will be ready to declare that the
whole nervous anatomy of the body is now and for
ever mapped out. These fields should be explored before
resorting to a rough-and-ready statement of central " in-
hibition " in every case of suddenly arrested action. Such
arrests take place under conscious, if instinctively recog-
nized, stimuli ; but since the constant course of evolution is
devolution and " short-circuiting," following the laws of
energetics, the naturally simpler view should be taken.
If so, in every case of inhibition some short-circuiting reflex
should be looked for, if the mere cessation of afferent sensory
messages will not account for the phenomena. It seems
as if inhibition had become a physiological Mesopotamia a
very comforting word. Certainly mystery after mystery has
been crammed into it, and once established as " explana-
tion " the endeavour is to explain it, with what results the
118 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
text-books show. In things "psychological " there are
few physiologists who have not welcomed Pavlov's " condi-
tioned reflexes." By their considered use mysterious and
misleading words, with a hundred different meanings, may
be avoided. " Consciousness " itself, that Pandora's box of
scientific, no less than metaphysical, disaster, at last gives
way, and discloses itself as reflex adaptational machinery.
It is time that the word inhibition should yield to the
same key, for positive reflexes, however conditioned and
complex, which should be capable of resolution into
physical reactions, obviously rule living action of all
kinds. Certainly in physiology we have not yet reached
ultimate postulates or axioms, and no hypothesis should
include definite contradictions, especially when we have
to say " whatever it essentially may be."
In looking for explanation the human " mind " searches
for rest : the brain seeks automatically for the shorter paths
of cerebral activity that we call generalizations. There is
something profoundly satisfying in such processes, and they
can certainly be ranged under the laws of energetics. The
brain has less work to do, and a complex series of opening
and closing synapses is freed from continual irritation.
The flood of " thought," or energy, has found a short direct
channel, while all other possible paths are cut out. They
are, in fact, "inhibited"; synapses close; energy does
not act that way. Such a view by no means implies an
acceptance of M'Dougall's " drainage " theory of inhibition,
although something can be said for it. All it means is that
there is substituted action. It is probably so in every case
of inhibition. On a previous page I sought for some homely
illustrations and analogies for cardiac vagal action. These
can also be found for the phenomena in which lessened
action takes place in other muscles than those of the heart.
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 119
There are " organisms " of the social kind in continuous
activity, with no complete pause, not even such a pause
as that of the heart. Such an organism is a ship at sea.
When one watch comes on deck the other goes off. From
the time of leaving one port to reaching another this con-
tinues. There is no moment at which part of the crew is
not in " tone," ready for action, or in actual work. A ship
has been evolved ; it has grown up, it has its reactions,
which we call sea customs. Although the two " watches "
or parts of the crew are separate, and usually possessed of a
certain jealousy or " hostility " to each other, they are con-
nected by innumerable bonds of habit and custom. When
one goes on deck in fine weather the other is " inhibited."
Does such inhibition arise centrally ? Although it may do
so in some cases it is mostly a pure reflex phenomenon.
One activity replaces the other automatically. It seems
to me that such a case supplies more than a hint for what is
known as " reciprocal innervation." When two muscles
have been evolved together, fulfilling opposite functions,
it is impossible not to imagine definite relations and con-
nections between them. The very activity of one implies
the inactivity of the other. And the actions of decerebrate
animals prove it. That the central system in a ship ensures
denote direction of the whole ship we know, but in the lower
functions excitations and inhibitions proceed automatically,
and it is of physiological interest to note that overmuch
central interference with such functions produces symptoms
which rapidly tend to become pathological. It is well
understood at sea that " central " interference is only
justifiable in abnormal conditions. Thus so long as the
crew function normally no officer enters the fo'c'sle except
on stated occasions of inspection. If he did it would
be greatly resented. Perpetual unevolutionary stimuli
120 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
produce mutinies at sea, revolutions and anarchy on
Another illustration of real " inhibition " will be familiar
to all physicians and surgeons. A nervous patient visits,
say, a urologist, and finds that his cystic reflexes are tem-
porarily paralysed. Their action is partly reflex, partly
" volitional," or under central control. The sphincter and
cystic muscles are antagonistic. The surgeon observes the
condition of the patient and, whether he knows it or not,
a little thought must make him aware that the patient's
whole field of reactive consciousness is occupied by a con-
viction of inability. To encourage him vocally would be
worse than useless, since the less the patient thinks the
better. So he turns his back, which is already a help, and
sets a tap running. Relieved from the reactions caused
by observation, the patient's volitional tracts are freed while
the running water sets up a series of conditioned reflexes
which relax the sphincter and permit the cystic muscles to
act. So between stimulus and inhibition there is a long
series of substituted actions. Such a conclusion is greatly
reinforced by the possible opposite effect of the surgeon's
action. If the patient knows the trick that is being played
upon him there may be increased inhibition, which means
that his energy is turned into directions which do not help,
but actually hinder, the operation desired. In every case
it will be found that substituted action takes place, and that
no inhibition is direct.
It will probably be said that such simple illustrations
have no real relevance to such an obscure subject as
inhibition. Whether this is true or not the fact remains
that this paper is only meant to be suggestively critical of
views which do nc seem on the face of them to be sound.
Students, even the acutest, brought up in the light, or
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 121
shadow, of certain doctrines, are naturally apt to find on
every hand confirmation of the accepted. This is not so
only in theology. It is a common human weakness. The
justification of criticism lies in the acknowledged con-
fusion of the subject, due, almost certainly, to inadequate
definitions and the confounding of several subjects under
a heading of the very dimmest connotation. It seems that
we cannot use the word rightfully even as a temporary
" explanation " of vagal action, although we may employ
it properly in the interruption of conditioned reflexes where
we get cases of substituted action which are as clearly
seen on examination as the surprising physical results
of apomorphine on a hystoidal patient. To believe that
stimulation, or excitation of a nerve, dissipates energy, for
that is what weakening means, is impossible. It has been
said that the process is no more than the interruption of
the storing of energy. How this can occur physiologically
is hard to see. It is a mere assumption, and in any case
it would not be " weakening." Regulation is not done by
enfeeblement in any class of organism except in patho-
logical states. That the heart is always being regulated
even in easy unstressed conditions is obvious. But I have
discovered that it is more regulated than is generally
known. Judging from cardiograms of all known kinds it
would be said that healthy heart-beats were of equal force.
This may be so practically, but it is not so actually. By
means of a liquid column in a small tube, actuated directly
from the radial artery, and thrown upon a screen with a
magnification of the moving liquid until it is, say, ten feet
long, it can be seen that few successive beats are equal, and
that the dicrotic notch, whether great or small, is perpetu-
ally varying. All muscle fibres do not do equal work at
all times. Interdependence and regulation are the ruling
122 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
factors of all functions, and we may expect them in every
nervous mechanism. What occurs abnormally is often the
roughest guide to the normal. But, if it is taken as normal,
physiology pays the penalty in confusion, even though it
should always regard pathology as its nearest relative an
When it is remembered that no science can explain
itself, and that knowledge is a patterned web woven out of
all the sciences, it also seems that biology, and the whole
course of evolution, might be more frequently referred to in
physiological work than is usual. It was suggested above
that reciprocal innervation may thus be looked on as a
biological evolutionary process, a case in which muscles
grew up together as interdependent organs in which alter-
nate actions, however now regulated, were a sine qua non
of their existence. Knowing as we do the moulding
effects of stresses on bone, and the facts that the sclero-
blasts of sponges settle and work about non-vibrating
points, biology and physics may work together even in
such problems, and suggest that quasi-nervous effects may
be produced in muscle, not only by alternate stretching and
contraction, but also by stresses communicated through
and by bone and other cells. Thus, quite independent of
so-called inhibitory fibres, a sudden powerful contraction
of one muscle might throw another out of action by giving
such intensely sensitive cells a signal of positive relaxation.
It is not so long ago that the rhythmic action of opposed
muscles was supposed to be due to direct innervation, not
to alternate reflex contraction and stretching. It seems at
times as if more was attributed to nervous action than is
actually due to it.
It has been objected to some of these views that
excitation and inhibition are simple concepts, even if we
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 123
say with Sherrington, " whatever they essentially may be,"
and that they are opposed just as warming and cooling may
be. But what happens as regards energy when water
cools is known, as it is in the rise and fall of electric
potential. What happens to muscle energy in " inhibition "
we do not know, if the usual views of cardiac weakening
and the depressing functions of the vagus are held. A
complex chemical process at the end-plate must be posited,
and of that there seems no evidence. To call in the nervous
system to produce weakening toxins or the like, even by
intensifying cellular catabolism, appears too great an
assumption to make when there is a much simpler ex-
planation at hand. Many of the cardiograms shown as
proofs of cardiac inhibition seem wrongly interpreted. It
is, perhaps, not too presumptuous to say that their inter-
pretation is an extremely difficult art, and that even among
the most expert cardiologists there are at times great
differences in opinion. Having worked for months on the
subject with a disciple of our greatest cardiologist I shall,
perhaps, be pardoned for suggesting that the most eminent
physiologists may err in such a special branch of learning.
I have seen cardiograms showing the " weakening " of the
heart in which the amplitude of the beats was distinctly
increased, and the interval between them lengthened when
the theory of inhibition required pathological slowing and
decrease of amplitude. Such results undoubtedly occur in
extreme vagal stimulation ; but this is only what would
be expected on the views expressed in this place. But to
get better systoles and diastoles is not weakening. It is
also said that under vagal stimulation the conducting power
of the Bundle of His is " impaired." The evidence of this is
merely that the heart is generally slower. Such a state-
ment is a mere re-statement of an assertion. That the
124 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
heart is sometimes unexcitable by a direct stimulus when
under vagal stimulation is just what would be expected
if the vagus is a controller and regulator until it conveys a
shock. So to say that the accelerator improves conduction
means no more than to say the whole heart is stimulated.
It is, again, a mere re-statement of an observation.
The truth seems to be that the accepted doctrine of the
heart is full of verbal logical fallacies. To declare that
" inhibition " causes lessened action is only to say that
lessened action occurs because it is somehow not so strong
in action as it was. We observe it, but to attribute it to
" inhibition " is to repeat the error of the bacteriologists
who attribute agglutinations to mystic " agglutinins," and
make an observation into a cause. If it is said that by
inhibition a cause is not meant, but that the word enables
us to link phenomena together, the question at once arises
whether they are not falsely linked. We cannot truly
oppose it to excitation, which after all is one of the purest
examples of a " cause " in physiology, for, whether its
nature is understood or not, we can bring an infinite number
of legitimate analogies to illustrate it. And, biologically, it
is seen that in any organism real inhibition is effected by
means of secretions which are very definite agents. Accord-
ing to P. F. Herring, feeding rats with thyroid causes not
only forced positive changes, such as a three-fold enlarge-
ment of the heart, and doubled weight of adrenals, but
negative ones such as a smaller thyroid. The gland is
not needed, is thrown out of action, and " inhibited " by
definite loss of function. No analogies can help out " inhi-
bition "if in all cessations or stoppages or weakening of
action we find substituted processes of direct action by
definite agents. When it is said, as has been said to me,
that a pure analogy of true inhibition is when a labourer
INHIBITION AND CARDIAC VAGUS 125
drops his tools on hearing the dinner-bell, it may be answered
that here we have a direct conditioned reflex over-
coming excitation which has been slackened in effect by
real exhaustion of energy. A true analogy for such
" inhibitions " as are seen in intestinal action, even
though little will be known of that until the Auerbach
and Meissner plexuses are fully understood, is a
labourer pausing, taking in oxygen, and gathering up
energy for a big task. For on stimulating the intestinal
vagus the graphs show a preliminary slowing, and then
ampler, more effective movements.
That the inhibition theory is held firmly, even obstin-
ately, is no proof of its truth. Phlogiston was satisfactory
to many, and so apparently was " bad air " as a cause of
malaria. And yet Varro l in 36 B.C. actually attributed the
disease to minute animals. Columella even spoke of
mosquitoes as "armed with dangerous stings," animalia
infestis aculeis armata. It was necessary to wait nearly
two thousand years to get this verified by Ross and
Manson. It may be recollected that hundreds of years
ago an English physician was practically ruined by
attributing many diseases to invisibly small living agents.
Humoralists and solidists would be alike against him.
Von Uexkiill said that the object of science was not
truth but order, not having reached the pragmatic con-
ception that real order is truth; but it does not seem
that the theories of inhibition have provided either.
BAYLISS, W. M. (i) "Principles of General Physiology," 1915 ;
(2) " Cardiac Vagus," Brit. Med. Journ., London, Sept. 28,
1 See Appendix C, " Varro."
126 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
BELL, CHARLES." The Hand," 1883.
COLUMELLA. Vol. i. p. 5.
CUSHNY, A. R. "Text-Book of Pharmacology."
DUCHENNE, G. B. A. "Physiologic des Mouvements," 1867.
HERRING, P. F. " Thyroid Feeding of Rats," Quar. Jonrn.
Exp. Physiol., London, 1917, vol. xi.
LISTER, JOSEPH. Proc. Royal Soc., 1859, pp. 367-80.
LUCIANI, L. " Human Physiology," 1911.
M'DoucALL, W. "Physiological Psychology."
MACKENZIE, Sir J. "Diagnosis and Treatment of Heart Affec-
ROBERTS, MORLEY. " The Function of the Cardiac Vagus,"
Brit. Med. Journ., London, Sept. 14, 1918.
SCHAFER, E. A. " Essentials of Histology."
STEFANI. v. Luciani, supra, " Mechanism of the Heart."
THOMAS, H. O. "Nerve Inhibition," 1883.
VARRO, MARCUS TERENTIUS, 116-27 B.C. " De Re Rustica,"
Book I. cap. xii.
WEBER, E. " Muskelbewegung," 1846.
WILSON, R. M. M'NAIR. "Tachycardia," Brit. Med. Journ.,
London, Jan. 17, 1920.
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 1
WHEN the late Sir William Osier jested at the expense
of the new school of theorizing biologists who
strive to perpetuate in peculiar neologisms highly doubtful
microscopic observations, he drew a caricature of their
specialized language, which had considerable merit. But
while he fought against specialism run mad hi verbal
constructions, which at once simulate knowledge and
obscure it, he might just as well have taken his examples
from the armoury of certain bacteriologists. If, in the
phenomena of mitosis, " the idiosphaerosome differentiates
into an idiocrytosome and an idiocalyptosome, both
surrounded by the idiosphserotheca," such a passage is
assuredly not more curious to observe than many which
cram a hundred Greek and Latin derivatives and hybrids
into a bacteriological " explanation." Although any
science seems liable to fall into the practical fallacy of
thinking a thing can be explained without reference or
relation to others, bacteriology appears least immune to
this logical disorder of thought. But since explanation
consists in the classification of observations with regard
1 (For abstract of this paper, and for Professor Benjamin Moore's
comments, see British Medical Journal, December 8, 1917, and December
128 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
to more widely operating causes, or, as Mach says, in
showing that any given phenomenon is the unequivocal
function of its variables, what has to be demonstrated is
that those variables belong to recognized classes of factors.
We cannot explain life by saying that it is living, or a
bacteriologist by asserting that he is bacteriological.
It is due to such habits of thought, which now appear
to be confirmed, that there are fewer subjects coming under
the heads of general physiology and biochemistry in a
greater state of confusion than " immunity." This result
may, perhaps, be due to a false belief in the profundity
of the Teutonic mind which, as Benjamin Moore pointed
out, when commenting on an original communication of
mine in the British Medical Journal, had seized upon
French work, and fogged it in its best later manner.
It is indeed to Weismann and Ehrlich that the
worst results can be directly attributed, for just as the
biologist explained heredity by saying that it happened
owing to the nature of the organism, that is, to its ids,
determinants, and biophors, and the like, so Ehrlich in his
side-chain theory invented a marvellous verbal machinery
of immunization, every word of which contained a " cir-
culus in definiendo." To the practical English worker,
who usually distrusts the theoretic intellect, as if a general
idea were a proof of original sin unless it comes to him from
abroad, this scheme was a godsend. It appeared to save
thought, and instead of examining it critically he has
patched it up with new words as they seemed to be wanted,
just as the Ptolemaic astronomy added eccentric to
eccentric and epicycle to epicycle in order to represent
the planetary motions. And yet the whole theory is
obviously false. To this every modern physiologist would
subscribe, seeing that it depends for its validity on the
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 129
supposition that life itself is the result of giant molecules.
It is, of course, wrong to infer that particular statements
are not true if rightly interpreted. "Antigens" certainly
produce specific " antibodies " as definite responses to the
chemical nature of the " antigen " ; but there is no reason
why this should not have been expressed in terms imply-
ing that any foreign or hostile elements introduced into an
organism tended to produce definite reactions of a pro-
tective nature. To invent or to lead to the invention of a
jargon containing such words as haptophore, ergophore,
complementophilogen, amboceptors, agglutinins, precipi-
tins, bacteriolysins, opsonins, syntoxoid, and so on, which
again bred other equally futile words of the same kind,
was but to stultify real explanation, and to cloud percep-
tion of the actual facts. When all this was hung upon the
giant molecule, a mere guess of Verworn's, the structure
naturally enough came to the ground. But, though the
whole theory of side-chains, except so far as they are
mere chemical phenomena, has been discredited, there are
yet able bacteriologists who continue to teach it as if Ehrlich
were accepted gospel. On my inquiring why they did so,
when they knew that the theory was no longer held by any
physiologist, two or three well-known men replied that it
was useful to students as a framework on which to hang
facts. To this it might be objected that, though a hat-rack
is useful to hang hats on, yet it is not the place to hang
hundredweights, and that when the hat-rack has the
additional disadvantage of being an imaginary one, there
will be more than common difficulties in the way of useful
arrangement. A compound may, perhaps, be cleared of
cobras by a mongoose ; but no competent zoologist will
employ the " imaginary mongoose " of fable at the task.
To teach what is not true merely as mnemonics is to
130 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
ignore the truth that any fact falsely classified is not only a
danger in practice but leads to false views with regard to
other sciences, to say nothing of the distrust of the teacher
evoked in the intelligent student who does not swallow
what is offered to him without producing an " anti-
body " to the professional " antigen." For such a student
may have acquired some smattering of colloids, and have
actually begun to see, as Moore wrote, that the pioneer
work of the French "had been burdened with the intoler-
able weight of a useless philosophy of jangling terms for
a type of reaction well known in colloidal chemistry."
It will probably be found that a dictionary containing the
common terms of chemistry and biochemistry is fully
sufficient for the reactions even of complicated colloids.
An obscure reaction is not explained by attributing it to an
imaginary substance with the very "qualities which are the
subject of investigation. To invent one is to fall into the
error which Moliere satirized. To say all this is not to
belittle the magnificent practical results achieved by
That the results of the search into the actual nature of
immunity have apparently been so barren and so con-
fusing, is, however, not due to want of suggestions which
might really work for simplicity. Yet, so far as I am aware,
Moore and Whitley's paper on a simple theory of immune
reactions has by no means had the attention it deserved.
Roughly speaking, their note put forward the view that
immune bodies were to be classed with catalysts ; the
substrate being the cell or bacterium to be dissolved, or the
toxin to be rendered inert, the "complement" various
bodies with which the toxin became chemically united, and
the immune body, or " antibody," the catalyst which
insured such chemical combination or dissolution, and
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 131
rendered the pathogenic cells or toxins harmless. Such a
process is obviously exactly similar to those which occur
with enzymes acting on any given substrate in the presence
of a combining body : so tyrosinase breaks up tyrosin, and
causes it to combine with the oxygen yielded by peroxide
bodies. A similar process occurs with the ordinary hydro-
lytic enzymes, as when fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
combine with water in the presence of their specific enzymes,
such as steapsin, amylopsin, and trypsin. It may, how-
ever, be further suggested that all these actions are
really immunizing actions, and that, instead of immune
bodies being classed among enzymes, the latter should be
classed generally among immune bodies, and both among
catalysts, the difference between the first two classes
being that enzymes dealing with food are a gradual
result of evolution, and that what are usually called
immune bodies are special ad hoc reaction complexes
of a similar order depending on the general powers of
reaction in the body tissues.
It is obvious that foods when not broken up are either
poisons or something which cannot be used, and must
be excreted. Thus proteins injected into the blood-stream
are haemolytic. To be endured or used they must be
broken up into animo-acids. What particular quality it
is in them which makes them " antigens " is obscure ;
but it will certainly be found eventually that it is due
in all cases to their " poisonous " (i.e. disturbing) action,
since they are wholly out of their evolutionary place.
It is said that there is no absolute relation between toxicity
and defensive reaction ; but this is only to state the obvious
fact that the organism is not armed at all points, and may
be destroyed before it can react, or that it is already
supplied with general immune catalysts which deal easily
132 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
with some invasions and fail with others. It has only
been through an immense period of evolution that the
proteins and other food elements have come to stimulate
the production of specific enzymes or catalysts, and it is
within every clinician's knowledge that in certain condi-
tions of health these necessary reactions do not occur.
When that is so nutrition fails, and food becomes a poison.
If this is correct, and it cannot be doubted, nutrition
must be regarded as an actual process of real immuniza-
tion, in which secondary and simpler products are used
by the organism as food. Although I came to these
conclusions before I was aware of their work, it appears
that Abderhalden and Weinland hold views of this kind.
Weinland states that the subcutaneous injection of cane-
sugar produced or elicited invertin. Abderhalden's work
on the production of gestational immunity has exceptional
value in that it throws some light on the inhibition of
the invasive action of the chorionic villi on the uterine
wall, and thereby on cancer also, as I have suggested else-
where. In the earlier stages of evolution, in all cell life
now, and that of the intestinal absorption cells, the in-
gestion of foods is due to purely physical causes, i.e.
causes which are not sufficiently obscure to be labelled
" psychic " when they should be regarded as conditioned
reflexes. Like and dislike, choice and rejection, had,
and have (as regards cells), no long path to depend on.
Such reactions are not even simple reflexes. They depend
entirely on surface tension, on the nature of the cell envelope
and the body with which it comes in contact. It may
be assumed that primitive cells which certainly possessed
low and scanty reaction powers took in all things which
their physical nature did not reject. Some were innocuous,
and some were at once ejected. Some were harmful,
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 133
and destroyed the organism in which they found them-
selves. Others were harmful as they stood, but by pro-
ducing a reaction body they were broken up and rendered
harmless. Others, again, were not only rendered harmless
but actually useful : i.e. they became foods because
they provoked a definite catalyst which hydrolyzed them.
Like and dislike of foods in the highly developed organism
are thus conditioned protective reflexes which defend
the body from all but foods selected through evolution.
Nutrition thus clearly falls under the head of immunity.
J. B. Farmer remarks that they are evidently closely
related. The sole real difference is that, in what is now
called immunization, the substrate is probably not em-
ployed usefully, though it remains possible that in some
cases destroyed pathogenic bacteria may actually be
used by the body they attack. In any case it is a possi-
bility of evolution for bacteria to become gradually a
factor of further growth. Such phenomena may have
occurred already, as it is at least possible that the colon
is partly a function of the bacteria that inhabit it, and
that some dead bacteria may be converted into food after
their parasitic free existence.
Nutrition being then a case of immunity, we must
infer that food itself originally produces ad hoc catalysts,
of an order similar to those produced by toxins. Enzymes
very rarely exist without the presence of their substrate.
The organism has a specialized method of producing them
on definite stimulation. Thus trypsin only appears on
trypsinogen coming into contact with enterokinaze,
though it would be better to say that when certain
colloidal reactions of pancreatic origin take place in the
presence of the latter trypsin is formed. Lactase cannot
be found in a meat-fed dog till some days after it is given
134 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
milk. Before such a reaction occurs the whole of the
food products in the milk are not utilized. The com-
plementary or combining bodies in oxidation and hydro-
lytic processes are O and H 2 O, and in all enzyme action
there is a natural " complement." In the production of
special immunities due to infection it is difficult to discover
the combining body, although in most acute infections
it may be lipoid in nature, as is certainly suggested by the
rapid consumption of fats in fevers. Yet in diseases such
as typhoid, in which emaciation is not rapid, this does
not appear to be the case. The combining body in this
case may not be a lipoid but an albumenoid, and perhaps
the special one found in Peyer's Patches, where ulceration
takes place, is most exposed to be used as complement.
In many cases of sudden and extreme weakness with a
high febrile reaction, it may be suggested that the infection
is proteolytic. It thus appears as if future treatment
may not only include the provocation of the special catalyst,
but the early supply of a definite complement by injection
or in the food. In most infections it is probable that
what can be most easily spared goes first. It is possible
that the combining body is always what the bacteria
would naturally feed on, which may serve to explain
latent periods and the slow onset of fever in many cases.
What, then, is the action of the catalyst ? It must
be that it builds up in the bacterium a stable compound,
and so destroys the labile organism that takes in com-
plement as food, or that it neutralizes the toxins as they
are produced. Or it may so completely alter the combin-
ing body that the bacterium starves. As regards " free
toxins," the catalyst fulfils an obvious function by its
usual machinery. I suggest that the greatest function
of the many attributed to the phagocytes is not their
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 135
ingestive powers, but their capacity of being used as
" complement " or a combining body. If sufficient of
their lipoids or proteins, say, is used up, they die and
become pus : if not, they survive and destroy the bacteria
which were attracted to them, and probably redigest the
lipoid complement taken up. In any case, the entrance
of the bacterium or toxin into the so-called phagocyte
is probably pathological. They may recover or perish.
If they die it is because they are used up in yielding parts
of themselves to the hostile cell. Every cell envelope
has lipoid substances in it ; but the phagocytes that cannot
yield any more from the outside yield it from within and
are destroyed. Even if that is not the cause of their
death, they may die from toxins entering into chemical
or molecular union with the lipoids of the membrane,
which is rendered functionless. If these suggestions have
any foundation, the leucocytes generally have another
rdle in defence than that commonly stated. And we
may infer that the substrate " seeks " them and their
lipoids under the influence of the special catalyst, rather
than that they " seek " the substrate. If this is so,
opsonins do not exist, and the phenomena they are supposed
to explain represent the fact that the easiest reached
" complement " is found by the tropisms of the bacteria
and the polynuclears. The leucocytes are the cheapest
sacrifice the body can make.
There seems plenty of evidence that enzymes and all
catalysts appear only when the organism is stimulated by
the particular substrate with which they deal. There are,
however, according to Bayliss, cases in which their par-
ticular substrate is wanting. For instance, it seems that
lactase is found in almonds, as adrenalin is found in the
skin of the toad. We say, then, that it is an accidental
136 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
product of metabolism, though in one sense all such are
accidental. They may, however, have been provoked
by early embryonic substrates, and possibly subserve some
function. Onslow showed the skins of some coloured
rabbits contained a peroxidase, the cause of the colour.
The " adaptation " of the organism to any substrate part
of its environment must have been accidental to begin
with. Some cells had the power of response, and others
lacked it. This was so in the early stages of evolution,
and the same remains true now in every case of recovery
or death when an infection occurs. Protective, continued,
and successful reaction is adaptation. There are striking
analogies between such reactions, and those provoked by
drugs such as the metals. What for instance is the action
of arsenic ? It combines with the " complement " it
finds, and thus kills the epithelial cells which, according to
Filehne, are then digested. But killing a cell is combining
with it or part of it. Arsenic in lethal quantities is such
a protoplasm poison that there can be no swift reaction
process resulting in a catalyst which builds it up into a
harmless stable compound. In small continuous doses it
appears to produce fats, i.e. possibly a superabundance of
complement. Complement is thus a common bodily
product, not anything specially manufactured by specific
reactions, and therefore immunization must in many
cases mean a stimulation of the cells which produce com-
plement naturally. Immunity to arsenic, then, is most
likely due in great part to an increased production of
lipoids. But tolerance is immunity. Immunization is
thus a process as normal as digestion, save that all the
products are finally extruded as useless. The processes
leading to cure are of the same order. To give a homely
illustration we may say that if there is disturbance at a
meeting the disturbers are the substrate : the chairman
who orders them to be thrown out the provoked catalyst,
and those who act on his advice the complement. We may
even note that the " complement " not unseldom goes to
hospital in combination with the " toxin." In such cases
immunization is the operation of a body of stewards
capable of immediate and skilled combination. It is
worth notice, since it has frequently been suggested that
all living action is based on the same principles, that the
stewards are free amoeboid wandering bodies ; while the
audience of cells of the temporary organic body we call a
" meeting " stay where they are, unless there is a violent
destructive reaction. In what we commonly call an
organism the white cells, being capable of rapid reproduc-
tion, and not stationary portions of basal functioning organs,
can be destroyed and replaced. Part of their normal
function is to die, as it is of soldiers in war. Adequate
military preparation is expectant immunity in a nation,
and an organized police force means the same in a society.
Again, it can be repeated that much light may be thrown
on many obscure physiological problems by observation
of the simple social processes taking place before our
eyes. On these lines we get wholly away from Ehrlich,
and perceive that, if enzymes, etc., are immune bodies,
immune bodies in their turn may be classed with the factors
of digestion among catalysts generally.
What do we mean when we speak of the bactericidal
qualities of the blood ? Undoubtedly the blood-plasm,
when healthy, destroys or incapacitates invaders. But
what is the mechanism by which it does so, and among
what phenomena are we to class such mechanistic re-
actions ? I am unable to conceive that they can be any
other type than that which is characteristic of life generally.
