front rank of qualifications, the confounding of general intelligence with special intelligence, the inference that the senses are infallible, and the utter non-recognition of the limitations of the brain and its liability to disturbance in the presence of circumstances that excite the emotions.
Reid, after citing the custom of courts in assuming that the eyes and ears are to be trusted, inquires:
More recently still, indeed most recently of all, the anonymous author of "Supernatural Religion," in speaking of the testimony of Paul relating to the resurrection, says that it is not of such a character as would be received in a court of justice, thereby implying that the evidence of courts is evidence of the highest kind, whereas from the scientific point of view it is oftentimes the worst kind of evidence—although practically it may be the best that is possible in the administration of law: the form of swearing, though it may make the dishonest transiently honest, and force truth from unwilling lips, can never compensate for the limitations of the human brain, or correct the errors that enter through the senses, or make an expert out of a non-expert.
Laplace enunciates the formula that the more improbable a statement in which witnesses agree, the greater the probability of its truth—a statement which, in view of our present knowledge of the brain, seems almost satirical; but Abercombie, although a physician, gives full assent to the proposition in these words, which could not have been written by any one who had even a general conception of the philosophy of trance:
Again, Abercrombie remarks: