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fore, offer it as a conjecture not quite arbitrary, | Venus and Mercury we see nothing of a gaseous that Jupiter is a mere sphere of water.
or aqueous atmosphere.” “The polar and equatorial diameters of Jupiter are in the proportion of 13 to 14. Now it is a
Here, however, astronomers of every remarkable circumstance that this is the amount of oblateness which, on mechanical principles
, grade are at issue with the advocate of would result from his time of revolution if he extra-terrestial chaos. Every one who were entirely fluid, and of the same density has made the planetary discs objects of throughout. So far, then, we have some confir- close contemplation, has discerned in all mation at least of his being composed entirely of of them features that can be due to nosome fluid which in its density agrees with water." thing else than
vaporous (P. 281.)
coverings. Indications of a very dense Stripped of all that is irrelevant to the atmosphere are discernible in Mars, -and
whose existence even the essay: argument, the specific gravity and form ist seems to admit, must be allowed to be of Jupiter merely prove, in the first place, very mysterious accumulations, if these that the substance of that huge sphere is indications are deceptive. The atmoscomposed of something which is specifi- phere in Venus is believed to be twice as cally as light as water, and which may be, dense as the Earth’s. The strange, undeas Šir David Brewster remarks, coal
, pu- fined, and confused glare of its outline is mice-stone, amianthus or tabasheer, or, not explicable upon any other ground, as the essayist himself naïvely suggests, and then too its narrow crescent, when it ice—and in the second place, that that sub- is nearly between the Earth and the Sun, stance was most probably liquid at the is twice as broad as, and perceptibly time when the sphere assumed its form, longer than, it would be if there were no much in the same way as is generally also atmosphere; its horns of light extend held with regard to the Earth. The
considerably beyond the half circumfergreater oblateness of Jupiter's spheroid
ence. Very accurate observers have acis simply due to the greater velocity with which its equatorial region was whirled tually seen the fringe of twilight resting along, before it was fixed in consolidation. upon its surface between broad daylight
and earth-shine. The variable cloudJupiter is eleven times wider than the belts of Jupiter and Saturn have not even Earth, and yet rotates in ten hours in- been challenged by the skeptical essayist; stead of twenty-four. The high degree and his firmest support in this particular, of probability is, that if the Earth had the Moon, is in danger of disappearing bebeen as large as Jupiter, and had rotated neath his feet. Sir John Herschel thinks as quickly, it would have been as oblate that there are traces of a faint atmotoo, notwithstanding its greater density. sphere in the lunar valleys and on its lowThé essayist fails altogether in his en- est plains. Baer and Mäedler, who have deavor to show upon these premises that
literally identified their names with selen“Jupiter and Saturn may be regarded as, in ography by their patient and close watchmany respects, immense clouds; the continuous ing of the physical appearances of the water being collected at their centres, while the terrestial satellite, are of the opinion that more airy and lesser parts circulate above. That it has an aërial envelope proportioned to they are the permanent receptacles of the super- the smallness of its mass. Schroeter fluous water and air of the system. . . Ex- states that he can discern twilight on its amples of what glorious objects accumulations of surface at the extremities of its cusps, vapor and water, illuminated by the rays of the when in its crescent, and he limits the sun, may become in our eyes.” (P. 309.)
height of the aërial stratum to a third of
a mile, which is considerably less than The essayist deems the smaller and the altitude of the greater part of its denser planets, bodies that are devoid al- mountains. This closely agrees with Sir together of atmospheres, with the proba- John Herschel's idea of a little air setble exception of Mars.