138 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
There must be activating catalysts. If that is so blood
may not be truly bactericidal until it is invaded, and only
then if it is healthy, i.e. if it possesses normal powers of
reaction. Such views account for the high mortality
among the very healthy in some disorders, while the sickly
person who is, perhaps, half-poisoned by an excess of many
provoked catalysts is prepared, at least partially, for any
kind of invasion. The organism, too, has to deal with,
destroy, or utilize its own products. Each organ must
deal with its own excreta, with the excreta of its neighbour
colonies, and for these purposes reacts on their stimula-
tion. Its reactions with invaders must employ like
machinery. Life itself depends on immunization which is
Immunity, however, does not always seem to be merely
a matter of the increase of the blood's bactericidal qualities,
to whatever catalysts that may be due, but to local con-
ditions. How else can relapses be explained ? For
instance, there are the relapses of typhoid fever. When the
fastigium has been reached and passed, and when on any
theory a defence should have been acquired, the tempera-
ture again rises, and there is another attack. In the same
way a catarrh of the lungs may disappear after a due
reaction period, and another patch will occur. Such facts,
though they do not negative the ordinary views of im-
munity suggested above, at least show that prolonged
febrile reactions do not always produce complete temporary
immunity : the most probable explanation being that the
local lesions in these cases are external, as the bowel,
say, in typhoid is properly external, and are with diffi-
culty exposed to the immunizing agents, owing to local
swellings and stasis, or to the incomplete response of the
weakened organism in the production of the combining
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 139
body. The catalyst may in that case be present in abund-
ance ; but it has nothing to work with, and the substrate
flourishes on tissues which would not be attacked if the
normal complement were present. In some cases cata-
lytic actions may themselves prove harmful. It is perfectly
possible that the obscure and dangerous phenomena of
anaphylaxis are due to a sudden action of a reversible
catalyst breaking down what was before built up, and
again setting toxins free. That the immunizing reactions
are permanently reversible if a disassociation factor such
as acid (Morgenroth and Ascher) or alkali (Sachs) is intro-
duced, now seems certain. These workers are quoted
by Browning (Brit. Med. Journ., Dec. 6, 1915).
Such conclusions certainly reinforce the suggestion that
in all infections an effort should be made to determine
with exactitude the natural combining body used in the
body's defence, and that this should be supplied in abund-
ance by feeding or injection. On the views expressed the
lipoids or other combining bodies found normally in the
organism would then be spared, since it is only reasonable
that a free lipoid, etc., would be dealt with rather than
a fixed lipoid, say in the cell envelope. While vaccines
may provoke the catalyst, they cannot always provoke the
" complement," although when we consider some drugs
(and tolerance of drugs, as has been said, no doubt comes
under the head of immunity) they may do so indirectly.
Though arsenic when used as a drug is often useful, its
value may not always depend on its bactericidal qualities,
but on its encouragement of lipoid manufacture.
Thus finally we see that nutrition itself is but a case
of immunity, and, instead of immunity being infinitely
complex, on a general view it is no more than an example
of the fact that living protoplasm develops machinery
140 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
to deal with the assaults it undergoes ; in some cases
changing and making use of what it ingests, in others
altering bodies which cannot be used, but may be made
The points of the likeness between a catalyst and
an engine or tool are many. It is something made, a
reaction to needs. It works and remains the same. It
only wears out gradually. It makes a long process short,
a difficult one easy. It can build up and break down.
Such qualities can be seen in a sociological example if
we take two living communities, or societies combining
for a common purpose, for then combinations will result
which have the most remarkable likeness to such catalysts,
and exhibit biological phenomena which throw a light
on the reason that enzyme bodies have reversible re-
actions. We may, for instance, suppose that a botanical
and a zoological society find it necessary for purposes of
existence to take a common house. It is obvious that
we have here a symbiotic but not necessarily a symphilic
community, and it is equally obvious that both original
purposes must be served, or the whole structure fails. To
carry on work some of the individuals must represent the
others, and this common secretarial office remains as a
formed reaction body or engine for getting the work done.
When one society is most active at any given time its
action may be regarded as synthetic so far as it is con-
cerned, and the process implies a temporary displacement
or breaking down of the others. When this is over the
reverse action takes place. But all the time the formed
reaction or joint secretarial body remains. An enzyme
can thus be compared with the common alternative
executive of at least a double body which has different
internal but common external ends. However extravagant
THE THEORY OF IMMUNITY 141
such a homely illustration may appear it probably repre-
sents actual biochemical facts ; for it shows how two
molecules living in hostile symbiosis must affect each
other and produce reaction bodies which are highly complex,
and represent in turn the energies of each molecule. Such
a view affords a reasonable ground of explanation for the
reversible reactions of catalysts themselves. Without such
reactions it is not easy to follow the possible ways of growth.
It will not seem absurd to some if it is said that these
likenesses are to be found at the bottom of all growth,
whether of atoms or nations, and that they are part of a
universal law which may be expressed thus : All life and
growth is fundamentally the forced result of a symbiosis
of differing bodies in which hostile energies become the
common, mutual, and reciprocal internal stimuli of the
conjoint individual. This includes all living things from
the two molecules (or more), each with a catalyst, which
probably make up the simplest form of life.
To summarize the views expressed it may be said that
(i) To understand immunity it must include all processes
of nutrition. (2) All unsplit ingested bodies are " poison-
ous " or rejected as neutral and useless. (3) Enzymes
are the catalysts which build up for storage or break
down for use. (4) Immune bodies in infections are pro-
voked catalysts dealing more or less well with the sub-
strate bacterium, or toxin. (5) Poisons, metallic or
alkaloid, etc., when tolerance is established, have pro-
voked a catalyst to deal with them. (6) " Complement "
is not a fixed quantity, but the special or general com-
bining body used by the catalyst and the substrate.
(7) Many of the difficulties experienced by bacteriologists
in reaching satisfactory conclusions on immunity are due
to their neglect of colloidal chemistry.
142 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
It certainly appears that the terms employed in general
physiology should be sufficient for bacteriology, and
observers of fresh phenomena ought to be chary of coining
new words. Their hasty multiplication usually implies
some additional hypothesis. It is characteristic of a
false explanation to require an increasing number of
sub-hypotheses while a real one abolishes a multitude of
superfluous terms, and, displaying a phenomenon as the
function of known variables, by such a disclosure becomes
essentially a simplification.
ABDERHALDEN, EMIL. " Biological Reactions in Pregnancy,"
Brit. Med. Journ., London, Jan. 24, 1914, p. 207.
BAYLISS, M. W. " Principles of General Physiology," 1915.
BROWNING. Brit. Med. Journ., London, June 2, 1915.
FARMER, J. B. "Plant Life," 1913.
MOORE, B., and WHITLEY. Biochem. Journ., 1907, London,
vol. iv. p. 165.
MOORE, B. Brit. Med. Journ., London, Dec. 22, 1917.
MORGENROTH and ASHER. v. Browning, ibid., Feb. 6, 1915.
ONSLOW, H. Proc. Royal Soc., 1915, Book xxxix. p. 36.
ROBERTS, MORLEY. Brit. Med. Journ., London, Dec. 8, 1917.
SACHS. v. Browning, ibid., Feb. 6, 1915.
VERWORN, MAX. " Die Biogenhypoithese," Jena.
WEINLAND. Brit. Med. Journ., London, Jan. 24, 1914, p. 207.
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION
WE speak very commonly of the romance of science,
and in its every branch, however recondite
and apparently remote from human interest, there is that
sense of adventure which makes its votaries thrill with
expectation. The search for a principle which may
throw light upon almost palpable obscurity is not unlike
the work of the explorer who climbs a peak in order to
discover a way through the unknown. Not only the
traveller stands " silent upon a peak in Darien." But
to discover a new general law, or even to extend one, is
far more than such a distant prospect. It is to camp
in the wilderness and gather strength for the morrow's
task. In the world of geography what is known is known,
and cannot be forgotten. The time must come when
the explorer's work will be done. But science is limitless,
and so is human history, for there is not only the future
which must become at last a tale that is told, but also
the illimitable field of the past still as little unmapped as
the fabled Africa of the mediaeval cartographer. It is,
indeed, but a dim and faded palimpsest, or some inscrip-
tion in an unknown tongue, of which we know but a few
words, that may prove keys by which it may be deciphered.
What of the march of power and intellect in man it may
reveal we can only guess, though we may surmise from
144 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
human experiences and our own nature that it must
contain terrible passages, which some, perhaps, would
fear to look upon.
In the study of anthropology there is, perhaps, the
most legitimate field for the constructive imagination.
So much may be seen in the realm of history, the brief
portion of the story of man with which we are partially
acquainted. A history without imagination is but a false
and dusty record, a sketch in black and white of what was
once a glowing fresco. The shelves of libraries are full
of such dead documents, and only occasionally does the
reader light upon a work, or even a passage in a work,
to which the realizing imagination has given a sense of
motion and life. Such a passage is to be found in Pro-
fessor Murray's Rise of the Greek Epic, when he describes
vividly, and with convincing power, the probably course
and conduct of an early migration in the ^Egean Sea.
It is a matter for regret that even anthropology, with all
its immense implications, should exhibit much of that
restricting tendency of scientific men to confine themselves
to special rather than general fields. Yet just as its study
throws light upon the conduct and behaviour of living races,
so many special studies, that, perhaps, of Pelasgian myth
or history, may help to solve the mysteries of the un-
historic past. Even if it does not do so directly, it will
show specialists that to ignore the imagination is to deprive
themselves of the most powerful weapon in the whole
armoury of research. If in the course of some daring and
slenderly based speculations their rash author makes one
possible suggestion, he is as much justified as the poet who
writes but one memorable line. In such a fluctuant,
inchoate branch of learning, it cannot be said that know-
ledge has yet reached the period when theory is held to be
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 145
dangerous, which is, I must suppose, the time when the
supporters of some particular view wish to see every one's
energy consumed in the search for facts to uphold it.
But, to alter the phrase of the Master of Trinity, none is
infallible, even the oldest, who not unnaturally are apt
to regard their settled opinions with the greatest respect.
A new hypothesis, or a new application of an ancient
one, is, however, in its way as much a fact as bones in a
tumulus, and may perhaps do work as important as the
Among the curiosities of the human intellect is its
great reluctance to acknowledge anything now regarded
with moral reprobation as once normal to mankind. The
tendency of all races to place the Golden Age in the past,
which is the result of a dread of change, since any alteration
may bring disaster, and must cause temporary disorder,
acts thus as a forgotten complex even in science. In spite
of some authorities having recognized the probability that
all races have passed through a stage of cannibalism,
many others of equal or greater prestige appear to regard
the notion with horror.
It is objectionable to their moral feelings, and, although
it is the first duty of the scientific thinker to clear his
mind of prejudice, some are obviously unable to do so.
Accordingly one very great authority practically asserts,
not without feeling, that horror of incest is a primary feeling
in man, an abstract notion thus preceding experience a
totally impossible position to occupy in any "science"
but theology. As it happens I myself encountered this
moral feeling with regard to cannibalism, when in an essay,
published in an obscure journal more than twenty-five
years ago, I attributed to it very great and important
evolutionary results. It is true that no notice of an
146 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
immature paper was taken by any authority, a fact I by
no means resented, although hardly then fully aware
that any variation in thought, like a variation in the
physical conformation of an individual, is more likely to be
swamped than perpetuated. Since then, in discussing the
view suggested, I have found the moral complex showing
itself, at times with almost theological ardour, even in
the instructed. They seemed willing to agree with
M'Cullough and others that a stage of cannibalism might
have been universal, or nearly universal; but to view it
as a powerful factor of progress and human advance was
something not easy to masticate, much less to swallow.
Yet some reason may possibly be shown for believing that
cannibalism, combined with war for a special purpose, can
help us to account for many problems yet unsolved. Even
a very simple suggestion sometimes acts as a catalyst,
and hastens mental reactions. It may often help to
neutralize moral prejudice, and increase in some measure
the number of those who have learnt to adopt Spinoza's
attitude towards humanity. Man's acts, his very per-
turbations of "spirit," are to be studied as we study
If such views are not refused a hearing it may be sug-
gested that they will throw some light upon the develop-
ment of man as an intellectual animal. And if it is assumed,
as certainly seems likely, that Keith is right in tracing back-
ward to Pleistocene times the modern type of skull, it
should help to fill up the gap in development between
that type and such as Piltdown man. For if the modern
skull goes back so far, and the Piltdown type is so late, the
very stability of the modern type suggests that there must
have been a period, long in years or centuries, but short by
the geologic clock, in which man became immensely
plastic and changed with relative rapidity. The evidence
seems quite ample which tends to prove great stability
of type after the middle or late Pleistocene era, and such
stability shows to all who believe in environmental in-
fluence, or in natural selection, that since then there has
been no great fundamental change of moulding factors.
Some, indeed, imagine that what is called civilization has
been such a factor. This is practically assumed by
most who hold that " modern " man is historically modern.
But, as any change seems great to individuals who are
disturbed, it is natural for most to come rapidly to the
conclusion that great past political and social changes may
have had, and perhaps must have had, an evolutionary
effect even if comparatively recent. Yet as most changes
are now but new orientations in thought, which do not
lead to the destruction of established physical types,
and as such factors of selection as ill-health, defective
mentation, and so forth, have continually operated from the
dawn of life, no vital factors can be discovered working at
the present time which suggest the new and rapid evolution
of a cranial type. If such factors worked, one or more of
them must have disappeared. Since the ancient complex
of imagination, fear and regret has ceased to picture the
happy golden ages of the past as a restful paradise compared
with the dim uncertain paths of the future, even the most
conservative only employ their imagination in construct-
ing ideal scenes in a blissful state of ordered feudalism, and
for very many it has become a habit to picture them-
selves as the apex and acme of possible mankind. So
indeed it was in the past, for even if the poets of Greece
and Rome looked backward to the Saturnia regna, as
the tribes of Central Australia do to Alcheringa, they
would yet maintain that they had reached a summit of
148 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
civilization from which only a descent was possible. Man-
kind thus tends naturally to believe that great attainment,
even if fabulous peace has passed away, is their own work,
and the work of their immediate ancestors. It follows
that there is a natural prejudice against admitting that, in
all human powers and attributes of brain, man's remote
ancestors were his equals, even though they lacked his
present knowledge. To get rid of such predispositions is
part of the task of science, if it would solve the problem as
to the factors which were at work at the time of man's
greatest cranial plasticity.
While it is not difficult to believe that Mousterian man
possessed an average cerebral capacity more than equal to
that found now, some find it hard to credit such brains
with imagination and powers of logical thought. Yet Fraser
has shown that many who are called the lowest savages
reason with perfect logic, even if they argue from un-
examined and illicit premisses. It ill befits the average
man of the present day to cast a stone at them, since
the subjection of his own major premisses to critical
examination invariably causes him much uneasiness.
Even the greatest are at times subject to the same
weakness. Ancient man was always reasoning and,
since pure logic has nothing to do with the truth or false-
hood of propositions, but only with their agreement, there
is no reason to suppose that a school logic of merit might
not have been composed from a study of the ratio-
cinative processes of the earliest modern type of brain
known to us. We may, indeed, analyse further, and in
so doing discover that logic is to be found in even lower
human types, or in the animals themselves. A cat who
smells a mouse, and takes means to catch it, is using
direct inference. Moreover, in considering the evolution
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 149
of the imagination and intellect we are apt, according
to Keith's views, to think that when we make great dis-
coveries they must be relatively greater than those dis-
covered in the past. Yet it may be doubted if Napier
of Merchistoun made a greater discovery than the un-
known genius who first counted on his fingers. It is at
least certain that, though logarithms lessen labour, they
have not lessened it to the millionth extent that finger
reckoning, and all that has flowed from it, including
logarithms themselves, have since achieved. To learn
how to make fire was a greater discovery than any
made by Watt, while the inventors of the wheel or the
wedge must have been men of the very highest capacity.
The same may be said of the arts, for the discovery
that an outline represented in some magical way a real
animal or a person, whether it was found out by some
savage boy outlining a shadow, cast by the camp-
fire, on a neighbouring rock, or by some primeval
master, was an effort of much more amazing originality
than a masterpiece by Rembrandt or Rubens. We
cannot, perhaps unjustly, attribute most, or even many,
of such inventions to a Piltdown brain. The question
is then how it came about that relatives, close or far
removed, of Homo Eoanthropus gave rise, within a com-
paratively short period of time, to the later and still
prevalent type, capable of the highest intellectual efforts.
A solution of the problem may, perhaps, be found in
cannibalism as the chief factor, if it first gave rise to
organized war and the development of weapons, such as
made the best period of Chellean art a time of master-
pieces in flint.
It is certainly justifiable to assume that some such
factor is needed for explanation. If the missing link
150 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
is not so much a typ^of man as a missing page of human
history, of which the previous and following parts show
immense changes, we are equally within our rights
in filling up the lacuna by the use of an adequate
hypothesis as we should be in supplying to a tragic
play a missing scene which, to render later acts possible,
must have contained a murder. In such a mutilated
script there is a strict parallel to what was probably
the most tragic part of human history. The play
would perpetually suggest the action of the missing
portion, and so, in later and modern history, and in the
instincts of man, we have hints, and more than hints,
that obscene tribal survivals represent historic universal
truth, even if nothing is said here of cave remains, skulls,
or bones, which are the island peaks of the submerged
continent of anthropology.
If such deep seas cover that lost land they may yet
be sounded, and, as it were, dredged, so that in the end,
by actual evidence and logical inference combined, the
unknown may be mapped out. If we judge from what
remains in those savage customs which offer the best
means of deduction, we get lines pointing in definite
directions. If more than one line indicates the same
solution, the inferential value of both is much in-
creased. Such a method is similar to that by which
bee-hunters seek the tree -hive where they look for
honey. By the observation of the flight of the insects
on their homeward path they obtain lines of triangula-
tion which are a sure guide. As regards the early
history of man one such line may be, perhaps, found in
Atkinson's Primal Law the repository of views too
much neglected. From a study of " avoidance " in
forms well known to him, its author at least deduced
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 151
something of the nature and origin of the primal family,
its laws and customs. He pictures the savage ape-like
ancestor of man as the father and husband of all his
female children, as well as of the stolen women who bore
them. An immense and overpowering sex jealousy
led to the extrusion of the male offspring when they
reached the age of puberty. Such sons broke into the
sanctity of the family circle dominated by some other
ancestor of man, and set up for themselves. Incest at
that time was not intercourse between father and
daughter, but between brother and sister, son and aunt,
or mother, and the penalty assigned and exacted for
ages was death. According to Atkinson, and here I
by no means follow him, such a system was probably
broken down when the patriarch grew old by the ex-
ceptional influence of some " wife " who retained great
maternal love for her latest grown-up male child. It
seems that other more widely operating and less
abstract motives can be shown, which must have exerted
their influence on the husband and father of the camp
and all its members.
It is now some fifteen years ago since I deduced from
certain social phenomena, which I propose to indicate,
a particular theory of the family and the two-class
tribe. This I submitted to the late Sir Laurence Gomme
and Dr. Haddon. After some consideration they re-
ferred me to Atkinson's paper, reprinted in Lang's Social
Origins, as they were of opinion that my views had been
largely anticipated by him. I discovered this to be a
fact, and for a short time experienced those feelings of
indignation natural in one who believes himself a
pioneer, and finds a camp pitched on what he thought
an unknown territory. Such feelings did not last long.
152 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
When a hypothesis is immediately verifiable, and dis-
covery is anticipated by others, there is little ..or no
compensation. If Adams had been forestalled by Lever-
rier in the discovery of Uranus by long months or
years, and the planet had actually been found for the
more fortunate mathematician, the sense of disap-
pointment must have been acute. But in my own case
no such verification was at hand, and I was quite aware
from the attitude of those who advised me, and my own
knowledge of theory, that Atkinson's views were thought
of little value. Naturally they did not seem so to me,
for while he had deduced his theory from the facts of the
social phenomenon, known as " avoidance," of which
the last remnants are to be found tabulated in the
ecclesiastical Table of Affinities, I had come to the same
conclusion by a deduction from opposed and anta-
gonistic phenomena, the existence of which his views
helped to explain. For if he drew his premisses from
savage life and " avoidance," I drew my own from
certain facts observed by myself, and even now observ-
able by all, in modern society whether in England
or elsewhere, facts not of avoidance, but of a peculiar form
of jealousy, which seemed to me an obvious survival of
It is a truth, known to almost all wives and to women
generally, whether they have observed it in their own
husbands and fathers, or in those of others, that some-
thing more than an over-exigent desire to ensure their
female children being comfortably and suitably settled,
prevents many men from welcoming suitors for their
daughters. And I may say here that the deductions
I draw from this are probably seldom known to the
fathers themselves. To act instinctively without the
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 153
knowledge of the why or wherefore is common enough,
and the origin of many surprising facts can be explained
by certain developments in modern psychological theory
and practice. Not a few men object to the presence
of other men in their house, especially when they are
not present, even when all thoughts of purely marital
jealousy are wanting. They even object to the " party,"
that feminine function which tends to lead to love
affairs. But the main fact is that the resistance such
show to the marriage of their daughters cannot be ex-
plained on acknowledged social principles. The young
people may exhibit every sign of true affection, the
suitor may be of good character, even of high social
standing, and yet the father will raise every imaginable
objection, and put every conceivable obstacle in the way
of the desired marriage. In many cases I have known
the young men forbidden the house on the mere ground,
the last the father had, that he did not like the man,
whom he slandered in the bosom of his family without
being aware he was precipitating flight and an elopement,
which is the modern form of marriage by capture. There
are cases, well known in later literary history, in which,
after furious struggles, this result has occurred, and in
biographies we see the parent's resistance put down to
anything but its real cause. That is said to have been
his great affection for his daughter, her necessity in the
house, her father's need of companionship, or the needs
of her mother ; but never in any instance to deep-seated
sex jealousy of instinctive origin. Without relating in
any detail my own observations and experiences in this
matter, I may say that on making inquiry of many men
with daughters, quite a number of them owned that they
had seen in others what I had seen, and a few, who had
154 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
been accustomed to the analysis of motive in various
branches of medicine, actually admitted that they had
felt the very emotions of sex jealousy I have indicated
as yet existing in modern society. Moreover, on consult-
ing a lady, herself no mean anthropologist, she declared
the phenomenon, whether understood or not, was known
to all women by experience or report, and that it was
not infrequently hinted at in private feminine conversa-
tion. The more observations I have made the more I
have been convinced that the facts are as stated, and it
was from the hypothesis that even now large numbers of
men, without any desire of possession apparent to them-
selves, are sexually jealous as to their female children,
that I deduced the same conclusion that Atkinson had
reached by the opposed but complementary hypothesis
of avoidance. It may here be remarked that the common
sex coldness between members of the same family is thus
not due to being brought up together, as commonly
supposed, but that it is the last result of the system of
avoidance become instinctive in boys and girls by long
ages of inheritance, in which the penalty of infraction of
parental law was death. Such a conclusion, it may be
remarked, is against the view that the young men sought
their wives at any time in the camp from which they
had been extruded.
It should, however, be made quite clear that these
ancient surviving instincts are not so vocal or so clamour-
ous as to speak clearly in those who now retain them.
The most jealous parent of the kind may not have the
slightest notion of the reasons moving him. As far as
each successive suitor is concerned, it is to him a case of
" Dr. Fell," and there is an end of it. But many are
distinctly conscious of the facts, though such conscious-
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 155
ness is in many cases sedulously hidden, even if acknow-
ledged, as I have reason to believe, in the confessional
or the physician's consulting room. I know that such
an analysis, however supported, is as little likely to meet
with approval as the suggestion that cannibalism itself
is responsible for much of our mental make-up. The
reception of the idea, even by many of those who might
be supposed to view all things in the " dry light " of
the Freudian psycho-analysis, has been almost one of
tumultuous opposition, although the light that Freud
casts, both on normal and abnormal cerebration, has been
of the utmost value. It may, I think, hold a lamp even
in anthropology, and it is possible that certain conclusions
drawn by its aid in the matter now discussed may
strengthen the growing belief in it as a weapon of dis-
covery. According to the views expressed in other
places, it is far more than probable that what proves of
value in individual psychology will aid to unravel the
tangled web of racial subconsciousness in which the in-
stincts have their root. Few are now totally ignorant of
Freud's work in the analysis of the subconscious mind.
However they may look upon it, or upon some of the
extravagances of its more indiscreet advocates, not
many can be found to deny that the hypothesis of hidden
complexes, by which is meant a series of cerebral reflex
arcs still in a state of subconscious tone and capable of
producing peculiar effects, has exerted an immense in-
fluence on the theory of conscious mentation, or mental
action. An early impression, although forgotten, or dis-
sociated from the general web of memory, since a memory
can only be the repeated passage of impulses over many
definite synapses, may condition for better or worse the
whole life of the individual to whom the incident has
156 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
happened. It has not, however, been general to attribute
good rather than evil, health rather than disease, to such
unconscious memories. But kindly, or thoughtful, or
unselfish acts may leave their mark in the same way,
and a sound early education is, perhaps, no more than
the excitation of such useful complexes. More is
definitely known, however, of the evil effects of painful
forgotten incidents which often yield to psycho-analysis.
By a skilful use of morbid symptoms, shown in myriad
forms, the operator may link up the past with the present,
and demonstrate to the patient the trifling origin of his
ills. To do so seems to be the drainage of what we may
call figuratively a mental abscess. I am not aware that
any one has suggested that the human brain or mind,
the depository of the racial subconsciousness of man,
must show in its very constitution similar phenomena.
There must be human deep-seated hidden complexes
determining thought and action, and showing, if we could
read them aright, through what avenues our ancestors
have passed. When some hidden complex, which might
have worked morbid results, has been sublimated, as the
psycho-analysts call the process, the hidden repressed
energy makes a healthy path for itself in the brain, and
lifts up such things as repressed sex feelings into devo-
tion, altruism, and even self-sacrifice. Such must have
been part of the method by which the racial type of brain
has been developed, and so certain do I regard this that
I think it might have been possible to deduce from racial
history, folk-lore, and even written history, the very theory
of psycho-analysis itself. Myth and legend often enough
are sublimations, but in the deep melancholy, or unmiti-
gated brutality of some races, may be detected ancient
influences not so fortunate in their issue. Reversion to
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 157
ancient type in the masses of a race, a subject not remote
from us, is rendered easier to understand. For in their
brains lie quiescent the memory and actual cerebral
machinery which once more may be set working by some
great stimulus. War could not be the passionate relief
in action that it is to many, if its memories were not
graven deep even in the peaceful. So now, perhaps, in
the night-horrors of children or their elders, there may
be some dim relic of ancestral fear, which many childish
tales partially awaken. Such a view is in tone with the
general purpose of this paper. The ogre or giant who
eats children is thus a reality to them, for their ancestors
dwelt for unnumbered centuries among such fearful
possibilities. The very character of women, with their
powerful, but half-hidden, insistence on success, could
thus perhaps be traced, without the idea seeming over-
fantastic, to the times of ancient famine when their
children had, perhaps, to fear most their natural pro-
tector, even, it may be, the mother herself. It is, indeed,
far from unlikely that it was the women who urged on
their father and husband to the capture and slaughter
of his enemies, and his own fear, as I hope to show, may
be held up as the one great cause of his sullen co-operation
with his sons in such expeditions, enforced and enjoined
upon him, though it may have been, by some favourite
woman who was apprehensive of disaster to her young
To return from these relevant deductions to the
parental jealousy complex still showing itself in modern
times, it seems that many such ancient social states must
have perpetuated themselves in mental complexes which
still influence human action. They are but examples
of the ceaseless working of energy ever and ever in weaker
but more delicate structures. So, in the growth of the
nervous system, embryonic cells, capable of development
into muscle cells which use great energy, were, if we may
use the metaphor in physiology, sublimated into nerve
cells, which consume so little that it cannot be measured
by any means yet known to us. But, just as we know
that neurons arose from ruder and more energy-con-
suming structures, we can infer that, though the finer
and more delicate instincts of modern man were developed
from rude and brutal ones, they still retain marks of their
origin. Nor need we be surprised to find even now in
such a lowly organism as society, which lies far down
the developmental scale, obvious or gross indications of
their origin. With this support, and the coincidence of
Atkinson's views with those otherwise deduced, some
progress may be made in the consideration of the con-
ditions and factors which changed the ancient typical
family of the father, his wives and daughters, and the
children of both, into the tribe. In such an investigation
it will not be necessary to go into later developments,
such as matriarchy, which were probably due to special,
perhaps local, causes.
It is the common accepted opinion that tribes grew
directly from the family which co-operated as an ever-
enlarging unit, and afterwards subdivided. Such a view
as much ignores the political phenomena of history, even
of to-day, as it does the many sidelights which ancient
custom throws upon the processes in question. When
any opinion is based upon little evidence it often turns
out that the effect is mistaken for the cause, or the cause
for the effect. It may, perhaps, be shown that some-
thing like this has occurred in the conclusions based upon
the classificatory system of relationship and inter-tribal
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 159
customs, known chiefly to us by what is seen among the
Australian aborigines. In order to show as clearly as
possible what the orthodox view seems to be, I may quote
Frazer (Folklore in the Old Testament). After speaking
of the exogamous classes of a tribe as always two, four,
or eight, but never an odd number, he says : " This
suggests, what all the evidence tends to confirm, that these
various groups have been produced by the deliberate
and repeated bisection of a community, first into two,
then into four, and finally into eight exogamous and
intermarrying groups or classes, for no one, so far as I
know, has yet ventured to maintain that society is subject
to a physical law, in virtue of which communities, like
crystals, tend automatically and unconsciously to in-
tegrate or disintegrate, along rigid mathematical lines,
into exactly symmetrical units. . . . The evidence points
to the conclusion that the dual organization or division
of a community into two exogamous and intermarrying
classes was introduced for the purpose of preventing the
marriage of brothers with sisters."
Leaving aside for a moment the concluding sentence
of this judgment with the remark that it might just as
well be argued that the Table of Affinities was introduced
to prevent the marriage of a deceased wife's sister to her
brother-in-law, and noting that abstract ideas, such as
incest, must follow, not precede, practice grown into
rigid " moral " custom, it may be remarked that if the
inheritance of Mendelian characters follows exactly upon
the laws of probability, we may reasonably assume that
physical laws, however altered from their primal sim-
plicity, rule in all departments or planes of life. The
words " deliberate and repeated " in the above paragraph
certainly call for scrutiny. As we observe that all political
160 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
integration, or its opposite, follows inevitably upon causes
which can be analysed into physical elements, racial,
geographical, or economic, and that the element of
deliberate purpose imagined to exist in politicians is the
final result of the thrust of the energy behind them which
they voice, it seems hardly likely that such action can be
attributed to the prehistoric tribes of Australia. As I
happen to know them I am far from underrating their
intelligence, which, taking into consideration their con-
ditions, is far higher than is generally supposed; but to
believe them capable of performing such a moral and
political feat as Frazer suggests is to outrage all prob-
ability. Communities are certainly not like crystals,
and the importation of such a simile is in the nature of a
rhetorical argument, which assumes in an opponent opinions
to which he would never subscribe. But quite indepen-
dent of any conclusion which, as its basis, takes for granted
the facts of division, and then argues that it must have
been deliberate, there is the ignored hypothesis that
division never took place at all, but that what did occur
was aggregation or integration. Since I put aside as
untenable on the face of it, in view of our knowledge of
the working of the human brain shown in the descent
and progression of abstract notions, the theory that
incest, as horrible or even undesirable on some real or
fancied ground of eugenics or innate morality, can have
anything to do with such phenomena, and that therefore
division is much more than exceedingly unlikely, we are
forced to consider whether, on a totally opposite hypothesis,
political integration did not take place for reasons which
may be discovered, or at least suggested, by considering
facts it explains, or by parallels in the history of our own
or other countries. Such facts and such parallels are
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 161
easily discoverable, and as regards the last any European
war has shown that pressure of circumstances tends to
integration, often temporary, but sometimes permanent.
