Chemistry, Meteorology and the Function of Digestion by William Prout

By William Prout

This publication was once the final of 8 treatises from the 1830s that have been commissioned via the Royal Society with recommendation from prime churchmen less than the phrases of a legacy from the Earl of Bridgewater. They aimed to help the concept that the wildlife was once made by way of a divine dressmaker. William Prout, a revered medical professional and biochemist who specialized in foodstuff and urology, argues within the creation to this ebook that the organic edition obvious in nature is divinely deliberate as a way to an finish. His textual content covers chemistry, geology, the sea, the planets, and procedures of the human physique. Remembered at the present time for his discovery of hydrochloric acid within the gastric juices of animals, right here Prout is at the entrance line within the early battles among medical strategy and spiritual trust, a debate which keeps to this present day.

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With respect to knowledge founded upon reason, we are so constituted, that whether we contemplate, in the abstract, those primary notions of space, time, force, &c. above alluded to; or whether we view them in connexion with the objects of sense around us, we cannot divest them of quantity, which seems to be involved in their very essence. Quantity and its relations, therefore, in some shape or other, enter as a necessary element, into by far the greater portion of human knowledge. Now the primary relations of quantity are exceedingly simple; one quantity may be equal to another; or it may be greater, or less; but we can conceive no other relation.

SECTION I. Of the Divisibility of Matter. THE first point which naturally claims our attention in the consideration of molecular operations, is the size of these molecules ; a subject usually discussed under the head of the divisibility of matter. Matter, or rather space, may be conceived to be divisible ad injinitum; at least no limits can be assigned beyond which its subdivision cannot necessarily proceed. But, there cannot be the least doubt that matter, as it exists in the world around us, is composed of ultimate particles or molecules, incapable of further division or change; at least, by ordinary DIVISIBILITY OF MATTER.

What he sees is sufficient. "* We have thus attempted to point out the rank which chemistry holds among the departments of human knowledge, and the kind of evidence which it furnishes in favour of design : the whole argument may be briefly recapitulated as follows :—chemistry is a department of knowledge founded solely on experience, for the phenomena of which we can assign no reason. But although the intimate nature of its changes be unknown to us, we see them manifestly directed to certain ends; hence, as objects directed to certain ends, where the whole of the intermediate phenomena can be traced and understood, always imply design ; we naturally infer design in others obviously so directed, even although * Natural"Theology, chap.

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