12. The law which presides at the formation of minerals leads naturally to the formation of organic bodies.
Chemical analysis shows us that all vegetable and animal substances are composed of the same elements as inorganic bodies. Of these elements those which play the principal role are: oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon; the others are only accessory to them. As in the mineral kingdom, the difference of proportion in the combination of these elements produces all varieties of organic substances and their various properties: such as, muscles, bone, blood, bile, nerves, cerebral matter, and fat among animals; and sap, wood, leaves, fruits, essences, oils, and resins in the vegetable kingdom. Thus no special body enters into the composition of animals and plants which is not also found in the mineral kingdom. *
*The following table of analysis of a few substances shows the difference of properties resulting solely in the difference in the proportions of the constituent elements in 100 parts: —
|Oil of nuts||79.774||10.570||9.122||0,534|