An alliance, in the face of danger between races often
deeply opposed through the operation of racial, geo-
graphical, or economic factors, if both are exposed to a
common danger, is obviously of common occurrence.
In such conditions ancient differences are hastily com-
posed, compromised, or postponed, and a united front is
shown to the enemy. These facts are too common and
intelligible to need insistence ; but it may be pointed out
that on final analysis the like are in all essentials ex-
hibited in the enforced behaviour of animals. The dogs
of a village which are usually hostile to each other will
unite to attack an invading dog. Groups of cattle which
never graze together will ring round a centre and oppose
together a prowling beast of prey. Many more instances
might be cited; but the study of history itself is more
than sufficient to show that union is never voluntary, but
always enforced, while the fundamental hostility of groups
is still seen even in English village communities, which
fight when they meet, or enliven their hours of ease with
jests at the expense of their neighbours, though they
become, upon national stress, patriots and friends. But
as there is no need to labour this point, it may be asked
whether the hypothesis that the classificatory system of
relationship and marriage, remnants of which are visible
in all nations, cannot be explained by enforced integration
rather than by division. Such an explanation will enable
us to understand and classify many hitherto inexplicable
and obscure phenomena in tribal organization, custom,
Since anthropologists, or those interested in anthro-
162 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
pology, must be more or less familiar with the facts of
cannibalism, there is no need to enter into a prolonged
enumeration of its phenomena which are not yet co-
ordinated. In preference to otiose repetition I shall
therefore examine a few of the more remarkable customs
connected with anthropophagism, for, if any solution can
be obtained of them, many, if not all, of the remaining
details will fall into their place automatically. Premising,
then, that it is admitted there is sufficient evidence to
assume provisionally that cannibalism is a stage through
which early mankind has passed, it may be asked how it is
that in certain Australian tribes, such as the Binbinga,
the two classes eat, not their own, but each other's dead.
In many other cases, according to Spencer and Gillen, it is
suspected that the same custom obtains. It seems, how-
ever, as might have been prophesied, that those who are
eaten are never, or very rarely, of the same totems as those
who eat them. Such a custom is totally unintelligible on
the division theory, and remains, as it were, a mere morbid
degeneration such as some see in all cannibalism. Although
many variations in man-eating must inevitably occur as
totemism and tribal organization decay, what is to be
sought is the origin of this peculiar custom, and if any
hypothesis suggests it, the explanation should have solid
If the original patriarchal family was such, or nearly
such, as Atkinson pictured it, and as I myself drew it, it
can be seen how the single one-class, and single-totemed,
group came into being. As said before, there is no need
to follow Atkinson in his hypothesis that maternal love
overcame the hostility of the brutal father and chief, for
in such times and conditions as those which made the
environment of nascent mankind, it is safer to infer that
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 163
the changes were the result of stress of circumstance rather
than of instincts, however beautiful, which in all primitive
peoples tend to exert less and less power as the offspring
become able to take care of themselves. In conditions,
which even for the partially protected female were such
as must have employed all her energy to live, they would
have had little force.
Although the explanation of the past by what occurs
now is sound in all sciences, such an instrument of discovery,
when it uses not permanent physical causes, like those
seen in geology, but evolved and evolving multiform factors
such as the instincts, needs some caution. While the
purely self-regarding and brutal instincts still seen in
many must even so be regarded as modified favourably
during social evolution, it may be assumed that the more
altruistic were in their origin less worthy of admiration
than they seem now. It is therefore more probable that
outside stress, rather than maternally introduced modi-
fications, conditioned the changes by which the sons were
permitted to stay in some sort of growing communion
with their parents, although avoidance was still strict, and
exogamy, or marriage by capture, from other nascent
groups or tribes, absolutely obligatory.
With the existence of families in such proximity as
permitted wife capture it follows that, owing to the very
custom of capture, some kind of relationship should have
grown up. Even if the capture of wives were associated
at other times with the capture of prisoners, or carrying off
the dead for food, there would assuredly be intervals of
peace and comparative amity in seasons of plentiful game.
Although such friendly relations must have been slight
they would certainly be stronger than those with other
and remoter groups with whom no intermarriage was
164 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
possible, and who were at all times regarded purely as
enemies. It is very interesting to note that though Maine
obviously knew nothing of the Australian classificatory
system he yet remarks : " The history of political ideas
begins, in fact, with the assumption that kinship in blood
is the sole possible ground of community in political
functions ; nor is there any of those subversions of feeling
which we term emphatically revolutions, so startling and
so complete as the change which is accomplished when
some other principle, such as that, for instance, of local
contiguity, establishes itself for the first time as a basis
of common political action. . . . The earliest and most
extensively employed of legal fictions was that which per-
mitted family relations to be established artificially, and
there is none to which I conceive mankind to be more
deeply indebted " (H. S. Maine, Ancient Law, 1905,
pp. 129, 130). It may be noted, of course, that the two
groups, which I conceive as becoming one tribe under
external pressure, are locally contiguous and obviously
blood relations, however bitterly hostile. If during a period
of scarcity, distant and dreaded foes made an incursion
into territory in which the less hostile groups were situated,
there would be the strongest motive possible for at least a
temporary alliance. If it is objected that the inter-group
relations of marriage would not compensate for the hatred
aroused by cannibalism, it must be remembered, ex hypo-
thesi, that this was a state of things perfectly customary,
and not in any sense outrageous. There was then no such
thing as a moral horror of the practice. If such an alliance
took place, and was partially successful, it would tend to
continue, especially if the remodelling stress of the more
hated foe still remained as fear " in being." It is natural
enough to deduce from this that such a state of things
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 165
would necessarily alter cannibalism between the allied
groups, while necessity, combined with customary habit,
would end in the practice of eating each other's dead,
rather than in a continuance of former customs. On this
hypothesis such habits as those of the Binbinga are per-
fectly intelligible ; it is seen how they came about, and,
by customary inertia, were continued. Although there is
no necessity to enter into the vexed question of totemism,
it may be assumed that in each familial group there was
already some such name badge, whatever its origin and
whatever it may have developed into later, when magic,
myth, and tradition moulded and welded the tribe into its
later form. There would be then a tribe of two classes,
mutually exogamous, each class with a totem. And if
such a hypothesis is admitted as possible, then on further
pressure of war, induced as war practically always is by
economic conditions, however much disguised in modern
times, the transition from a two-class tribe to a four- or
eight-class tribe actually explains itself. There would be
in the latter case eight totem classes, whose ancient law
sanctioned intermarriage with one other totem class only,
while any intercourse between the rest of the classes, though
at first conditioned mainly by jealousy, would gradually
become tribal morality, and a safeguard to tribal unity.
On this hypothesis there is no compulsion to posit
advanced abstract notions as a driving force, a conception
contrary to logic and the nature of language as well as to
the established fact that progression is from the concrete
to the abstract, and not vice versa. Moreover such a theory,
for if it unravels the meaning of so difficult a case as that
of the Binbinga it becomes more than a hypothesis, is in
accordance with processes to-day, while it explains modern
sex morality as the last, but assuredly not enduring,
166 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
remains of a tremendous and rigid code whose sanction
was not merely the fear of slander or social ostracism,
but that of death.
However disagreeable the conclusion may seem to many,
even the positive evidence obtainable is suggestive of
universal cannibalism. The fact that it still exists in
many quarters of the globe, and may be returned to any-
where under stress, vastly strengthens such evidence.
Abhorrent as it is to the modern mind, no one knows what
he will do on occasions of which he has no experience. I
once camped in the Selkirks, in British Columbia, with
an old prospector known as the Man-Eater, because, when
snowed-up and starving in the mountains, he had dug up
his partner's frozen body, which he had previously buried.
The potential cannibal may in fact exist in the most re-
fined, and it is not illegitimate to conclude that the habit
was once universal, and resulted in continued economic
war. To such factors may be attributed the continual
coalescence of many hostile tribes, who compromised
again and yet again with enemy after enemy, and in the
process established the earlier real societies, the germs of
nations and of races. The unknown is still the horrible,
and it was better to make friends with tribes near at hand
whose customs were at least familiar, than to be conquered
by dreadful far-off people, who might overthrow law and
lay morality in the dust. What morals, indeed, were to be
expected from such ? Magic itself might be in danger !
From a purely physiological point of view it may be
suggested that as character is modified or intensified by
special foods, containing special catalysts or toxins which
act as determinants, a custom like cannibalism may have
altered human character itself by ensuring a common
average stock of such determining elements. We are
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 167
even yet wholly ignorant of the evolutionary effects of
acute diseases which are recovered from ; but it cannot
be imagined they have none. Their toxins by eventually
producing immunity must certainly be a factor of change
in a race, as they must be factors in the after life of the
individual. It may be said that when tuberculosis was
first active as a destructive and modifying agent, prob-
ably at the beginning of the pastoral ages when man
first domesticated cattle, a very powerful factor of physical
and cerebral change was introduced. If that is even
remotely possible, it cannot be believed that cannibalism
had not many obscure side effects, over and above that
of intensifying the struggle for existence.
Organized war in itself, though it is a subject which
has employed so many minds, has rarely been considered
as a very ancient factor in evolution. We may take it for
granted that it did not originate in the mere love of fighting.
The joy of conflict is assuredly a by-product of superfluous
energy, and even now much rarer than is assumed in
romance. Yet if the temporary sullen alliance of some
early prehistoric men, in periods possibly late Miocene
in date, was the very beginning of tribal unity, and if their
joint efforts procured success against a common enemy
of both, we are entitled to call such an expedition the
very beginning of organized war, as distinguished from
solitary hunting, and the origin of immense evolutionary
changes. So far as I am aware, though man's intellectual
advance has been frequently attributed to his hunting
proclivities, as calling forth qualities advantageous to
him who was successful, and thus aiding his survival,
while inter-tribal warfare is no doubt recognized as a factor
of his progress, the reasons usually assigned for such war-
fare are the tolerably obvious ones still displayed among
168 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
savage peoples as regards hunting areas. A French writer,
Toussenel, who has discoursed on the part played by dogs
as co-hunters with man, has, indeed, attributed the origin of
cannibalism to a by-effect of the chase. He says (L 'Esprit
des Betes, 1847) : " U est evident que 1'anthropophagie
est nee d'une excessive fringale combinee avec 1'habitude
du regime du viande. II arriva que deux hordes de chas-
seurs se recontrerent a la poursuite du meme animal, un
jour que la proie etait rare and que la faim mugissait dans
leur entrailles, et il eut guerre entre elles. On se battit,
on se tua et les cadavres de vaincus remplacerent natur-
ellement au foyers des vainqueurs les cadavres du gibier
absent." Such opinions may, perhaps, be somewhat
suggestive, but the attribution of cannibalism to the merest
accident is most certainly not sound. Toussenel thought
that it followed tribal organization and hunting in parties ;
but such organization has to be accounted for, not assumed
as natural. Nor can we take it for granted that warfare
arose of itself without some very definite and powerful
cause among our very early ancestors, for though social
animals fight among themselves, they never organize
against other groups of the same species. Real organiza-
tion for warfare, therefore, seems peculiar to man and some
ants who have reached a very high stage as societies with
great differentiation of function. Although imagination
has a great part to play in speculation, when explanation
is wanting and data are necessarily few such hypotheses
as are invented must at least account for fundamental
facts, and the view that tribal organization preceded
cannibalism practically leaves out of account such pheno-
mena as those of the Binbinga and others, which were
probably as unknown to Toussenel as they seem to be to
many modern writers on allied subjects.
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 169
It has been argued by Harry Campbell and others,
as I myself argued twenty-five years ago, that inter-tribal
warfare, in which all members of the tribe were engaged,
must have meant the rapid elimination of fools and the
unfit ; but so far it seems that it has not been pointed out
that the acts of war, whether tactical or strategic, tend
to develop all the logical and mental faculties of man.
Every human faculty has assuredly been called into exist-
ence by the stimulation of the environment. It does not
follow that every stimulation has brought out power to
deal directly with the situation. But it has certainly
developed powers of avoiding possible evil results, thus
moulding the race in another way. Certainly no faculty
can be conceived existing without need unless there is
in existence excess energy not wanted for self- or race-
preservation. For there are undoubtedly developments
not in themselves really useful. We cannot logically
attribute the gorgeous colouring of the Trochilidas purely
to sex selection, when we see the less gorgeous species still
highly adorned. We are forced to look on such super-
coloration as the result of excess energy in birds already
so energetic as to be almost beyond the ordinary accidents
of bird life, while they live on the most assimilable form
of carbohydrate. Such excess of adornment may in the
end become harmful to them, as it has done since debauched
destructive energy in rich women has demanded their
sacrifice for adornment. But if all useful faculties in
man, or any animal, must have been developed by the
stimulation of the environment we can, I think, conceive
no such stimulation as that of individual, group, and tribal
warfare for the purpose of obtaining the food which is the
most nourishing, and the most easily digestible of all.
Since it has already been humanized, it calls for less energy
170 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
to transform it into body-building or energizing factors.
The very belief that eating other warriors gave the vic-
torious their qualities, may easily enough have developed
from the fact that such a meal showed a marked difference
in results from those experienced with other foods. But
the main point to bear in mind is that warfare with objects
of this kind in view must have had not only very definite
results in cerebral growth, but also very rapid ones. After
a long period in which man was, perhaps, little more
developed than Pithecantheopus erectus, such enforced
organization, in groups which could develop subordina-
tion, and respect for ability in leaders, with the rapid
concomitant destruction of less plastic anthropoid stocks
of all kinds, must have resulted not only in the elimination
of most of the ground apes, while the monkeys were able
to preserve themselves, but also in a period of rapid pro-
gression in adaptability and cerebral development. Races
may have arisen perfectly capable of slow progression
to a status even higher than that of modern man, but if
they lacked the enforced cohesion of those who had eaten
up their hunting areas, and were finally driven into united
internecine warfare to obtain food, or prisoners who could
be slaves or food as necessity dictated, they would have
had no more chance against intrusive voracious hordes
with gross simian characteristics than Greece had against
the armies of Philip. There are even suggestions in what
we know of early human history which point, however
vaguely, towards such unrecorded tragedies.
Among them, perhaps, may be reckoned that of the
disappearance of such a species of humanity as Neander-
thal man. His brain capacity of about 1600 c.c. ; while
that of modern man is, say, 1400 c.c., is even more superior
than it seems to that of the average European of the
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 171
present time, as his average height was less (5' 4"). His
inferior stature may, perhaps, have been compensated
for by greater weight, so that the portion of the brain
devoted entirely to bodily functions, and not to intellectual
qualities, may be rather more than that indicated. Yet
here was a species of man, distinct from our own type by
the possession of simian characters which are not ours, and
the absence of some which we still retain, who had a
greater brain than the average modern man. According
to Keith, the teeth of this species are of the taurodont
type seen in herbivorous or graminivorous animals. " On
the evidence of the teeth and palate one is inclined to
regard Neanderthal man as specially adapted to live on
a rough vegetable diet. . . . His skill as a flint artizan
shows that his abilities were not of a low order. He had
fire at his command, he buried his dead, he had a dis-
tinctive and highly evolved form of culture." In spite
of this culture, and the structure of the teeth, it is said
that he was also a hunter, which is held to be proved by
the remains found in the Krapina cave. He has indeed
been accused of cannibalism, as split human bones were
found with other scattered Neanderthal bones and teeth.
The evidence is assuredly not altogether convincing, but
it excites speculation, especially as the implements, though
not typically Mousterian, certainly suggest that culture.
May it not be said that if cannibalism there was, it must
be ascribed, not to a typically vegetarian race, but to
the contemporary ancestors of modern man, who have
descendants practising it ? In any case, whether such
a hypothesis is regarded as mere fancy or real suggestion,
the fact remains that a powerful and highly cultured
race, which was obviously graminivorous and had prob-
ably reached the agricultural stage, with a cranial capacity
172 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
not possessed by every philosopher of the present day,
has vanished from the face of the earth, leaving no
descendants and few traces of his existence. Such a
problem cannot be disposed of easily. At the least it
must excite the suspicion that his place was occupied by
the ancestors of those who at one stage of civilization
practised cannibalism, and in all devoted infinite energy
to organized warfare. Vegetarianism is not likely to
have been practised by those with teeth not peculiarly
or typically adapted to such food, and it therefore seems
quite possible that Neanderthal man was wiped out by
swarms of a less advanced but more military race of
cannibals. These speculations have at any rate the
support afforded by such factors of evolution being in
action even now, and if the hypothesis is correct, they
must have been operating from a date some time after
the anthropoid stock had divided into the lost species
and that which even yet exists and, in many parts of the
earth, still indulges in man-eating.
When considering the past effects of war upon the
human races it may be urged that the typical soldier,
even now, is the finest type of all-round man. This
will no doubt seem a hard saying to those morbid
intellectuals who overrate conscious mentation. Never-
theless, many who are prejudiced by the possession of
an under-exercised body, and an over-exercised cerebral
cortex, will probably agree that the all-round type of able
and athletic man is the finest form of humanity. Not
a few of those who belong to the higher intellectual order
must often lament their own overgrowths and correlated
incapacities when they contemplate his simple, healthy,
and beautiful efficiency. It may be i~ne that progress
did not stop when fighting ceased to be the greatest factor
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 173
in evolution, although, judging from the evidence it looks
as if changes were more socially structural than cerebral.
Yet even now we can say that the best officers in a good
modern army belong to a fine order of compact, sufficient
intellect. War still requires that equal balance of the
body and brain which characterizes them, although they
may want some qualities which in themselves are scarcely
more than prophetic of possible future race characteristics.
It is not necessary to go deeply into cerebral physio-
logy or psychology to see that war required the develop-
ment of all the main faculties characterizing the human
brain. There is no common faculty useful in life which
is not necessary to the soldier considered only as such.
War is a great intellectual and bodily game, in which the
incomplete man goes under. The soldier has to reason,
and must reason rapidly, his intuitions must outrun the
processes of formal thought. To say so by no means
implies that he should be acquainted with the syllogistic
skeleton of human reasoning. Men argued in natural
moods before scholastic logic, as they still argue without
having heard of it. The early warriors organized brain
tracts which grasped more and more factors in the en-
vironment ; their skill and their salvation depended on
new and ready response to new or old stimuli. Such
brain faculties are capable of being developed and organized
in a measure by hunting, but hunting alone, as we under-
stand it, could not have put the last fine edge upon the
brain as a weapon, nor would it have eliminated with any
rapidity the small-brained races which were incapable
of swift variation. Nothing but war would have been
so likely to bring out all those qualities which reward
skill, quickness, endurance, foresight, and the concentra-
tion of endeavour with the crown of victory and the
174 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
inheritance of the earth. Thus it does not seem a vain
imagination or a mere unsupported hypothesis to consider
the early warrior's brain as the type from which all our
still unstable new developments have naturally grown.
The savage who was most a savage, who was the fiercest,
the most ruthless, who was most endowed with cunning,
and who yet had a faint sense of loyalty within his brain,
which made him capable of being led or leading in his
turn, was the true fountain of progress, of knowledge, and
ultimately of those finer cortical growths which some
metaphysicians and all religionists prefer to call " the
soul." We must look to the lowest man-eating tribes
who yet remain if we wish to see ourselves somewhat as
we were when mankind first rose from the Miocene abyss.
Though these conclusions are disagreeable to many,
while others think that it is straining an hypothesis beyond
the limits of elasticity to reach them, it must be remembered
that like objections are still urged against conclusions, as
to the formation of human individual and racial cerebral
characteristics, reached in psycho-analysis. These militate
against curious concepts, such as Free Will, which are
peculiarly dear to many, while they show that the origin
of some of the sublimer feelings lies deep in the savage
passions of self-regarding instincts. To attribute every-
thing to cannibalism, without complete analysis of the
way it operated, would be indeed a strain, but if it can be
shown with plausibility that out of the practice of war
there sprang, whether on Darwinian grounds purely,
or on those which suggest that direct environmental
adaptation can be inherited, such higher attributes of man
as foresight, caution, subordination, respect for leader-
ship, and other's mental endowments, while the whole
basis of the organizing tribes substituted reason, which is
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 175
the power of balancing possibilities, for purely savage
instinctive action, we have a right, not only to conclude
that cannibalism was an immense, even the greatest,
factor of early evolution, but that we are no more justified
in regarding it with peculiar disfavour than if we dis-
covered with horror that the singular energy in doing
good of some saintly woman had its origin in frustrate,
sublimated sexual passion.
Moreover, if the conclusions arrived at in the chapter
on the function of Repair in Evolution have any weight,
we are forced to assume that such phenomena as failure
and repair leading to favourable variation must occur
in the realm of anthropology as well as in pathology and
physiology. The more the theory is examined the more
universal will be seen its operation, so that at last it seems
legitimate to draw the conclusion that physiology in the
sense of perfected action and reaction is an ideal of living
structure, and no sooner seen that lost, while a morbid
or semi-morbid condition due to over-stress and the
reactions of repair, is the true norm in evolution. If this is
so, and few capable of taking a scientific and philosophical
view of society as now seen in the melting-pot of change,
disaster, repair, and again disaster and new trials and errors
as modifications take place under internal and external
stresses and stimuli, will be found to deny it, we may take
it for granted that the still vaster modifications of various
species of humanity in the ages of geologic time must have
exhibited like phenomena on a lower plane, in which the
furious self-regarding instincts had not yet been changed,
or only partly changed, into some of the higher attributes
of man. When in imagination we regard such possible
factors at work, the picture seems one of unmitigated
misery, or social disease and disorder. Yet even then there
176 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
were working factors making blindly for balance and sym-
metry, for easy action rather than difficult, for peace
rather than war. Indeed, the most appalling comment
to be made on such a state of nascent society is not that
it was so peculiarly dreadful, or that it puts a strain on
the imagination to conceive it, but that after long ages we
see similar factors but little altered still at their work.
Peace conferences have their ancient analogues and, as
great diplomatists argued round Pliocene camp-fires,
so, when Paris itself lies under the sea, other diplomatists
will even then debate on ancient premisses, while
idealistic, contemporary historians throw doubts on the
recorded savagery of extinct Europeans.
If the whole of this volume were not in the nature of
a plea for the use of the imagination in science, so long as
it is controlled by ascertained results in allied branches
of learning, I might have hesitated to use such arguments
or illustrations. But when there are problems to solve,
in which few if any direct observations can be made, and
in which documents are rare, it is necessary to employ
some such method as that known in mathematics as the
Inverse Problem of Perturbations. Uninterpreted altera-
tions in the orbit of one or more planets lead to the dis-
covery of another almost beyond the reach of the telescope.
If, indeed, Neptune had never been seen, the facts as to
its orbit and distance from the sun would have been almost
certain. Such a case presents striking analogies with
investigation into prehistoric times. We observe the
inexplicable present, and infer an adequate cause. If the
present view suggested no more than a possible explana-
tion of the remarkable change from such as Pithecanth-
ropus to the modern type of brain which, following
Keith, I believe to be of very early origin, it would, at
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 177
least be something. Yet Keith himself says : " Can we
conceive that, in the stretch of time between the end of
the Pliocene and the middle of the Pleistocene, even allow-
ing two or three hundred thousand years for that space,
the brain of Pithecanthropus could have evolved into the
modern human form ? I cannot conceive such a rapid
rate of evolution." While by no means of the opinion that
Pithecanthropus was a human ancestor, for it appears
far more likely that he was a collateral survival if pro-
perly dated, it seems to me that by the operation of the
combined factors suggested such a rapid change might,
and indeed must, have taken place. If there is one thing
more sure than another, it is that stability of type
indicates a more or less stable environment. From the
historic view changes may be rapid, while from the physio-
logical and anthropological standpoint they seem too
negligible to be considered moulding influences. That
very ancient types still survive is not really a relevant
argument against a rapid critical period of change, unless
we can show that such a static condition has continued
through immense physical changes of the environment.
The partially obsolete Darwinian view of a slow aggregation
of minute advantageous spontaneous variations seems still
partly responsible for the opinion that change must neces-
sarily be slow. But in many states of matter they are often
rapid, and it cannot be shown definitely that evolution is
steady and continuous. Like the colloids of protoplasm,
on which all life finally depends, it seems to have critical
periods. Colloidal substances are easily influenced by
obscure stimuli. The origin of life as a sudden rise in the
organization of matter may have depended on a partic-
ular instance of ionization or the powerful influence of a
rare accidental catalyst. Planck's very theory of Quanta
178 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
itself suggests sudden steps in all phenomena what-
soever, and in the presence of such a protoplasmic cerebral
tool, or catalyst, as the early discovery of cannibalism, I
find no difficulty whatever in considering it as the last
great cause of a sudden critical change in man. Alien as
such methods of thought may seem to pure specialists in
anthropology, they may prove suggestive to those of the
opinion that analogous phenomena are found in all planes
of evolutionary progress. Universal cannibalism must at
the least be accepted, if accepted at all, as a possible instru-
ment of rapid critical change, seeing that both as an elimi-
nant and an integrator no more powerful machinery can be
imagined. To say that its discovery as a motive for tribal
integration may have been the work of some solitary old
male genius, or the visionary [glimpse, by some extruded
exceptionally endowed youth, of a means of common
safety, imparted by him to his young brother and thence
to his mother, who urged it on her man whose savage
passions were already failing, may seem extravagant, but
the notion will not appear so absurd if we remember that
the thought of a relatively lofty brain is often the heritage
of the best in succeeding generations, the common property
of the herd in those that succeed, and that in the end it
may be indistingishable from criminal and atavistic con-
cepts. It may, and must, have been an infraction of
custom, but, though for the ordinary man in any era there
is little to choose between the habitual criminal and the
habitual genius, necessity reinforced the suggestion, and
made havoc of established law. Yet such new co-ordination
would not be carried to its logical conclusion without the
revolt of the more conservative element. It is, indeed,
a peculiar and somewhat melancholy commentary on the
perpetually recurring phenomena of social and human
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 179
advance to view in imagination many a rigid and ethically-
set incestuous solitary male retiring indignantly before
the flood of immoral innovation into the darkest backwoods
of the primeval forest. Had he been capable of such
reasoning, he would have regarded the processes which led to
progress and the evolution of the brain man now possesses
as essentially anarchic, morbid, and diseased, just as the
over-conservative mind of modern times regards the rise
of new powers and processes in social polity as tending to
the death of the organism of which it is a static and satisfied
part. It is, then, no fanciful analogy which suggests that
politics are but a chapter in anthropology, and that the
processes seen in both are mutually illuminating. We may
infer that as such new forces exhaust themselves in altered
or adapted or entirely new structures, which in their turn
must pass away, cannibalism itself died out among the races
we call civilized when organization had reached such a
pitch that the labours of pastoralism or agriculture pro-
mised earlier and better results than predatory war. A
balance of power, continually upset and restored, came into
existence, and the developing germ of international law
or custom took on new forms. We can thus conceive
Grotius and his followers as the lineal descendants of the
first ancient inter-group messengers, or at the least derived
from the calmer philosophers at the first peace conference
ever held about some long-extinguished camp-fire over
which the retreating ice of successive glacial epochs has
poured its floods.
It seems not altogether impossible that this hypothesis
may be confirmed by the aid of another branch of science.
Some years ago it was suggested by an eminent zoologist,
one of the few to whom knowledge has not meant special-
ism, that the evolution of Tcenia solium supported such
180 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
views. Since it can hardly be supposed that this parasite
has reached its present perfect adaptation within the
period which has elapsed since the domestication of the
pig, which implies a settled or, certainly, less migratory
state of civilization, it follows that the cystic form of
Tcenia must have alternated with the adult form in the
one other form of life in which such a stage is possible,
that is to say, in man himself. As I have not applied myself
to the study of helminthology it was impossible for me to
say whether this view was sound or not, and as the
advocate of the hypothesis did not reprint the paper, I
had an application made to him for his considered opinion.
When this was not vouchsafed I requested information
from a well-known helminthologist, who replied that he
himself knew nothing of the subject, and therefore referred
me to another authority, who in his turn gave me the
name of yet another, who finally referred me to the first.
It seems that, whatever is known of these parasites,
their evolution has not yet been properly considered,
and it may yet appear that it proves the universal and
long-continued practice of anthropophagy.
On recapitulating the arguments advanced, though
each one separately may appear unconvincing and even
capable of rebuttal, it seems that when viewed together
they amount to much more than might have been
expected. Even a partial enumeration of the points
discussed may suggest reasonable explanation of the
following difficulties :
1. The classificatory system of relationship.
2. The custom of avoidance and the sex-coldness
among brothers and sisters.
3. The not uncommon modern phenomenon of
THE CANNIBAL IN EVOLUTION 181
4. The widespread modern practice of cannibalism
in all its various forms, food-seeking, honorific, and re-
ligious, etc. etc.
5. The peculiar practice of endo-anthropophagy which
consists in each class of a tribe eating the dead of the
6. The rapid change in cranial form and capacity
during a comparatively short time.
7. The development of the basal logical faculties of
8. The disappearance of a big-brained and probably
agricultural species of humanity such as Neanderthal
man, and the facts observed at Krapina.
9. The evolutionary functions of war.
10. The nature of hidden racial complexes strictly
analogous with those observed in individuals.
CAMPBELL, HARRY. " Biological Aspects of Warfare," Lancet,
London, Sept. 15, 1917 ; and " Man's Mental Evolution,
Past and Future," ibid., London, 1913.
