344. I heard two former presidents of the English Royal Society, Sir Hans Sloane* and Sir Martin Folkes,** conversing with each other in the spiritual world about the existence of seeds and eggs on earth and the productions arising from them. The first ascribed these phenomena to nature, saying that nature had been endowed from creation with the power and ability to produce by means of the sun's warmth such effects. The other said that nature has this ability in it continually from God the Creator. To settle the argument, a beautiful bird appeared to Sir Hans, and he was told to examine it to see whether it differed in any least particular from a similar bird on earth. Sir Hans held it in his hand, examined it, and said that there was no difference. He was told to do this, because he knew that it was only the affection of some angel in his vicinity represented as a bird, and that it would vanish or cease to exist along with the angel's affection, as also happened.  As a result of this experiment Sir Hans was convinced that nature contributes nothing whatever to the productions of plants and animals, but that they are attributable solely to that which flows from the spiritual world into the natural one. He said that if that bird had been filled in respect to its least constituents with corresponding substances from the earth and thus given fixed form, it would be an enduring bird, as birds are on earth, and that the same is the case with phenomena arising from hell. He said in addition that if he had known then what he knows now about the spiritual world, he would have ascribed to nature no more than the fact that it served a spiritual component from God to give fixed form to things continually flowing into nature. * Sir Hans Sloane, 1660-1753, British physician and naturalist. Elected one of the two secretaries of the Royal Society in 1693. President of the Royal Society, 1727-1741, succeeding Sir Isaac Newton upon the latter's death. His bequest to the British nation of an extensive library and collection of manuscripts, pictures, coins and curiosities led to the founding of the British Museum, which was opened to the public in 1759. ** Martin Folkes, 1690-1754, British antiquarian. Vice President of the Royal Society, 1722-1741. President of the Royal Society, 1741-1752, succeeding Sir Hans Sloane. No evidence exists of his having had conferred upon him either a baronetcy or knighthood entitling him to be addressed as Sir.