tling as a sort of gaseous sea into the hol
lows and channels of the Moon, in the “ Mars seems to have some portion at least of place of water, and quite accounts for the aqueous atmosphere [in another place --perhaps we are not quite certain about the existence of an extreme difficulty that is experienced in atmosphere); the Earth, we know, bas a consid- detecting it by optical phenomena. If erable atmosphere of air and of vapor; but the Encke is right in filling otherwise void Moon, so near to her mistress, has none, On space with some resisting ethereal medium, and if the zodiacal light is substantial, it should nevertheless have deemed it right is not possible that the Moon should have to employ in grave argument such weadone otherwise than gather some of the pons as we here perceive in use. We alponderable material as a vaporous gar- lude, in the first place, to the looseness ment round its attractive mass. A re- with which the conclusions of the reasoncent discovery of Professor Hansen's, no- ing are in many cases drawn, and to the ticed by Professor Baden Powell, sug- levity with which alternatives to them are gests how cautious men of science should suggested immediately afterwards; and, be in coming even to negative conclusions in the second place, to the specious way on first appearances. In studying the in which obvious truth is often warped inequalities of the Moon's movements, in until the very bounds of honesty are connection with the theory of gravitation, pressed. this careful investigator has found cause The first peculiarity seems to have to suspect that the centre of gravity of struck Sir David Brewster as well as ourthe Moon is further than the centre of its selves, for it is incidentally and directly figure from the Earth; in other words, alluded to in the following extract from that the side of the Moon towards the “More Worlds than One": Earth is raised into a table-land, twentynine miles higher above the centre of " The essayist pronounces it tolerably certain gravity than the opposite hemisphere is. that Jupiter's density is not greater than it would This at once explains the probable me- be if his entire globe were composed of water;' chanism by which the same side of the and he concludes that Jupiter must therefore be Moon is steadily retained looking earth- that there is much evidence
against the existence
He afterwards states
a mere sphere of water. wards. But it at the same time renders of solid land' in that planet; but in opposition to it possible that there may be a deep this evidence, he subsequently contributes a few ocean and a collection of dense air on the cinders at the centre—articles doubtless of pecuother side of the lunar sphere, where they liar value and interest where every thing else is can never be contemplated by terrestial water. The existence of cinders, however, where eyes. It is manifest that if such a distri- there is no heat, and where, as we shall presently bution of solid material has really been see, the water is ice, must have perplexed his made in the Moon, as Professor Hansen by telling us that the waters in Jupiter are bot
and hence he wisely withdraws them, describes, water and air would have run tomless, that is, without a nucleus of cinders.” down to that lower side, and filled up its (Brewster, p. 234.) twenty-nine miles of comparative depression, before they began to make their ap- The following extracts are from the pearance on the nearer surface. If these anonymous essay: calculations and views be correct, the Moon, instead of being uninhabited, may " It is also possible that the Creator should, on possibly be half in barren desolation, and another planet, have established creatures of the half luxuriant and life-colored, its desolate nature of corals and molluscs, saurians and iguanohemisphere looking unvaryingly towards dons, without having yet arrived at the period of the Earth, and its peopled one directed have longer years, a colder climate, a smaller mass,
intelligent creatures; especially if that other planet towards skies out of which the terrestial and perhaps no atmosphere. It is also possible face never shines.
that he should have put that smaller planet near Before we pass on from the considera- the Earth, resembling it in some respects, as the tion of such portions of the argument as Moon does, but without any inhabitants
, as she has are avowedly based upon physical evi- none; and that Mars may be such a planet." dence, to express our own views and con
(P. 292.) “ For such reasons, then, as were urged victions in the matter, we feel constrained he has no inhabitants, or that they are aqueous,
in the case of Jupiter, we must either suppose that to direct attention to certain peculiarities gelatinous creatures, too sluggish almost to be of the Essay, which are affairs rather of deemed alive, floating in their ice-cold waters, manner than substance, but which never- shrouded for ever by their humid skies.” (P. 289.) theless, after the most liberal allowance " That none but masses of this size, and many has been made for the license of advocacy, far below this, are found outside of Mars, appears still leave us with the sense of painful sur
to indicate that the planet-making powers which prise and regret — surprise and regret and which produced the great globe of the Earth
were efficacious to this distance from the Sun,
, that one who has so much of earnestness were, beyond this point, feebler ; so that they could and subtle intellectual power at his com- only give birth to smaller masses, to planetoids, mand as the essayist manifestly has, to satellites, and to meteoric stones. Perhaps we
may describe this want of energy in the planet- | failed in the making," he is not entitled
pose, as the majority of the planets, in
In his argument derived from geology the attraction of the parts of all of them had the essayist says: drawn them into one mass, which might afterwards solidify into a single globe.” (P. 305.)
“Not entire resemblance, but universal differ
ence, is what we discover [in creation]: not the These several instances involuntarily repetition of exactly similar cases, but a series of suggest the suspicion that the essayist is constancy, but change, perhaps advance ; not one ever ready to shift his ground if it occurs permanent and pervading scheme, but preparation to him that some new position may prove and completion of successive schemes ; not unimore advantageous to his cause than the formity, and a fixed type of existences, but proold one. It seems as if water or ice were gression and a climax...... If, then, the Earth the same in Jupiter, since neither prom
be the sole inhabited spot in the work of creation, ised a comfortable or convenient home thing in this contrary to the analogy of creation.