FRASER, Sir J. G. "Totemism and Exogamy."
KEITH, ARTHUR. "Antiquity of Man," 1916.
MAINE, Sir H. S. "Ancient Law" (ed. Pollock), 1903.
SPENCER and GILLEN. " Native Tribes of Central Australia."
TOUSSENEL. "L'Esprit des Betes," 1847.
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT
IN science one of the most successful Teutonic warriors
appears to be Weismann, who imposed his yoke
on the larger part of the biological world. They would
still seem happy under it, even if uneasy at times, and,
perhaps, more doubtful than they appear. It is the duty
of the orthodox to disclaim doubt and to profess belief
with fervency. This is especially binding upon those who
occupy the pulpit : if the priests of neo-Darwinians,
that cult purified of pangenes, use, and disuse, and the
transmission of acquired characteristics, showed hesita-
tion and ceased to preach dogmatics, their reputations
would be ruined, and the congregation become a lost
flock. Too little stress is laid on the vices of orthodoxy
for, not only does it make men blind, it makes them cling
to untenable positions. It would be more than terrible
to discover that theirs was the worship of no translated
but a vanished god. For did not Zeus himself die, and
is he not buried in Crete ?
I do not propose in a short chapter to deal with the
whole case for the transmission of acquired or altered
characteristics, either on its theoretic or experimental
side. But it has already been suggested in this book that
to neglect relative speculation, that is to say, speculation
dealing with like phenomena on different planes of life,
184 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
is to put aside a powerful weapon of analysis, and there
are, or so it seems to me, reasons for believing that some
purely theoretic criticisms of the germ-plasm hypothesis
may help to show where it is true and where false. In
any case the orthodox can hardly complain of the use of
theory since Weismannism, however its characteristics
have been altered and transmitted, is still almost purely
theoretical, being supported chiefly by the argument that
no other view accounts for everything. This is, how-
ever, a theological rather than a scientific argument,
for the inclusive and complete hypothesis is dear to the
It can, perhaps, be remarked that orthodox biologists
do not avail themselves of all biological resources. In
discussion the salient fact emerges that they rely mainly
on cytology for practical support. But since cytology
is dependent on the microscope, a valuable but increas-
ingly hazardous tool of research as higher powers are
used, the more observations are extended the more un-
certain are the conclusions reached. Among few of the
pure school of neo-Darwinians do we see the biological
conception of the organism properly considered, nor do
the devotees of cell -structure and the ever-enlarging
ritual of the chromosomes seem to reflect that every cell
they observe in situ or in the dark field is after all a uni-
cellular organism. When it is so considered, since any
organism is a definite spatially related set of colonial
organisms, it might even seem that Weismann himself
had given his whole case away by admitting that uni-
cellular organisms could and did acquire and transmit
acquired or altered characteristics.
It may be repeated, moreover, that biologists how-
ever learned in cytology and the pure literature of their
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 185
own subject, for the most part ignore all the related
sciences. With regard to pathology I have endeavoured
in some measure to make good this omission in the
remarks on Repair in Evolution, and although it is obvious
that the conclusions reached there are not likely to be
greeted with enthusiasm by those who hold the germ-
plasm theory, I shall not now lay any great stress upon
them. In this place it may be more pertinent to turn
to general histology, a subject which so far seems little
known to those engaged in biological study. For
nearly all work upon heredity appears to begin
with, and to be founded upon, a consideration of the
perfect gametes, and to proceed with elaborate accounts
of their reduction, maturation, and fusion in the zygote
without taking into full account the tissue history of the
organs in which they arise. In saying so much the in-
sistence on germinal epithelium is not overlooked, for
nowhere have I been able to discover why it is called
" germinal," except from the fact that in the higher
organisms the sperm and egg cells descend from epithe-
lium. Although in many of the lower kinds they
spring from blood cells, or other cells, this fact is inter-
preted by Weismannians as the pressing of germ cells
into general service, a view which is an outrage on logic.
It may be suggested that the tissue history of the
colony of epithelial cells in which they develop must
discover one very important fact, which is that they
have a special environment, and that when they are
" born," that is to say when they leave it for another,
the second or third place they occupy, though still an
environment, is less and less special as the growing cell
itself specializes. It seems to be forgotten that among
mammalians the offspring is at the least " born " three
186 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
times, once when extruded from the Graafian follicle,
once when it throws in its lot with the sperm cell and
makes common stock of its energy and chromosomatic
tools, and again when extruded by the uterus after a
prolonged period of parasitism. With a properly and
naturally nourished infant the number of births may
be said to reach four when it is weaned. Far too much
criticism is made of direct adaptation to environment
in the adult organism, and far too little study given to
pre-embryonic and embryonic stages, even by most of
the advocates of such adaptation.
As mitigating to some extent the fairly obvious
biological ignorance of histology, it must be admitted
that very little seems known of the histology of the
ovaries and the ova, the testes and the spermatoza, for
Schafer disposes of the subject in a few lines, and other
authorities are equally brief. Something may be found
in Wilson, and Weismann himself dealt with it in-
effectively. As his theory rendered it unimportant,
this is not a matter for wonder. The ovarian tissues
and the history of the oocytes seem less known than
that of the testes, although in this last case much
remains to be cleared up. It is a fact that both sperm cell
and ovum develop, not from any more obviously special
tissue than epithelium, but very often from epithelioid
cells which have not taken on the full character of epi-
thelium. To deal first with the testis, we may say with
Schafer and Brown, that the sperm cells are developed
from the small spermatoblasts which form the inner
stratum of the seminal epithelium, and that these them-
selves are formed by division from the spermatogenic
or mother cell of the second layer. It seems probable
that these descend from the lining epithelium. Thus
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 187
we have a definite descent of the sperm cell in at
least four stages : (i) Division of living epithelium cell
into two cells, one of which becomes a spermatogen and
passes into the second layer, while the other does not
migrate, but enlarges and becomes a sustentacular
cell, apparently connected with the nutrition of the
spermatozoa when fully formed and during conversion.
(2) Division of the spermatogen. (3) Further division
and resulting daughter cells are converted into spermato-
blasts. (4) Growth and elongation of spermatoblasts
In the ovaries similar processes appear to take
place by which the follicles are developed from lining
epithelium. Some of the cells develop into ova, and
are thus direct descendants of epithelium. So far it
seems that there is no reason whatsoever to be found
in any of the processes for assuming that germ-plasm
in the narrow sense exists at all. The succeeding
phenomena can be accounted for without any great
exercise of faith if we consider such processes as de-
pendent on the cell's energy and the catalysts, or tools,
brought over in the oocyte and sperm cell, or derived
later by the zygote from the tissues and blood-stream
of the maternal parent. For during the most important
part of the reproductive cell's life, that spent in the
originating tissue, it was a unicellular organism acquir-
ing the characteristics which under other conditions
develop and diverge. If such a view is accepted the
great determining period of the reproductive cell is its
early testicular or ovarian history, not that of its
later embryonic life. During the first state we can
easily imagine the epithelioid cell acquiring freely the
activators, catalysts, or similar hormones, which direct
188 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
operations in the adult organism. To say that it contains
germ-plasm is to assume something without real proof,
and no observations of germ-tracks, or theories of
germinal epithelium as ultimate facts, can invalidate
the conclusion that, as the function and form of the
adult are determined by definite agents, so the functions
and form of the free oocyte, sperm cell, or zygote, are
thus determined from moment to moment of its develop-
ment. Such a view takes into account the law of
parsimony, which requires us to posit no unknown
factors where known ones can be seen producing similar
Pure early theoretic Weismannism has no doubt been
modified and diluted. So has early theology. We are
no longer required to assent to a cloud of biophors, a
hierarchy of determinants, and a whole angelology of ids
as a sine qua non to biological salvation, though it may
possibly be shown that the dilution of the theory has not
allowed for the truth in it, if it is considered rather as an
illustration than as true theory. But still sufficient of the
suggested machinery remains to enable the neo-Darwinian
to believe that all change is due to minute germinal varia-
tions in the chromosomes, though no one of them has yet
acknowledged that such variations are variations in definite
tools, as even Weismann himself might have acknowledged
if as much had been known of the endocrines in his time
as is known now. Disguise it as they may, the whole theory
as held is concealed vitalism and a circulus in definiendo.
If the germ-plasm is an ultimate fact not resolvable into
recognizable scientific factors it is absurd to call the theory
scientific, unless it is asserted that " nature " and " life "
are scientific words instead of verbal shorthand. Nothing,
indeed, can be described as scientific explanation which
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 189
cannot in the end show phenomena as the result of known
factors. Thus ultimate explanation is not explanation
at all. We cannot yet resolve final physical laws, and
therefore ultimate physics can only be called descriptive.
It is true the phenomena may in the end be ranged under
mathematical conceptions ; but mathematical reasoning is
not science in the strict sense. It is abstract illustration
of theoretic possibilities, and thus akin to pure logic. The
theory of Weismann, if it has any foundation, must be
capable of resolution, and may not be looked on as a quasi-
mathematical or purely verbal illustration of possible
mechanism. The effort of the neo-Darwinians to dispense
with his terminology is, indeed, not sound. What they
should have done, and what remains to be done, is to see
if his terms will bear translation into measurable factors.
This, I think, can be achieved but, if it can, the " nature "
of the germ-plasm will disappear and theoretic deter-
minants must disclose themselves as hormones, enzymes,
catalysts, and successively formed internal secretions, by
which each early cell-change or later embryonic or adult
development is actually determined. As held, the theory is
but a form of the " Absolute " conditioned purely by natural
selection. It may appeal to some philosophers, and to those
whose tendency is to short-circuit explanation by the hasty
use of final definitions ; but it might at least give pause to
its adherents to observe that anatomists, physiologists,
palaeontologists, and many others work habitually on the
theory that, whatever the mechanism, modifications can
be transmitted. It is true they may agree with the orthodox
biologist that in such cases the nuclear contents of the
reproductive cells are altered ; but they would certainly
add that such an alteration must be in the nature of an
addition, subtraction, or new combination of substances of
190 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
a catalytic or determining nature. And if this is correct
it follows, from all we know of iron-using bacteria to the
latest hypo- or hyperthyroidal patient, that these sub-
stances, however simple or complex, can be added or taken
away, and that in the food, or in successive metabolic
states resulting from its use, new catalysts may be formed,
combined or changed, as they can be by environmental
stimuli such as light. When saying so much it should be
added that I am aware of the work done, which, in certain
cases, shows, or seems to show, that there is an early
isolation of a germ-cell, ex hypothesi, containing the unim-
pressionable "germ-plasm." Yet whatever may be found
with regard to the embryo of a shark, or any of the cases
held to prove such early specialization, the facts are
insufficient on which to found a general law. They afford
no explanation of budding or repair, or the cases in which
" germ-cells " are wandering amoeboid bodies, and even
blood-cells, or of the so-called germinal epithelium itself.
To speak, as is often done, of specificity of detail as being
determined wholly by chromosomatic facts, without re-
solving the magic of " specificity" into definite " tools," is
surely idle. It is concealed vitalism. Nor do we really
learn much when we are told that in certain cases germ-
cells do not arise from ccelomic epithelium, but that they
migrate from special germ-areas into the gonad, since there
are so many different ways in which such specialization
To show that the natural tendency of the physiologist is
to accept such a view as transmission Starling may be
quoted. His work on hormones, done in conjunction with
Bayliss, shows that he has a great appreciation of the power
of certain secretions to influence in the profoundest degree
digestive and metabolic processes. The possibility of
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 191
prostate secretion tabloids curing chronic mastitis may be
mentioned (Lane). Since few biologists concern them-
selves as much as they should with physiology, and not at
all with pathology, which is just as necessary a part of
their proper apparatus, it may be pointed out that some
internal secretions have such observable effects in the
minutest proportions. That it becomes intelligible how the
minute parathyroids, four of which weigh two grains,
have such great physiological effects as to make certain
they are real determinants. According to Schafer, a strip
of intestinal muscle is affected by adrenalin in a solution
of i in 20,000,000 and a strip of coronary artery by i in
50,000,000. Pysemsky and Kravkov state that the effect
of one part in 250,000,000 could be detected when per-
fusing a rabbit's ear with Ringer's solution. Such results
may at least suggest that an almost infinitely small pro-
portion of an inorganic catalyst or organic secretion,
whether coming over in an egg or sperm cell, or taken in
later from the parental host, might be a determinant of
immense capacity. No doubt such ideas as these moved
Starling to the statement that " cell-division in the organism
might be spoken of as the evolution of a new kind of cell,
but that the change takes place within the development
of the multicellular parent, or host, instead of occupying
a long space of time and involving the destruction of
countless individuals as when a change of type occurs
gradually in a unicellular organism." Now, independent
of the fact that we have no evidence that a unicellular
organism may not change as quickly, or even more quickly,
when transferred to water with different saline constituents,
as an Alpine flower when transferred to the warm lowlands,
and even positive evidence that it can so change (J. Loeb),
it may be remarked that about seven months from im-
192 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
pregnation is sufficient for a new human being to become
viable. That delivery usually takes place at nine is due
no doubt to the average size of the pelvic ring. Yet the
maternal organism took many millions of years to become
what it is now if some anthropologists are right in thinking
man, as man, dates back at least 1,500,000 years. If the
evolution of such a high metazoan from a unicellular
organism took only ten million years, which seems an im-
possibly short time, similar changes are actually repeated
in about six months, say of the time of
evolution. On what grounds then can we assert that
some undifferentiated protoplasmic units cannot become
developed oocytes during the time from birth to puberty ?
The simpler spermatozoa, also developing from un-
specialized epithelioid tissue, come even earlier to
maturity, as they may be found active in infants. Time
does not seem the essence of the contract, for the whole
physiological theory of living matter is practically based
on what is known and measurable, the activating and
accelerating qualities of catalysts. Without going to
the philosophers or metaphysicians, to Kant or Einstein,
for instruction as to the relativity or physical nature
of the time concept, we can recognize that it is at least
purely relative in physiology and biology. The whole
of evolution, as of education, is the discovery of short
cuts, and in this the Principle of Least Action is at work.
Free energy perpetually adopts the shortest path to become
bound. Common sense itself is that principle in social
work. Little by little the organism as it evolved picked
up and transmitted by successive experiment, by trial
and error, activators which hastened processes. Time,
therefore, in the sense that Starling used it, does not seem
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 193
to be an essential factor. His instincts, and his knowledge
of activating principles and processes, appear to have led
him right after all. Activating elements are supplied
fully developed by the parents who took uncounted
ages to acquire them. There is no reason whatsoever
for not endorsing Starling's almost wistful statement,
although in some moment of doubt he rejected it at last.
If the elements themselves show that in a like temperature-
environment they stay the same, and change when it
changes, and yet go back when it again alters, no more
is asked by any advocate of transmission. We may even
say, as I have suggested elsewhere, 1 that the whole course
of evolution suggests that what we have to discover is not
why child is like parent but why, in certain cases, it is
unlike, being sure as we pass to the investigation that some
internal or external environmental cause is at the bottom
of the alteration. Belogolovy bred ova of the frog
Pelobates in the parental body cavity. Their " deter-
minants " determined nothing as the ova became para-
sitic and presented highly abnormal characteristics, not
Pelobatic at all. Such considerations may no doubt
be dismissed as purely theoretical, or even excursions of
the fancy ; but if it is noted that the greatest weakness
to which all scientific men are liable is the natural tendency
to take the easiest path, and ignore general principles,
they may not seem so much out of place. The easiest
path at a given time is not always the right one. We
may get very doubtful adaptation to facts, for energy
over the pyramidal tract does not work with the same
certainty as adrenalin.
If the orthodox school could give any hint as to how
a variation is to be explained, and what it is that is changed
1 Vide Repair in Evolution.
194 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
in the germ-plasm or the chromosomes, they would be
compelled to come down to the earth and stand on the
firm ground of chemical or biochemical action. Once
there they might be led to admit at last that any steady
external stimulus may alter one cell, and that if so it may
alter many, or that the accidental acquisition of some
metal or salt may end in its being a permanent tool in the
armoury of the whole organism. Their very insistence
on germinal qualities and intra-germinal " struggle " and
selection is sound so far as it goes ; but they cannot be
allowed to remain juggling with such factors without
telling us in what the struggle consists, and what weapons
or tools are used, or at the very least without taking
into consideration what other sciences can supply them
with. It is a sound principle, and certainly one I have
always tried to bear in mind, that no body of earnest
workers can be altogether wrong. Even the Hering-
Semon " mnemes " and Samuel Butler's " memory " can
now be translated into biochemical factors. If in one
sense a " mneme " seemed to mean no more than that
an altered thing was no longer what it was, we may still
turn the word into measurable factors. The experience
of the cell is in its education, its acquisition of new tools,
and " memory " is but the due repetition of phenomena
when like causes and catalysts are in action in like tissues.
The desired bridge between those who assert and those
who deny transmission must in the end be found by
building on factors which admit the basal doctrines of
both. It may be admitted that the " germ-plasm," or
reproductive cell with all the tools in its nucleus or
scattered as granules among the great society of its
molecular units, changes for the most part with great
difficulty. It is a conservative social organism. But
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 195
change it does, and in the end changes must be due to
the whole of the environment. Exactly the same may be
said of the social organism. Few who take a philo-
sophical view of history would deny that the most salient
fact about man is really his conservatism. They might
even adopt the terminology of the biologists, and say his
germ-plasm altered not at all. Yet on further reflection
they would admit that a similar " victory over nature,"
as occurs when a cell gets hold of a new tool, occurs when
man learns to use steam or electricity. From one point
of view, with a short time-element, social change seems
rapid. From another it appears slow. We may say
that any organ is elastic or rigid, just as we please,
according to the point of view we happen to take at the
As I have pointed out in other places, the obscurity
of cellular phenomena is probably greatly increased by
the assumption that the nucleus is " alive," that is,
composed of protoplasm. 1 There seems no evidence for
this beyond the fact that it contains nucleins, the whole
chemistry of which was worked out by Emil Fischer
(Bayliss). These nucleins are compounds of a protein
with nucleic acid. Many enzymes deal with their meta-
bolism, and it is far more probable that they are the
reserve food protein of the living protoplasm than part
of that much more obscure and complex protein engine.
Certainly it seems that a far clearer notion of a cell's
activities is reached if we conceive it as a social aggregate
of protoplasmic units, however complex they may be,
with a storehouse of food and tools or working catalytic
bodies, than if we regard the varying moving nucleus as
a live part of it. When a test-bearing protozoon has
1 Vide Method in Science.
its test pierced the nucleus moves up to the breach and
repairs it. Such a process mimics purposed action, and,
indeed, is purposed action if, as certainly may be done,
we analyse all purpose into complexes of tropisms. The
probable causes of the nuclear movements are the negative
tropisms of the protoplasmic elements. They are repelled
by the salts of the water, in which the cell lives, and from
which the test protects them, and gradually thrust for-
ward the non-living nucleus which contains the catalysts
or tools which can hasten the deposition of such con-
stituents of the cell wall as are needed for repair. The
process is exactly similar to that of an expert with tools
being thrust and drawn into the position in which he
can use them to make good the result of some accident
which requires instant attention. These views are sup-
ported by the work of Haberlandt.
This conception of a nuclear tool-house and store-
house brings the cell as a social organism into line with
those we more commonly call social, and if the generaliza-
tion is made that living action of all kinds, in the cell, a
tissue, an organ, an animal, a social body, or an " in-
dividual " such as a nation, is of a like nature, it may be
inferred that it is not so much on the actual protoplasm
itself as on the acquired tools, and what is made by them,
that differences of form and action depend. The same
protoplasmic energy engine makes a muscle cell or a
neuron. The notion of different kinds or grades of proto-
plasm appears to be without foundation. That of a
sperm cell or a hepatic cell is probably just the same and,
if Child (Senescence and Rejuvenescence) is right, it may
surely be inferred that an increase of protoplasmic
activity depends on new tools, the increase of old ones,
or the loss of those once useful which have ceased to be
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 197
so, while its decrease follows on the retention of what is no
longer needed or effective a highly conservative pro-
ceeding. The conservative tendency to retain property
of all kinds is thus seen in the very cell, and a house
crowded with useless lumber has its true analogue in a
so-called senescent cell, which has become static and rigid
with a morbid " sense of property." Old age is truly
hindrance and poisoning, not necessarily any alteration
of protoplasmic units, whatever they may be.
To some it may seem an unjustifiable inference, but
the conclusions reached in this way tend to show that
every determinant, late or early, is a definite tool or engine.
England is not the same country that it was when wood
was used instead of coal. It changed with great rapidity
when the use of steam became common. Electricity
has till greater possibilities of change. But we cannot
assert that the brains of the modern business man are
better than those of the Athenians, or that Watt and
Stephenson were greater geniuses than men's early ancestor
who first made a wheel, or the one who discovered that
watrr poured on the early rude axle acted as a cooling
age-it and lubricant. The reason of the rapid advance
of the Americans in material civilization was their adapta-
tion of the English tools into an organism less cumbered
with static elements. Vested interests discover them-
selves as slowers of metabolism, and as obstacles to new
construction, the result of new tools which can be acquired
and transmitted. Germ-plasm on this view is just the
same as any other plasm, and if the nee-Darwinians
insist that practically, that is, in any given time, it does
not alter, no one will have any quarrel with them. But
those who believe that cell is a social aggregate using tools
as much as an animal or a society, and that the same laws
198 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
rule all organic growth and change assuredly, cannot accept
the view that Natural Selection and germinal accidents
are the sole causes of variation. Such conclusions imply
entirely different laws for similar aggregates, and have
an unholy resemblance to vitalism, the conception of
entelechies, or to Driesch's rudimentary psychoids, surely
the most humorous extravagance since Hartzoeker's
It has not been my intention in this paper to point to
the strong evidence in favour of transmission of acquisi-
tions. 1 Cunningham, MacBride, Kammerer, and others
can take care of themselves, and have presented many
enigmas to those who would solve them on the principle
of the continuity of germ-plasm. To those, however,
who have read the chapter on Repair in Evolution it will
be obvious that the evidence brought forward there must
be rebutted, distorted, or rejected, without consideration
of the general laws of mechanical or other construction,
if the theory that variations are due to the phenomena
of fertilization is to have the remotest chance of survival.
I may, however, remark that further reading and con-
sideration have confirmed me in the view that variational
repair takes place during embryonic growth owing to
increased functional activity due to relative changes of
catalytic elements in the parent. To those with the
smallest knowledge of histology the phenomena of muscle
growth alone are sufficient to prove this, unless they are
content to believe that small minute variation can con-
struct such a wonderful though obviously repaired organ
as the heart. Organ-forming substances there undoubtedly
are, but they must finally be translated into chemical or
biochemical agents, probably of a discoverable kind,
1 See Appendix B. The Peroneus Tertius.
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 199
which influence all forms of growth. Thus even Lewis's
experiment of transplanting the optic vesicle, with the
result of a transformation of the skin above it into a
rudimentary lens, will probably be finally explained as the
evolutionary possession by the vesicle of a catalytic secre-
tion activated by light which alters the form and structure
of the epithelial cells in close contact with it. We can
conceive no organ-forming substance to construct the
heart ; but it is easy enough to regard it as a progressively
formed functional adaptation to stresses imposed upon it
during embryonic growth in which it is, to use Starling's
words, " a new creation." Von Nageli and Hertwig
pointed out with each stage in growth the internal environ-
mental complexity increases. But such complexity uses
an increasing complexity of tools, for just as mere increase
of numbers in a factory without new instruments does
not necessarily result in new differentiations among the
workers or different structural developments in the build-
ings, so in the animal organism mere increase in bulk does
not imply increasing complexity. The most important
variables in all growth, structure, and function are the
" tools " used, and the engines made of them, and the
illustrations of the phenomena of budding and mitosis
given in Method in Science are probably far more than
illustrations of the way in which organisms in a changing
environment acquire the tools which change function
and change structure and can be transmitted, just as they
can be lost in another environment.
It seems, then, as if Weismann occupies the position
of a mathematician who works out a set of equations in
which a, b, x, and y obviously represent no more than
possible theoretic factors leading to a conclusion which
is afterwards found to be near the mark as soon as the
letters employed are translated into physical agents.
So far Weismann was right. But living processes work
out like complex mathematical equations. The Binomial
Theorem may be in (x+y) n in one sense, but so was Keat's
" Ode to the Nightingale " in the alphabet. It is common
among mathematicians to say such and such an equation
" naturally becomes " such and such, or takes another
form from which yet another can be deduced. This
" naturally becomes " is intelligible to another mathe-
matician, but the unlearned require the insertion of the
steps omitted to perceive that the change is logical. The
orthodox theory omits the links, and does not turn its
prime equation into things. There is a likeness between
such algebraic processes, and those which take place in the
living organism, for we find that if certain tools are used
in ovarian or embryonic stages they " naturally become "
varied in action, and though we may know little more of
a chromosomatic tool than we do of a or b in the original
equation, we perceive that in conjunction with other
activators it changes into adrenalin, thyroidin, secretin,
or some other regulative or directive hormone. Moreover,
as in mathematical reasoning we may introduce a new
variable while the constant remains the same, so it is with
the organism. The constant is protoplasm. Not all
organisms use iron. There are some which use manganese.
At some period a descendant of the ancestral amoeba
of the mammal picked up iron and used it. It is employed
in varying quantities. As evolution progressed internal
secretion after internal secretion came into existence,
determining living action. Without adrenalin the
mammal could not meet danger quickly. But it is
as absurd to argue that the mere potentiality of
adrenalin is a determinant in the chromosome as
HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT 201
it would be to argue that the possession of a fleet
is determined by the " nature " of an embryonic tribe
which has not yet seen the sea. Environment and func-
tion cannot be ignored. A fleet does not grow up by
minute advantageous " spontaneous " variations. It is an
acquired tool, and itself determines further historic evolu-
tion. The " constant " in germ-plasm is the nature of
protoplasm : its infinite variability, as shown in all forms
of life, is a variability which is further and further con-
stricted into more and more definite lines by definite
constructions, until at last in a static environment stasis
is reached. Yet the discovery of another tool, a new
means of short-circuiting labour, may again set the static
organism upon a voyage of discovery among the potentia-
lities of life. With change of function, which should in-
clude the phenomena of regeneration and reduction, comes
morphallaxis. Without it there is none. Death itself is an
acquired characteristic. If the organism were not perpetu-
ally preyed on by other organisms, which by parasitism and
poisoning divert or hinder energy, inhibit, or over-activate,
metabolism through the induction of changes in the endo-
crines, and destroy tissue functions generally, it is con-
ceivable that such a characteristic as death might be
lost, and that any body, however highly developed, might
resume the long-abandoned characteristics of unicellular
organisms, and again become practically immortal.
BAYLISS and STARLING. " Mechanism of Pancreatic Secre-
tion," Journ. Physiol., London, p. 28.
BELOGOLOVY, G. A. " Nouvcaux Memoires," Soc. Imp.
Naiuralistcs de Moscow, 1916.
BUTLER, SAMUEL. " Unconscious Memory."
202 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
CH ILD, C. M. " Senescence and Rejuvenescence," Chicago, 1915.
FISCHER, EMIL. " Untersuchingen in der Puringruppe, 1907 ;
v. Bayliss, " Principles of General Physiology," 1915.
HABERLANDT, G. " Ueber die Beziehungen zwischen Functionen
und Lage des Zelkerns," 1877.
LANE, Sir A. Lancet, London, Oct. 9, 1918.
LOEB, JACQUES. "The Organism as a Whole," 1916.
OLIVER, G., and SCHAFER, E. A. " Physiological Effects of
Extracts of Supra-renal Capsules," Journ. PhysioL, London,
PYSEMSKY and KRAVKOV. " Adrenalin and Ear of Rabbit,"
Russky Vratch, vol. xi. p. 264.
SCHAFER, E. A. " The Endocrine Organs," 1916.
WEISMANN, A. "The Germ Plasm," London, 1893.
WILSON. "The Cell."
THE ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 1
THE comparative study of the sciences, upon which I
have insisted, I trust not unduly, may not be only
of value where pure science is concerned, but may also
prove of immense service in many of the arts of life. The
conception of hostile symbiosis is of such obvious relevance
in politics that what was an art can at once be converted
into a section of biology. Moreover, this and allied con-
ceptions tending to show the vital analogies in all con-
struction may be employed generally in education, and
especially in medicine, in which narrowness of outlook
is especially dangerous. For knowledge of one kind may,
and indeed must, act as a catalyst on thought with regard
to another. It seemed to me when first considering the
subject of this chapter, which may, perhaps, seem not strictly
connected with these that precede it, that anthropology,
upon which light can be thrown by general biology, physi-
ology and pathology, might prove of the greatest value, if
taught intelligently and with due appreciation of its wide
bearings, to all students of the human brain and body. It
thus appeared to me that a very simple subject which was
1 Although never read, this paper was written as an address to a
Balneological Society, and therefore may retain some indication of its
origin. For most of the facts I am, of course, indebted to The Golden
Bough, the mightiest storehouse of co-ordinated knowledge in the English,
or any other, language.
204 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
still obscure might illustrate this better than abstract
reasoning, if the processes involved in its study showed in
what ways the brain is apt to work, and how purely
magical concepts may lead to useful discovery. If we
learn how our remote ancestors thought, we shall discern,
perhaps with humility, that we are their true descendants,
and that modern life with all its advantages, even the
modern balneologist and the very household bath itself, is
still a subject for the anthropologist.
Although very few of us are like the Japanese maid
who is said to have apologized to her European mistress
for not taking more than three hot baths during a
busy day, to most educated men bathing seems a natural,
almost an instinctive process. They would be uncom-
fortable now if anything went wrong with the morning
bath, as it is apt to do when the coal supply fails. Such
discomfort, however, is soon cured by compulsory absti-
nence, for my own experience has taught me that after
three days want of washing little discomfort is felt by the
average man. On two occasions in my life, once at sea
coming up to the Falkland Islands from the Horn in very
heavy weather, and once in the Australian bush when there
was a drought, I was unable for a fortnight at a time to do
so much as wash my face. The feeling of discomfort dis-
appeared on the second or third day, and I seemed ready
to do without washing for the rest of my life.
The truth is that cleanliness is not natural to mankind.
