THE ASYMMETRY OF THE CYCLE OF LIFE 151
among us, and they do pull down and build up again in the opposite direction, for the “laevo-men “ are the cancers.
In the light of the antithetic alternation of generations and of the natural antithesis of the compounds arising in the two generations, the following passage from Professor Pope’s address (p. 283) is of interest. It is also instructive, because of the generally accepted but false views of the question: “Again, suppose that at its origin life were carried on non-enantiomorphously, and that it involved the consumption and the production only of non-enantiomorphous substances and of compensated mixtures, it may well be foreseen that a stage in development might arise when each individual, in view of the increasing complexity of his vital processes, would have to decide to use only the one enantiomorphous component of his compensated food, and so evade an otherwise necessary duplication of his digestive apparatus. Acting intelligently or fortuitously, one half of the individuals would become dextro-beings, while the other half would become laevo-individuals; the succeeding generations would thus be of two enantiomorphously related configurations.” He then goes on to express his own opinion that in course of time one configuration, the weaker one, would disappear permanently. But in this opinion the facts of botanical and embryological science are not taken into account. it is, however, only necessary to make the “succeeding generations,” spoken of, alternate in order to meet the scientific requirements of Nature, and so to make the passage absolutely true as a statement of scientific fact. This is done by- inserting in the closing passage the word “alternating,” when it would read: “the succeeding generations alternating would thus be of two enantiomorphously related configurations.”