To turn now to the study of the single animal or plant,physiological researches fall into several classes accordingto the methods used. Some of us measure theproduction of small amounts of heat or electrical energywith complicated apparatus, others hunt down unknownchemical substances, or measure accurately the amountof already known ones in the tissues. Taking thebiophysicists first, a whole new field has been openedup by recent work on radiation. When X-rays werefirst applied to living tissues, it was very difficult toget the same result twice running. But now, thanksto the work of our physical colleagues, we can get X-raysof a definite wave-length and intensity, and our resultsare correspondingly more intelligible. In the sameanimal one tissue is more sensitive than another to raysof a given wave-length. Moreover, cells are generallymore easily upset when engaged in division than atother times. These facts account for our occasionalsuccess with X-rays against cancer, and our hope forgreater things in the future. It is quite possible thatsome combinations of invisible wave-lengths may befound to have special properties, just as a mixture ofred and violet spectral lights gives us the sensation ofpurple, which intermediate wave-lengths do not.
At present biological and medical research workersare enormously handicapped by the law and by publicopinion. Several hospitals, out of deference to subscribers,do not allow animal experiments. Theythus render the rapid diagnosis of various diseasesimpossible, and kill a certain number of patientsannually. And medical teaching is seriously handicappedin the same way. These are some of thereasons why England is less healthy than a numberof other European countries. Anti-vivisectionists areresponsible for far more deaths per year in Englandthan motor vehicles, smallpox, or typhoid fever.
Possible Worlds and Other Essays (1928), Harper and Brothers
Brave New World
In a brilliant picture of a possible future state of society,Mr. Huxley challenges the modern progressive scientistswith the question—whither are we progressing? Completelydifferent in manner and matter from his othernovels, it is at once destructive and creative. In theopinion of Rebecca West, “it is one of the half-dozenmost important books which have been published sincethe War.” (92)
Understanding Evolution: History, Theory, Evidence, …
There are also possible worlds less like ours: some in which there is no earth, others in which there are no planets, and still others in which not even the laws of nature are the same.” In logical semantics the possible-worlds model does not require ontological commitment.