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But in the spirit of true induction we have no ofanunin- ductive right to imagine that any of the events or changes character, of past epochs, however apparently inexplicable, can be rationally set down as events of a different kind and order from those now going on, or as in- terruptions of the settled order of natural causes. Difference of opinion indeed may subsist as to Uniformi- tarianism the greater or less frequency or intensity of volcanic and cata- strophism. But these, while they are on all hands allowed to be fair and legitimate topics of philosophical debate and inductive inquiry, would be most unduly exaggerated if supposed to mark any such real or fundamental difference in principle as to constitute two really distinct geological schools. They are questions merely of degree, not of kind or of principle. Yet, in the language often used, the (f uniformi- 58 UNITY OF SCIENCES. If the terms are to be understood with any such difference of sense as that thus implied, I conceive it appears that the two theories respectively occupy totally different grounds. Geology thus kept pure from the introduction of fanciful and unphilosophical hypotheses eminently conforms to the type of unity which binds together the whole range of inductive science. The unity of sciences is not impaired, but insured Revolutions in science and promoted, by those mutations which any of its only pro- gressive. All real science is in a state of perpetual change. These changes have now and then been fundamental and revolutionary, and similar fluctuations are perpetually going on in lesser details. But this in no way makes science itself unstable or fluctuating. The change is always of one character, and that no other than the very nature of the inductive philosophy requires : a change from anomaly to regularity, from hetero- geneity to analogy, from confusion to order, from interruption to continuity, from artificial dogmatism to the simplicity of nature. Every branch of science approaches perfection and Discoveries superseded stability as it more fully approaches to and realises only by greater im- the grand principle of unity.
Every philosophic research or conclusion, at pre- sent of the highest importance, must expect to be reduced to a subordinate place : every method now most justly esteemed must look to be superseded by greater improvements : but nothing will deprive such really great discoveries of their place in the page of history their lustre will but be increased by the brilliancy of newer results, to which they were the necessary preliminaries. Advance Most sciences had their origin in the clouds of from mysti- cism to mysticism, and thus occasionally long retain some reason.
Astronomy arose out of astrology, chemistry out of alchemy, and geology out of a theological cosmogony.
Geology, indeed, being the youngest of the inductive sciences, has naturally in the course of its rapid growth, within a brief period, exhibited more of those changes from mysti- cism towards rationalism than any other branch. With an increasing recognition of true inductive principles, we have witnessed progressive improve- ments in the philosophic character of the theory and candid retractations of opinions once warmly upheld, chiefly on grounds alien from those of science. Those who continue really to indulge in the visions 62 UNITY OF SCIENCES.
But the influence of such artificial theories we may be assured will in time entirely disappear, and all true cultivators of science will come to regard such distinction of schools in no other sense than as we now speak of Ptolemaists and Copernicans, Cartesians and Newtonians : these anticipations, however, are far from being buy school papers yet generally realised.
There have not been wanting, indeed, attempts at Proposed hypotheses theorising on the subject : various hypotheses have of the vital principle been started as to the nature of the "vital principle," often falla - cious. But all this in no way affects the con- viction of the existence of some physical principle, the cause of the vital functions, as yet, indeed, unknown, but which nevertheless will, at some time, become as well determined as the principle of respiration or the circulation of the blood are at present. Again, though chemical analysis has reduced or- ganised products to determinate elements, yet it is made a matter of no small boast by some, that no chemistry can reproduce an organic substance, or invest that organised substance with life : and eager and loud was the triumph of those who conceived they had refuted the alleged results of Messrs. Crosse and Weekes, and bitter the abuse and ridi- ESSAY I. But the truly inductive inquirer can never doubt that there really exists as complete and continuous a relation and connexion of some kind between the manifestations of life and the simplest mechanical or chemical laws evinced in the varied actions of the body in which it resides, as there is between the action of any machine and the laws of motion and equilibrium, the weaving of cloth by a power-loom and the principle buy school papers of latent heat : and that this connexion and dependence is but one com- ponent portion of the vast chain of physical causa- tion whose essential strength lies in its universal continuity, which extends, without interruption, through the entire world of order, and in which a real disruption of one link would be the destruction of the whole.