(b) Experience could not warrant a belief in absolute and universal uniformity, unless experience was identical with absolute and universal knowledge.
(c) We know, on the contrary, from geology, that there have been breaks in this uniformity, such as the introduction of vegetable, animal and human life, which cannot be accounted for, except by the manifestation in nature of a supernatural power.
(a) Compare the probability that the sun will rise tomorrow morning with the certainty that two and two make four. Huxley, Lay Sermons, 158, indignantly denies that there is any ?must? about the uniformity of nature: ?No one is entitled to say a priori that any given so called miraculous event is impossible.? Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism, 1:84 ? ?There is no evidence for the statement that the mass of the universe is a definite and unchangeable quantity?; 108, 109 ? ?Why so confidently assume that a rigid and monotonous uniformity ? is the only, or the highest, indication of order, the order of an ever living Spirit, above all? How is it that we depreciate machine made articles, and prefer those in which the artistic impulse, or the fitness of the individual case, is free to shape and to make what is literally manufactured, handmade?
Dangerous as teleological arguments in general may be, we may at least safely say the world was not designed to make science easy...To call the verses of a poet, the politics of a statesman, or the award of a judge mechanical, implies, as Lotze has pointed out, marked disparagement, although it implies, too, precisely those characteristics ? exactness and invariability ? in which Maxwell would have us see a token of the divine.? Surely then we must not insist that divine wisdom must always run in a rut, must never repeat itself, must never exhibit itself in unique acts like incarnation and resurrection. See Edward Hitchcock, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 20:489-561, on ?The Law of Nature?s Constancy Subordinate to the Higher Law of Change?; Jevons, Principles of Science, 2:430-438; Mozley, Miracles, 26.
(b) S.T. Coleridge, Table Talk, 18 December, 1831 ? ?The light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern of the ship, which shines only on the waves behind us.? Hobbes: ?Experience concludeth nothing universally.? Brooks, Foundations of Zoology, 131 ? ?Evidence can tell us only what has happened, and it can never assure us that the future must be like the past; 132 ? Proof that all nature is mechanical would not be inconsistent with the belief that everything in nature is immediately sustained by Providence, and that my volition counts for something in
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