Please content yourself with this apology, dear reader, because it will be a chilly day in Hades before we issue another one.I fear, I shall be thought to have treated the question in too diffusive a manner. I have not, indeed, laboured to be concise. But if the memoir is more extensive than was necessary, I flatter myself, it will be admitted that it, at least, contains some new and interesting facts. I submit it to its fate.
I have also found a quote in the same delightful 18th century treatise on the alleged powers of rattlesnakes that I think I will feel impelled to use in some post about climate change, because it seems to apply, oddly enough, to the grim lot who insist that the globe is warming drastically, and that we are doomed to floods and drought (likely at the same time), unless we turn the thermostat down at the house low enough so that we will pray for some drastic global warming...
In any event, the quote, which is too good to waste:
The human mind, unenlightened by science, or by considerable reflection, is a foil rich in the weeds of superstition and credulity. It is ever prone to believe in the wonderful, even when this belief, as is often the case, brings with it fears, and cares, and misery. The bondage of the mind in superstitious credulity is great and heavy. Neither religion nor virtue can give it its freedom. This it obtains from science. How important, then, even in this point of view, is the enlargement of the mind by scienceIt is a sad irony that this quote seems to apply to the scientists who can't quite accept that things are not quite as hot as their models predicted.