REPRODUCTION FROM THE STANDPOINT OF BIOLOGY.
I. GENERAL ACTIVITIES OF LIVING ORGANISMS.
The casual observer, even if he watches thoughtfully the various activities of plants and animals, would hardly believe these activities capable of classification into two general classes. He notes the germination of the plant seed and its early growth, step by step approaching a stage of maturity; it blossoms, produces seed, and if it is an annual plant, withers and dies. If it is a perennial plant its leaves only, wither and die at the approach of winter, the plant passing into a resting stage from which it awakes the following spring to repeat again its annual cycle.
If he observes an animal he finds that it similarly develops to a stage of maturity, reproduces its kind, withers and dies; but incident to these general activities he notes numerous others that seem to have no relation to the activity of the plant. He sees men tilling the fields, felling the forests, building houses, factories and railroads; he sees them build hospitals, colleges and churches. Is it possible to group all of these activities of plants and animals into two general groups? A more critical view of these activities makes it evident that they are all directed either to the maintenance and protection of the individual, or the maintenance and protection of the race. Those directed towards the maintenance of self are called egoistic activities, while those directed to the maintenance of the race are called phyletic activities.