Science2 - 00078

Science2 - 00078 - Untitled reshufflings or rearrangements...

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Untitled reshufflings or rearrangements; perhaps because the germ-cells have very changeful surroundings (the blood, the body-cavity fluid, the sea-water); perhaps because deeply saturating outside influences, such as change of climate and habitat, penetrate through the body to its germ-cells and provoke them to vary. But we must be patient with the wearisome reiteration of "perhaps." Moreover, every many-celled organism reproduced in the usual way, arises from an egg-cell fertilised by a sperm-cell, and the changes involved in and preparatory to this fertilisation may make new permutations and combinations of the living items and hereditary qualities not only possible but necessary. It is something like shuffling a pack of cards, but the cards are living. As to the changes wrought on the body during its lifetime by peculiarities in nurture, habits, and surroundings, these dents or modifications are often very important for the individual, but it does not follow that they are directly important for the race, since it is not certain that
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