the oasis in the desert of our system, there is nofor intelligent creatures. As if Mars But if
, in some way which perhaps we cannot diswould do just as well with saurians or cover, the earth obtained for accompaniments iguanodons as without them, if a case be mere chaotic and barren masses as conditions of but made out against men. As if the mi- its coming into its present state ; as it may have nor bodies of the solar system might be required for accompaniments the brute and imindebted either to stubborn solidity that perfect races of former animals as conditions of would not melt, or to gaseous intracta- coming into its present state as the habitation of
man; the analogy is against and not in favor of, bility that would condense too soon, so the belief that they too [the other masses, the that they but acquiesce in the sentence planets, &c.] are habitations." (P. 198.) of uninhabitability passed upon them, In one place the essayist writes :
Here the essayist imagines a countless
myriad of void deserts, all uniform in “ Moreover, if you allow all the small planets their desolation, in order that the law of between Mars and Jupiter to be uninhabited, universal difference may be observed by the planetary bodies, which you acknowledge to be their being unlike to the inhabited Earth. regard to which even the most resolute
pluralists Having one white ball, he makes 999,999 of worlds hold to be inhabited. The majority
ones, and speaks of himself as hay. swells every year. Since the publication of the ing effected variety. It is hardly conEssay three have been added. The Planetoids ceivable that when writing this the writer are now twenty-pine. The fact of a planet being of the Essay did not feel the law of uniinhabited, then, is, at any rate, rather the excep, versal variety really to require that all tion than the rule; and, therefore, must be proved the orbs of space should be inhabited by in each case by special evidence." (P. 28.)
creatures of different natures and kinds, In another place the following para- ity in desolation might be escaped from.
in order that the predicament of uniformgraph appears :
The essayist argues that as the seas and
continents of the Earth have been wasted
( oids) has suggested to astronomers the conjecture during long ages upon mere brute life, it that they have resulted from the explosion of a
is probable that the seas and continents larger body, and from its fracture into fragments of other planets are occupied at the present Perhaps the general phenomena of the universe time with a life no higher, or with no life suggest rather the notion of a collapse of portions at all. But surely he feels that through of sidereal matter than of a sudden disruption and the early stages of its physical history the dispersion of any portion of it; and these small Earth was really undergoing a gradual fected concentration of the elements of our sys- preparation to become what it now is, tem, which, if it had gone on more completely and that therefore, if the planets are now and regularly, might have produced another planet in the same condition, analogy indicates like Mars or Venus." (P. 293.)
as the probability that they too are pre
paring for the reception of higher organic Surely if the essayist holds that the developments. If the waste of the planets planetoids are the "bits of a planet that is such as the waste of the Earth was,
there can be no doubt that that waste case is a very strong one. Captain Jacob argues not against, but for, a plurality of has put this in a very clear light in his worlds.
“Few More Words." His remarks are The essayist speaks of man as being the to the following effect: Let there be an “special care” of the Creator. Surely he urn containing 1000 balls of an unknown believes that the sparrow and the lilies of color shaken up together, and from this the field are in their way as carefully pro- urn let one be drawn promiscuously, and vided for and guarded as the lord of be found to be black. The probability, in ereation. Indeed, in many particulars the accordance with the doctrines established instinctive creatures seem to have been by Professor de Morgan, is 1000 to 999 more immediately the care of Providence that all the other balls contained in the than the rational one, to whom a wider urn are black too. The mere fact that a license for following his own devices has black ball has been caught hold of, the been allowed.
first time of dipping, marks this likelihood. The radical mistake which runs through- This is the case of the pluralists, who out the argument of this Essay seems to maintain that because they have one us to be the attempt to adduce positive planet that is inhabited, therefore all the evidence that the planets and stars are other planets are inhabited too; and that chaotic and rude. In this attempt the because they have one sun that is atauthor entirely fails. If he had rested tended by planets, therefore other suns satisfied with the position that, in the have a similar attendance. They are as present state of human knowledge, there likely as not to be right. On the other is no direct physical proof of the planets hand the probability that the black ball and stars being inhabited worlds, and which is drawn is the only one of that that consequently all who are inclined to color that had been contained in the urn, hold opposite opinions, upon religious or is as one to one thousand. It is unlikely, other grounds, are quite as much entitled in this degree, that the only black ball to do so as the pluralists are to entertain should have been caught hold of at the their doctrines, there would have been first dip out of such a multitude. This is scarcely any one inclined to dispute the the case of the essayist, who asserts that proposition with him. When, however, the Earth is the only inhabited planet, instead of this course, he undertakes to and that the solar system stands alone in show that “the belief that other planets the universe. He is one thousand times as well as the Earth are the seats of habi- more likely to be wrong than to be right. tation of living things has been enter- These strong probabilities, however, tained in general, not in consequence of become very much stronger, in each diphysical reasons, but in spite of physical rection, when the force of certain obvious reasons,” the affair is altogether changed. “physical reasons” is added to them. In It is true