Zitate von Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

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Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

Geburtstag: 10. Juli 1802
Todesdatum: 17. März 1871

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Robert Chambers was a Scottish publisher, geologist, evolutionary thinker, author and journal editor who, like his elder brother and business partner William Chambers, was highly influential in mid-19th century scientific and political circles.

Chambers was an early phrenologist and was the anonymous author of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, which was so controversial that his authorship was not acknowledged until after his death.

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Zitate Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

„The first chapter of the Mosaic record is“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: The first chapter of the Mosaic record is not only not in harmony with the ordinary ideas of mankind respecting cosmical and organic creation, but is opposed to them, and only in accordance with the views here taken. When we carefully peruse it with awakened minds, we find that all the procedure is represented primarily and pre-eminently as flowing from commands and expressions of will, not from direct acts.... Thus the scriptural objection quickly vanishes, and the prevalent ideas about the organic creation appear only as a mistaken inference from the text, formed at a time when man's ignorance prevented him from drawing therefrom a just conclusion. p. 155

„Just suppose for a moment that every fact reported to us by others were viewed in the light of the skeptical system“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)
Testimony: its Posture in the Scientific World (1859), Context: Just suppose for a moment that every fact reported to us by others were viewed in the light of the skeptical system, as to the fallaciousness of the senses and the tendency to self-deception. Should we not from that moment be at a stand-still in all the principal movements of our lives? p. 7

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„We have seen that the law which causes rotation in the single solar masses, is exactly the same which produces the familiar phenomenon of a small whirlpool or dimple in the surface of a stream.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: We have seen that the law which causes rotation in the single solar masses, is exactly the same which produces the familiar phenomenon of a small whirlpool or dimple in the surface of a stream. Such dimples are not always single. Upon the face of a river where there are various contending currents, it may often be observed that two or more dimples are formed near each other with more or less regularity. These fantastic eddies, which the musing poet will sometimes watch abstractedly for an hour, little thinking of the law which produces and connects them, are an illustration of the wonders of binary and ternary solar systems. p. 19

„It is remarkable of the simple substances that they are generally in some compound form.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: It is remarkable of the simple substances that they are generally in some compound form. Thus oxygen and nitrogen, though in union they form the aerial envelope of the globe, are never found separate in nature. Carbon is pure only in the diamond. And the metallic bases of the earths, though the chemist can disengage them, may well be supposed unlikely to remain long uncombined, seeing that contact with moisture makes them burn. Combination and re-combination are principles largely pervading nature. There are few rocks, for example, that are not composed of at least two varieties of matter, each of which is again a compound of elementary substances. What is still more wonderful with respect to this principle of combination, all the elementary substances observe certain mathematical proportions in their unions. It is hence supposed that matter is composed of infinitely minute particles or atoms, each of which belonging to any one substance, can only (through the operation of some as yet hidden law) associate with a certain number of the atoms of any other. p. 35

„When we hear of carbon beginning to appear in the ascending series of rocks, we are unavoidably led to consider it“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: When we hear of carbon beginning to appear in the ascending series of rocks, we are unavoidably led to consider it as marking a time of some importance in the earth's history, a new era of natural conditions, one in which organic life has probably played a part. p. 55

„Seeing in our astral system many thousands of worlds in all stages of formation“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: Seeing in our astral system many thousands of worlds in all stages of formation, from the most rudimental to that immediately preceding the present condition of those we deem perfect, it is unavoidable to conclude that all the perfect have gone through the various stages which we see in the rudimental. This leads us at once to the conclusion that the whole of our firmament was at one time a diffused mass of nebulous matter, extending through the space which it still occupies. So also, of course, must have been the other astral systems. Indeed, we must presume the whole to have been originally in one connected mass, the astral systems being only the first division into parts, and solar systems the second. p. 20

„Now, as the inferior animals were all in being before man, there was language upon earth long ere the history of our race commenced.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: Now, as the inferior animals were all in being before man, there was language upon earth long ere the history of our race commenced. The only additional fact in the history of language, which was produced by our creation, was the rise of a new mode of expression—namely that by sound-signs produced by the vocal organs. In other words, speech was the only novelty in this respect attending the creation of the human race. p. 311

„Analogy would lead us to conclude that the combinations of the primordial matter, forming our so-called elements, are as universal or as liable to take place everywhere as are the laws of gravitation and centrifugal force.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: Analogy would lead us to conclude that the combinations of the primordial matter, forming our so-called elements, are as universal or as liable to take place everywhere as are the laws of gravitation and centrifugal force. We must therefore presume that the gases, the metals, the earths, and other simple substances, (besides whatever more of which we have no acquaintance,) exist or are liable to come into existence under proper conditions, as well in the astral system, which is thirty five thousand times more distant than Sirius, as within the bounds of our own solar system or our own globe. p. 28

„The working-classes require leaders and wise heads from their own body“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)
Sanitary Economy (1850), Context: The working-classes require leaders and wise heads from their own body—patriarchs, in the old acceptation of the term—to keep them right in moments of excitement. The causes of early death prevent the existence of such a class of men, sobered and wise from experience, in sufficient numbers to discipline the youthful and fiery spirits who, confident in their ignorance, plunge themselves and those depending on their exertions into ruin. p. 24

