Scottish Review Volume 4

Scottish Review Volume 4

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1856 edition. Excerpt: ...There is certainly not the same antecedent probability on the afiirmative side as in the case of the planets; and for this simple reason. They have palpable and manifest purposes to fulfil independent of their habitability. "The Sun," says Sir David Brewster, " has a great function to perform in controlling the movements of the whole system. It is the mainspring of the great planetary chronometers, without which they would stop, and rush intq destructive collision. It is the lamp which yields them the light, without which life would perish. It is the furnace which supplies the fuel, without which organic nature would be destroyed. Created for such noble purposes, we are led Lardner's Museum of Science and Art. by no analogy to assign to it an additional function. The very same remarks may be applied to our Moon, and to all the satellites of the system. They are the domestic lamps which light the primary planets in the absence of the Sun, and all of them, as well as our own, may exercise the other oflice of producing the tides of their oceans. It is quite otherwise with the primary planets. They have no conceivable function to perform but that of supporting inhabitants, unless we give them the additional one which they are all fit for performing, and which they perform so well, of becoming gigantic lamps to their Satellites; and if we invest them with this function, we obtain an argument in favour of the Satellites themselves being inhabited." p. 93. Sir David is himself, however, an implicit believer in the habitability of both Sun and Moon. The great objection to the habitability of the Sun is, of course, its extreme heat. This heat, however, is supposed to proceed, not from the body of the luminary, but...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 10mm | 327g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123690379X
  • 9781236903792