Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven
General Proof of the Correctness of a Mechanistic Theory, the General Arrangement of the Planetary Structure, the Particular Correctness of the Present Theory
We cannot look at the planetary structure without learning about the great excellence in its arranged order and the sure marks of God's hand in its perfect interrelationships. After reason has considered and wondered at so much beauty and excellence, it rightly grows indignant at the daring foolishness which permits itself to ascribe all this to chance and a lucky contingency. There must have been a Highest Wisdom to make the design, and an Infinite Power must have produced it. Otherwise it would be impossible to encounter in the planetary structure so many purposes cooperating in a single purpose. It comes down only to the decision whether the plan for the structure of the universe is already set in the essential composition of eternal natures by the Highest Understanding and latent in the eternal laws of motion, so that they develop themselves freely from them in a manner appropriate to the most perfect order or whether the general characteristics of the component parts of the world are completely incapable of harmony and have not the slightest united relationship, so that it must have required an alien hand to produce the restriction and coordination which permit us to see the perfection and beauty in it. An almost universal judgment has made most philosophers oppose the capability of nature to produce something ordered through its universal laws. It seems to be the case that, if we see the primordial developments in the forces of nature, then God made the ruling principle of the world a battle and that this is an eternally blind fate, a principle independent of God.
However, if we consider that nature and the eternal laws prescribed for substances in their reciprocal relationships are not a self-sufficient principle with no necessary connection to God, and that, for the very reason that we see nature demonstrating so much harmony and order in what it produces by universal laws, the essential natures of all things must have their common origin in one particular Original Essence, then for this reason nature reveals only alternating relationships and nothing other than harmony. For its properties originate in one single Highest Intelligence, whose wise idea has planned it with general interconnections and has planted in them the capability thereby, left alone to their own work, to bring forth nothing but beauty, nothing but order. When we, I say, consider this, then nature will seem worth more to us than it commonly appears, and we will expect nothing from natural developments but harmony and order. If we, by contrast, permit the ungrounded judgment that the universal natural laws in and of themselves produce nothing but disorder and reveal, in connection with all the harmony shining forth in relation to natural arrangements, the unmediated hand of God, then we will be forced to transform nature into wonder. We will have to account for the beautifully colored bow appearing amid the rain drops when it separates the colours of the sun's light on the basis of its beauty, the rain on the basis of its benefits, the winds on the basis of the indispensable advantages which they bring in countless ways in answer to human needs, in short, we must not explain on the basis of implanted natural forces of matter all the changes of the world which bring delight with them. The commencement of an enquiry into nature which has surrendered to such a philosophy will have to make a solemn apology before the judgment seat of religion. In fact, there will be no more nature. There will be only a god in the machine who produces the world's changes. But what then will this curious method of demonstrating the certain existence of a Highest Being out of the essential incapacity of nature do effectively to counter Epicurus? If the natures of things bring forth by the eternal laws of their being nothing but disorder and absurdity, then they will show in that very manner the nature of their independence from God. What sort of an idea will we be able to create for ourselves of a divinity whom the universal natural laws obey only through some sort of compulsion and in and of themselves act counter to the plan of the Divinity's wisest designs? Will the enemy of providence not win just as many victories from these false basic principles, when he can point to harmonies which the universally effective natural laws produce without any special limitations? And will he really lack examples of such things? By contrast, let us with greater propriety and correctness conclude the following: nature left to its general properties is fertile in nothing but beautifully perfect fruits which not only display in themselves harmony and excellence but also are in harmony to the total extent of their being with benefits for humanity and with the glorification of the properties of God. From this it follows that their essential characteristics cannot be independently necessary but that they must have their origin in a Single Intelligence, the basis and the fountain of all being, from which they are designed according to common interrelationships. All things connected together in a reciprocal harmony must be united together in a single being on which they collectively depend. Thus, there is present a Being of all beings, an Infinite Intelligence and Self-sufficient Wisdom, from which nature even in its potentiality draws its origin according to the entire all-inclusive totality of established conditions. We ought not to deny the capacities of nature, saying they are disadvantageous to the existence of a Highest Being. The more perfect nature is in its developments, the better its universal laws lead to order and harmony, then the more certain the proof of the Divinity from which nature takes these relationships. Its productions are no longer the effects of contingency and results of accidents. Everything flows from it according to unchanging laws which thus must display nothing other than nature's skill, because they are exclusively features of the wisest of all designs from which disorder is prohibited. The chance collisions of the atoms of Lucretius did not develop the world. Implanted forces and laws which have their source in the Wisest Intelligence are an unchanging origin of that order inevitably flowing out from nature, not by chance, but by necessity.
