APPENDIX E 269
without the least acknowledgment. This at times has happened to my mistakes also. Dr. Loeb has, I fear, yet to learn that all investigators are not like him and me— full of zeal for the advancement of science—but that sometimes the advancement of self takes the foremost place, and then the work of others may seem a legitimate spoil. There is also such a thing as verifying one’s citations, the neglect of which may account for the “transmitted mistake” mentioned by him. I never met more than two other embryologists who had actually read
Carl Ernst von Baer’s big work on the “Development of Animals” (“Entwicklungsgeschiehte der Thiere”), but I have seen scores and scores of “citations” from this classic work, and as a rule these were false. One embryologist once—and not so long ago—printed a paper on “von Baer’s law,” neglecting to mention that von Baer laid down four laws of development, which at their bases are really two, and which do not include the ‘‘ law attributed to von Baer, who had, indeed, opposed it bitterly.
I should like to draw attention to Dr. Loeb’s statement that the corpus luteum does not act on the wall of the oviduct—a fact with significant bearings upon tubal gestations and their consequences. The real import of the action upon the uterus I recognize in the production of a mass of tissue (the decidua) furnished for the trophoblast to act upon, instead of permitting it to erode its way through the uterine wall, when the consequences would be as grave as they are in a tubal gestation. From this Dr. Loeb will, I trust, see that even his latest results perchance do not reveal the full story. Did the corpus luteum not help the uterus to provide this nutritive cushion for the action of the trophoblast, it is certain that each one of us would in his own gestation, by means of a malignant “ trophoblastoma” or so-called chorioepithelioma, kill his own parent, and in doing so bring about his own destruction.
On one occasion the writer reminded the editors of the