Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/779

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THE SCIENTIFIC ASPECT OF "FREE-WILL."

it was projected. It was of the same shade, uniform from one end to the other, without any obscure border. It appeared isolated and entirely independent of the equatorial belt, from which it was separated by a brilliant white band. In shade, its color was quite different from the pale rose-color of the equatorial belt, and from every other object which the observer had ever seen on Jupiter, and might be described as a blending of vermilion and blue. Fig. 1 is a copy of the original sketch made immediately after the observation, a a indicating the red spot. After this observation, the return of the spot was noticed, and it was drawn fifteen times. It was last seen on December 30, 1878, after which further observations were prevented by the proximity of the sun. The form of the spot changed somewhat during this time: at first, it was long and narrow (Fig. 1, a a); finally (Fig. 2, b b), it became shorter, considerably wider, and extended farther toward the south.—Editor.]

 

THE SCIENTIFIC ASPECT OF "FREE-WILL"
By ALBERT J. LEFFINGWELL, M. D.

FROM the time when, as Milton tells us, the lost angels

" . . . . Reasoned high

Of providence, foreknowledge, will and fate—
Fixed fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute"—

no problem has excited greater interest in the human mind than the question of free-will. Philosophy, whether pagan or Christian, atheistic. Catholic, or Protestant, has alike found in its consideration an irresistible attraction; and, if the world remains to-day of divided opinions, it is not for lack of abundant argument. Seneca taught that "the same necessity binds both gods and men; divine as well as human affairs proceed onward in an irresistible stream"; while Pope thought he had solved the problem by imagining a Deity

"Who, binding Nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will"—

a flattering conclusion which the world finds it easy to accept. Theology, fearful, on the one hand, of rendering Deity the cause of evil, and, on the other, of limiting his due share in the government of the universe, usually teaches that necessity and free-will are alike true, though not to be reconciled; a conclusion which would render all reasoning on the subject inconsequential if not absurd. Some have thought to retain their favorite theory by so defining it that no difference of opinion can exist; as Dr. Haven, for instance, who, in his