“Dr. Fournie, of the National Deaf and Dumb Institute of France, in chapter 2 of his work, in discussing the question of the foetus, says that the most powerful microscope is unable to show us the slightest difference between the ovarian cell of a mamifer and a man; and, respecting the first or last movement of the ovule, asks: “What is it? Has it particular characters which distinguish it from every other ovule?”
And justly answers thus: “Until now, science has not replied to these questions, and, without being a pessimist, I do not think that she ever will reply; from the day when her methods of investigation will permit her to surprise the hidden mechanism of the conflict of the principle of life with matter, she will know life itself, and be able to produce it.”
If our author had read the sermon of Pere Felix, how appropriately he might utter his Amen! To the priest’s exclamation – MYSTERY! MYSTERY!
Let us consider the assertion of Magendie in the light of recorded instances of the power of imagination in producing monstrous deformities, where the question does not involve pregnant women.
He admits that these occur daily in the offspring of the lower animals; how does he account for the hatching of chickens with hawk-heads, except upon the theory that the appearances of the hereditary enemy acted upon the hen’s imagination, which, in its turn, imparted to the matter composing the germ a certain motion which, before expanding itself, produced the monstrous chicks?
We know of an analogous case, where a tame dove, belonging to a lady of our acquaintance, was frightened daily by a parrot, and in her next brood of young there were two squabs with parrots’ heads, the resemblance even extending to the color of the feathers.
We might also cite Columella, Youatt, and other authorities, together with the experience of all animal breeders, to show that by exciting the imagination of the mother, the external appearance of the offspring can be largely controlled. These instances in no degree affect the question of hereditary, for they are simply special variations of type artificially caused.”
H. P. Blavatsky