Scientific certainies of planetary life: or, Neptune's light as great as ours

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Страница 114 - Probable evidence, in its very nature, affords but an imperfect kind of information ; and is to be considered as relative only to beings of limited capacities. For nothing which is the possible object of knowledge, whether past, present, or future, can be probable to an infinite Intelligence ; since it cannot but be discerned absolutely as it is in itself, certainly true, or certainly false. But to us, probability is the very guide of life.
Страница 115 - It is not my design to inquire further into the nature, the foundation, and measure of probability ; or whence it proceeds that likeness should beget that presumption, opinion, and full conviction, which the human mind is formed to receive from it, and which it does necessarily produce in every one ; or to guard against the errors, to which reasoning from analogy is liable. This belongs to the subject of Logic, and is a part of that subject which has not yet been thoroughly considered.
Страница 118 - When we contemplate the constituents of the planetary system from the point of view which this relation affords us, it is no longer mere analogy which strikes us, no longer a general resemblance among them, as individuals independent of each other, and circulating about the sun, each according to its own peculiar nature, and connected with it by its own peculiar tie. The resemblance is now perceived to be a true family likeness ; they are bound up in one chain, interwoven in one web of mutual relation...
Страница 114 - For when we determine a thing to be probably true, suppose that an event has or will come to pass, it is from the mind's remarking in it a likeness to some other event, which we have observed has come to pass.
Страница 58 - ... other), and the angular diameter of the whole group, it would appear that many clusters of this description must contain, at least, ten or twenty thousand stars, compacted and •wedged together in a round space, whose angular diameter does not exceed eight or ten minutes ; that is to say, in an area not more than a tenth part of that covered by the moon.
Страница 58 - ... to attempt to count the stars in one of these globular clusters. They are not to be reckoned by hundreds ; and on a rough calculation, grounded on the apparent intervals between them at the borders...
Страница 2 - true, they are to man as points of exact and permanent reference ; but he must have studied astronomy to little purpose, who can suppose man to be the only object of his Creator's care, or who does not see in the vast and wonderful apparatus around us provision for other races of animated beings.
Страница 108 - Government than this earth, — other regions in which God has subjects and servants, — other beings who do his will, and who, it may be, are connected with the moral and religious interests of man ; — we do not breathe a syllable against such a belief; but, on the contrary, regard it with a ready and respectful sympathy. It is a belief which finds an echo in pious and...
Страница 205 - The air in proceeding upwards," says another, " is rarefied in such a manner that a sphere of that air, which is nearest to the Earth, but of one inch diameter, if dilated to an equal rarefaction with that of the air at the height of ten semi-diameters of the Earth (40,000 miles) would fill up more space than is contained in the whole heavens on this side the fixed stars. And it likewise appears that the moon does not move in a perfectly free and unresisting medium ; although the air at a height...
Страница xvi - ... those stars : as unlikely that inhabitants of those stars know and take an interest in human affairs, as that we can learn what they are doing. A belief in the Divine Government of other races of spiritual creatures besides the human race, and in Divine Ministrations committed to such beings, cannot be connected with our physical and astronomical views of the nature of the stars and the planets, without making a mixture altogether incongruous and incoherent ; a mixture of what is material and...