262 THE ENZYME TREATMENT OF CANCER
actually demanded by Nature for her workings would be mere child’s play. She requires, according to the view of higher animal development which my researches have forced me to adopt, two organisms in every life-history— an asexual one, upon which the germ-cells can arise from one or more “apical cells,” and following upon this a sexual organism to contain and nourish these germ-cells for a certain span of time. This appears reasonable enough upon the surface. On the other hand, it may be asked, would it be reasonable or necessary for her, in order to bring any and every developmental history to stand, to call up from the dim shadows of the past a spectral and fantastic procession of ancestral forms?
The crucial points, upon which the doctrine of development must stand or fall, are without question the nature of so-called larval forms and the source and time of origin of the germ-cells. To explain larval forms as ancestral is simply to beg the question, for no living being knows, or can know, that they are such things. Echinoderms flourished as long ago as the Lower Devonian shales of Lynton, in North Devon. This was millions and millions of years ago; how many millions it is difficult to estimate. In reality, it does not matter for the question under discussion whether the old fossil-bearing rocks of Lynton be 5,000,000 or 500,000,000 years old. Even were they but 5,000,000 years old—a brief span of time, as geological history goes—who shall say, and whence shall he obtain the information, that then and earlier modern echinoderm larvae existed as organisms, with sexual organs (!!!) ancestral forms, of which the Pluteus, Bipinnaria, etc., are modern pictures ? There are no larvae preserved in either the older or newer formations. The thing, from its nature, is an assumption incapable of proof, and, though a never-ending multiplication of causes, it offers an entirely inadequate explanation of the facts.
Even more serious for direct development is the question of the epoch of appearance and the source of origin of the germ-cells. A morphological continuity denies