If we can thus dispense with an old and ungrounded judgment and the shoddy philosophy which seeks to hide under a pious appearance an indolent lack of wisdom, then I hope to base a sure conviction on incontrovertible principles that the world gives evidence of a mechanistic development from the general natural laws as the origin of its arrangement and, secondly, that the manner of the mechanistic development which we have presented is the true one. If we will render judgment whether nature is sufficiently capable of bringing into existence the ordering of the planetary structure through a mechanical sequence of its laws of motion, then we must first consider how simple the movements are which the celestial bodies observe; they have nothing inherently in them which requires a more precise determination than what the universal rules of natural forces bring with them. The orbital movements arise from the combination of the force moving downward (centripetal force), which is a certain consequence of the properties of matter, and the projectile movement (centrifugal force) which can be seen as the effect of the first, as a velocity attained through the fall downward in which only a certain cause is necessary to deflect the vertical fall sideways. After once attaining the combination of these movements, nothing else is necessary to maintain constant orbital movements. They arise in empty space through the combination of the projectile force, once impressed, with the power of attraction flowing from all natural forces, and from that point on they suffer no change. But the analogies in the harmony of this movement demonstrate the reality of a mechanistic origin so clearly that we can entertain no doubts about it, for the following reasons:
1. These movements have a common shared direction for six main planets and the ten satellites, not only in their forward motion but also in their axial rotation. They all move only from east to west. Moreover, these movements are so precisely coordinated that they deviate only a little from a common plane, and this plane, to which everything is related, is the equatorial plane of the body which rotates on its axis at the central point of the entire system in exactly the same direction. It also has become, through its predominating power of attraction, the reference point for all motions and thus necessarily participates in them as precisely as possible. This is proof that the collective movements arose and were determined in a mechanistic way in accordance with general natural laws and that the cause which either impressed or guided the sideways movements governed all the space of the planetary structure and there observed the laws which material located in space and moving with a collective unity observed, and that all the different movements finally assume a single direction to align themselves as precisely as possible with a single plane.
2. The velocities are constituted as they must be in a space where the force of movement is at the central point, namely, they decrease in steady degrees with the distance from this point and are lost in the remotest distances with a total exhaustion of movement which displaces the fall to the side only very slightly. Beyond Mercury, which has the greatest orbital force, we see these velocities diminish in stages. They are as insignificant in the outermost comets as they can be without falling straight down toward the sun. We cannot object that the rules of the central movements require that the closer to the mid-point of the general downward motion, the faster the orbital velocity must be. For why indeed must the celestial bodies near to this centre have circular orbits? Why are the closest not very eccentric and the ones further away not orbiting in circles? Or rather, since they all deviate from this measured geometric precision, why does this deviation increase with the distances? Do not these relationships indicate a point to which all movement originally was directed and which attained a higher level according to how close it was to this point, before other determining factors changed its directions into what they are now?
If we will now deny that the planetary structure and the origin of movements were arranged by the general natural laws in order to ascribe them to the unmediated hand of God, then we immediately understand that the analogies referred to openly contradict such an idea. For, firstly, with reference to the general harmony in direction, it is clear that here there is no reason why the celestial bodies must organize their orbits in one single direction, unless the mechanics of their development had determined the matter. For the space in which they move provides an infinitely small resistance and limits their movements as little in one direction as in another. Thus, God's choice, not having the slightest motive for tying them to one single arrangement, would reveal itself with a greater freedom in all sorts of deviations and differences. There is still more. Why are the planetary orbits so exactly related to a common plane, namely, to the equatorial plane of that large body which rules their movements in the mid-point of all motion? This analogy of the unmediated hand of God, instead of showing an inherent reason for its compelling propriety, is rather the cause of a certain confusion, which would be removed through a free deviation in the planetary orbits. For the forces of attraction of the planets now disturb to a certain extent the similarity in the form of their movements, and they would not obstruct one another at all, if they were not so precisely related to a common plane.