that matter of fact is as much the detailed arrangements of this only out of court on one side as it is on the world, of whose condition man has any other, and will continue to be so until positive experience, it is found that the cities as well as plains can be contem- vast gaseous accumulation, which is deplated in the Moon; Esquimaux as well nominated the vapor-sphere or atmoas snows in Mars; waving trees and sphere, is in various ways intimately creeping things, as well as twilight, in connected with the series of transforma Venus; and living creatures, whether pig. tions and changes that constitute life in mies or monsters, as well as clouds, on its widest sense. The substance of the the temperate spheres of those giants of air is composed of the particular material the system, Jupiter and Saturn. Not so, atoms that are mainly employed in the however, with matters of probability work of organic fabrication, and those There are “physical reasons why it is atoms are placed in it in such a state of probable in the highest degree that the loose relative connection that they are planets, at least, are inhabited worlds, and peculiarly available for the purpose. Air, there are metaphysical reasons why it is indeed, is organizable substance in a readi. improbable in the highest degree that ly organizable condition. Plants, and all they are waste desolation and chaos. vegetable productions, which constitute Viewed merely as a simple probability, the ultimate nourishment of animal bodies, based upon
the ground that the Earth are made of the gases and vapors of the itself is peopled with living things, the atmosphere. A fifth part of the atmosphere is the stimulating influence which stronger reasons for its abandonment are is immediately concerned in setting up brought forward than any that have been and maintaining the corrosive decompo- adduced in the “Essay.” sition of organized fabric, out of which But if the Plurality of Worlds be adanimal capacities and powers are educed. mitted to be so likely and rational an asIt receives into itself the gaseous and sumption as to be entitled to rank hencevaporous products of this decomposition, forth amongst the dogmas of science, it and fits them for reörganization, in order by no means follows that the vital arrangethat they may be economically used over ments in other worlds are the exact counagain. The atmosphere, in short, is the terparts of those which obtain upon the great reservoir from which the material of earth. Every consideration, on the other life is immediately derived, and into which hand, points to a higher probability that the waste of life is thrown, and at the there would be as great a diversity in same time it is the prime agent by whose worlds as there is in the creatures coëxinstrumentality the operations of life are istent with man upon this globe. There set going. It is the medium which stands is no reason why five senses should limit between and connects the opposite ex- the impressions of intelligence on perciptremes of vegetable and animal existence, ient organization; there is no reason why which adapts each to the necessities of four limbs should be the only pieces of the other, and which makes each possible. active apparatus that bodies with backWherever there is air on the earth vital bones can wield. So far as the series of phenomena manifest themselves; when discovered planets that are associated with ever air is absent every kind of vital ope- the earth are concerned, it is obvious that ration stops. So intimately, indeed, within there are in them the several varieties of the sphere of human observation and physical condition which would be most experience, are life and air invariably availably met by corresponding varieties connected, that it becomes altogether im- of organic contrivance. The brief and possible to separate them in thought. hot seasons, bright atmosphere, dense Each seems as much adapted to the other glare, and moderate mass and dimensions as the eye is adapted to light, or as light of Venus seem to ask for different details to the eye—they are in fact correlated of organization from such as would be terms, so closely associated that they most suitable to the short days, subdued cannot be dissevered by the mind. When- sunshine, softened and unvaryingly temever the idea of one is called up, notions perate seasons, and large masses and diof the other are presented with it, as ne-mensions of Jupiter and Saturn. The cessarily involved.
highest probability is, not that there are It follows from these relations that if men in the planets and stars, but that each men looked out into the space which sur- planet and star has its own wondrous catrounds the earth, and saw upon some re-alogue of created vitalities, adapted to its mote orb floating in it trees and shrubs, own peculiarities of construction, constituand quadrupeds and creeping things, they tion, and position. The highest probabilwould also believe in the presence there ity is, that in this way, and not by the of air. Could any one beholding such multiplication of desolation, the requireforms do otherwise ? Such presence ments of the essayist's law of “universal would manifestly be taken as a matter of difference” are met. It may be all very course, and not even questioned. But well to limit the question to the considerwhen they look into space they see orbs ation of “human life” when it is felt as a that are invested with gaseous and vapor- preliminary to entering upon the investious atmospheres, and by a reversal of the gation that “one school of moral discipprocess they believe in the presence of line, one theatre of moral action, and one living creatures. They accept the correl. arena of moral contests for the highest ation as a matter of course, just as they prizes, is a sufficient centre for innumerawould in the other case, and do not even ble hosts of stars and planets.” But when make it a subject for question, until some this is not felt as a preliminary, the quesskeptical essay is compiled to challenge tion of necessity assumes a far wider scope, their faith. This is why it is that the Plu- and a much grander significance. Profesrality of Worlds is a popular, as well as a sor Owen has contributed a very interesthighly probable doctrine; and this is why ing argument for the existence of a plu. it may and will continue to be held until I rality of worlds in this wider sense, derived