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This was a simple machine contrived by Lefevre, on the model of the electric cylinder of Du Bois-Reymond, and worked on the theory that the electricity stored in the human body can be driven out by the human will along a prepared channel into another human body. "I understand," said the assistant promptly.

Whence comes a latent materialism, ready to grasp the chance of self-expression. Whence the automatic return to the dream of universal arithmetic, which Laplace, Du Bois-Reymond, and Huxley have expressed with such precision.

The first of the three points we have called attention to has, so to speak, become famous through the lectures of du Bois-Reymond, which attracted much attention, onThe Limits of Natural Knowledge,” andThe Seven Riddles of the Universe.” That these thoughtful lectures made so great an impression did not mean that a great new discovery had been made, but was rather a sign of the general lack of reflection on the part of the public, for they only expressed what had always been self-evident, and what had only been forgotten through thoughtlessness, or concealed by polemical rhetoric.

With Du Bois-Reymond, Virchow, Haeckel, the anti-vitalistic trend became more definite and more widespread. It had a powerful ally in the Darwinian theory, which had been promulgated meanwhile, and at the same time in the increasingly materialistic tendency of thought, which afforded support to the mechanical system and also sought foundations in it.

It was only about the middle of the last century that the younger generation, under the leadership, in Germany, of Du Bois-Reymond in particular, went over decidedly to the mechanistic side, and carried the doctrines of the school to ever fresh victories. But opposition was not lacking from the outset, though it was restrained and cautious. Virchow’sCaution”.

This is the title of an address delivered by Du Bois-Reymond on 25th January 1883, in the Berlin Academy of Sciences, and afterwards published in his Collected Addresses (vol. ii. 1887). As the author himself mentions in a note (p. 500) that this gave rise, "most unmeritedly," to great excitement, and called down upon him the violent attacks of the clerical press, I may be allowed to point out here that it contained nothing new, I myself, fifteen years previously, in my lectures on "The Origin and Genealogy of the Human Race," having carried out in detail the comparison between Darwin and Copernicus, and the service rendered by these two heroes in putting an end to the anthropocentric and geocentric views of the world. (See the Third Series in Virchow and Holtzendorff's Collection of Popular Scientific Lectures, Nos. 53 and 54, 1868, 4th ed., 1881.) When Du Bois-Reymond says, "For me, Darwin is the Copernicus of the organic world," I am the more pleased to find that he agrees (partly in identical words) with my way of thinking, as he himself, quite unnecessarily, takes up an attitude of opposition towards me. The same is the case with regard to the explanation of innate ideas by Darwinism, which he has attempted in his address on "Leibnitzian Ideas in Modern Science" (vol. i. of the Collected Addresses). Here also he is most agreeably at one with me in what, four years before, I had elaborated in my General Morphology (vol. ii. p. 446), and in my Natural History of Creation . "The laws of heredity and adaptation explain to us how it is that

It is pretty well known that researches by Matteucci, Du Bois-Reymond, and others, have made us acquainted with the influence of electricity and galvanism on the muscular system of animals, and that important physiological effects have been attributed to this influence, more than perhaps we are warranted in assuming in the present state of our knowledge.

Turning aside, however, from the antiquated views of Haeckel views which, as he himself bitterly complains, some of his most illustrious scientific compeers in his own country, men like Virchow, Du Bois-Reymond and Wundt lived to repudiate we may for a moment glance at an argument on behalf of belief brought forward by so distinguished and modern a spokesman of physical science as Sir Oliver Lodge.

Du Bois-Reymond makes this striking remark: "With awe and wonder must the student of Nature regard that microscopic molecule of nervous substance which is the seat of the laborious, constructive, orderly, loyal, dauntless soul of the ant. It has developed itself to its present state through a countless series of generations."

The antiquated view of Du Bois-Reymond that human consciousness is an unsoluble "world-riddle," a transcendent phenomenon in essential antithesis to all other natural phenomena continues to be upheld in numerous writings.