Even more than all these analogies, the clearest mark of the hand of nature is revealed in the lack of the most precise determination in those relationships which it has striven to attain. If it was for the best that the planetary orbits were oriented on a common plane, why are they not oriented with extreme precision? And why has a portion of that deviation remained in place, when it should be avoided? Also, if the planetary orbits near the sun have received a large enough orbital momentum to maintain an equilibrium with the force of attraction, why is there still something lacking for a complete equilibrium? And why are their orbits not perfectly circular, if only the Wisest Intention, reinforced with the greatest capability, worked to produce this arrangement? Is it not clear to see that the cause which set up the orbital paths of the celestial bodies, while striving on its own to bring them to a common plane, could not achieve that completely. In the same way, the force governing celestial space when all matter, now developed into spheres, received its orbital velocities, really worked to bring the spheres near the mid-point into an equilibrium with the force pulling downward, but was unable fully to achieve that. Can we not here recognize the general method of nature, which, because of the interference of the different interactions, is always made to deviate from exactly determined measurements? And will we really find the reasons for this way of constructing things only in the end purposes of such an immanent Highest Will? We cannot, without being stubborn, deny that the estimable way of explaining the characteristics of nature through a recitation of their benefits does not in this instance contain the hoped for proof to demonstrate a basis for it. Certainly, with respect to benefits for the world, it was entirely irrelevant whether the planetary orbits were fully circular or a little eccentric, or whether they fully coincided with the plane of the common development. Rather, if it was indeed necessary to be restricted with this sort of harmony, so it would be best for them to have it inherently. If what the philosopher said is true, that God constantly practices geometry and if this is reflected in the methods of the general natural laws, then certainly this principle of the unmediated work of the Omnipotent Will would be perfectly traceable and the latter would reveal in itself the perfection of geometrical precision. The comets belong among these natural deficiencies. We cannot deny that, with respect to their paths and the changes they thereby undergo, they make us see them as imperfect links in creation, which can neither serve to provide comfortable dwelling places for reasoning beings or to become useful for the best of the entire system in that they, as has been conjectured, could once have served the sun as nourishment. For it is certain that most comets would not achieve this purpose before the collapse of the entire planetary system. In the theory of the unmediated highest organizing of the world without a natural development from universal laws such an observation would be objectionable, although at the same time it is certain. But in a mechanistic form of explanation, the beauty of the world and the revelation of omnipotence are glorified by this in no small way. Since nature contains in itself all possible stages of heterogeneous variety, it extends itself over all types from perfection to nothingness, and even the deficiencies are a sign of the excess of its inexhaustibly comprehensive character.
We can believe that, so far as a judgment is concerned, the analogies cited would be all the more capable of rendering the mechanistic origin of the planetary system worthy of adopting if certain reasons derived from the very nature of the subject did not still seem to contradict this theory completely. Celestial space, as has already been mentioned several times, is empty, or at least filled with infinitely sparse material, which, as a result, can provide no means of impressing the common motions on celestial bodies. This difficulty is so significant and valid that Newton, who had reason to trust the insights of his philosophy as much as any other mortal, saw himself compelled here to abandon the hope of resolving through natural law and material forces the transmission of the orbital forces present in the planets, in spite of all the harmony which indicated a mechanistic origin. It is a troubling conclusion for a philosopher to give up the effort of an investigation in the case of a compound phenomenon which is still remote from the simple basic laws and to be satisfied with a reference to the unmediated hand of God. Nevertheless, Newton acknowledged here the dividing line separating from each other nature and the finger of God, the pattern of set laws of the former and the hint of the latter. After the doubt of such a great philosopher, it may appear presumptuous still to hope for some fortunate progress in a matter of such difficulty.