Most parents know from their own experience that to
teach a child to persevere with soap and water is the most
arduous task that falls to a mother or a nurse. Washing
thus appears to be anything but the result of instinct,
since it is not so much as an easily acquired habit. Un-
luckily for the vast body of the population in our civil-
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 205
ization it is not even economically possible. Those who
have read the books of George Gissing may remember
that he answered the assertion that the poor might at
least be clean by exclaiming, with bitter truth, that
cleanliness was an expensive luxury. Among many of
the agricultural and pastoral peasantry of Britain a man is
washed all over twice, or at most three times, in his life :
once when he is born, once when he is married, though
this is not universal, and once when he is dead. Yet
bathing before marriage in many cases is practically a
magic ceremony, and since magic dates from the remotest
period it might be supposed to remain as ritual. There is
no doubt that the washing of children at birth was also
anciently purificatory. The role that blood, especially the
blood of women, has played in the history of lustration is
very remarkable. That the corpse is also washed after
death is, of course, also the remains of a ceremony of puri-
fication. But if it is a fact that washing in its origin was
due to religion and magic, as seems certain, how did it
begin at all ? It may seem absurd to ask such a question ;
but the more we know of anthropology, which is but the
study of man in the making, the more it is seen that all
apparently natural processes must have had a beginning,
and require an explanation. It has often been observed
that even the instincts themselves are not perfect, and
require experience and education. One of the very deepest
and most ancient, that of sex, is certainly not least in need
of it. One need not read Havelock Ellis to discover so
much, seeing that many of those engaged in obstetrical prac-
tice have assisted at deliveries in which the infant in the
act of birth destroyed the unbroken hymen. Education
is not only needed with the sexual instinct ; but, if Horace
Fletcher and Doctor Chittenden and Sir Michael Foster
206 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
were right, it is the same with some of the obscure reflexes
connected with eating. The reflex which prevents, or
should prevent premature deglutition, is outraged by all,
especially when they enjoy the pleasures of conversation
and the table at the same time. I do not know whether it
has ever been noticed, even by the observers I have named,
that this particular reflex only comes naturally into play
when savage methods of feeding are indulged in, that is to
say, when the mouth is crammed with food and swallowing
in the ordinary sense is actually impossible. If we decide
to re-educate this particular reflex Fletcher advised us to
work over long paths to restore its efficacy ; that is, to
attend voluntarily to mastication. It may, however, be
pointed out that if a child is not interfered with by a
polite mother it will fill its mouth so full that deglutition
without thorough mastication is impossible. The natural
instinct will lead the child to use and preserve its teeth
and its digestion. The pleasant, but physiologically
damnable, habit of cheerful conversation at meal-times
should be corrected. There are, however, no instincts
which lead the young to bathing, and such reflex actions as
are connected with it are, among the simple, merely those
of repulsion. The instincts of mankind are really against
it. What then was its origin, seeing the common dislike
and even horror of water displayed by those unaccustomed
to it, and the comparative ease with which even the most
cleanly under pressure learn to do without it ? I think it
will not be so difficult to find how it arose and branched
into purification and therapeutics if we delve into the far
past with the help of anthropology.
The first thing that one learns in dealing with primitive
man is, that although he was logical, his premisses partook
of the simplicity seen in children, even the most intelligent,
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 207
as they learn how to deal with the world before them.
What seems perfectly natural now was by no means
natural to primeval man. How indeed could it be when
their great working hypothesis of life was that some innate
power or some governing spirit was at the bottom of every-
thing ? Before animism, in the sense that all things had
souls, was a current belief, the primitive mind seems to
have regarded all nature as self-moving like themselves.
For the notion of spirit is a late abstract notion. But when
a power or a spirit, good or bad, had to be managed, it is
perfectly obvious that water itself, that strange triple-
natured liquid, should have become the subject of magic.
Long ages before Thales, humanity had recognized that it
was in many ways the basis of life. They attributed to it
remarkable qualities, and when the Hebrews spoke of it as
"living" water we should do the nature of language
wrong if we considered the adjective was employed merely
as a metaphor. To us it seems natural if we are by a river
or a pool in hot weather to strip ourselves and plunge into
it. But this is by no means the attitude of many savages
even at the present day, and in the far-off beginning of time
to do so obviously risked placing the bather at the mercy
of the naturally untrustworthy fluid or, later, of the spirit
which lived in and moved all water.
Among savages nothing answers to our conception of
the natural. Disease is not natural. It, like death itself,
is the work of an enemy. It is the result of the evil
machinations of those who hate men or a man. But all
evil is not wrought by spirits or magicians. Even now
there are material agencies of a horrible kind. In Australia
there are no dangerous wild beasts ; but the fearful mind
of man invented them. Terror is infectious ; the abori-
gines have made many white converts. When I was
208 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
working in the bush I was often entertained with vivid
accounts of the Bunyip, that imaginary dreadful animal
which, as I was told, is at least as big as a horse, and is
often to be heard roaring at midnight in deep water-holes
or rivers. Although I was then young, and had not any
conception of anthropology or, indeed, of psychology as
more than words, I was much struck by the fact that a
large number of uneducated white men were easily led
to believe in the existence of this creature. They were
highly superstitious, and superstition is the imperfect
functioning of ancient organic belief. If then even death
is not natural to the mind of primitive man, and if he
attributed self-acting malignancy to natural agents, it
seems perfectly obvious that drowning was to him the
result of a deliberate act on the part of evil water, and
later, of that water's malignant spirit. No one will need
to be reminded of the legend of the Lorelei, which is but
a romantic survival of the early beliefs of man connected
with streams and water. Even at the present day, in
many of the rivers of Germany, to bathe at a particular
time during St. John's Day at midsummer is an exception-
ally rash and dangerous proceeding. These beliefs are
found along the Necker and the Saale. St. John himself
has really become a river god, or has taken the place of
one and is, as Frazer tells us, especially greedy at Cologne,
where he requires fourteen victims, seven of whom must
be drowned in the river, and seven more who must break
their necks by climbing. This second sacrifice shows
that St. John has also replaced a tree spirit.
We should entirely misconceive the evolution of
ancient thought if we considered all this was nothing
but a result of the romantic imagination. It is hardly
going too far to say that there is nothing romantic,
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 209
however beautiful if may seem, which has not directly
descended from the darkest superstition. In a short
space it may be hard to convince the incredulous that
bathing was wholly unnatural to primitive man, but
they may, at least, admit that there is sufficient reason
for suspecting that, however necessary water might be
in the dawn of humanity, and perhaps because it was so
necessary, it was looked upon as highly dangerous. How
then did bathing and washing arise if this was the case ?
It is not straining logic to infer that both were the result
of the very power of water which was feared, for to the
untrained imagination the very things most to be dreaded,
if managed by a skilful wizard, become the most efficacious
aids to health or success in life. All members of the medical
profession still represent the great magical element in the
human mind as distinguished from the essentially religious,
and may be said to take somewhat similar views as regards
drugs as the early magician took with regard to the em-
ployment of dangerous natural agents or evil spirits.
Those who prescribe arsenic, prussic acid, and many
dangerous alkaloids, should certainly be able to understand
the attitude of the early magician or medicine man who,
having discovered the powers of a given spirit, or the
vehicle in which it inhered, proceeded to employ it in
definitely arranged doses of ritual. Among magicians
there were also such differences of opinion and practice
as are seen in modern medicine, for although bathing in
many parts of Europe is forbidden, or regarded as daring
on Midsummer Day, yet in certain places, especially in
Sweden, to bathe on the night between Midsummer Eve
and Midsummer Day is especially healthy and curative.
So some physicians uphold Nauheim, others denounce
it and all its pretensions. It is certainly held in Sweden
210 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
that on this particular night water has extraordinary
magical therapeutic qualities. In the old days such a
midnight bath was especially supposed to strengthen the
legs. It may, then, surely be taken for granted that wash-
ing was originally an unnatural and special process. It
should not be difficult to show doctors that it is still as
hard to convert the uneducated on this point as on that
of ventilation, since, as students, they have had to attend
their due number of outside midwifery cases. What then
was the reason for washing, and how did bathing and
swimming become a custom ? We may say definitely that
all contact with water, except that used for drinking, and
perhaps even that, was definitely purificatory or medicinal
or magical. Even the still surviving " grace before meat "
is probably a protective incantation. But long before
such ideas arose primitive man held that all natural agencies
were infinitely suggestible. He hypnotized them with
ritual, and they did what they were told to do if the rite
was properly performed. Balneologists may therefore
look upon themselves as recognized descendants of those
ancient practitioners who employed powerful and dangerous
waters in early magical therapeutics.
The history of evolution, as read in the scanty but
pregnant documents of anthropology, is difficult to decipher.
It resembles an organism which shows obscurely by rudi-
mentary and dwindling mechanisms the processes of past
growth. Yet some things are sure. In the million or
two million years of the life of man the animistic and pre-
animistic periods cannot be divided. Both theories survive
still, and if animism is perishing, and the magician's view
is crescent once more with the advance of science not
falsely so-called, it will take immense eras of time before
it becomes dominant. It is, therefore, not inconsistent
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 211
with facts to mix " spirit " with water pure and simple,
when these problems are dealt with. Some of the beliefs
of existing, or lately existing, savage races show this con-
fusion plainly, and the highest authorities do not always
find it possible to distinguish between 1,000,000 or 2,000,000
B.C. Whatever the evidence was the truth would still be
a matter of doubt, for even what happened yesterday
may be a matter of conflict to-day. Yet we cannot scorn
evidence which is written in the very nature of the human
Sacred wells are found all over the world. It is obvious
that they are now sacred because they are inhabited by
powerful spirits, or presided over by conquering saints who
displaced their predecessors ; but it must be remembered
that spirit is no more than a hypothesis to account for
the powers and actions of any given thing, seeing that
according to savage theory nothing can happen, as we say,
" of itself." To such a degree has the belief in the magical
efficacy and danger of water been impressed on man-
kind, that many people appear to have instincts concern-
ing it or, if not instincts, certain semi-instinctive nervous
affections which, without any particular reason or, so
far as can be discovered, without any definite cause,
become affections resembling phobias. If it is possible
to discover by analysis in psycho-therapeutics the deeply
hidden underlying cause of many nervous affections, it
may be that some disciple of Freud might be able to prove
to me that my own dread of deep or hidden running
waters is not instinctive but curable by discovery. Never-
theless, at the age of four or five, I had a peculiar horror
of wells. Even now I cannot approach a deep or dark
one without mental disturbance. This is not due to the
fear of depth or the mere possibility of losing my life by
212 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
falling into it. When a seaman, I had no fear of going
aloft, and when climbing in the Alps in later life I have
been suspended by a rope over a precipice three thousand
feet in depth without any sense of alarm. But even now,
hidden running water affects me with fear, and I recollect
that when, as a boy of twelve, I read a story in which
murdered people were disposed of by being dropped
through a trap-door in the floor of a house situated over
a running stream I was deeply, and possibly permanently,
affected. Such phobias, whether instinctive or the result
of sunk and forgotten stimuli, are not infrequent. It
seems possible that there is some instinct in man with
regard to water, its dangers, its evil or beneficent effects,
and that this instinct is against bathing, not for it.
Among savages, as we might reasonably expect, water
cannot only achieve miracles, but is also liable to be
affected by the conduct of men and, especially, the con-
duct of women. The savage ideas with regard to men-
struation are familiar to all. Some remnants of it, as
we know, still exist among civilized races ; but in certain
parts of the world a woman in that condition is obliged
to purify herself in other ways than by bathing, for if
she did bathe she would destroy the fish and dry up the
river. By the stern reasoning of the uncultivated early
mind contagious magic of this sort is carried to odd but,
in its way, logical extremes. Such a woman in many
places is forbidden to eat fish. This particular taboo is
only found among races where fish is of importance. In
most cases the use of water for purification seems to be
imperative. If menstruation is dangerous and deadly,
childbirth, in many cases, is still more so, and a mis-
carriage or a still-born child is something that requires
more rites and more water than any other feminine
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 213
phenomenon. Among some African tribes a concealed
miscarriage seems to be more deadly than anything, and
a woman who has procured abortion can kill a man by
lying with him. The medicine man makes a great deal
of this, as we can guess. Earth from the spot upon which
she has buried the child has to be put into the river,
while the place itself is sprinkled with water, and she has
to wash for several days with water in which earth has
been mingled. After that we shall all have rain again.
From examples of this kind, and many others to be found
in Frazer's Golden Bough, it may be inferred that much
of the use of water is sympathetic magic to get rain,
while it must be remembered that any unseemly and
wrong act of man or woman may not only dry up the
springs, but the very sky. There are, of course, many
means of ensuring rain. Twins are especially powerful
in this branch of medicine, and can readily be obtained
by physicians. On ancient principles it might be argued
that there would be little danger of drought if obstet-
ricians, meteorologists, and balneologists worked in com-
bination, although, in many cases among certain tribes
twins are regarded as a highly dangerous and abnormal
product : they are even killed in order to get rid of them.
Since water is so dangerous and powerful, washing
of any kind often appears to be something of a ceremony.
It is not therefore wonderful that washing the head, the
most important part of the body, is a very serious matter
among many races, even those called civilized. Among
the poor a bath of any kind appears to be an ordeal, not
a luxury. In Siam one observer knew a native preacher
who washed his head monthly. The whole process took
three days, one for preparation, one for the tremendous
act, and the third for recovery. In old days the King
214 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
of Persia had his head washed once a year. Roman
ladies washed their heads every thirteenth of August
upon Diana's day. It is probable that the rareness of
such an act and such a choice of time show that there was
magic in the ceremony. It was believed by the early
Greeks that Juno bathed once a year for the especial
purpose of restoring her virginity. Even if the legend
is poetic, it must have been founded on some ancient
belief. It is, perhaps, regrettable that, even among the
poets, there appears to be no reference to Jove's reflec-
tions on the subject. Bathing is a common act with many
tribes before hunting. The Kyaks of Burmah bathe by
day and night for eight days before they hunt the panther,
and naturally enough bathe afterwards to get rid of the
panther's influence and avenging spirit. Bathing as a
rain charm is even now found in many parts of Europe,
especially in Russia. It is instructive to notice that in
many cases the most effectual charm is to throw some-
body into the water. This appears an obvious relic of
the time when human beings were sacrificed to rivers,
streams, and the sky which gives rain. In Armenia the
charm consists in throwing the priest's wife into the
water. In the Islands of Celebes in Melanesia a priest
bathes in order to procure rain. It is a common thing
to drench the lame, blind, and infirm, with water. This
certainly brings rain and, if the wet and afflicted victim
curses with great vigour, no doubt the water hears the
better, and the charm is all the more effective. For,
god or no god, it is highly intelligent, and not only
intelligent, but both kindly and savage.
It appears sometimes possible to insult a spring or
outrage a river and procure floods. In the Canary
Islands the Guanche priestesses used to beat the sea
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 215
with rods when there was a drought. This was very
efficacious, for it rose up in waves which probably
caused the winds which brought clouds and rain. If
man's native capacity for putting the cart before the
horse, which is still the chief stumbling-block to science,
be considered, this should surprise no one. In
Sumatra and other eastern islands, when rain is needed,
crowds of women go into pools and splash each other.
When we see a number of boys doing this in our own
country they are no doubt likely to cause a great deal
of rain, for the ritual is very powerful. All we have to
do to bring rain is to treat water in the right way. That
is the essence of magic, for the water knows all about it,
and perhaps occasionally confides in a special medicine
man what the real trick is which will compel him to
increase his floods. However intelligent the water may
be, careful study will make man its master. Bathing
before marriage among the Greeks was a magic fer-
tilizing ceremony, for water is necessary to the growth
of all the fruits of the earth. At Troy, down to
classical times, maidens about to marry bathed in the
Scamander, familiar to us in the Iliad, and said to
the river god, " Scamander, take my virginity." As
Frazer points out, this sometimes led to young men
bathing at the same time, and if there were any untoward
results they were fathered on the river god. In this
way demi-gods seems to have arisen easily enough, since
a river or a stream is a very powerful deity, and, like
most other gods, gets his best effects through his
generative powers. There are signs of this in all
religions, though the notion may be highly sublimated.
It was common in many cases for women to be given
to the river, or sacrificed in it, for if he could be
216 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
afforded the opportunity of fertilizing them he would
be all the more powerful in fertilizing the earth. It may
be that there are still gods about some of those springs
which are held to cure sterility and impotence, at Orezza
it may be, and perhaps at Buxton, Wildbad, and Gastein.
There some magical balneologists call confidently on the
radium emanation which must have been a powerful
water spirit even in earlier times. There may be a sub-
stratum of truth in the most extravagant magic or myth.
It was said above that, in some senses, nothing that
we can do is really natural. If then bathing was
originally unnatural and dangerous, especially to those
who could not swim, and found water and water spirits
deadly, it remains to be shown how superstition of all
kinds led by devious paths to washing, to purification
and fertilizing purposes, and hence by slow degrees to
medicinal uses, and finally to purposes of cleanliness.
Primitive man never washed to be clean, he washed to get
rid of some influence and, in spite of his ignorance and
his mistaken magical views, there is, in many of these
savage customs, essential Tightness, almost scientific
accuracy. If the method of trial and error, handled
intelligently, is the main source of most advances in
knowledge, magic often hits the actual truth. In Mexico
the Huichol Indians during a drought take water from
a sacred spring and carry it a long distance to the sea.
Water from the sea is carried and put into the spring.
Now, why is this done ? Is it possible that no one sees
the reason at once ? The water in its alien surround-
ings will obviously be uneasy and uncomfortable and
rise in vapour. What can be more natural than that ?
The water tries to get home, but both clouds of expat-
riated vapour meet in the heavens, cause clouds, and
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 217
fall as rain. Here actual facts are mixed with pure
animism and magic, for sea and river renew each other
in a perpetual cycle. It is difficult to get away from
proper magic. With knowledge man can do any-
thing. By killing a so-called heaven bird the Zulus
make the very sky weep.
Of course many ceremonies for rain are properly
religious, not magical. They appeal humbly to the
ear of gods. This, however, is a late and a degenerate
plan. It is much better to be a sturdy magician, and
get the best of the many powers of water or of nature
by manly personal efforts. But enough has been said
to show that the savage mind, even of to-day, does not
regard water merely as a useful liquid. The physicists
say it is a mixture of hydrol, dihydrol, and trihydrol, and
they assert, moreover, that trihydrol or ice must exist
even in steam. This may be wonderful, but primitive
man knew long ago that water was a very dangerous
and wonderful fluid, capable of pulling the leg of any one
who swam in it. He knew it could even talk and
converse. Even now those of us who are not magicians
can fish a running stream and hear it utter faint lost
words, although they do not understand what it says,
and cannot control it. With a real magician it has to
behave, but as there were few thoroughly instructed
magicians, even in the most ancient times, not many
will insist that primitive man went for his morning dip
as a matter of course. Water had to be watched and
learnt. It was best for a bather to take a magician with
him when he swam. For some people it is even now
best to take one when bathing in the sea, or he may be
sent for to try artificial respiration. It may be said
that nothing whatever comes by nature. All assurance
218 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
in the face of any dangerous phenomenon is acquired
with danger and difficulty. Habit and customs arise by
disaster and repair, for both are, in essence, construction.
It can now be perceived how all these mixed and
mingled ceremonies for magic purification by water
gradually crystallized into habits. Little by little
results occurred which were not foreseen either by
initiate or hierophant. People gradually get ."> like
water. Among some races swimming seems on the way
to become truly instinctive. Any great progress of
man has almost always arisen through accident or as a
side-effect. All doctors are or should be professors of
sanitation ; and cleanliness, however it arises, has good
results. In parts of the Pacific sanitary science may
be said to have arisen from the practice of malignant
sorcerers burning nahak or food refuse belonging to some
one in the community. By contagious magic anything
with which a man has been in contact is part of himself ;
it can therefore be hurt or tortured, and the man himself
will be ill. Certain malignants who understood this
used to go about villages and pick up little bits of some
discarded orange or banana skin. They were burnt with
ceremonies, and those who were ill sent presents to the
sorcerer to stop his enchantments. As a result people
were careful to be clean. When I was in Apia I
remember quite well that it seemed remarkably well kept.
So sanitary science arrives blindfold. It was created by
a desire to avoid the possible evil of magic, while bathing
comes no doubt out of people's desire to use its good
effects of purification. The loss of magic may be a
disaster. It is for men of science to bring it back
purified as by water.
If living water, with all its senses and powers of
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 219
magic, and the later water gods, must be reckoned
dangerous in the sea and deep rivers and pools, it is
naturally enough regarded as holy and beneficent, though
very delicate in its taste, in hot, dry countries. Rivers
are obviously capable of fertilizing the whole country.
By their fertilizing influences the feminine land pro-
duces fruit. If that is so, why should they not fertilize
women ? In the East many rivers are capable of actual
procreation as I pointed out before. Women there-
fore who are barren take to bathing in order to obtain
offspring. If there are sturdy guardians of the sacred
water they may possibly help a little at times. The
virtue of wells, which leads to washing and bathing as
a cure for barrenness, is known even in England and
Scotland. In Northumberland there is a sulphur spring
which used to work wonders in this way, and may be
effective still for all I know. It is highly probable that
chalybeate springs, such as Orezza in Corsica, gained
this reputation justly in the case of the anaemic. Since
religion took part in the ritual of life the priesthood,
the later clergy even, have done their best with pagan
beliefs, and therefore many of those old efficacious pagan
wells became the property of saints. Not only magic but
religion also works wonders. When they act hand in hand
something is bound to happen. In India sterility is, of
course, caused by evil spirits. In some places if a surgeon
were to cure sterility by special surgical methods, he
might actually find himself deified locally, just as General
Nicholson, who died so nobly at Delhi, was deified
on the frontier. It is quite possible that a quasi-deifi-
cation or apotheosis takes place nowadays with some
popular doctors. In other forms the human mind works
as it did of old.
220 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
The views dimly adumbrated suggest that all bath-
ing, medicinal or purificatory, is due to the original fear
of and belief in the living nature of water, and that the
reputation of all old baths or bathing, now held to be
curative, was originally due to magic, is strongly sup-
ported by certain facts I observed while in British
Columbia. Although there are comparatively few Indians
nowadays in the dry belt about Kamloops, those
of the Thompson Indians who still exist retain many
or most of the beliefs of their ancestors. I was
acquainted with few of them, but while working some
miles from Kamloops I discovered among the brush when
I went fishing some edifices looking like teepees or little
wigwams by the side of the stream. They were con-
structed of sticks running up to a point at the top, teepee
shape, and were big enough to contain a man sitting
in a crouching position. Just under him a hollow was
scraped. On inquiry an Indian woman told me that
they were Indian sweat-houses or, as they are other-
wise named, keekwillie holes, usually contracted by
whites into kegly, which by itself means " low." She
told me that as far as she was aware they were used for
medicinal purposes, and I have no doubt that in this
she was correct but, as I have discovered since, and
some of the evidence is to be found in The Golden Bough,
they were not originally constructed for any such pur-
pose. The way they were used was this. A man or
woman got inside them in a crouching position. Water
was poured into the hole above which the patient sat,
a rug or buffalo robe was draped over the entrance,
while the squaws outside heated stones in a fire, and
when they were red-hot rolled them into the water.
That a like bath in certain cases of arthritis, or so-
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 221
called rheumatic affections, may do good is certain;
but it is quite impossible to believe that such a mode
of healing was discovered except through generations
of trial and error undertaken for other purposes. The
original reason of such a ceremony arose from the desire
to free widows or widowers from the probable results of
contact with death. They required purification, and for
this purpose they sweated for hours, and then were
plunged, or plunged themselves, into the neighbouring
creek, after which they rubbed themselves with small
branches of spruce which had been stuck into the
ground close to the little teepee. There is no more
striking instance of the way in which magic at purificatory
ceremonies might easily have become measures of pure
therapeutics. Such a complete series of vaso-motor
and peripheral stimuli may well have helped to cure
grief. No real anthropologist will fall into the modern
error of believing grief " natural." It is due, as the
fathers of man knew only too well, to the actual influences
emanating from the dead, or their active spirits. In
view of such facts I think it may legitimately be in-
ferred that curative baths of every kind began by the
practice of magic, and that all such processes were re-
inforced gradually, as magic gave way to religion, by
religious purificatory methods. These same Thompson
River Indians were accustomed if they touched the dead
to bathe instantly, or as soon as possible afterwards.
Where these keekwillie holes do not exist widows and
widowers were still obliged to bathe. Bereaved persons,
even in modern times, are also compelled to pass four
times through a patch of wild rose bushes in order to
rid themselves of the ghost. Not only this, but it
is still customary among these people to cut branches
222 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
of the thorny rose bushes and put them in their bed or
blankets in order to prevent the spirit returning to its
old night quarters.
When the light that is thrown upon the natural
working of the human mind is considered, it seems that
the study of anthropology might well be made part,
even if a late part, of the training undergone by the
student of medicine. The old-fashioned psychology
founded on introspection, which depends for the imaginary
validity of its conclusions on the understanding of
words, though still taught, might be dispensed with to
the advantage of all concerned. Words alone, as
progress is made from one verbal statement to another,
inevitably lead to wrong conclusions by the very
logical processes that they imply. It was for this reason,
this double use among men of science of their own ter-
minology and the psychological use of words with all
their possibilities of error, that led to experiments on
conditioned reflexes. Such work tends to show that
all intellectual labour is, in its essence and in actual
method, a series of reflexes responding to the peculiar
environment of the worker. The study of anthropology
may have very far-reaching results on the knowledge
not only of ancient practices, but also on the conception
of the brain as a mechanism. In all the branches of
magic touched on, the fact is seen that mentation acts
with astounding regularity, by way of definite irresist-
ible reflexes following upon certain definite stimuli. Time
and time again, in far distant places between which
there has been no possibility of communication, new but
similar practices arise. This cannot be explained on any
theory but that of the human brain reacting definitely
on like stimuli. There is no distinction to be drawn
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 223
between chemical reaction in one part of the world and
the other, provided that the temperature, and perhaps the
barometric pressure, are alike. But a study of anthro-
pology must lead to the influence that the biochemical
reactions of the brain, the complexities of which we have
simplified unduly by calling them " the mind," are, if we
take into consideration the infinitely greater complexities
of cerebration, upon the same level of certainty as mere
chemical reactions. If this is so, anthropology itself will
be of the greatest assistance in understanding the why and
wherefore of all human cerebral development. One science
helps another, for it carries a lamp ; but when these lamps
help each other the light may indeed be great.
Frazer has himself pointed out with much force that
many of the soundest customs of humanity have sprung
out of magic. But if it is true that all human progress,
like scientific progress, depends on hypothesis and trial and
error, hit or miss, no one need be surprised to learn that in
many cases practices have arisen from magic which were,
or might be, deadly to the race which practised them.
Although it may be said that the whole essence of immunity
lies in the phrase, " a hair of the dog that bit you," there
are ways of taking the hair which may be destructive.
In a cholera epidemic in Egypt some forty years ago, or
perhaps more, a peculiarly holy man died of that disease.
It was obviously necessary to wash his sacred body. It
was therefore taken to a neighbouring pool and duly cleansed
by his ardent followers and admirers. It will not surprise
even those who have hitherto taken no interest in magic if
it is suggested that so holy a man by his contact with the
water must have given it virtues of his own. This, at any
rate, was obvious to his followers, for, procuring utensils of
various kinds, they bottled a portion of this holy water and
224 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
took it home and drank it. The results, from a medical
point of view, were deadly. Perhaps from the religious
standpoint they were held to be efficacious when his trans-
lated followers j oined their leader in Paradise. It is possible
to conceive that many tribes in the history of the world
when they made a miss in their experiments did not re-
cognize it, and by repeating it wiped themselves out.
A fool is rewarded according to his folly, and wisdom is only
the recognition of results.
Something was said above about the general views
held on animism, or the savage theory which imagines all
things whatsoever have their moving spirits. This is
not a primitive belief, for the idea of spirit is an abstract
notion. Before the evolving human brain was capable
of such an abstraction, man no doubt held the view that
all things like themselves were alive. So deeply rooted is
animism in the human mind that its last faint remains can
be seen in many men of scientific eminence who cannot rid
themselves of the theory of vitalism. The savage vitalistic,
or animistic, view was a simplifying hypothesis, and like
all unverified hypotheses led to extraordinary results, not
all of them without danger. But many were certainly
sound. All tabooed and unclean foods are held by anthro-
pologists to have been originally sacred. They were living
gods. This is undoubtedly the case with the pig, and in
those cases where its once sacred totem qualities have
degenerated into dislike and a taboo, such a degeneration
in hot countries may have been for the good of the race.
It may even be said that it would have been better if
some of the notions of the Eskimos had survived among
other races. Among them it is forbidden to mingle differ-
ent and various flesh foods in one full stomach. The
gods and goddesses of the different animals would be
ORIGIN OF THERAPEUTIC BATHING 225
offended by the alien contact. Such views are dietetically
valuable. In the same way the taboos concerning mourners
and the insistence on ritual washing are obviously whole-
some and scientific, as every bacteriologist would admit.
The whole story of the gradual evolution of medical
theory and practice from magic and religion is one of un-
surpassed interest which might well engage the life and
energies of any student. To such it would soon seem clear
that magic in its best and worst senses still exists in
medicine. It has not been got rid of by the decay and
passage of the older theory of signatures. But, even if
drugs are still exhibited on the merest grounds of tradition,
the fine magical qualities of human influence and sug-
gestion are every day better recognized, and therefore no
physician need look with contempt on his spiritual an-
cestors or even on his savage colleagues in far-off countries.
It would be as wrong to do so as to scorn Hippocrates,
Aristotle, or Galen because they did not know what are
commonplaces to a first year's student. There is no
new method of discovery and no real increase in the powers
of logic. Those who seek truth are no more than an
army marching in the dark led by the dimmest sense of
orientation. When that is reached which seems an insuper-
able obstacle their battalions hurl themselves against it,
and if one man finds a weak spot and overcomes the diffi-
culty he becomes a leader and is presently called a genius.
Such geniuses whose names and graves were forgotten a
million years ago helped to bring man through great
darkness, but not to any resting-place. It should be con-
solatory to every worker to remember that, even if he
has not the great and happy fortune to light a new lamp
in the world, his very errors and failures assist his fellows
and all mankind to avoid like disasters in the time to come.