„Abstract perfection should always be the direction aimed at by human efforts, however imperfect they may be“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)
Sanitary Economy (1850), Context: Abstract perfection should always be the direction aimed at by human efforts, however imperfect they may be; and the success of sanitary legislation will be indicated by the nearness or the distance of its actual practice from this perfect idea. p. 17

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„To a reasonable mind the Divine attributes must appear, not diminished or reduced in any way, by supposing a creation by law, but infinitely exalted. It is the narrowest of all views“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: To a reasonable mind the Divine attributes must appear, not diminished or reduced in any way, by supposing a creation by law, but infinitely exalted. It is the narrowest of all views of the Deity, and characteristic of a humble class of intellects, to suppose him acting constantly in particular ways for particular occasions. It, for one thing, greatly detracts from his foresight, the most undeniable of all the attributes of Omnipotence. It lowers him towards the level of our own humble intellects. Much more worthy of him it surely is, to suppose that all things have been commissioned by him from the first, though neither is he absent from a particle of the current of natural affairs in one sense seeing that the whole system is continually supported by his providence. p. 156-157

„At this age the great desires of life are generally accomplished, and the tired laborer in the hardest fields of exertion“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)
Sanitary Economy (1850), Context: In most instances, affectionate relatives and kind friends would wish to prolong the existence of the individual who has reached that age; but if we look at the happiness of mankind in general, we shall find reason to believe that, like all the other general principles of nature, this one carries the impress of an all-wise and beneficent Creator; and that if man had it in his power to alter the arrangement, it may be questioned if he could improve it. At this age the great desires of life are generally accomplished, and the tired laborer in the hardest fields of exertion, which are those of the intellect, has had some years of quiet meditation on the long battle of life to which his days of energy and hope were devoted. The world has, in general, little more use for him; and should he—however meritorious his services, however honored his gray hairs—too long remain an actual living man, seeming to fill a part of the arena in which younger and abler combatants are looking for places, the consciousness of being honored and beloved may give way before the suspicion that he has become an encumbrance to the circle he once adorned. p. 29

„Is our race but the initial of the grand crowning type? Are there yet to be species superior to us“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: Is our race but the initial of the grand crowning type? Are there yet to be species superior to us in organization, purer in feeling, more powerful in device and act, and who shall take a rule over us! There is in this nothing improbable on other grounds. The present race, rude and impulsive as it is, is perhaps the best adapted to the present state of things in the world; but the external world goes through slow and gradual changes, which may leave it in time a much serener field of existence. There may then be occasion for a nobler type of humanity, which shall complete the zoological circle on this planet, and realize some of the dreams of the purest spirits of the present race. p. 276

„If we suppose that similar intervals exist between all the stars,“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: A sensible parallax of about one second has been ascertained in the case of the double star [ Alpha Centauri ] of the constellation of the Centaur, and one of the third of that amount for the double star, 61 Cygni; which gave reason to presume that the distance of the former might be about twenty thousand millions of miles, and the latter of much greater amount. If we suppose that similar intervals exist between all the stars, we shall readily see that the space occupied by even the comparatively small number visible to the naked eye, must be vast beyond all powers of conception. Footnote: By Mr. Henderson Professor of Astronomy in the Edinburgh University and Lieutenant Meadows. p. 3

„A committee of the French Academy of Sciences, including the celebrated Lavoisier, unanimously rejected an account of three nearly contemporary descents of meteorites“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)
Testimony: its Posture in the Scientific World (1859), Context: The fall of meteoric stones was occasionally reported by good witnesses during many ages. But science did not understand how stones should be formed in or beyond the atmosphere... The accounts of the fall of meteoric stones were held to be incompatible with the laws of nature, and specimens which had been seen to fall by hundreds of people were preserved in cabinets of natural history as ordinary minerals, 'which the credulous and superstitious regarded as having fallen from the clouds.' A committee of the French Academy of Sciences, including the celebrated Lavoisier, unanimously rejected an account of three nearly contemporary descents of meteorites which reached them on the strongest evidence. After two thousand years of incredulity, the truth in this matter was forced upon the scientific world about the beginning of the present century. There would have been at any time, of course, an instant cessation of skepticism if any one could have shewn, a priori, from ascertained principles in connection with the atmosphere, how stones were to be expected to fall from the sky. But what is this but to say that facts by themselves, however well attested, are wholly useless in such circumstances to the cultivators of physical science, while any kind of vague hypothesis can be brought forward in opposition to them? What is it but to put conjecture or prejudice above fact, and indeed utterly to repudiate the Baconian method? p. 10

„While the external forms of all these various animals are so different, it is very remarkable that the whole are“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), Context: While the external forms of all these various animals are so different, it is very remarkable that the whole are, after all, variations of a fundamental plan, which can be traced as a basis throughout the whole, the variations being merely modifications of that plan to suit the particular conditions in which each particular animal has been designed to live. Starting from the primeval germ, which, as we have seen, is the representative of a particular order of full-grown animals, we find all others to be merely advances from that type, with the extension of endowments and modification of forms which are required in each particular case; each form, also, retaining a strong affinity to that which precedes it, and tending to impress its own features on that which succeeds. p. 192

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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