But this very difficulty which deprived Newton of the hope of understanding on the basis of natural forces the orbital forces allotted to the planets, whose direction and arrangement make the planetary structure a system, was the origin of the theory which we have presented in the previous sections. It forms the basis of a mechanical theory, but one which is far from the one which Newton found unsatisfactory and on account of which he rejected all basic causes, because, if I may be so bold as to say it, he made a mistake in maintaining that his doctrine was the only possible one of its kind. It is quite easy and natural, thanks to Newton's difficulty, from a short and basic set of conclusions, to reach certainty in the mechanistic style of explanation which we have set down in this treatise. If we presuppose (and we cannot do otherwise than acknowledge the fact) that the previous analogies establish with the greatest certainty that the harmonious and well-ordered interrelated movements and orbits of the celestial bodies point to their origin in a natural cause, then this cause cannot be the same material which now fills celestial space. Thus, the movements of the material which earlier filled these expanses have caused the present orbits of the celestial bodies, after matter assembled together in these spheres and thus unified the spaces which we now perceive as empty, or, a fact which flows directly form this, the materials themselves out of which the planets, the comets, and even the sun are made up must at the start have been spread out in the space of the planetary system and, in this condition, have set themselves in the motions which they maintained when they united in particular clusters and developed the celestial bodies which contain in themselves all the previously scattered matter making up the worlds. We have little difficulty seeing in this idea the mechanical impulse which might have set in motion this material of self-developing nature. The very impulse which brought about the union of matter is the force of attraction, inherently present in matter; thus with the first stirring of nature, it serves as well to cause motion and is, in fact, its origin. The fact that this force always sets a direction straight to the mid-point here creates no problem. For it is certain that the fine material of the scattered elements in its vertical motion downward must have developed motion in different directions both through the heterogeneity of the points of attraction and through the obstacles which their intersecting vectors create for each other. Among these motions the certain natural law which causes all materials restricting each other through reciprocal interaction finally to be brought to a condition where they influence each other as little as possible produces both the uniformity in the direction and the appropriate levels of velocity, measured out according to the centripetal force for each distance away. Through the combination of these, the elements do not manage to deviate either above or below, for all the elements thus have been made to run, not just in one direction, but also in almost parallel free circles around the common point of downward motion in the sparsely furnished celestial space. These movements of the particles must endure from this time on, once the planetary spheres have developed out of them, and remain in place now, through the combination of the sideways momentum implanted once and the centripetal force, for an unrestricted future period. On this basic principle, so easy to grasp, rest the uniformity in the directions of the planetary orbits, the precise relationship to a common plane, the amount of the projectile momentum appropriate to the power of attraction at that location, the decreasing precision of these analogies over distance, and the free deviation of the outermost celestial bodies on both sides as well as in the opposite direction. If these indications of the reciprocal dependency in the development illustrate with open certainty moving matter originally distributed through all space, then the total lack of all materials in this now empty celestial space (except for what the bodies of the planets, the sun, and the comets are composed of) proves that this very material would have had to have been at the start in a condition of being spread out. The ease and correctness with which all the phenomena of the planetary structure have been derived from the assumption of these basic principles in the previous sections is the completion of such a conjecture and gives it a value which is no longer arbitrary.
The certainty of a mechanistic theory for the origin of the planetary structure, particularly of ours, will be elevated to the highest peak of conviction if we consider the development of the celestial bodies themselves and the importance and size of their masses, according to the relationship which they have with respect to their distance from the central point of gravitation. For in the first place, the density of their material, when we consider them as a total cluster, decreases in constant stages with distances from the sun, a fixed condition which points so clearly to the mechanical arrangements of the first development that we can demand no more. They are put together out of materials in such a way that those of the heavier sort have reached a deeper position in relation to the common point of downward motion and, by contrast, the lighter sort a distance further away. This arrangement is necessary in any sort of natural development. But with an arrangement issuing from the unmediated will of God, there is not the slightest reason to encounter the relationships mentioned above. For although it might immediately seem that spheres further away must consist of lighter materials so that they could not notice the necessary effect of the diminished force of the sun's rays, this purpose pertains only to the composition of the material located on the outer surface and not to the deeper varieties on the inside of its cluster. The heat of the sun never has any effect on these inner materials, which serve only to make effective the planet's power of attraction which is to make the bodies moving around it sink down towards it. Therefore, they cannot have the slightest relationship to the strength or weakness of the sun's rays. If we then ask why the densities of the Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn (as determined by the correct calculations of Newton) stand in relation to each other as 400 to 94.5 to 64, then it would be absurd to attribute the cause to God's apportioning the densities according to the degrees of solar heat. Our Earth can serve as a counterexample. In the case of the Earth, the sun only affects such a small part under the outer layer with its rays, that the part of the Earth's cluster which must have some relationship with these rays does not by a long way make up the millionth part of the total planet. And the remaining part is entirely indifferent in this matter. Also, if the material of which the celestial bodies consist has in itself a well-ordered relationship in harmony with the distances and if the planets cannot now restrict each other, separated as they are now from each other in empty space, then their matter must have previously been in a condition where they were able to bring about a common effect on one another in order to limit them to locations proportional to their specific gravity. This could have happened only if their parts before development had been spread out in the entire space of the system and if they took up locations appropriate to their densities, in accordance with the general laws of motion
The relationship among the sizes of the planetary masses, which increases with distances, is the second reason by which the mechanical development of the celestial bodies, and especially our theory of that, is clearly demonstrated. Why do the masses of the celestial bodies approximately increase with the distances? If we subscribe to a theory which assigns everything to God's choice, then no purpose can be imagined why the further planets have to have larger masses other than the fact that for this reason they could be able to hold onto one or several moons through the preponderant strength of their power of attraction within their sphere. The moons are to serve the inhabitants destined for the planets by making their stay comfortable. But this purpose could have been achieved just as well by a preponderant density in the interior of their clusters. And why then would the lightness in the material arising for special reasons, which goes against this relationship, have to remain, and why would the planets, because of the relatively large volume, become so excessive that the mass of the higher planets had to be more significant than the lower ones? When we do not take into account the manner of the natural development of these bodies, then we have difficulty being able to provide a reason for this relationship. But in the light of mechanistic theory nothing is easier to grasp than this arrangement. When the material of all planetary bodies was still spread out in the space of the planetary system, the power of attraction developed spheres out of these particles. Undoubtedly the spheres must have been bigger the further the location of their developing globe was away from that common central body, which from the central point of the entire space limited and hindered this combining as much as possible by means of its powerful force of attraction.
