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October 24, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(17):1235-1237. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730170047022

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Centenary Meeting of Association for Advancement of Science  At the centenary meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in London, some of the papers read were of especial interest to physicians. The president, General J. C. Smuts, delivered a philosophical address on the "Scientific World Picture of Today." Dealing with biology, he pointed out that, while the whole universe appeared to be dissipating its energy and running down, an exception must be made for life on this planet, where dissipated energy was being taken up and organized into life structures. The recently discovered "quantum" of physics offers a suggestive analogy to life. It follows the all-or-nothing law and behaves as an indivisible whole; so does life. A part of the quantum is not something less than a quantum; it is nothing, or sheer nonentity; the same holds for life. Life is not an entity, physical or

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