Science2 - 00056

Science2 - 00056 - Untitled self-destructively would be...

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Untitled self-destructively would be eliminated in the struggle for existence. When a simple one-celled organism explores a corner of the field seen under a microscope, behaving to all appearance very like a dog scouring a field seen through a telescope, it seems permissible to think of something corresponding to mental endeavour associated with its activity. This impression is strengthened when an amoeba pursues another amoeba, overtakes it, engulfs it, loses it, pursues it again, recaptures it, and so on. What is quite certain is that the behaviour of the animalcule is not like that of a potassium pill fizzing about in a basin of water, nor like the lurching movements of a gun that has got loose and "taken charge" on board ship. Another feature is that the locomotor activity of an animalcule often shows a distinct individuality: it may swim, for instance, in a loose spiral. But there is another side to vital activity besides acting upon the surrounding world; the living creature is acted on by influences from
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2009 for the course MATH 205 taught by Professor Popescu,c during the Fall '08 term at UCSD.

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