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We have first to answer the difficult and much-discussed question of the development of the Chordaea from the Gastraea; in other words, "How and by what transformations were the characteristic animals, resembling the embryonic chordula, which we regard as the common stem-forms of all the Chordonia, both Tunicates and Vertebrates, evolved from the simplest two-layered Metazoa?"

The fact that there are still in existence various kinds of gastraeads, or lower Metazoa with an organisation little higher than that of the hypothetical gastraea, is a strong point in favour of our theory.

This will represent the two-layered "gastrula" the simplest ancestral form of the Metazoa: a form which is permanently represented in some of the lowest types; for it needs but tentacles round the mouth of the sac, to produce a common hydra.

This still undifferentiated tissue forming the base of the epidermis, and existing also as a source of renewal in internal organs, is the essentially living substance; and facts above given imply that it was the action of the medium on this essentially living substance, which, during early stages in the organization of the Metazoa, initiated that protective envelope which presently became an inherited structure a structure which, though now mainly inherited, still continues to be modifiable by its initiator.

Romanes writes: "Professor Weismann has shown that there is throughout the metazoa a general correlation between the natural lifetime of individuals composing any given species, and the age at which they reach maturity or first become capable of procreation." This, I believe, has been the conclusion generally arrived at by biologists for some years past.

It is that this universal trait of the Metazoa and Metaphyta, must be ascribed to the primitive action and re-action between the organism and its medium.

The gastraea theory has now convinced us that all the Metazoa or multicellular animals can be traced to a common stem-form, the Gastraea. In accordance with the biogenetic law, we find solid proof of this in the fact that the two-layered embryos of all the Metazoa can be reduced to a primitive common type, the gastrula.

In the lowest Metazoa, the invertebrate sponges and polyps, there are, just as in plants, no special soul-organs developed, and all the cells of the body participate more or less in the "soul-life." It is only in the higher animals that the soul-life is found to be localised and connected with special organs.

A division of labour resulting from such a variation being advantageous, and tending therefore to increase in descendants, would end in a differentiation like that shown in the gemmules of various low types of Metazoa, which, ovate in shape, are ciliated over one part of the surface only.

In so far as concerns the present argument, it is the same with the Metazoa, or at least all of them which have developed organizations. The outer skin grows up from a limiting plane, or layer, a little distance below the surface a place of predominant vital activity.