We will with satisfaction notice the manner of this development of the celestial bodies from basic material spread out at the start in the width of the intervening spaces separating their orbits from each other. These, according to this concept, must be deemed empty sections from which the planets have appropriated the materials for their development. We perceive how these intervening spaces between the orbits have a relationship to the size of the masses which developed out of them. The width between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars is so large that the space enclosed in it exceeds the plane of all the lower planetary orbits taken together. But it is worthy of the largest of all the planets, the one which has more mass than all the others collectively. We cannot attribute this distance of Jupiter from Mars to the intention that their powers of attraction were to interfere with each other as little as possible. For according to such a principle, the planet between two orbits would always find itself closest to the planet whose power of attraction combined with its own could disturb their dual orbits around the sun as little as possible; as a result, the planet would be closer to the one with the smallest mass. Now, according to the correct calculations of Newton, the force with which Jupiter affects the orbit of Mars is related to the force which it exercises on Saturn through the combined forces of attraction is as 1/12512 to 1/200. So we can easily calculate by how much Jupiter would have to be closer to the orbit of Mars than to that of Saturn, if their distance had been determined with their external relationship in mind and not through their mutual development. However, this phenomenon is quite different. For in relation to the two orbits above and below it, a planetary orbit often stands further away from the one in which a smaller planet runs than from the path of the larger mass of the two. However, the extent of the space around the orbit of a planet always has a correct relationship to its mass. Thus, it is clear that the form of the development must have established these relationships. Because these arrangements seem to be bound up with their causes and effects, we will in reality estimate it most correctly if we consider the space included between the orbits as the container of that material out of which the planets were built. From this it immediately follows that the size of these spaces must be proportional to their masses. However, this relationship will be augmented with the further planets because of the greater scattering of the basic material in their first state. Therefore, of two planets which are almost equal to each other in mass, the one further away must have a larger space in which to develop, that is, a greater distance to the two nearest orbits, both because the material was of an inherently lighter sort and because it was more widely scattered than in the case of the planet which developed closer to the sun. Therefore, although the Earth together with the moon does not appear to be equal to Venus in its physical content, nevertheless, it required for itself a greater room for development, because it had to be built out of a more scattered material than this lower planet. For this reason, we can assume, so far as Saturn is concerned, that its sphere of development stretched much further on the distant side than on the side of the central point (as this holds true for almost all planets). Thus, the intervening space between Saturn's orbit and the path of the higher celestial body next to Saturn, which we can assume is above it, will be much wider than the space between Saturn and Jupiter.
Thus, everything in the planetary structure proceeds in stages out into all limitless distances with an accurate relationship to the first force of development, which was more effective near the central point than at a distance. The diminution of the impressed projectile motion, the deviation from the most precise agreement in the direction and the orientation of the orbits, the densities of the celestial bodies, the scarcity of nature in relation to the space where they developed, everything diminishes stage by stage from the centre into the far distances. Everything shows that the first cause was bound up with the mechanical rules of movement and did not take place through a free choice.
