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The Enigma of Dual Organization and Its Necessity and Blessing to the Human Race


" So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God said Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion." The dual agency seen in the creation of man is no exception to the manifold varieties of organized living structures in the world. Some of our entomologists tell us of instances of individual genesis, but so far even these supposed exceptions are rare.

From the lowest orders of animals and plants to the highest type of either, the union of two cells by coa lescence, their absorption of elements for which they have affinity, and continued multiplication by dual division, is not only the first step in the production of vegetable and animal structure, but the means by which every organic system grows and is repaired.

These minute cell-divisions, filled with fluid, and having attenuate walls like an atomic soap bubble, contain a mesoblast, or living central point, capable of producing within its walls a new structure like its parent. The forms of these cells vary greatly, being ovoid, spherical, oblong, corrugated, or even filament 11 ous. In the lowest forms the germinal cells seem similar; higher in the scale they differ widely in form and characteristics.

An illustration or two may give a clearer view of this apparently simple but incomprehensible enigma.

Almost everyone walking in the field has stepped upon a puff-ball, and seen the cloud of dust rise from it. The greater part of this dust consists of the dry corrugated cells of which we have spoken. As yet the microscope has given us no variation in their form. True to the fixed order of development, if one of these atoms falls to the ground alone, it perishes. If two fall together, unite, and absorb their elemental liquids, the evolution of cells by the usual method soon produces a mass, pushing some of their number into the earth as rootlets to furnish the material for the full growth of the fungoid.

When the outside cells become hardened, growth is gradually retarded and soon ceases altogether.

In the common corn the two forms of cells are produced upon the same plant. The germ cell is developed in a minute sac, formed upon a pulpy base, from which comes the delicate tube of corn silk, four or five inches long. The dust from the tassel passes down this tube, and again the union of two dissimilar cells, deriving from the succulent ovary, or cob, the juices needed for their growth and perfection, prepares the untold millions of grains which make our abundant harvest.

Break the silken tube beneath the husk, and no grain is formed at its root. Is it not wonderful that so many perfect grains result from such delicate and intricate processes, similar in all our grains and grasses. In the squash and common pumpkin, the staminate and pistillate flowers growing upon different portions of the same plant are dissimilar in form, producing germinal cells quite unlike. The resulting fruit is really an enlarged ovary. In most of our common plants and fruit-trees, the two forms of cells are produced side by side in the same flower, supplying ovules and pollen as dissimilar as if growing upon plants having separate roots. Our strawberry is of the dicecious order, where one plant produces the germ cell, and the other the pollen. Trees of this kind are not uncommon.

I have heard of an instance where a gentleman had a rare tree of this species, which bore flowers, but no fruit, for several years. At last he was quite sur prised to find some fruit maturing upon it. Upon inquiry he found that a gentleman three miles dis tant had a young staminate tree which had blossomed for the first time that year. In cases of fishes, the cells are deposited in suitable and sheltered places in the water, and coalesce like those of the puff ball.

A detailed account of the various methods in ac cordance with which this dual principle produces the countless diversities of life manifestations in our little world would fill volumes.

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