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Página cv - There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Página cv - It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.
Página xvii - To give a stronger impulse and a more systematic direction to scientific inquiry, — to promote the intercourse of those who cultivate Science in different parts of the British Empire, with one another, and with foreign philosophers, — to obtain a more general attention to the objects of Science, and a removal of any disadvantages of a public kind, which impede its progress.
Página xci - Accurate and minute measurement seems to the non-scientific imagination a less lofty and dignified work than looking for something new. But nearly all the grandest discoveries of science have been but the rewards of accurate measurement and patient long-continued labour in the minute sifting of numerical results.
Página 114 - But expectation is permissible where belief is not ; and if it were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions, which it can no more see again than a man can recall his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter.
Página lxxxv - What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones, The labour of an age in piled stones, Or that his hallowed relics should be hid Under a star-ypointing pyramid? Dear son of memory, great heir of Fame, What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name? Thou in our wonder and astonishment Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
Página 2 - ... the present order of things has not been evolved through infinite past time by the agency of laws now at work, but must have had a distinctive beginning, a state beyond which we are totally unable to penetrate, a state, in fact, which must have been produced by other than the now acting causes.
Página ciii - The projection of this ray ... to so enormous a length, in a single day conveys an impression of the intensity of the forces acting to produce such a velocity of material transfer through space such as no other natural phenomenon is capable of exciting. It is clear that if we have to deal here with matter, such as we conceive it, viz., possessing inertia — at all, it must be under the dominion of forces incomparably more energetic than gravitation, and quite of a different nature...
Página xcv - I am purposing them, to be considered of and examined, an account of a philosophical discovery which induced me to the making of the said telescope ; and I doubt not but will prove much more grateful than the communication of that instrument ; being in my judgment the oddest, if not the most considerable detection which hath hitherto been made in the operations of nature.
Página cv - Hence, and because we all confidently believe that there are at present, and have been from time immemorial, many worlds of life besides our own, we must regard it as probable in the highest degree that there are countless seedbearing meteoric stones moving about through space. If, at the present instant, no life existed upon this earth, one such stone falling upon it might, by what we blindly call natural causes, lead to its becoming covered with vegetation.