All articles of food and clothing, the materials of which our houses and buildings are constructed and which are needed for their decoration or repair, every art and every industryall depend essentially for their production or activity upon chemical changes as realized in nature or made by man to serve human purposes. The same is true of the production and decay of animal and vegetable matters, as also the processes by which they are broken up and the resulting products made aailable in their turn as food for new life: the very diseases of mankind and animals, as also their treatment, are all chemical in essence and involve chemical changes. These chemical changes constitute a sort of adaptation of matter to environment, and in a sense are acts of creation, as every such change produces products which, although related, are quite distinct in character and properties from the original substances which give rise to them when subjected to the required influences. Thus, in a very literal sense, all matter which, as will be seen in other places, appears to be essentially one in natureis actuated by a spirit of life, being susceptible to change when the environment is appro priate. In other words, the liability to change is equivalent to life. All such changes are necessarily accompanied by a reiatiuned redistribution of energy.
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