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
IT may seem desirable to develop shortly what was said
in the last chapter on the subject of psychology. It
is a common and useful trick of the theologian to assert
that the physico-chemical view of " mental " action is
rapidly decaying. Such writers greet with enthusiasm
any popular and ignorant reaction, even though a similar
movement, if it militated against the loose hypothetical
explanations they favour, would be greeted with contempt.
Instead of yielding ground to the religious philosopher, those
who advocate so-called " materialism " are daily taking
positions from the introspectionists, and nothing but ignor-
ance of physiological advance permits them to believe
otherwise. The warfare in the body as construction
proceeds has its true analogues in the modification of theory.
It is true that certain leaders of thought have been carried
away by their instincts, but this is due to the fact that
many men of the highest eminence are only partially
educated. To think on the lines of one science alone is to
remain at the mercy of uncorrected traditional ideas in
many departments of thought. Such lack real mental
immunity. It therefore follows that not every man
of science has the scientific mind which takes for
granted the possibility of arranging all phenomena
whatsoever in ultimate order. With the region be-
228 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
yond 'phenomena such a mind has no real concern :
noumena may be left as a playground for those who like
to waste their energy in those arrangements of words
which are dignified by the devotees of theological and
metaphysical jigsaw puzzles with the high-sounding name
of the " Philosophy of the Absolute." So far as the
problems of space and time are concerned they may be
dealt with by mathematicians, and what is said of them by
philosophers, with no knowledge of science, can be safely
ignored. Yet, owing to early influences, even men highly
endowed with the scientific spirit are apt in their haste
to give away to the enemy positions which afterwards
have to be recaptured at great cost. This has certainly
been the case with " the mystery of consciousness."
The many hundreds of years partially wasted in the
verbal gymnastics of the schoolmen and their modern
congeners and descendants have naturally left their
mark. That they were not wholly a waste may be ad-
mitted, since reasoning accurately even on empty major
premisses is a great mental exercise ; but so far as the
conclusions drawn became more than mere logical divi-
dends their effect has been harmful. To free the mind
from early impressions is never wholly possible, and the
assumptions of the nursery may partially determine the
mental action of the wisest, just as ancient instincts in a
race produce effects of which the cause may be totally
unknown. As a result it not unfrequently happens that
consciousness is admitted to be an ultimate mystery,
although every reaction of the brain points clearly to
the fact that it is but a definite, though highly delicate,
response to the internal and external environment.
Huxley himself, being then, no doubt, under the influence
of theories of mental and physical parallelism, incautiously
PHYSIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 229
admitted that the problems connected with it were im-
possible, or unlikely, to be solved. A very slight study
of the history of science reveals, however, that the prob-
lems which are incapable of solution frequently receive it
before the ink of the incredulous is dry, or, at least, before
There is no need to go into the work done on cerebral
organization and construction. The names of Hunter,
Willis, Horsley, Hughlings Jackson, Gaskell, Head, and
Ferrier, to speak of but few, are sufficient witnesses
to the labour bestowed upon the brain. With regard,
however, to the special phenomena lumped together by
the use of the word " consciousness," it may, perhaps, be
admitted that Pavlov did, at the very least, just as useful
work. He reduced such obscurities as " states of con-
sciousness " into multiplex, or conditioned, reflexes, and
showed that the nomenclature of most psychologists was
at once otiose and misleading. It is too seldom observed
that the mysteries of " mind " are no more than the result
of ignoring physiology and the almost ineradicable in-
stinct of man to consider that a word represents a simple
thing. As soon, however, as " mental states " are resolved
into reflexes among some of the 10,000,000,000 cortical
neurons it becomes obvious that the word " mind " is no
more than shorthand for neuronal action and interaction
when influenced from the outside or by internal stimuli.
There is no such thing known in " consciousness " as the
brain acting as a whole. The cells may be, and probably
are always, in a state of tone, for they would otherwise
degenerate ; but very few of them can produce motor
reactions, of any kind, at the same time. Those reflexes
result in action, even the action of " thought," which are
stimulated to discharge, or at the least, excited to a state
230 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
of tone almost sufficient to result in discharge. Tonus
being a state of readiness for activity, all nerves stimulated
by conduction from the discharging neurons may raise
verbal centres to a condition near to a like discharge. In
such cases we have verbal thinking, i.e. impulse not dis-
charged over motor tracts leading to speech. These
relations of raised or lowered tone, of inhibition or ex-
citation, are obviously neuronal functions, and all
" thought " is the impulse towards discharge in reactions,
forced, useful, or pleasant, under definite stimuli exciting
complex reflex arcs.
Such views, it seems, are easily grasped when we deal
with the lower animals, but many find it difficult to believe
that the poet's " consciousness " when he writes a poem
is in fact a reaction to his internal and external environ-
ment, and that the poem is truly as much a reaction
product as the bark of a dog or the spring of a tiger.
There is, however, no real gap discoverable between the
reflex responses of an amoeba, whose irritability as proto-
plasm is of the same order, though less specialized, as
that of a neuron, and all the spinal and cerebral reflexes
of a genius. Such reflexes are, however, more and more
complex and " conditioned," i.e. dependent on other
reflexes and much more easily inhibited. In such a case
inhibition probably means no more than a failure of
some synapse to act, while excitation which results in
such original graphic verbal reactions as a poem is the
functioning of new nerve dendrons hitherto not joined
up, and fresh combinations of older ones which have
Certainly the case for such conclusions has been of
late immeasurably strengthened by Pavlov. This physio-
logist was led to make his experiments by finding that
PHYSIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 231
the moment even physiologists touched " mental "
phenomena they adopted another language than that
used in their own work. He found by experiments on
the salivary glands that reflex excitations could be made
to depend on linked reflex excitations that is, by reflexes
conditioned by other reflexes. A dog's glands can be
educated to act not only by the presentation of food but
on the excitation of them by the sound of a bell. A bell
of a few more or less vibrations fails to produce salivary
action. A time factor can be introduced and the glands
made to act five minutes, say, after the bell is struck.
At each introduction of a new element into the linked
reflexes the process is more and more " conditioned," and
more and more easily interrupted by some accidental or
purposed stimulation. This complex of reflexes becomes
at last " intelligence."
It is commonly said that reflexes are nervous units.
It is, however, sounder to regard the real nervous, or
cerebral, or " mental " unit as the native irritability of
the cell. If this is so the rise from reaction in the cell to
a simple reflex, and from that to reflexes conditioned by
others, and further to the most complex set of reflexes
imaginable in the highest brain, should show no break.
That we are unable to foretell the reaction in the cases
of high reflex combinations goes for nothing. It is,
indeed, our incapacity to do so which shows the nature
of words. They are sound signals which produce or tend
to produce reactions, thus becoming, on this analysis, links
in reflex reactions. Their motor products depend entirely
on the nature and quality of the organism concerned.
Thus to mention the word " faery " in a mixed gathering
may produce a " fairy " story from one and induce
another to quote " perilous seas and faery lands forlorn."
232 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
If then such compound conditioned reflexes are the
cortical apparatus for keeping in touch with the environ-
ment, with all its excitations and inhibitions, presented
to it at the moment, it is reflexly forced upon us to declare
that " consciousness " is the massed sensations of the
thinker, or such a complex of them as may be most strongly
stimulated. Since " memory " is nothing but the estab-
lishment of nervous tracts, and the act of memory a stimu-
lation passing over a particular synapse formerly opened
up, we can understand how " self -awareness," which is
really " memory," consists of a set of opened tracts which
stimulate other tracts, possibly motor ones, which finally
may pass into reflexly induced speech or writing. " Self-
awareness " thus sinks away from us on acting. That
pointed and consecutive speech, dealing with the situa-
tion, may occur reflexly, is obvious to those who have
seen operations performed under light anaesthesia in
which the reflexes are not abolished. The patient may
feel pain and abuse the surgeon in the vilest language.
The good public speaker is one who forgets himself, ceases
to be inhibited by fears as to his success, speaks over
short paths rather than long ones, and loses " self-aware-
ness " in semi-automatic or reflex emotional or logical
utterance. What he says is rapid adaptation to his
The difficulty experienced, even by some men of
scientific training, in accepting such views of " conscious-
ness " as are suggested above, is undoubtedly a reflex
cerebral state, induced in early life by the stimulation
or inhibition of words or repeated sound signals which
have established regularly working reflexes. They have
been taught to respond to these in a certain way, i.e.
their education has opened up tracts of nervous discharge
PHYSIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 233
which prevent further analysis by inhibiting the opening
of fresh neuronal paths. This is a phenomenon known
to psychiatrists as " resistance." But though " re-
sistance " to fresh stimulation taught in the shape of
combinations of word signs or sound symbols is frequently
accompanied with dislike of the " idea," by which we
must understand a new set of reactions, it may be with-
out any such dislike, and may represent only a temporary
incapacity, under the weak stimulation of an inadequate
verbal presentment of convincing analysis, to establish
new nervous connections. The difficulties of dealing
satisfactorily to all with such a subject, and the right
way to attempt it, may be suggested by considering that
the very word " convincing " just used is obviously
shorthand or a symbol for the reflex opening of fresh
neuronal paths which offer great synaptic resistance.
Such views explain the physiological reasons that it is so
difficult to convince the old. In them synaptic resistance
tends to become synaptic block. The opposed pheno-
menon is observed in fixed ideas, and in mania, where
over certain tracts there are what may be called " fused "
synapses in which the gemmules for pathological reasons
do not retract until exhaustion occurs. I suggest, then,
that when a man like Huxley, a very powerful stimulator,
asserts consciousness to be a mystery, such an asser-
tion is likely to inhibit speculation on the part of others,
such inhibition taking the form of saying, " if a brain
like Huxley's found it so, is it likely that I should ever
get to understand it ? " It must, however, be remembered
that the whole history of science might be mapped out
in a series of statements as too " impenetrable mysteries "
which have proved themselves capable of easy solution.
I remember being much struck by the objection of an
234 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
otherwise capable man of science to a view of my own,
which was afterwards proved by experiment to be correct,
on the ground that if it were true it would have been
found out before.
The resistance or dislike to the analysis of conscious-
ness into combined conditioned reflexes seems particu-
larly strong where it deals with the emotions. To analyse
a religious attitude into reflex correspondence with an
imaginary or constructed environment, such construction
being in fact the co-ordination of rigid nervous tracts,
is regarded as "materialism," or a gross incapacity for
taking "spiritual" views. Such opinions, however, are
not worth combating, as they are usually held by those
without physiological knowledge. But those who merely
regard consciousness as a mystery, probably not capable
of solution, often find similar difficulties. They may say,
for instance, that though emotion and volition have their
concomitants in molecular changes in brain matter, no
material qualities, such as weight and occupancy of space,
can be predicated of them. An emotion, however, is
only a "mental" entity till it is discovered to be nervous
discharges over certain short circuits in the brain through
which the motor impulses of instincts have passed during
long stages of evolution, all such discharges being accom-
panied by vaso-motor phenomena.
If this is so, and no physiologist will deny it, space
and position, vascular dilation and contraction, and the
possible measurement of nervous discharges across resist-
ing synapses can actually be predicated of the highest
emotions. An emotion is thus no entity, it is not a thing
properly to be described in a word, though it may be
designated by such a symbol and act as such in a reflex
chain of suggestion : it is, in fact a very complex bodily
PHYSIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 235
and cerebral state, easily distinguished from a purely
"intellectual" state, which is a cortical process not going
on over ancient instinctive paths, but over the pyramidal
tract, through the cells of Betz, without as a rule any
vaso-motor disturbances. Such disturbances, however,
often follow upon intellectual discovery as the results
of attainment and, to speak in terms of energetics, of
energy suddenly freed. Kepler's emotion on being " freed ' '
by his great discovery is a good example.
However little such an analysis may commend itself
to the more ancient psychologist who lives in a world
of words, it is certain that it is only upon such lines that
scientific explanation can proceed. It enables the physio-
logist to do work without being confused by the necessity
of defining terms relative to consciousness about which
no two philosophers are at one. So far as science is
concerned it may be taken for granted that cerebral re-
sponse to the internal and external environment, acting
reflexly to excitation and inhibition, is not correlated
with consciousness, but is actually consciousness itself,
including the subconscious and unconscious : the sub-
conscious being tracts in nervous tone which may easily
discharge themselves in motor reactions at any time if
normally stimulated, while the unconscious consists of
other tracts only resulting directly in motor reactions
under abnormal excitation or pathological conditions.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION l
IT may be that some of you were alarmed by the word
" Psychology " appearing in the title of a lecture
which you had orders to attend. Possibly it opened up
to you the prospect of illimitable boredom. I own that
it is a subject which, with very little care, can be made both
boring and obscure. Many writers when dealing with
the mind obtain the two results with ease. But straight-
forward psychology is not metaphysical word- juggling,
and I hope to make what I have to say as clear as orders
should be made by those who issue them. Psychology
is nothing more than the way our minds work, and I should
like you to remember that the word " mind " is just useful
shorthand for the working of the brain. All of us have
some notion of what affects us or leaves us cold. We
respond to stimulation, we act or refuse to act. You
know what you like and what you dislike. Perhaps you
even know why you are here at all. Certainly you would
not have been at a lecturer's mercy if you had not been
moved by your minds, your brains, towards common
national ends. Many different reasons may have in-
1 Lecture delivered at Purfleet Camp to the members of the O.T.C.
(Capt. B. C. Lake, O.C.) and the officers of the 7th Reserve Brigade. 1915.
Although it is not an integral portion of this book I have given it a place
for reasons which will possibly be obvious to those interested alike in
science and in psychology, now rapidly becoming a science.
238 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
fluenced you, but on the whole I take it that what moved
you most was a sense of duty combined with a desire for
the splendid natural activity of a military life. Yet behind
all your feelings there was something else, something bigger
and something which, though really obscure, is not beyond
j comprehension. Most of us in life do things, and believe
we can say why. We use our intellect to make apologies
for our own actions, and sometimes succeed in the task to
our own satisfaction. And still we may wonder in our
hearts whether there was not some instinct in us that
' was the real motive power. Again, many of you must
have felt the heavy weight of our economic civilization,
and to become a soldier is, in a way, to get back to nature.
You therefore come here to be trained, and to learn to
train others, in the very ancient organization called an
army. Busy as you may be, you should be free from many
of the worries besetting those who are all " on their own."
Discipline and control may obstruct some activities, but
they leave others free. Young men especially like change.
Here you certainly get it, sometimes to your surprise.
Besides these reasons for your actions there is the other
reason which I hope presently to make plain. As a hint,
it may be said that, though in some ways you are now
more yourselves than you ever seemed, in another and a
very strange and not unpleasing way you are less. You
will exercise powers you never had yet, and will be re-
strained in ways you would once have resented fiercely.
Let me phrase it plainly. You arc here as grist for
the military mill. You have to go through the machine.
The reason of many of the processes through which you
are put are probably obscure to you. Some seem a little
absurd, some too severe, some, perhaps, totally unintel-
ligible. You wonder why you are being trained in such
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 239
a way, and why it takes so long. Yet, though you may
have found many of your experiences exasperating, the
experience of others has shown them to be just what is
needed. Your very exasperation is part of your course.
You have to control it. Being put under arrest has helped
to make many things clear to those who can learn. Not
all of your superiors know the deep mental, or cerebral,
side of the processes of training and organization but,
since an army is a continuing live organism, they have
tradition, military history, and their own experience in
the making of a company or battalion, which show them
that certain results follow on the adoption of particular
methods. We all use words and phrases of which the
real meaning may be unknown to us. We often employ
the French phrase, and speak of esprit de corps as the end
and aim of training. The " spirit," as we say, makes
the body live and makes it one. This is shorthand, but
it is true. Every soldier knows it, but not every one could
tell us why, even if he has p.s.c. after his name. If our
methods are right our reasons may not matter. But as
no methods are perfect, even when moulded by age-long
tradition, knowledge of underlying causes may help to
I spoke of an army as an organism. It exists as a
body, it has members, tools, a brain, a nervous system,
and all are used to ensure that certain effects are produced.
An army, too, can suffer and rejoice. It can become irre-
sistible by continued success ; it can suffer panic, and it
can die. These words are not mere illustrations. You
and your officers and men are living parts of a living thing,
even though the staff may never trouble to look upon an
army in that light. They may not be so self-conscious.
Perhaps that is all the better for them. It is best not to
240 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
think of ourselves. Note well then when a part of an army
begins to think only of itself, and by itself, there is danger
of disaster, perhaps of dissolution. A healthy man never
thinks about himself as parts. Only sick people do that.
When all things work together easily that is health. Your
officers know this is true of a company or a battalion, and
of themselves. If the nervous system is out of hand, the
whole body goes to pieces. They are the nervous system
of the part they command, just as the Headquarters
Staff is of the whole. It is well to know this, but not to
brood on it. Knowledge should sink in and become
wisdom a proved instinct. If the Staff knows this prac-
tically it will work all the better, with greater certainty.
If there is friction and separation at Headquarters the
whole body suffers.
Now, although the training and organization of an
army make a special branch of study, all organized bodies
can be analysed by similar methods. At first it may
seem difficult for you to understand that there is a real
resemblance, a true analogy, between the workings of a
committee or corporation of any kind and an army.
Nevertheless it is true that an army is something very
different from the individuals who compose it, just as a
committee or any corporate body is different from its
members. An organized body with a head and subor-
dinates will do things which none of its members would
or could attempt. Motives affect it differently. The whole
is another thing than the units. If the motives and
stimuli affecting it are of a high and noble order this
organized body will move instinctively towards great
things that might not have moved its members singly.
Their better instincts are appealed to. They would be
ashamed to show they think of themselves. In such an
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 241
atmosphere a mean man may become generous. When
he has gone away he may be himself again, and contemplate
the counterfoil in his cheque-book with rueful astonish-
ment. If the motives moving such a body are not high
but, let us say, purely financial, it may, on the other hand,
do things which come to be regarded by the very men who
voted for them as utterly detestable from their individual
point of view. Conceivably such a corporation might
discharge an old servant without pension, and the very
man who moved the resolution might possibly support him
afterwards. For such reasons, however shortly and roughly
presented to you, we may infer that any organized body
is a real organism because it acts differently from its units,
and has different motives and different ends. Purely
individual training is useless for bringing out the qualities
and powers for which such a body has been created.
Such considerations as these have a great application to
your physical training. Many of you thought you were
well and strong when you came here. Perhaps you know
now that you were neither. You have found out what
health is. It is being all one, it is forgetting you have parts,
since all things in you work together. A breakdown in
your health might mean a breakdown months hence in
the moral health of a platoon, and a disaster. Your
physical well-being is essential not only to yourselves.
There are glands in your body which give you courage
in emergencies. If the adrenal glands fail you might be
cowards. When training reaches a high pitch and you
feel the strain of it you will remember that a greater strain
must come on you later. That is why an army is trained
severely and the incapable are weeded out. A breakdown
of one may mean the breakdown of many. In the face
of difficulty we need to be well and strong, and cheerful
242 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
companions. Thus we give out encouragement as a gland
may yield powerful stimulation in danger.
You will see then that the beginnings of organization
exist in all of us : in the whole human race. We are
gregarious, unless we are ill ; we commonly associate
together for ends that appeal to us ; we form clubs and
societies. It is in our nature to do so. Without desire
of common action there could be no social life and no pro-
gress. Altruism, or thought for others, exists in us all,
though perhaps only as a seed : we are always prepared
to make some kind of sacrifice for common ends. We
cannot live alone.
Many of you here have been Public School boys.
English schoolmasters maintain that the chief end of a
school is not direct preparation for actual life but the pro-
duction of character. How far they succeed I should not
like to say in this place, but so far as they do it is
because the boys are trained to work in teams and
taught to sacrifice their ease and leisure, and even their
hopes of distinction, to the honour and glory of their
school. So the essential thing is not mere production of
what is commonly called an upright character. Such a
person may be incapable of working with others. What is
wanted is the production of a character as a fit part of an
organization which can subdue all self-regarding instincts
and impulses. If a young cricketer is a sound member of
his school, being turned down for the First Eleven may,
indeed, be bitter, but if he recognizes it as just he takes it,
as we say, like a man. For to be " like a man " is a great
thing. It implies endurance, courage, self-restraint. Such
a boy learns to trust in the judgment of others who have
proved themselves, and he knows that loud revolt is not
playing the game. Submission of this order is necessary
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 243
to all of us, but most of all to soldiers. We see that in a
good school there are all the rough essentials of organ-
ization and training. It is a corporate body, and the boys
when at school are different from what they are at home.
They think differently and feel differently, and that means
they are different. Thus parents and schoolmasters may
have very different opinions of the same boy, and what is
more, the parent may be right if his son chooses some more
solitary profession, while the master may be right if the
boy goes into the army or navy. Many of you, no doubt,
remember the sense of loyalty to your own school which
grew up in spite of the brutality of a few of your fellows,
and also in spite of the peculiar hostility which you felt
towards some, if not all, the masters. And yet, if they
were at all decent, you would have been ready to maintain
they were better " beasts " than those of any other school.
This feeling of semi-hostility between the trainer and the
trained is, perhaps, essential for good results. It implies
resisting stuff in those who are being moulded and organized.
With good tools you can forge anything out of steel, but not
much can be made of putty.
Possibly you now begin to recognize some strange
resemblance between your own feelings as officers in train-
ing with those you had as a schoolboy. Day by day you
are learning to suppress that part of yourself which for ever
contends you have the right to do exactly as you please.
You do not go about insisting on your rights. It is not
good form to do so, and that means it does not really pay
any one to be selfish. Perhaps, too, you have begun to
see why you must be young to be trained. The very old
are mostly set and rigid, and cannot easily rid them-
selves of ancient ideas. At any school a boy who has not
been trained to obedience at home has a hard time before
244 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
he learns that somebody a year his senior is not only
likely to tell him to do a thing but to see that it gets done.
In training for the army there is, of course, a great advance
of thought over a school, for you come here duly prepared
to surrender your personalities or part of them. But
even so it is in many cases a very difficult process. You
recognize that it is necessary, but perhaps you do not see the
mental side of things which makes it necessary. Yet to
know why makes all things easy. I dare say you have
already compared in your minds the curious semi-hostility
there often is between the combatant branches and the
Staff of an army with that between schoolmasters and their
pupils of which I spoke just now. The masters initiate
and carry on a process of limiting natural freedom. The
resulting hostility, or armed neutrality, is, in its way, a
good thing. It inspires action and emulation. When a
thing is inevitable, if it can be turned to good so much the
better. Obstacles balking fools the wise make pivots of
victory. Since the Staff of the army is the brain of the
army it is obviously different in its functions from those
who do the active work. When an officer with red tabs
on his uniform and a red band round his cap comes to the
trenches, looks at them, makes a few casual remarks,
goes away again, and you are presently told that every-
thing done has been done wrong and has to be done again,
there is, of course, a kind of revolt against it. Sometimes
you may say bitterly that the Staff has not got to do the
work. But possibly you may recognize as a compensation
that it could not do your work if it tried. I am sure that it
could not after it has been trained on its own special lines
for any length of time. But you must remember that this
partial incapacity is a sacrifice to efficiency in the organ-
ization to which you all belong. The Staff make their
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 245
sacrifices in the same way as the combatant branches make
theirs. They give up a portion of themselves for the bene-
fit of the army. It is a curious fact, with which many of you
are probably not acquainted, that, though most of the cells
of the body are capable of reproducing themselves and do
constantly reproduce themselves throughout the life of
man, the nerve cells are incapable of reproduction. The
nerve cells and the whole brain composed of them, with
which you begin your life, you carry to the grave. This
may be a heavy burden to some unlucky people, but if you
think a minute it emphasizes amazingly the necessity of
training the nerve cells of the brain and whole nervous
system at an early stage of their career, and it shows us
why we should endeavour to keep them elastic. The man
who keeps his mind fresh through life is the man who is
interested in everything and is never stale or satisfied, for
he gives his nerve cells all kinds of work and keeps them in
training. But if he belongs to a highly specialized branch,
such as the Staff of an army, he must necessarily sacrifice,
or partially atrophy, much of his capabilities and capacities
for the definite ends of the body to which he belongs. If the
chief nerve cells and the main nervous system of the army
do this they must be very different from those of you who
are to be, if I may put it so, the nerve endings in the mus-
cular portions of the army organization. Those on the
Staff have much more to take into account, and above all
things must avoid being affected by the corporate enthu-
siasm which enables a battalion or a company or even
a platoon to be carried away by the passion of the fight.
If, therefore, the Staff keeps itself aloof from these passions,
as indeed it must, it often seems cold and alien from those
who do the actual work. For efficiency all must sacrifice
something of their individuality. All their nervous power
246 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
must be turned towards the common ends for which they
have been trained. Our individuality depends largely on
the points in which we are, or believe ourselves to be,
different from other men. But when working together for
common objects we cannot insist upon our differences.
If we do insist upon them nothing can be done. I have seen
this happen dozens of times in badly organized committees.
Agreement on common ends, touched with mass emotion and
mass feeling, is the true basis of organization.
I do not suppose that many of you have made a study
of what is called the psychology of crowds. Many years
ago I began to work on the subject, and to my great
annoyance a very able Frenchman, Gustave Le Bon,
published a book called Psychologie des Foules. My only
consolation is that he probably did it better than I should
have done. It is brilliant and suggestive. If you pursue
studies of this order you will find that there is such a thing
as natural partial organization of individuals without
preparation and without a real nervous system. When
in crowds, you have sometimes found yourselves carried
away without knowing the reason. You have perhaps
shouted in a manner totally at variance with your common
habits, you may have been ready to assault people or to
break the law in the most enthusiastic way. I remember
many years ago, when I was ill and thought exercise would
do me good, going out for a long walk on one of the days
of the Epsom Spring Meeting. It will perhaps be hard
for me to convince you that I came out on Epsom Downs
without knowing where I was. When I found out and
saw the big crowd in the distance I walked towards it.
I was gloomy and dyspeptic. I never cared much for
racing ; I had never attended a big race meeting in my
life. But I said to myself that as I was there I might
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 247
as well see what they were doing. Bit by bit I edged my
way into the crowd and presently forgot I was ill, and
began to take an interest in things. I asked the man
next to me what race was to be run and, obviously showing
great surprise at my ignorance, he answered that it was
the Oaks. And he told me that the name of the favourite
was Geheimniss. Presently the race was started, and
soon the crowd rose up with a roar as the horses came
round Tattenham Corner into the straight. Now do not
forget that I had not a penny on the result, and had never
seen a race before, and did not know the name of a single
mare in it until I was told. Yet when they came up the
straight, and the crowd began to shout, and the whole
of the people in the Grand Stand opposite rose to their
feet, to my utter amazement I found myself shouting at
the top of my voice, " Geheimniss wins, Geheimniss wins ! "
Somebody near me, on the other hand, having probably
put money on another animal, shouted, " So-and-so wins,
So-and-so wins ! " whereupon I turned upon him furiously
and said, "No, damn you, Geheimniss wins ! " And she
did win. Then the crowd broke up and I drifted out of
it and went off by myself wondering what had happened
to me. I know now that I had been caught by the massed
enthusiasm of the crowd and made one of a very peculiar
racing organism an organism, by the way, not of a high
Here I think I might quote a short passage out of
something I wrote many years ago :
" A crowd is not human, as we understand human
individuality. It's not bestial, not reptilian. But it's
all three human, bestial, and reptilian .... A crowd
is a flood of life, a giant mass of deadly forces ; it has no
very clear foresight ; it takes the present only ; it has no
248 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
conscience. A man in a crowd can commit crimes and
come out without knowing he has done so. It's a new
organism, a creature not in the books. Drag one of its
parts out, knock him down and cool him, and see him
come back slowly to humanity again, I've seen it. The
psychology of a crowd is the psychology of a pure in-
stinctive. A madman may act as a crowd acts ; he's
gone down to the raging level of a mass. The hot average
of an angry number is a devilish thing."
Some day those of you who remain in the army may
be called upon to Jo the most disagreeable duty of a
soldier, which is to act in civil disorder. Then you may
unluckily learn the nature of a savage crowd. Instinctively
you will recognize that it is an organism, and see that it
has a strength of passion single in aim. You will endeavour
to split it up, to keep it moving ceaselessly lest it should
get set and act. We may be thankful to know that these
very qualities and passions directed and trained and
organized can give us the army which we need.
In the crowd considered as a simple organism a single
thought almost always dominates. It cannot, as a rule,
be a lofty or ennobling thought, for without much training
a mass of people are rarely capable of being moved by
fine motives. Therefore you need not be surprised when
you recognize the fact that an organized crowd in action
is often a destructive organism. You may see the same
in strikes where the nervous system of a trades union
fails to control a badly organized body of men. Of course
in every crowd there are the rudiments of a nervous
system : somebody springs to the front and becomes a
ringleader. If he speaks, and speaks successfully, he
always represents what the others want and usually puts
it in a few words. What we are accustomed to call con-
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 249
temptuously an agitator is nothing more nor less than a
possible part of the inchoate nervous system of a new
body. By the time it is properly organized we usually
cease to call the leaders abusive names, and if they keep
a firm nervous control over their numbers we are prepared
to do them more or less honour.
I think we may now say that, when we have specific
training for specific and definite purposes, we must have
a union of organized ideas, a common end, and a nervous
system. I dare say you have often been bored to tears,
almost to extinction, by some of the training through
which you have been put. This I know to be especially
true of the men who are, or will be, under your command,
when they are going through the long early stages of their
drill. Although on general principles it is not essential
to explain definitely to most recruits the whole purpose
of their training, I think the time comes when the men
should be given some of the real reasons why they have to
do things which weary them. Sometimes you will hear
a private declare he wishes he had not joined the army,
because he has been " forming fours " for twelve months
at a time. He cannot understand why he and the battalion
to which he belongs are not yet considered ready for
the Front. He will add that when he gets there he does
not suppose he will be kept " forming fours," and he
cannot understand why he should learn it anyhow. He
does not know that till it bores him in some measure it
has not become instinctive. And it has to be instinctive,
because only so can his nervous system learn to respond
rapidly to orders. Perhaps it is in some ways the same
with you. Possibly you wondered why you were put
through so much drill or why you had less than recruits.
