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CHAPTER VIII.

VEGETABLE LIFE.-MOTILE PLANTS.-ABSENCE OF MENTAL

PROPERTIES IN THE LOWEST TYPES OF ANIMAL LIFE.

UNITY IN THE PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF MIND AND

BODY IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.-SENSATION THE FIRST

INDICATION OF MIND. - PSYCHICAL PROPERTIES OF THE

SEA-ANEMONE. THE ACTINIA AND THE HUMAN INFANT. ANIMAL" OR 66

NATURAL INSTINCT”: ITS UNIVERSALITY

IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.—THE INSECT RACES: THEIR

HIGHER PSYCHICAL POWERS; FITNESS OF THESE FOR THE USES OF THEIR VARIOUS ORGANS, MEMBERS, AND ACTIONS. -NECESSITY OF THE HIGHER PSYCHICAL POWERS OF IN

SECTS.-THE BEE. ITS EMOTIONS.--EXPERIMENT TO PROVE

THE PRESENCE OF ITS FEELING OF ANGER. —DO BEES THINK? -ABSENCE OF EDUCABILITY IN INSTINCT.-"RATIONAL INSTINCT.”—“REASON,” OR INTELLIGENCE: ITS RELATIONS TO THE CEREBRUM: EDUCABILITY, AND DESIGN OR CONSCIOUS MOTIVE, TWO OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS.---THE TWO CROWS AND THE DOG.-" INSTINCTIVE INTELLIGENCE.”

THE DOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND MAN.-NATURE OF THE

DOG : ITS MORAL WORTH; ITS SENSE OF DUTY.-TREATMENT OF DOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND CHILDREN.-ATTRIBUTES OF PERFECT ANIMALS COMPARED WITH THOSE OF IMPERFECT MEN.-CHARACTERISTICS OF HUMANITY, THE ANALOGUES OF THE NOBLER TRAITS IN THE HIGHER ANIMALS.-TILLOTSON'S VIEWS OF THE MORAL INSTINCTS OF

MAN CONFIRMED BY COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGY.—THE DOG

AND THE MAN.-MAN AND THE DEITY SUMMARY OF THE MENTAL ATTRIBUTES OF ANIMALS.

RETROSPECT.

ARE

THE WORM, THE FLY, AND THE BEE COMMONPLACE AND UNINTERESTING?-WHICH IS THE MOST INDISPENSABLE ?-THE CARE OF THE ALMIGHTY FOR ALL HIS WORKS.—THE VARIOUS

MEANS EMPLOYED BY HIM TO ATTAIN SIMILAR ENDS.-HIS

CARE OF US. -THE RELATION OF THE HUMBLE CREATURES

TO OURSELVES, AND OUR RELATION TO GOD.--CONCLUSION.

It is a well-known fact, that certain plants are capable of performing movements of a limited kind, that are necessary for their protection or development. To select two very familiar examples: the daisy closes at night and opens in the morning, so that the central whorl of delicate flowers escapes the effects of the night air; the sunflower is always turned towards the solar orb, which it follows in its course, in order to secure its vivifying influence throughout the whole day.

These movements take place whilst the plants remain fixed in the ground; but there are other examples in the vegetable kingdom, where the organisms themselves, which are aquatic, move about in the water with great rapidity, propelled by little hair-like elastic fibres termed "cilia,” that vibrate rapidly to and fro; and, strange to say, although these plants are thus remarkably endowed with an attribute usually supposed to belong only to the animated tribes, yet they rank amongst the lowest types of vegetable life*. So closely do some of these "protophytesresemble the lowest known forms of animal life, distinguished as the “Protozoa,” that many of them are even now bandied about by naturalists from one kingdom to another; and it will probably be a long time (if it should ever be) before a clear line of demarcation is drawn between the two realms of animal and vegetable existence.

*

e. g.

Volvox Globator (a little green rolling globe, found in ponds in great numbers, especially in summer), Gonium, &c. &c. * • Earthworm and Housefly,' p. 27.

For our purpose, however, it will suffice to state, that, in all probability, these primitive types of life, whether animal or vegetable, perform their various movements, imbibe nourishment, grow, and reproduce, without any appreciable psychical or mental properties, and that their motions are due alone to the contractility of their tissues. Here, therefore, although we have life, movement, growth, and reproduction, we have no animating power that can with propriety be called mind.

And now, before entering the arena of true animal existence, and endeavouring to trace in outline the progressive stages of mind in the various races of sentient beings, we must repeat a statement made in the first of these treatises on Humble Creatures * where, in speaking of the principles upon which the modern classification of animals is based, we observed that “each great division of the Animal Kingdom exhibits a progressive development in the organization of the various groups that it contains; and also that, in following the life-history of a single individual in each section, a remarkable analogy is apparent between the various stages of development through which it passes and those existing in the whole class.

So striking is this comparative progress in the organization of classes and individuals, that the lowest creatures in any particular section strongly resemble, when in their perfect form, the early or embryonic stage of the higher animals in the same section, the latter undergoing various changes of form and structure before they assume their characteristic type.”

Thus, to illustrate this proposition, the vermiform, or worm-shaped creatures, which rank lowest in the articulate ces, resemble, in their perfectly developed state, the insects (which are the highest of the articulate tribes) in their larval or imperfect stage of growth.

Any one who has been at all impressed with the unity exhibited in all the natural operations of the Creator, and the intimate connexion existing between matter and mind, will of course expect to find the same phenomena in the psychical or mental as in the physical history of animated nature; and a consideration of the following brief sketch of the mental development of the various races of animals will serve to show that the parallel does exist, and may readily be traced.

Quitting, then, those doubtful forms of which it is difficult to detect the true nature, we soon arrive at a group of creatures possessing an undoubted animal existence. In these, the inner mainsprings of action are linked with the outer world by a chain of sensations, and the exciting cause of their movements

a

is wholly dependent upon the appetites or natural wants*

Let us quote a familiar example of this blind, unconscious, mechanical instinct, illustrative of the lowest psychical phase of which we can well form a conception.

You have doubtless seen the common Sea-anemone or Actinia, adhering to the rocks at low-water. If you go and watch this creature when it is covered by the tide, or (if that be impracticable) in the aquarium of a friend, you will perceive it from time to time extend its tentacles to their full extent in search of food. Presently a little shrimp or other living creature comes in contact with these tentacles, and at once it is seized and conveyed into the capacious stomach ; indeed the creature itself is little else than a stomach endowed with the capability of feeding itself, and possessing limited powers of locomotion. As soon as it has obtained a sufficient amount of nourishment, and has satisfied the cravings of appetite, it shrinks up into a jelly-like shapeless mass, resembling an excrescence growing upon the rocks ; and any living creature, however tempting a morsel it might otherwise be, may then approach or impinge upon it without danger of falling a prey to its voracity.

* If the term “instinct” were limited to such a mental quality as is here described, then the theory of " sensation” (see page 119) would perhaps constitute the most appropriate definition that could be applied.

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