D. D. Palmer
In all the affairs of life we prosecute careful
investigation in order to determine exactly what are the facts. Thinking
we are right does not of necessity constitute righteousness. Thinking
right or wrong is a matter of education. The standard of truthfulness
may be quite different from the view we may happen to have. If, for
example, I had gotten the idea that two times three are seven and carry
that erroneous multiplication into all of my arithmetical calculations,
architectural and financial operations; the fact that such was my honest
conception would not undo or make right the erroneousness of my figuring.
We should think correctly in order that we may get
at facts. In chiropractic, too many teachers manufacture their own definition
of terms, make a dictionary according to thon’s conception. What
would be the result if each banker and broker should invent and persist
in using his own devised addition and multiplication table. Herein
arises the discordant, inharmonious jangling among chiropractors regarding
what constitutes the principles of the science, the method of adjusting,
palpation and nerve training, the philosophy of the science and the art.
Biology presents only facts, the laws of which are
of nature, natural, whether exhibited in health or disease. As chiropractors
we should continue to advance toward the truth in order to bring ouselves
into closer relation with eternal realities. A truthful statement
of facts is correct, not because of our consideration, supposition or imagination,
but because it IS right, because it conforms with everlasting truth.
All is nature, natural, there is nothing supernatural,
phenomena may be superusual and supernormal. Any observable fact
or event may appear miraculous when it is merely marvelous; it is because
of our ignorance in regard to nature’s law that they appear so to us.
Bio -- a combining form from the Greek Bios, life,
used to indicate relation to, or connection with, life, vital phenomena,
or living organisms.
Biology is the science of life, the study of living
beings. It consists of a knowledge of principles and facts concerning
life--the certainty that we live and the conditions which cause us to have
an intelligent existence. Life may be one of health or one of disease.
Biology treats of organized beings under their diverse relations, their
organic structure, life, growth, action and reproduction. I desire
to give you some of the important principles of biology as observed from
several view points, confining myself to the physiological branch which
treats of the functions of the human body. You may accuse me of repetition.
Fleeting impressions are only veneered. Essential ideas are worthy
What is life? It is that quality which distinguishes
a living animal or plant from an inorganic body, from one which does not
live, whose movements are not determined by an intelligence. Life
consists of actions guided by intelligence.
Life may consist of too much elastic force, too great
or a lack of resisting vigor, such a condition is known as disease.
Animals and plants have an existence because they
live; they exist as living beings on account of their bodies being composed
of organs controlled by an intelligence. An organ is any part of
an organism; an organism is an organized being. An organized being
is one which is composed of organs. An organ is that which has a
particular function to perform. The sensory or sense organs receive
impressions from objective realities through the sensory or sense organs,
transform them into sensation -- conscious sense perception. Eyes
are organs of sight, ears that of hearing, the olfactory organ has the
sense of smell, the nerves of taste are distributed to the palate, epiglottis,
larynx and the tongue. To these may be added the senses of pressure,
temperature, pain, hunger and thirst.
Bioloy in its broadest sense includes embryology,
the development of the embryo in animals and plants; zoology, the form,
nature and habits of animals; botany deals with plant life; physiology
relates to the functions of living bodies, animals or plants; anatomy,
the dissection of organized bodies, whether human, brute-animal, or vegetable;
cytology, the science of cell life. In common language it includes
the principles and facts of the origin, development, structure, functions
and distribution of plants and animals. Life exists because of the
exercise of organs. Physiologists study functions, the action of organs.
Physiology deals with the processes, activities and the phenomena incidental
to life, the characteristic actions which constitute life, those qualities
which determine a living organism from one which does not live, those actions
which depend upon an intelligence.
Life consists of the actions of a living organism,
they may be of health, those desired to make us happy, give us ease, or
they may be those known as disease, those which cause sensation and actions
The body is incapable of creating new forces.
Force is that which originates or arrests motion. Vital force is
the energy which gives life or action to an organism, the vital power which
distinguishes living matter from the dead. Organic force is the inherent
vigor latant in an organ. Nerve force is the power or ability to
conduct impulses. Reserve force is the energy which is stored in
an organ or organism that is not required for normal functionating.
Intelligent actions are the expressions of the sum total of life.
This intelligence is able to accumulate and store energy derived from without.
Certain fixed and definite conditions release this energy.
The condition of an organ suitable for health is
known as tone. Tone consists of normal tension, normal firmness and
normal renitency. When nerves have the proper tension, the suitable
solidity and the required resisting force, health is the result.