But what illustrates as clearly as anything else the natural development of the celestial bodies out of the basic material originally spread out in the now empty celestial space is the agreement, which I take from Buffon (which however in his theory plays nowhere near the role that it does in ours). For, according to his observation, if we add up together the planets whose masses we can determine by calculation, namely, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth, and the Moon, they give a cluster whose density stands in relation to the density of the body of the sun as 640 to 650. In this comparison, since these are the major parts of the planetary system, the remaining planets (Mars, Venus, and Mercury) hardly merit counting. Thus, we will easily be astonished at this remarkably equality governing the materials of the planetary structure collectively considered as a single united cluster and the mass of the sun. It would be an irresponsible foolishness to ascribe to chance this analogy, which, among a variety of such infinitely different materials, a few of which, even on our Earth, are fifteen thousand times more dense than others, nevertheless comes so near a ratio of 1 to 1 in the total. And we must concede that, if we consider the sun as a mixture of all types of matter, which in the structure of the planets are separated from each other, all of them together seem to have developed in one space, originally full of material uniformly spread out. These materials were collected on the central body without distinction; for the development of the planets, however, they were divided up in proportion to the altitudes. I leave it to those who cannot subscribe to the mechanical development of the celestial bodies to explain from the motives of God's choice such a remarkable arrangement as this, if they can. I will finally stop grounding with more proofs a matter of such convincing clarity as the development of the planetary structure out of the forces of nature. If people are in a position to remain unmoved in the midst of so many convincing details, then they must either lie far too deep in the bonds of prejudice or be entirely incapable of rising above the desert of received opinions to the observation of the purest truth of all. Meanwhile we can believe that nobody except the very foolish, on whose approval we may not count, can deny the correctness of this theory, if the harmonies which the planetary structure has with all its links to the benefits of reasoning creatures did not appear to have something more than general natural laws as its basis. We believe correctly that skillful arrangements which point to a worthy purpose must have as their originator a Wise Intelligence. And we will become completely satisfied when we consider that, since the natures of things acknowledge no other origin than just this, their essential and universal arrangements must have a natural inclination to proper and really harmonious consequences for each other. We will thus not allow ourselves to feel strange if we become aware of the arrangements of the planetary structure rich in changing advantages for creatures and attribute these to a natural consequence of the general laws of nature. For what issues from these is not the effect of blind accident or of unreasoning necessity. It is, in the last analysis, based upon the Highest Wisdom from which the universal arrangements derive their harmony. One conclusion is entirely correct: If, in the arrangement of the world, order and beauty shine forth, then there is a God. But another is no less well grounded: If this order could have emerged from the general natural laws, then all of nature is necessarily the work of the Highest Wisdom.
If people nevertheless let themselves absolutely at their own discretion acknowledge the unmediated application of the Divine Wisdom in all the ordering of nature, including in itself all harmony and beneficial purposes, since they do not credit the development out of general laws of motion with any harmonious consequences, then I will advise them in the contemplation of the planetary structure to direct their eyes not to a single one celestial body but to the totality in order to tear themselves immediately away from this delusion. If the steep inclination of the Earth's axis in relation to its annual orbit is to be a proof of the unmediated hand of God because of the well loved changes in the seasons, then people should insist on this relationship in connection with the other celestial bodies. Then they will become aware that it is different in each one and that in this difference there are also some planets that do not have this feature at all, as, for example, Jupiter, whose axis is perpendicular to the plane of its orbit, and Mars, whose axis is almost perpendicular. Both of these enjoy no difference in the seasons and are as much works of the Highest Wisdom as the others are. The satellites of Saturn, Jupiter, and the Earth would seem to be special configurations of the Highest Being, if the free departure from this purpose throughout the entire planetary system did not illustrate that nature produced these arrangements without being disturbed by an extraordinary constraint in its free actions. Jupiter has four moons, Saturn five, the Earth one, and the other planets none at all, although it immediately seems that the other planets were in greater need of moons than the former group because of their longer nights. If we wonder about the proportional equilibrium of the projectile force impressed on the planets with the centripetal force at their distance as the reason why they run almost in circles around the sun and are adapted to be residences for reasoning creatures by means of the equality in the heat distributed in this way and look upon that as the unmediated finger of God, then we will be led back at once to the general laws of nature, when we consider that this planetary arrangement loses itself gradually with all grades of diminution in the depths of heaven and that even the Highest Wisdom which derived satisfaction from the regularity of planetary motion did not exclude deficiency with which the system ends, since it runs out in complete irregularity and disorder. Regardless of the fact that it is essentially established for perfection and order, nature includes in its full multiplicity all possible changes even right up to deficiency and deviation. Just this unlimited fecundity of nature has produced the inhabited celestial globes as well as the comets, the useful mountains and the harmful cliffs, the habitable landscapes and barren deserts, the virtues and vices.
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