It was not because you were more intelligent, but because
250 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
as the last ends of the battalion's nervous system you had
to preserve more individuality than your men. Possibly
in certain cases you might explain to them why you are
drilling them why you want so much to get them to act
together, to act with rapidity, to act instinctively or even
like a reflex. And a reflex action, I may remind you, is
one that has a short path. It is not pondered over by the
intellect ; it is done more than instinctively, it is entirely
a decentralized action for which no reference need be
made to the higher brain. Rapid reflex action to the
stimulus of an order are the essential results of all good
training. When there is no time for reasoning, when
action is absolutely necessary, nobody must stop to think.
But in a properly trained and organized body of men,
whether it be large or small, the thinking has been done,
the men have learnt to obey ; while the officers have learnt
not only to obey but to understand what is wanted almost
before the order reaches them. They L adapted to
their new environment. You have, of course, already
been instructed that when you get into the firing line,
and are in command of a platoon or a company, and the
order is given to advance, it is your place to lead. Prob-
ably it is true that the best leaders are those who, on
such occasions, are out of the trenches themselves before
they give the order. Now if this is so, it is what we should
expect from the very nature of the organism I have been
trying to describe. As you see, the platoon leader or the
company leader is essentially the nervous portion of the
platoon or company. But, as you must know, when a
nervous impulse comes from the brain it is obvious the
nerve is in action before the muscles react. So when
you get the order, or the time comes for you to move,
you necessarily do so before your men. Where you go
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 251
they will follow if they have been properly trained and
are in good condition. I may suggest to you here that
the phrase " shaken troops " means, in very many cases,
that the nervous system of that particular portion of
the organism has itself been shaken and broken up. So
long as the nervous system of the body keeps its power
of reaction to a stimulus, so long will the muscles move.
If the nerve fibre which moves a muscle is disintegrated
or gets paralysed the muscle will not stir. If a nerve
end is wholly tired out the impulse is not carried over
until it is repaired by rest. We know, however, by physical
experiments that, after a muscle thus ceases to contract,
it will work again if stimulated directly by an electric
battery. From this we see that it was the end of a nerve
which temporarily broke down, and that the muscle cells
still keep their contractility. You may therefore learn
from this the high responsibility that rests on you to keep
absolutely fit in mind and body, for the fitter you are
the longer you will be able to transmit energy and carry
out the orders you receive. In most cases you need not
doubt that if you have men who will not move when you
order them, the fault lies either with you as a leader or
with the training of the men before or since you took
them over. But be readier to blame yourselves than
others. Of course you will see, on the theories I have
just suggested to you (and remember I have no time to
do more than make suggestions), that much depends on
the quality of the nerves and the quality of the reacting
muscles, on the quality of the officers and the quality of
the troops. It sometimes happens in war, as you must
know, that the men who will not move for one officer will
for another, and that on desperate occasions the Com-
manding Officer himself may have to come into the firing
252 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
line and take the place of the Company Officer. This
may remind you of what I have just said of a muscle
being directly stimulated by electricity. I can give you
a curious example of this which happened at sea in a
merchant ship. Organization in such a vessel is always
rough and ready, but still it is organization. In very
bad weather, when going aloft is highly dangerous, the
men sometimes will not move for the second mate, whose
duty it is to lead them when they are ordered aloft. In
this particular case they refused to follow him. It was
blowing a hurricane, and it was necessary to cut away
a topsail rather than stow it, because to have started a
sheet would probably have brought the topmast about
their ears. When they refused to follow the second
mate the mate attempted to lead them. One or two made
a motion to follow him, and were actually dragged back
by the others. Then the old skipper, a white-haired man
of over sixty, came down from the poop, and without a
word climbed on the rail. Just as he was about to put
his foot on the ratlines the men with one accord rushed
after him, pulled him down, and went aloft themselves.
You see they succumbed to the greater stimulus when they
had failed to move for the less.
Perhaps I may venture here to say something to you
about the men who will be under your command. They
will become much to you and you will be much to them
if you have in you the power of command, which is the
nervous force of organization. There are many ways of
doing things. With men the means are love and fear.
Your men should love you, and they will probably express
it by saying, " Oh, the officer's all right ! " You can,
of course, if you have the power in you, make them fear
you. That is one way of working, but if you make them
TRAINING AND ORGANIZATION 253
love you they will fear you too. We fear those most
we love most. If any of you who are bachelors doubt
this, ask those among you who are married. Well, there
is something to add to this. Many a local success has
been gained in war by the rage of men at the loss of a
beloved leader. But I have never heard of one gained
because a man they feared and hated went down in battle.
Remembering that all of you make up an organization,
you will each in your own way reach out to your men
and grapple them to you. In chemistry an atom is said
to have much valency or little or none, and its valency
is its power of hooking on to other atoms and making
a big organized molecule. Might I say to you, get as much
valency as you can ? You may develop it by learning
to help, by sympathy, by understanding. There are
chemical compounds called paraffins, and the word
etymologically means " little affinity." Paraffins are
compounds of satisfied valency : perhaps we might say
they are fatly self-satisfied. They cannot hook on to
anything. Do not be paraffin officers : take your men
into your grasp. You will get some of their best qualities,
and you will give them some of yours. In a very deep
way you will become like them and they like you.
I do not know whether you have yet noticed, perhaps
as young men still being trained you have had little or
no chance to notice it, that under common impulses men
do get strangely alike. Probably there are officers here
who have seen this. A single dominating emotion so
prints itself on the faces of an organized body that the
common differences almost disappear. You do not
notice the individual members of a crowd if they are
moved by any vast passion. What you notice is the
passion itself, and it is often quite appalling. But such
254 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
a passion, when it has been properly excited by the
actions and words of a leader, will occasionally come
back as a renewed stimulus with a tremendous force on
that very leader himself. I do not know whether you
remember a resounding phrase about a great traditional
poet and the people for whom he sang. It was : " What
they sent up to him in vapour he returned to them in
May I then say once more that it is your work so to
train your men and yourselves that, when the hour of
stress comes, you will not only help them and lead them,
but will also receive from them the unsuspected but
mighty stimulation which comes from the undivided
strength of a real organism devoted to one high end,
the well-being and honour and glory of our country ?
CHAPTER X I
THE PHARMAKOS AND MEDICINE l
YEARS ago I began to wonder why the Greek
scapegoat or outcast of the festival of the
Thargelia was called a Pharmakos. I could not under-
stand what connection there could be between the Greek
words <poip(A<x,x,ov and (pappuxtvu and the scapegoat that
many have called the Human Medicine. However, the
matter passed out of my mind till I got a copy of the
second edition of The Rise of the Greek Epic, and there
Professor Murray's remarks in Appendix A brought the
matter back to me. Professor Murray seemed to believe
it was probably a foreign word, and, noting the long a
in the Ionic, suggested that in Attic the a was short
from analogy with <pap j o/a#oi'. This seemed to imply
that he regarded Pharmakos, the scapegoat, as differently
derived from <pap^a*ov, the drug. Nevertheless, on page 34
of the Greek Epic he speaks of the Pharmakos as Human
Medicine, which to my mind is a very late interpretation
of the word. It certainly is a difficult problem to con-
nect Pharmakos with a word for a drug or a man who
used a drug, a pharmacist or physician. But following
the clue which suggested a foreign origin, I sought for
some other word in the same area which might suggest
where it came from. I now believe that the original word
1 The Pharmakos, " Folk-Lore," vol. xxvii. 2, pp. 218-224. Vide Preface.
256 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
and the two original roots which make it up came from
the Turkic family of speech. For there is to be found
in the Turkic tongues in various forms what looks like the
very word itself. In Turkish itself it is spelt vourmak,
which means " to beat." In this word vour is the root,
which means " beat," and mak or, rather, mag, is the
original root, both in the Turkic and Aryan families,
which means " make." That mak is common to these
two groups seems tolerably certain, though how it came
to be in both nobody knows. We certainly cannot con-
nect the Turkic with the Aryan group, and yet the root
mak is very widely spread. Thus vourmak means literally
" to make blows " or "to whip." It is odd that it is
seldom employed in any Turkic tongue to mean beating
with a stick or whip. In that case the root dyon is more
commonly used. When we remember that in the Greek
Ritual the Pharmakos was beaten with agnus castus,
with squills and other flowers, that must have some signi-
ficance. We may note that vourmak, " to beat," may
just as often have the termination mek when the Turkish
laws of euphony demand it. One of the Turkish sub-
stantival gerunds of vourmak is vourour or vfirfir, which
seems to be, curiously enough, the exact philological
equivalent of the Latin verber, a thong or whip, which is
apparently an oddly reduplicated form. From this it
seems the real meaning of Pharmakos is just a beaten or
whipped person, and at last, by a later process of semantics,
one who has been driven out with blows. Whether one
is justified in bringing in Latin in this case is a matter
of question, but it is certainly interesting to note that
the reduplicated root in verber and verberare and in verbero
(one who deserves a flogging) has in some ways a look as
if it did not belong to the Latin tongue, but was an importa-
PHARMAKOS AND MEDICINE 257
tion as in the Greek. It is certainly suggestive of the
root vour or phar. I note in the old Etymologicon of Voss
he says as regards verbera, " sed cum Salmasio dicamus
verber esse ab seolico jSep-ryp pro Sgpryp." Of course,
no stress can be laid on this or on Voss. An interesting
analogy is also to be found in the Greek (jttuariyiott, a
According to this view, <pup[Act%v&>, " I give drugs or
poisons," is, naturally, from the same roots. Its very
existence implies an early medicine man, a Shaman,
some one equivalent to those found with all their
ritual among the Africans and Central Asians. Thus
<papjO/axug/v means, as it would with early races, " to
drive out evil spirits with a whip, or with blows." Such
a connotation is, on my theory, earlier than " to give
poisons," but one knows that the ritual of the savage
cure largely consists in driving out the spirit of disease
or witchcraft by noisy incantations or by actual physical
ill-usage of the patient. If I am right, it is curious to
consider that our word " pharmacist " has for its early
meaning exactly that of the ancient medicine man or
There is another interesting point connected with
Pharmakos which I have not seen mentioned. All over
the East the word farma^ion is used with the meaning
of an outlaw, and quite commonly with that of a cunning
blood-drinking enemy of religion, a man who is a satanist
or devil-worshipper. Of course, by a sort of meiosis it
seems sometimes to mean a mere scoundrel, just as by a
kind of hypokorisma the equally interesting word epikouros
is used in Northern Africa, where this verbal descendant
of the name of the great philosopher has come to mean
an enemy of Islam, a Christian, and an atheist or a
258 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
scoundrel. This is somewhat on a par with the use of the
word " Atheists " for the Christians at the time of Julian
the Apostate. There does not seem to me any doubt
whatever that farmagion is actually the same word as
Pharmakos. It is used in Turkey and Asia Minor, and
as far east as Afghanistan. It may be that the ancestors
of the Greeks borrowed it originally from some Turkic
race, and returned it again to the Mahommedans with a
Oddly enough, the word farmagion has, since its re-
adoption by Eastern races, taken on a new meaning. It
now often means " a freemason," one who is looked upon
by the orthodox as an outcast and a scoundrel, a sufi and
one highly irreligious. Not being a freemason myself, I
know nothing of its ritual, but, so far as I can learn,
members of this society, or those who are really instructed
in its ritual and doctrines, regard their common name
as one very uncertain in its etymology. Its present or
common meaning is undoubtedly false philology. Our
word freemason is, of course, a translation from the French
franc-mason, but to my mind " franc " is nothing but a
metathesized form of the vour of vourmak and the phar
of Pharmakos with an added euphonic nasal. Thus, it is
only by a later verbal accident that the " ma?on " was
turned into " mason," and connected with masonry and
building. Probably, then, it is actually the same root as
the mak of vourmak or farmafion. The early societies and
secret orders of the East (the East, as might be expected,
being full of secret orders) have linked themselves on to
masonry as the last surviving order which used their secret
marks. Probably, to begin with, these marks had no rela-
tion to building. It seems then that etymologically the
freemasons are no more than a band of " pharmakoi."
PHARMAKOS AND MEDICINE 259
To go back to the actual Pharmakos, one may note that
Professor Murray is strongly of opinion that he was never
killed, but only beaten. This is certainly borne out by
my suggested etymology, although, of course, the very
word Pharmakos may only have come into use when the
ritual had been modified and humanized. It is interesting
to note that there are two small islands off the coast of
Attica, not far from Salamis and in the Bay of Eleusis,
which were known in classical times as Pharmacussse.
On one of them used to be shown the Temple of Circe.
There is another island on the coast of Asia Minor called
Pharmacusa, where, according to Plutarch, Caesar was
taken prisoner by pirates when he was a young man. I
cannot help thinking that in both cases these islands might
practically be translated into English as Outcast Island
or Islands. That is to say, they were originally refuges
for wandering scoundrels, pirates, and the like, those who
harried the settled mainland, and were looked upon as the
Britons looked upon the Danes, and as the mainlanders
looked upon some of the islanders at the time of the
Migrations of which Professor Murray gives such a fine
imaginative picture. There also is another island in the
Bay of lassus which is, I believe, still called Farmako.
It is possible, of course, that such a name sprang from
the fact that these islands were inhabited by survivors
of the primitive tribes who were always apt to be looked
upon as magicians.
Naturally enough, during the course of time there
have been many attempts to discover the root meaning
of Pharmakos, and I cannot help thinking that some
of the later attempts are little better than those of the
scholiast and grammarians. For instance, Eustathius
derives pharmakon from (p'spetv u,%Qo<; when used in a
260 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
bad sense, and from <pgp/v oixog when used in a good
one. One does not always, even nowadays, get much
help from those who ought to know. When my theory
was submitted to one well-known Orientalist he said
that the older or classical form of vourmak was ourmak.
He was, of course, wrong. He was an authority on the
Semitic languages, but evidently knew little of Turkish.
It is impossible to speak of it as an old form when all
existing Turkish documents, being in the Arabian char-
acter, must necessarily be subsequent to the eighth
century, when the Turks of the Khanates were endowed
simultaneously with Islam and the Persi-Arabic alphabet.
Nor do I understand how he could have thought ourmak
could have been degraded into the popular form vourmak.
According to all philologic knowledge, any degradation
would have been in the opposite direction. It may be
noted that as there is no Arabic character to represent the
v sound the Turks use the wau for this purpose. There
are, in fact, hundreds of words in Turkish beginning with
a v sound and thousands in which the v is incorporated.
They are all represented by the Arabic wau.
In this paper I have not troubled to speak about the
actual meaning of the Pharmakos ceremony. Professor
Murray seems wedded to the belief that it was in every
case a mimema. On the other hand, Sir James Frazer
is equally certain that even in civilized Greece the Thar-
gelian rites took darker forms than the mere expulsion of
this quasi-religious outcast when he was beaten with agnus
castus or squills and expelled from the city. Certainly,
the derivation which I offer seems on the surface to support
Professor Murray's contention. But the general body of
anthropological lore on this subject points steadily to
darker customs which may have been resurrected in
PHARMAKOS AND MEDICINE 261
classical Greece during the times of abnormal wrath on
the part of the gods or in times of scarcity, if the Phar-
makos represented, as he often must have done, the spirit
It would, of course, be interesting to get some early
references to the use of farmapion, but it is very difficult
to trace any Oriental expression before mediaeval times.
One has to remember that using the pen was, in its way, a
solemn rite. Up to the tenth century every sheet of
writing was headed among the Mahommedans, " In the
Name of Allah, the Compassionate and Most Merciful " ;
and is still in all literary work. An Orientalist friend of
mine to whom I have referred asks, " How, with such
a headline, would a pious scribe dare to refer to a blood-
drinking satanic farmafion ? Such a combination might
have made some dreadful formula capable of shooting
the writer into the infinities of the wth dimension of space."
Such an attitude of mind is especially characteristic of
the Oriental. Although magic was utterly condemned by
Mahomet, it was believed in none the less because he
condemned it as a practice, and it is still believed in.
My friend tells me that the word has been used for a long
.time in the traditional comments on a portion of the ritual
of a secret society into which he was initiated in an obscure
town on the Tigris. The actual early papyrus was totally
indecipherable and belonged to no known language.
Indeed, those who held these documents, which had
probably been transcribed many times by men who did not
understand the script, were of the romantic opinion that
the original was to be referred to the era of Khamurabi,
although the comments were probably not older than
the eighth century A.D. Of course, such a statement as
this is not evidence without further support. And yet, if
262 WARFARE IN THE HUMAN BODY
the derivation of Pharmakos is what I have suggested, the
use of the word certainly goes back beyond all historic
times. Assuredly farmafion must be a very ancient word,
and the horror of the orthodox Islamite for it is natural
enough. We may compare the Catholic Church and
its views of Freemasonry. There were political reasons
for this, but the Church has a deep-seated jealousy and
dislike and even fear of secret societies.
While considering this subject I have come across some
who actually declared that we might start the history of
the word from Odyssey ix. 393. That is certainly of to-day
compared with its real history, for even Hipponax of the
sixth century B.C. had to explain it. And when this
passage in the Odyssey uses (pappoiffffetv in the sense of to
" temper," how is it possible for us to look on mere temper-
ing as a primitive meaning when we know what we do of
the whole body of Wayland Smith legends ? A smith was
always a magician in the old times. Of course, the
scholiast interprets the word in this passage as "harden-
ing." As a matter of fact, it was probably " curing."
What a magic sorcerer or smith did was to cure the iron
of its native softness and bewitch it, almost certainly
with incantations and ritual, as he plunged it into the
tempering medium. We might even say that he drove
out the devil of softness. Wherever there is an element
of magic in a word one expects that to be primary. The
expression (pappciffasiv -/oCwov, " to temper or strengthen
brass," cannot be primary. One needs some imagination
to deal with words like this. One of the weaknesses of
the common dictionary is its habit of putting the usually
accepted meaning first and the original meaning after-
wards. So, when one looks at Liddell and Scott one sees
means, to begin with, " to medicate," and
PHARMAKOS AND MEDICINE 263
secondly, "to enchant or bewitch by the use of potions."
The word certainly goes back to the ages of magic ritual,
and back again to the very expulsion of Jonahs, people
who had no luck and brought ill luck, probably before
magic itself was practised. It is a natural animal instinct
to turn out those who seem to bring ill fortune, even
if there is no piacular element in such an expulsion.
Animals often expel some of their kind. We may compare
rooks and elephants and even cattle, who kill a wounded
member of the herd when his loud lowing might possibly
bring them into danger.
Of course, it is exceedingly hard to say, when we con-
sider what a linguistic whirlpool Asia Minor has always
been, what was the actual origin of this particular word.
It might not originally be Turkic. There is a strange
tendency among certain people to attribute everything
unknown to the Hittites, but, as no one seems to know
what Hittite is, that is very little use to the investigator.
Vourmak may not, of course, be Turkic at all, although it is
a living word in the living Turkish language at the present
THE INFECTION THEORY OF CANCER
IT was obviously impossible to discuss in the text
all the theories of cancer in detail, but as I under-
stand that some think the paper less than just to the case
presented by those who support the infection theory,
something more may be said of it. It was, perhaps, too
much to infer without a more special examination that
the parasitic hypothesis of malignancy is only explaining
one mystery by another. The real objection to this
hypothesis is that even if it were found to be a fact that
an infection precedes all malignant growth, it would remain
a mere observation and not an explanation. What we
want to know is why invasive cell-proliferation takes place,
and whether excessive cell-growth is peculiar to such
diseases, or can be found in others. Any bacteriological
explanation of malignancy must classify the phenomena
among those which are recognized as being symptomatic
of infection. So far this has not been done, and a pro-
visional assumption that the imagined infective agent
is so different from all others as to be able to produce the
phenomena in question exhibits many of the marks of
vitalism, i.e. it invests the agent with the unexplained
power of producing what we desire to explain. Logically
an unknown entity capable of causing the effects in
question must not be propounded as a cause if any evidence
266 APPENDIX A
can be brought to show that known causes can produce
them. If so they can be classed. If they are unique
phenomena in infection they obviously cannot be classed.
But as overgrowth is not a unique phenomenon among
developmental diseases, and as we know that it can be
caused, or inhibited, by chemical cell-products, we are
entitled to declare that infection, if a cause, is a secondary
one, and that the real cause lies among the phenomena of
growth as much as acromegaly and other disorders due
to unregulated stimulation of organic tissues.
It is impossible to argue clearly upon so complex a
subject unless the nature of explanation is really under-
stood. We need but ask any one to " explain " explana-
tion to find how few have clear ideas on the subject.
According to the logicians a partial comparison is not
explanation. The phenomena of one science are only to
be regarded as explained when they can be classed among
the observed sequences, or so-called laws, of a more
inclusive science. Therefore the pathological phenomena
of malignancy must be capable of classification with regard
to physiological phenomena as we must regard patho-
logical facts as deviations from the average or normal
tissue. In the paper I endeavoured to range the facts
under physiological and biological laws, since biology
includes physiology and pathology. However unsuc-
cessful the attempt may have been, it is obvious that it
was not made without reason or without results, whereas
the attempt to range them under the observed sequences
of bacteriology fails in vital particulars, and leaves us
just where we were, that is, in presence of a possible
infective agent which is hypothetically given the qualities
that produce the effects with none of the known signs of
infectivity. For until a malignant growth becomes really
APPENDIX A 267
infected it is, so far as its cells are concerned, obviously
in riotous health, and although symbiotic alliance occurs in
lower organisms such as Convoluta roscoffenis the sym-
biosis is not intracellular, as the infective, microbic, or
protozoal theory of cancer demands.
Moreover, even if a special infection hypothesis were
proved to be correct, we should still have to seek the cause
of the tissues acting as they did when affected by, or in
symbiosis with, the pathogenic agent. Till that is under-
stood we are still in the dark, and the particular organism
which causes disaster remains no more than a secondary
or exciting cause. It is, therefore, strictly logical to
range all infection causes as irritative, or irritative and
weakening, agents, whether they be one or many. Lambert
Lack teaches that periodontitis is a common cause of
tongue cancer, by which he means that its toxic products
acting in combination with other irritation and syphilis
in some way urge the epithelium into revolt. Such a
view is logically sound. It is stated by Peyton Rous
that fowl sarcoma can be reproduced by the injection of
a filtered extract of the original malignant growth. It
is therefore inferred by some authorities that the repro-
duced disease is due to a filter-passing organism. So long,
however, as such a filter-passer cannot be cultivated, or
shown to exist by other methods, it is only legitimate to
infer that such a phenomenon must be ranged among
those caused by irritative agents or toxins pulling the
trigger of an unstable tissue. Moreover, even if the sus-
pected filter-passer is proved to exist, the only logical
inference to be drawn is that an infective organism can
excite sarcomatous overgrowth in the fowl's tissue just
as other irritative agents can produce carcinoma. The
evidence takes us no further than irritation. Even if it
268 APPENDIX A
were proved that a sterilized injection of this sarcomatous
growth failed to reproduce the original disease, it would
still be far from proved that more than irritation was
needed to cause it. It is, indeed, quite probable that the
toxins of the injection, if not broken up by the process
of sterilization, might still produce the sarcoma by abnormal
stimulation of the connective tissues, a view in accordance
with those suggested in the paper. If malignancy were
caused by the suggested agents we should expect like
results to be found in more cases than this. I suggest
that such experiments in aged fowls might produce
carcinoma, not sarcoma.
Certain results obtained by Bashford with regard to
the immunization of mice to mouse-cancer by the injection
of mouse skin, need further elucidation. I am not sure
whether pure epithelial products were injected, or whether
connective tissue was used with it. According to the
developmental theory it may be suggested that if epithelium
was used alone, mouse-cancer might more properly be called
a sarcoma. But in any case it remains very suggestive
that animal tissues, whose action must be in the nature of
the products of the endocrine organs, do produce inhibitory
effects. It is, perhaps, the more surprising that the work
of Shattock, Seligmann, and Dudgeon, when they attempted
to produce chondromatous growths by grafting foetal
bones, did not lead them in the direction of the develop-
mental view rather than in that of parasitism or infection.
Their statements as to restraining bodies, or " corpora
cohibentia " are strictly parallel with the doctrine of the
endocrines which obviously inhibit as well as stimulate.
They state that " the cartilage of the body (like each of
the other tissues) tends, we may assume, per se, to grow
indefinitely and without limitation. But against this
APPENDIX A 269
inherent endeavour, each of the other tissues, other than
the cartilage, furnishes a restraining substance, and co-
ordinates its growth with the rest." If this is true, and
few will nowadays be found to doubt that it represents,
at any rate partially, the actual machinery through which
ordered growth is obtained, it follows inevitably that the
want of a particular restraining body should result in the
disorderly growth of some tissue specially apt to pro-
liferate. Such are epithelium and connective tissue, the
agents of malignancy, and in view of the whole of the
phenomena of malignant disaster and repair it is perfectly
legitimate to infer that these two tissues are those which
react most powerfully upon each other.
Other experiments by Shattock and Dudgeon are of
great interest and value, and at first sight may seem to
support the parasitic theory. Mice fed with mouse-cancer
appear to have developed, (i) a round-celled sarcoma, (z)
an invasive epithelioma of the mediastinal glands, (3) an
invasive endothelioma. Such results are, however, by
no means convincing. Abnormal results from highly
abnormal foods are what might be expected, on the general
theory of physiological balance. Salmon and trout fry
fed upon pig's liver develop a thyroidal overgrowth which
later may become malignant, and the ingestion of foods,
carrying stimulating or inhibiting products or both, should
on the developmental view have abnormal results. It
has been said that excessive thyroidal medication is in
some cases followed by cancer. Moreover, the statement
by the two workers above mentioned really supports the
developmental view. They say " the first striking thing
is that the tumours of the three mice have not the same
histological character, and that none can be viewed as
having resulted from the growth of implanted cells." If,
270 APPENDIX A
however, such tumours resulted from a definite parasite,
we should look for a repetition of the original histological
structure. From the point of view of endocrine action,
however, nothing is more likely than that the subjects of
the experiment should break down in different ways. One
mouse cannot have the exact resistance of another, nor
could we look for the same results in all of them any more
than we should expect soot carcinoma in every chimney,
It must be insisted on that the developmental theory
of cancer is as definitely against cancer propagation by
transplantation of cells from one patient to another as it
is against a definite cancer parasite. When Shattock
endorses Paget's view that malignancies in families is not
due to such causes it is impossible not to agree. But
such an agreement by no means reduces us to the necessity
of admitting infection. A family with inherited tissue
instability, if exposed to conditions likely to decrease
health and further impair tissue balance, may experience
any form of malignant growth. Quite independent of
such diseases families can be found in which one member
is hyperthyroidal, another an athyroidal dwarf, and an-
other myxcedematous. That families subject to malignant
disease die of various forms of it is distinctly against
It is argued that some of the phenomena of radium
and X-ray malignancy imply a second factor, probably,
or at least possibly, a parasite. But in X-ray cancer
nothing more appears to be needed than the disturbing
effects of the rays themselves. It is difficult to suppose
that any organism is always infected with an organism
ready to display its activities on X-ray excitation ; a
supposition which is necessary as such rays, if sufficiently
APPENDIX A 271
applied, always produce malignancy. With regard to
radium, I understand that Lazarus-Barlow claims to have
produced by it a " pre-cancerous " growth in rats and
rabbits. These altered tissues were only slightly invasive,
and when the radium action was stopped they resumed
their normal character. It is held by some that this
proves the necessity of a second factor which may be
parasitic, but the strictly logical view is simply that the
organism recovered, i.e. that the normal tissue inhibitions
were restored, and that the altered tissues resumed their
ancient functions. Since we know that, even in obvious
cancer, attempts of the organism to cure it succeed for
long periods, it is illegitimate to infer that an artificially
produced morbid state of possible malignancy in a healthy
subject may not revert to a normal condition when the
disturbing influence is removed.
With regard to the difference between benign and
malignant tumours, which some think are such as to divide
them entirely into classes of wholly different causation,
it may be said that much late work does not support this
view. The fact that so many benign growths at last be-
come malignant, and that in others the dividing line is
so obscure that the histologist and pathologist are doubtful
as to their character, obviously suggests that a further
want of inhibition or the increase of some undue stimula-
tion may end in malignancy. A few authorities argue
that even benign tumours are parasitic in their origin.
All that is necessary to say of this is that such a theory
of causation appears superfluous.
Perhaps the best defence of the parasitic theory is
that of D'Este Emery (Tumours, 1916). It is well
argued, and likely to convince those who are already
inclined to take the view supported. Many of the
272 APPENDIX A
arguments, however, will not bear critical examination.
Emery and C. P. White seem to think that a continu-
ously progressing proliferation of malignant tissue de-
mands a continuously increasing irritant. This is surely
fallacious. If there is any loss of balance in a body or
any other structure, less and less power is needed to
cause destruction. The Leaning Tower of Pisa should
take less to overthrow it now than when it was built.
If the theory of organic restraint has any basis at all,
and no one can deny that it is very firmly based, any
such disaster as malignancy may be compared to a breach
made in a dam. To remove the highest part will
take much labour, but as water begins to flow potential
energy becomes kinetic, and the whole dam goes. In
malignancy we need not posit an increasing power, for
what we see in most cases is a decreasing resistance, as
every pathologist recognizes that there is attempted
repair in cancer, even though it mostly fails. Emery
also says, "if growth is very rapid, the innermost layer
of the epithelium may find it easier to grow downward
into the tissues than up." The italics are mine. The
developmental or hostile symbiotic view explains such
a fact. Indeed it shows that the necessary preliminary
to such downward growth is a failure of the connective
tissues which is plainly demonstrated by the pheno-
mena accompanying excessive radiation. With irri-
tated reacting epithelium it is not "may" but " must."
According to D'Este Emery malignant cells frequently
act as phagocytes, which suggests they have some power
of movement. This is surely a forced interpretation
of the destructive nature of malignant cells. That
they erode tissue, and even " eat away bone "
(Bland-Sutton) is true enough. But we do not call
APPENDIX A 273
the erosive action of the chorionic trophoblast phago-
cytic, and, as is said in my paper, Handley states that the
multinuclear cell of cancer appears when met with resist-
ance such as the blood possesses. That the cells " move "
is true, but their movement, which can be measured, is
the thrust of growth, and room is obtained for that by
the cell catalyst and mechanical pressure.