Biology embraces a knowledge of living matter in
contradistinction to substances which do not possess that vital force directed
by an intelligence, a quality essential to intelligent beings.
Physiology treats of the functions which create and
continue a living existence, one which is normal, congenial and of health.
Pathologic physiology is that condition in which the functions are performed
Pathology treats of the modifications of functions
and the changes of tissue coincident therewith which always accompany the
disturbance of functions. Pathology includes functions performed
in an unusual manner, also changes in position from that of normal, as
well as abnormal structure of organs.
The philosophy of chiropractic, the reasons concerning
the science and art, is an explanation of the phenomena of life in health
The principles of biology are those of chiropractic;
their associated elements constitute the science of chiropractic; when
formulated they express in a clear and definite form the scientific part
of chiropractic. Chiropractic science is identified by the principles
of biology; its existence depends upon biological self-evident facts; they
are the constituent elementary parts. To comprehend chiropractic
it is essential that we should know of biology, the science of life, the
physiological action of organs.
We are, therefore, especially interested in that branch of knowledge
which deals with the activities and phemomena incidental to and characteristic
of living organisms. The science of chiropractic, the principles
and facts pertaining to life, are distinct from anatomy, that branch of
knowledge which deals with the structure only. In consideration of
the above I would give much more time to the study of the science of chiropractic
than to that of anatomy. The medical fraternity have studied tissue
structure for centuries and yet did not become acquainted with the practical
application of the principles which compose the science of chiropractic.
The power or faculty of receiving impressions through
the five senses is from without, is of the animal functions, not organic.
While in the new-born organic life is perfect, physical
life is not yet manifested. The faculty of receiving mental impressions
through the action of sense organs is one of education. Actions known
as organic are not of education.
The vital organs perform each of their normal function
from the first; the animal functions have to be developed. The recently
born child has eyes to see, but it sees not; ears to hear, but it hears
not; hands to grasp, but they do not grip; legs to walk, but they do not
take a step. It has a mouth to suck by which it imbibes nutrition.
The taking of sustenance is imperative for the continuance of life, therefore
it may be considered an organis function directed by the creator, the intelligence
which directs, controls and builds the body. The entire organism
is devoted to sustaining life. To discern what is food and what is
not, the senses of taste and smell are present birth, even so in the child
born a month or two before the proper time. The child shows satisfaction
or disgust with ingesta which is pleaseant or unpleasant to the taste,
as shown by its facial expression, which is not acquired or imitative.
As the infant advances in age its face becomes more expressive, its liking
for sweet food continues during lactation, also a dislike for that which
To be a food in a physiological sense the substance
must not affect injuriously the nutritive process by which food stuff is
transposed into tissue. In the infant sugar is needed to form fat, furnish
elasticity to muscles and nerves. In diabetes the sugar is carried out
of the system, in consequence of which the patient becomes quite thin and
emaciated. Carbohydrate fat is of a more solid consistency than the fat
derived from other sources. The physiological assimilation of sugar in
the production of fat is a vital organic process and cannot be imitated
in the laboratory. The human milk contains a ratio of one of albumen, two
of fat and 4.2 of sugar. Acids as ingesta produce rigor, rigidity, shortening
of nerves and muscles. Emotional states of the mother modify the quantity
and quality of milk, indicating the connection between the mammary glands
and the nervous system. Innate, the spirit, selects that which contains
sugar instead of acids. To the infant acids create a toxic effect, a pathological
condition, contraction of the nervous system. It will be readily seen why
the controlling intelligence selects substances which are sweet instead
The sense of smell is closely allied to that of
taste. The nose often suggests to the mouth whether to accept or
reject an article for ingesta.
Feeling is first experienced and manifested through
the lips. What the adult would feel with the hands, the infant tries
with its lips and mouth. Feeling with the lips is followed by sensing
with the hands and feet, stuffing everything reachable into its mouth to
feel and taste. In time sight and hearing are developed. While
sight gives us nine-tenths of perception, it is the last of the five senses
to come into activity.
Creative intellect is rare. Everyone cannot be an
original thinker. The world’s mental work is mainly done by a few matter-of-fact
individuals. It requires peculiar geniuses of certain mental characters,
an aptitude that qualifies a person for special success in a given line, one
of distinctive taste, an inclination, a disposition and natural bent of intellect
to originate and vizualize the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the
moving picture, the aeroplane and chiropractic. While everyone cannot
be an original thinker, anyone can learn to be reliable, observe and husband
the knowledge acquired by others, make it useful and profitable.