Emery's views upon X-ray phenomena are to be
found in less than a dozen lines. He remarks that the
cracks seen in X-ray dermatitis are portals of infection.
Such infections as entert hat way are, however, those
which can be proved to be known agents, and the theory
ignores the facts that long before cancer is recognizable
there is, underlying the irritated epithelium, the true
pre-cancerous stage of rarified connective-tissue elements.
Would the author affirm that continually sterilized hands
exposed for long periods to X-rays would not become
The argument based upon cage infection does not
carry much weight. Captive animals are already in an
unnatural condition. It is notorious that their general
powers of resistance, and especially their powers of
repair, are weakened. If many of them break down with
malignant disease, what is the most that can be logically
inferred ? It is that in bad conditions and poor health
some infection, if it is an infection, may cause irrita-
tion and malignancy. But no one ever denied that
infections can be irritative causes of epithelial over-
Another argument is that malignant tissue growing
alongside normal epithelium shows that the latter has a
power of resistance. It is difficult to see what is in-
ferred from this. It is to be expected from all the
274 APPENDIX A
phenomena that to begin with there should be a local
breakdown of balance at the point of irritation, and
the spread of it into normal epithelium which does
not immediately revolt is no more surprising than that
a social riot, in which the police have been over-
powered, should spread, and yet be repelled for a time
in areas where they are still strong, and the inhabitants
have not been excited to disorder. It is no vain
metaphor to suggest that in the body politic the police
greatly resemble the wandering connective-tissue cells
of any organism.
In conclusion, it may be repeated, and even in-
sisted on, that only the developmental and endocrine
theory shows any reason whatsoever for the basal facts
of malignancy, that is, for the actual undue prolifer-
tion of tissue cells, their tendency to revert to an em-
bryonic character, and their power to spread beyond
normal boundaries, while the biological conception of the
organism as a federation of cell-colonies working in a
harmony, which is the result of "constraining bodies,"
throws a brilliant light on invasiveness as the result of
a failure in such inhibitions.
EMERY D'EsTE. " Tumours," 1916.
SHATTOCK and DUDGEON. " Feeding Experiments with Mouse-
cancer," Proc. Royal Soc. Med., vol. x. p. 35, 1916-17.
THE PR RON BUS TERTIUS
IT seems as if the peroneus terlius, a muscle only
found in the human organism as a special portion
of the mechanism for preserving the structure of the
foot from damage in orthogrades, is a key case for the
opponents of transmission. This muscle is a lesser
opponent of the tibialis anticus, which is found well
developed in simians not using, or only rarely using,
the upright posture. It must, then, have come into
existence at a late period of evolution. This is em-
phasized by the fact, that a few fibres of the tertius are
occasionally found in the gorilla. Is such a direct
adaptation to be attributed to germinal variations, that
is to say, to accident, if we hold that the germ-
plasm does not respond magically to new needs ? To me
this seems much more than unlikely. A new muscle
has arisen at a special point of strain as a part of the
set of muscles preserving the arch of the foot and,
as we see from pathology, it is not yet doing its work
with complete success. It is still imperfect. If such
a muscle is not a direct adaptation to new stresses
words have ceased to have any meaning. To say that
a single muscle cell or fibre arose from a " spontaneous "
germinal variation, and was found advantageous, is to
make a mockery of mechanism. But if it is assumed
276 APPENDIX B
that continual stress can produce such a muscle reaction
we may infer that continued strain would reinforce it.
We can, in fact, prophesy that in time such continued
stresses will secure adequate response. We must also
infer that, when a set of muscles is used in a new position,
as was the case when the upright posture was adopted,
opposing muscles are no longer properly counterbalanced.
Some new muscle is called for. It is obvious that such
new strain must be repeated in embryo if the muscle
is to increase, since new muscles fibres do not come into
existence later. As the embryonic tibialis anticus begins
to exert a pull, these stresses are felt by yet undifferenti-
ated cells, the parents of muscle cells, which are capable
of becoming muscle if so stressed. Without such em-
bryonic strains the tissues would have altered in some
other manner. If language is not to be tortured into
something which serves no function, we must come to
the conclusion that new stresses are repeated during
development, and exert a morphogenetic influence upon
the undifferentiated tissues. If this is so transmission is
no longer guesswork.
MARCUS TERENTIUS VARRO
AS this passage seems little known I have tran-
scribed it here, although it is an uncertain, and
perhaps corrupt, text.
De Re Rustica. Book i., chap. xii. " Sin cogare
secundum flumen sedificare, curandum ne adversam earn
(villam) ponas : hieme enim fiet vehementer frigida et
aestate non salubris. Animadvertum etiam, siqua
erunt loca palustria, et propter easdem caussas, et quod
(arescunt) crescunt animalia qusedam minuta, quae non
possunt oculi consequi, et per aera intus in corpus per
os et nares perveniunt atque efficiunt difficiles morbos."
Fundanius, " Quid potero " inquit, " facere si istius
modi mi fundus hereditati obvenerit, quominus pesti-
lentia noceat ? "
" Istuc vel ego possum respondere," inquit Agrius :
" vendas quot assitus possis, aut, si nequeas, relinquas.
. . . Praetera quod a sole toto die illustratur, salubrior
est et bestiolae siquse prope nascuntur et inferuntur, aut
efflantur aut aritudine cito pereunt."
" But if you must build beside a river you must take
care that you do not put the house to face it : for in
winter it will be excessively cold, and in summer un-
healthy. For the same reasons you have to be on your
278 APPENDIX C
guard against marshy places, and also because (as they
dry) minute animals are engendered there which cannot
be detected by the eyes, and these borne by the air get
into the body through mouth and nostrils, and cause
diseases difficult to get rid of."
Fundanius said : " What should I do to avoid the evil
of infection if I were to inherit an estate of that kind ? "
" I can tell you that," replied Agrius. " Sell it for
what you can get, and if you can't sell, leave it. ...
Besides, the house is healthier for being shone upon all
day, and if any animalcules breed and are carried there,
they are either blown away or quickly perish through
the dryness (of the air)."
Abderhalden, Emil. on immunity, 132.
Acquired characteristics, death itself
acquired, 19, 201.
Accelerator fibres, 106 seq.
Acromegaly, 23, 40.
Adami, J. G., habit of tissues, 27, 35.
Adaptation, a process of repair, 72.
Adrenalin, and cowardice, 241.
effect on intestine, 191.
in danger, 200.
Alcheringa and the Golden Age, 147.
Alliances, forced, 161.
Analogy, incomplete induction, 5, 6,
. X 7-
discovery of analogies in science, 7-
Anaphylaxis, suggested explanation of,
Aneurisms and the heart, 73.
repair of, 76.
Animism and vitalism, 224.
Anthropology, as mental training, 204,
neglect of by psychologists, 24.
Aortic stenosis, heart weight in, 75.
Apolant, H., on mouse cancer, 50.
Arches, stress, failure and repair of, 68.
Army as an organism, 239.
Arsenic, as a provoker of lipoid, 136.
Atkinson, Primal Law of, 150.
Auerbach's Plexus, in.
Avoidance, 150, 152, 154.
Bacteria, iron-using, 190.
Bacteriology, nomenclature of, 129.
Bainbridge, W. S., on cancer, 34.
Balance, in construction, 30.
Balneology and water-spirits, 2IO.
Bashford, cancer and immunity, 268.
Bathing, not natural, 204.
to get rid of spirits, 216.
Bayliss, Prof. \V. M., "accidental"
water movement in muscle, 1 10.
Becquerel rays, 45.
Bell, Charles, muscular sense, 117.
Belogolovy, G. A., Frog Pelobates,
Benign growths, 271.
Bernard, Claude, on disease and
Betz, cells of, 235.
Biceps, fibres of, 104.
Binbinga, and necrophagy, 162, 165.
Biologic conceptions of organisms, 22.
Biologic parallels, use of, 15.
Birth in mammalians, 185.
Bitches, mammary cancer in, 47.
Bland-Sutton, Sir J., cancer erosion,
chorionic trophoblast, 36, 85.
femoral sarcoma, 51.
glandular pantheon, 31.
pathology and biology, 66.
Blood and cancer, 53.
in history of lustration, 205.
Blood-cells, as germ-cells, 185.
Bourne, Prof. G. C., advocate of trans-
Bramann, on the scrotum, 82.
Breakdown and repair, 67.
Browning on immunity, 139.
Budding and emigration, 15.
Bundle of His, rate of conduction, 97.
Butler, S., Unconscious Memory, 194.
Cage cancer, 273.
Campbell, Dr. Harry, inter-tribal
Cancer, theories of, 32 seq.
and cartilage, 269.
and castration, 47.
and gastric ulcers, 48.
cells, as phagocytes, 272.
cells, polymorphism of, 38.
constitutional theory, 32.
developmental disease, a, 58.
Cancer, familial, 270.
infection, 18, 32, 265 seq.
multi-nucleated cell in, 273.
repair in, 272.
social analogues for, 21.
suggestions for research, 57.
Thiersch on, 34, 35.
transplantation of, 270.
Waldeyer on, 34, 35.
M'Cullough on, 146.
modern necrophagy, 1 66.
moral reprobation of, 145,
once universal, 178.
Spencer and Gillen, 162.
Toussenel on, 168.
Carcharias, shark's heart, III.
Carcinoma. See Cancer.
Cardiac vagus and inhibition, 94, 96,
113 ?., 119, 125.
Cardiograms, interpretation of, 123.
Cartilage and cancer, 269.
Castration and cancer, 47.
Catalysts, loss of, in disease, 19-
and manganese, 200.
as tools, 12, 199.
in old age, 19.
new combinations in, 190.
Cathedral, principles of evolution seen
Causes, real and false, 267.
irritation as "cause," 267.
Cell, senescent, 197.
a great social aggregate using tools,
Champy, tissue growth in vitro, 42.
Character and disease, 82.
Chellean art, 149.
Child, C. M., on early degeneration,
Senescence and f!ejuvenesence, 196.
Cholera and holy water, 224.
Chorion-epithelioma, 33, 54, 86.
Chromosomes and variation, 188.
Catalytic tools in, 1 86.
Classificatory system, 158 seq.
origin of, 158, 161, 165.
Cleanliness not natural, 204.
Coley's Fluid, reasons of usual failure
Colloidal chemistry, neglect of, 141.
Colour produced by peroxidases, 136.
Cohnheim, "rests "in cancer, 27, 35.
Columella on dangerous insects, 125.
Committees, mentality of, 240.
Complexes, hidden racial, 155.
as myth, 156.
Conditioned reflexes in inhibition, 95.
Connective tissue, influence of, on
and malignity, 40.
Consciousness, adaptational response,
as reflex, 1 1 8.
mystery of, 228.
nature of, 232.
Conservatism in cells, 194.
Construction principles of universal,
Co-ordination of knowledge, 4.
Corpora cohibentia, 268.
Corporations, mentality of, 240.
Cortex, number of neurons, 229.
Cowardice an adrenal failure, 241.
Cremaster, the result of stress and
Crowds, nature of, 246 seq.
Cunningham, Prof. J. T. , advocate of
transmission, 90, 198.
work on hormones, II.
Cures, cancer, use of, 49.
Cushny, Prof. A. R., on digitalis, 114.
Darier and Wolbarth, 44.
Darwin, Charles, pangenes determin-
origin of variations, 66.
spontaneous variations, Ji.
unfavourable variations, 13.
Death an acquired characteristic, 201.
Death-rate and provoked immunity,
Dendy, Prof. A., advocate of trans-
Dental disease and mastication, 206.
Dermatitis, X-ray, 43.
Determinants, catalytic, 13.
determining nothing, 193.
hormones, etc., 91.
Development, embryonic and pre-
Diastole, active nature of, 97.
negative pressure of, 1 08.
"rebound "of, 108.
Dietetics and food-taboos, 224.
Digitalis, action of, 114 saj.
Cushny on, 1 14.
poisonous stage, 115.
Dilatation, cardiac, in evolution, 77.
Disasters, and repair as reaction to,
Disease, function of, in evolution, 64,
morphogenetic factor, 90.
organic and functional, 63.
Discovery and freed energy, 235.
Drainage, nerve, 97.
Driesch, entelechy of, 62.
rudimentary psychoids, 198.
Duchenne, articular sense, 117.
Durante, in history of cancer, 27, 35-
Ebarth, bands of, 74.
Ehrlich, P., on mouse cancer, 50.
side-chain theory, 128.
Elephant, lung of, 88.
Ellis, Mr. Havelock, 205.
Embryo a parasite, 85.
Embryonic tissue, invasiveness of, 38.
Emery, Dr. D'Este, on tumours, 271 seq.
Emigration as budding, 15.
in ships, 15.
Emotions, highest, physiology of, 234.
End -plates and energy, 104.
Energetics, universal working of, 9.
Entelechy of Driesch, 62.
Environment, internal, 199.
and stability of type, 177.
Enzymes as immune bodies, 131.
nature and working of, 149.
Epikouros, in N. Africa, 257
Epithelium, germinal, 185.
influence on connective tissue, 43.
parent tissue of true glands, 41.
universality of, in organism, 40.
Erysipelas and cancer, 50.
Evolution, continuous, 77.
rate of, 177.
undiscovered factors of, 147.
Exogamy, Frazer on, 1 59.
Explanation, nature of, 8, 24, 128, 189,
Exudations, in evolution, 72.
Failure, a means of progress, 65, 8l.
and repair in evolution, 175.
Farmaij'ion, 257 seq,
Farmer, Prof. J. B., nutrition and
Femoral sarcoma, 51.
Ferrier, Sir David, work on brain, 229.
Fibrillation, auricular, 102.
Filehne on action of arsenic, 136.
Filter passers, in sarcoma, 267.
Fleets as organs, 201.
Fletcher, Horace, swallowing reflexes,
Fcetal bones, grafts of, 268.
Food, factors accessory, as " tools," 13.
as poison, 131.
taboos, and dietetics, 224.
Fossa ovalis in mammal, 75.
Fowls and sarcoma, 47, 267.
Frazer, Sir J. G. classificatory system,
Psyches Task, 223.
on savage logic, 148.
Thargelian Rites, 260.
work by, 24.
Freemason, origin of word, 258.
Freud and racial complexes, 155.
Function and structure, 68.
Gallon, Sir F., eugenics and disease, 19.
Gaskell, W. H., and the augmentor
work on brain, 229.
Gastric ulcers and malignancy, 48.
Germ-cells, cases of early isolation,
Germ-plasm, the "constant" in, 201.
theory of, 61.
Germ -tracks of little importance, 188.
Germinal epithelium, 185.
Gestational immunity, 85.
Abderhalden, Emil, on, 132.
Giant cells, nature of nuclei, 54.
Giant molecules, 129.
Glands, ductless, as regulators, 30.
Gley, harmozones of, 31.
Gomme, Sir Lawrence, 151.
Gorilla, evolving perottens tertius in,
Gothic architecture, stresses and failures
Granulations and sarcoma, 40.
Graphs, reading of, 123.
Graves' Disease, 23.
Green, C. E. , cancer and smoke pro-
Grief, a "spirit" attack, 221.
Growth, due to many agents, 91.
Guanche rain charms, 214.
Haberlandt, G., views of cell change,
Haddon, Dr., 151.
Hundley, Mr. Sampson, multinuclear
cancer cells and blood, 54-
Ilartog, Prof. Marcus, on mitosis, 14.
Harvey, William, circulation of blood,
Head, Dr. Henry, work on brain, 229.
Heart, and aneurisms, 73.
and organ-forming substances, 199.
cardiac flutter, 102.
columnse carnere, etc., 73-
continued avolution of, 77.
fibrillation, auricular, 102.
moulding of, 75.
muscular fibres in, 75-
new fibres arising in embryo, 78.
Hernaman-Johnson, Dr. F., cancer and
Herring, P. F., thyroid feeding, 124.
His, Bundle of, 74.
conducting power, 123.
Histology and heredity, 185.
Homo Eoanthropus, 149.
Ilorsley, Sir Victor, work on brain,
Hostile symbiosis, in organisms, 25.
in school and army, 244.
Human flesh as iood, 169.
Hunter, John, cremaster, 78.
on repair, 72.
tunica vaginalis, 82.
work of, 229.
Hunting and cannibalism, 168.
Huxley, T. H., on consciousness, 66,
as stimulator, 233
Hydalid mole and reaction against, 86.
Hydraulic presses and cardiac muscle,
llypcrpituitarism, in malignancy, 56.
Imagination, use of, in science, 26, 144.
Immune bodies as catalysts, 130.
Immunity, as basis of life, 139.
by provoked catalysts, 132.
gestational, 85, 132.
Immunization, a normal process, 136.
social illustrations of, 136.
Incest and exogamy, 145, 157, i$9-
Indians, Thompson River, 220.
Individual, any "closed system" an,
Induction, value of, 19.
Infection theory of cancer, 32, 46,
and substituted action, 125.
k as " influence," 96.
Inhibition, by cardiac vagus, a shock
Cushny, A. R., on, 114.
illustrations of, 119.
Lister, Joseph, on, 116.
Thomas, H. O., on, 116.
Internal secretions, power of, 191.
Invasiveness and embryonic tissues, 38.
Irregularity of heart, youthful, 105.
Jackson, Dr. Hughlings, on mind and
Japanese wrestlers and testes, 83.
Jealousy, modern paternal, 152.
Jevons, W. S., inductions only probable,
Joints, comparative immunity from
Kammerer, experimental transmission,
Kangri cancer, 33.
Keekwillie holes, 220.
Keith, Prof. Arthur, on discoveries,
relative greatness of, 149.
heart muscle, 109.
hormones and racial types, 12.
modern skull, 146.
negro in U.S.A., 39.
peritoneal adhesions, 88.
rate of evolution, 177.
Wolff's Law re-stated, 7 2 -
Keith-Flack node, in.
Kettle, E. H., polymorphisms of cancer
Knox, Dr. Robert, Becquerel rays and
Knowledge as catalytic, 202.
Krapina and Neanderthal man, 171.
Laboratory results, fallacies of, 94, 98.
Lack, Dr. Lambert, on periodontilis,
Lactase in dogs, 133.
Lang, Andrew, Social Origins, 151.
Language of bacteriologists, 129.
Laws, general nature of, J.
Lazarus-Barlow, influence of radiation,
Lazy tongs and heart muscle, 109.
Least Action, Principle of, in Evolu-
Le Bon, Gustave, Psychologic des Foules,
Leucoplakia, failure of connective
tissue in, 46.
Life, economy of construction, 30.
Life and growth, law of, 141.
Likeness and unlikeness, 8.
in parents and offspring, 193.
Lipoids, as complement, 134.
and phagocytes, 135.
Lister, Joseph, on inhibition, 1 16.
Logic of discovery, 9.
of savages, Frazer on, 148.
Luciani on cardiac vagus, 93.
Lyell, Sir Charles, 25.
Lymph nodes and metastatic growths,
Lymphoid tissue, functions of, 46.
MacBride, Prof. E. W., advocate of
transmission, 90, 198.
M'Dougall, W., drainage theory, 118.
Mach, E., on explanation, 128.
Mackenzie, Sir J., origins of disease,
slowing of heart, 106,
youthful irregularity of heart, 105.
Maine, Sir H. S., local contiguity,
effect of, 164.
study of jurisprudence, analogy
Malignancy, conclusions as to, 58.
a failure of balance, 47.
and the endocrines, 39.
no single cause in, 28.
social analogues, 21, 39.
Mamma?, origin of, 87.
Mammalians "born" three times,
Mastitis, chronic, and prostatic tablets,
Mathematical reasoning, 189.
Mathematics and biological factors,
Medicine, ancient and modern, 225.
Mesentery, fixation of, 88.
Metabolism, social, 197
Metazoa, pathological origin of, 84.
Method, logical, of discovery, 9.
Mendelian variations, 63.
Midsummer Day, 209.
Mill, J, S., on analogy, 5, 6, 17.
Mimicry, small variations in, 89.
Mind, biochemical reactions of, 223.
the primitive, 207.
Mitosis in a colony, 1 7.
Mitral valve, anatomy of, 74.
Mnemes of Ilering-Scmun, 194.
Moderator band, 73.
Moore, Prof. B., French bacteriological
and Whitley, on immunity, 130.
on the Teutonic mind, 128.
Morality and the past, 145.
Morgenroth and Ascher, reversible im-
mune reactions, 139.
Morphogenetic repair in evolution, 90.
Multinucleated cells in cancer, 54.
Murphy, J. B., destruction of lymphoid
Murray, Prof. Gilbert, on Greek migra-
on the Pharmakos, 255, 260.
Muscle action, independence of, 122.
and nerve, 257-
cardiac, 75, 109.
deformation processes, 97.
gastric, origin of, 80.
in scrotum, 83.
origin of, 76.
refractory period of, 96.
Nageli, Von, on internal environment,
Napier of Merchistoun, 149.
Natural Selection and variation, 198.
Naturalness an unknown concept among
savage races, 207.
Neanderthal man, brain capacity of,
and Krapina, 171.
disappearance of, 170.
teeth of, 171.
Necrophagy, 162, 165, 166.
Neo-Darwinians and orthodoxy, 183.
Nerves and trigger action, 102.
Neurons, cortical, number of, 229.
life of, 245.
Non-placentals and the fetus, 86.
Nuclear contents and transmission,
Nucleus, "life" in, 195.
as work- and tool-shop, 14, 54, 194,
of test-bearing protozoon, 196.
Nutrition a case of immunity, 139.
Old age, 197.
Onslow on rabbits' colour peroxidases,
Opportunism of stressed organisms, 79.
Opsoriins, non-existence of, 135.
Optic vesicle, Lewis's experiment, 199.
Organ-forming substances, 198.
Organisms, biologic conception of, 184.
as republics, 29.
Orthodoxy in science, 184.
Osier, Sir William, on scientific neo-
Osmosis in cardiac muscle, 97.
Pace-maker, inertia and the vagus, 113.
Paget, Sir J., constitutional theory of
Paget's Disease, fibrosis in, 42.
Panniculus, primitive, muscle fibres in
Paraffins and mental valencies, 253.
Parasite (supposed) of cancer, 270.
in X-ray cancer, 270.
Parathyroids, 31, 191.
Parsimony, law of, in science, 188.
Pathological variations, 64.
Pathologists and the sociological
Pavlov, J. P., conditioned reflexes, 87,
118, 222, 229, 231.
Pelobates bred in parental body cavity,
Peritoneal adhesions, 88.
Peroneus tertius, fibres of, in gorilla,
and transmission, 275.
Peyer's Patches in typhoid, 134.
Phagocytes and lipoids, 135.
Physical laws, ultimate, 189.
Physician as magician, 209.
Piltdown man, 146.
Pithecanthropus erectus, 177.
Pituitary, possible function of, in sar-
and growth, 31.
Placenta, a compromise growth, 86
Planck, theory of Quanta and critical
Politics, modern, a chapter in anthro-
Politics and physiology, I.
Pre-cancerous stages, 46.
Pre-embryonic cell-history, 186.
Primal Law, by Atkinson, 150.
Proliferation in malignancy, 38.
Proof and illustration, 14.
Prostate and chronic mastitis, 191.
Protoplasm and " tools," 12.
Protozoan tests and nucleus, 196.
Provoked catalysts, 133.
Psycho-analysis, Freudian, 155.
Psychoids, rudimentary, 198.
Psychologic des foules, 246.
Pyramidal tract and long paths, 232.
Pysemsky on adrenalin effects, 191.
Public schools, training in, 242 seq.
Racial types, Keith on, 12.
Radiology as factor of discovery, 27.
Radium in cancer, 45.
Reciprocal innervation, 107.
Reflex response to orders, 250.
Reflexes, conditioned, 87, 118, 222,
Rejuvenescence in malignancy, 49.
Repair in evolution, 10, 65.
general laws of, 71.
as cause of variation, 198.
Reproductive cell, important stages of,
Republics in organisms, 29.
"Resistance" to fresh stimulation,
Rests of Cohnheim, 27.
of Ribbert, 35, 140.
Reversible reactions, social illustration
Ribbert, post-natal "rests," 35.
Rise of the Greek Epic, 144.
Round-celled sarcoma, 52.
Rous, Peyton, fowl sarcoma, 267.
Rushbrooke, Prof., re J. Lister,
Russ, Dr. Sydney, on lymphocytosis in
Sachs on reversible immune reactions,
St. John's Day, 208.
Salmon, malignancy in, 34.
Sanitation and magic, 218.
Sarcoma, deadliness of round-celled,
and granulations, 40.
disease of youth, 41.
filter-passers in, 267.
in fowls, 47, 267.
induction of so-called, 5-
in old age, 55.
round-celled and granulation tissue,
Science, comparative study of, 203.
and explanation, 10.
narrow views of, 64.
national neglect of, 9.
Schafer, Prof. E. A., adrenalin and in-
testinal muscle, 191.
cardiac muscle fibres, 109.
histology of ova and sperm-cells, 186.
Scrotum, a badly repaired failure, 82.
of the boar, 82.
Second wind and the tricuspid, 77.
Senescence, C. M. Child's work, 196.
loss of catalytic tools, 197.
nature of, 48.
Shaken troops, 251.
Shark, heart of, in.
Shattock, S. G., on embryomas, 52.
and co-workers, cancer experiments,
Sherrington, O. S., on inhibition, 116.
Ship as zygote, 1 5.
Shock, nature of, IOO.
results of, 99.
social analogies, ioo, 105.
Skull, modern, in Pleistocene times,
changes in, 147.
Smith, Robertson, 24.
Social analogies for shock, 100, 105.
Social and nuclear changes, 195.
"Social" disturbances in organisms,
Societies as "closed systems," or
Sociology, physiological method in,
Soldiers, and intellect evolved by war,
Specialism, abuse of, 3.
Specificity, either "tools," or magic,
Spencer and Gillen on inter-class tribal
Spencer, Herbert, Sociological Method,
"Transcendental Physiology," 5.
Spencer, Dr. H.B., on ovarian tumours,
Spermatoblasts, descent of, 186.
Sperm-cells, development of, 187.
in malignancy, 38.
Spinoza, reference to, 146.
Sponge-work, primary vascular, in
primitive ventricle, 76.
Spontaneous variations, 71.
Stability of type, 177.
Staff of army, 240.
Starling, Prof. E. II., on cell division
and time element, 90, 193, 196.
Law of the Heart, 65.
Starling, Prof. E. H., on organisms as
"new creations," 90.
Static elements in civilization, 197.
Stefani, on cardiac vagus, 109.
Sterility and bathing, 219.
Stomach, dilatation and repair of, 80.
evolution of, 79, 80.
Strain and muscle evolution, 275.
Stress, reaction to, a principle of con-
Structure, main factors of, 91.
Substrates and enzymes, 133.
Surface tension in muscle, 97.
Sutton, Dr. H. G., 77.
Symbiosis, hostile, 29, 101.
and reversible reactions, 140.
key to malignancy, 30, 32.
training, use in, 244.
Synapse, "fused" in manias, 233.
Synaptic blocks, 233.
Tachycardia, meaning of, 93.
Tcenia solium and cannibalism, 179.
Testes and growth, 31.
tunica vag-tnah'sof, 82.
Testiconda, and cremaster muscle,
Thargelian Festival, Frazer on, 260.
Theologians and reaction, 227.
Thiersch on cancer, 34, 35.
Thinking as neuronal tonus, 230.
Thomas, H. O., on inhibition, 116.
Thompson River Indians, 220.
Thought, possibility of measurement,
Time, relativity of, in reproduction,
Tolerance as immunity, 136.
Tools, catalytic, 12
and organic complexity, 199.
and protoplasm, 12.
chromosomatic in germ-cell, 186.
Toussenel on cannibalism, 168.
Tower and transmission, 62.
Toxicity of foods, 131.
Transmission, mechanism of, II.
by tool-adoption, 16.
use of, by men of science, 189.
Trial and error in evolution, 67.
Tribal spirit, 24.
Tribes, subdivision of, 158.
Tricuspid valve, functional incompet-
ence of, 75, 77.
and second wind, 77.
Trigger action of nerves, 102.
Trochilida?, colour in, 169.
Trophoblasts, erosive action of, 37.
in gestation, 54.
Trypsin, origin of, 133.
Tubal dilatation, 8l.
Tuberculosis, origin of human, 167.
possible influence on human charac-
Tylor, E. B., 24.
relapse in, 138.
Uexkiill, J. Von., on science and order,
Uterus, evolutionary history of, 85
a tubal dilatation repaired, 86.
Vagus, cardiac, as "depressant," 98.
as part of autonomic, 1 12.
real function of, 105, 107.
intestinal and cardiac, 112.
Variation as characteristics, cause of,
definitely caused, 78.
during embryonic life, 198.
minute, 62, 188.
social, in late war, 20.
unfavourable, 13, 63, 70.
Varro, M. T., on malaria, 125.
De Re Rustica, 277.
Vaso-dilator centre the vagus centre,
Vegetarians and Neanderthal man,
Verworn, Max, and the giant molecule,
Vested interests as slowers of meta-
Vourmak, Turkic word, 256.
Waldeyer on cancer, 34, 35.
War, a factor in evolution, 20, 167.
Warfare, in the body, 30.
and hunting, 168.
and immunity, 138.
and variation, 2.
Washing at birth, 205.
Water, and menstruous women, 212.
nature of, 207.
spirits and saints, 208.
Weakening by vagus, 121.
Weber brothers, 104.
Weinland, Ernst, on cane-sugar and
Weismann, A., and modern endocrino-
logy, 1 88.
as pure theorist, 200.
translation of his terms into known
Weismannism modified, II.
Wells, sacred, 211.
Williams, Sir John, pregnancies and
ovarian tumours, 37.
Wilson, germ-cell histology, 186.
Wilson, R. N. M'Nair, meaning of
Wolff, Julius, on bone-growth, 64, 65.
Wolffs Law, 71.
re-stated by Keith, 72.
Words, sound signals to reflexes, 231.
Wrightson, Sir T. , Theory of Hearing,
Writing as graphic verbal reactions,
X-ray cancer, 27 seq., 273.
Youthful cardiac arrhythmia, 105.
Zygote, combined catalysts of, 187.
MORRISON AND GIHB LIMITED
UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY
A 001 354 569 4