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The Daily Volcano Quote: catastrophe and uniformity 16 April 2009

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Thus I conceive that the assertion of an à priori claim to probability and philosophical spirit in favour of the doctrine of uniformity, is quite untenable. We must learn from an examination of all the facts, and not from any assumption of our own, whether the course of nature be uniform. The limit of intensity being really unknown, catastrophes are just as probable as uniformity. If a volcano may repose for a thousand years, and then break out and destroy a city; why may not another volcano repose for ten thousand years, and then destroy a continent; or if a continent, why not the whole habitable surface of the earth?

William Whewell, The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Founded upon their History (1840; 2nd edn., London: John W. Parker, 1847), vol. I, pp. 669-670.

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Comments

1. theroachman - 16 April 2009

welcome back

looks like clear views from the Hut cam

http://www.avo.alaska.edu/webcam/Redoubt_-_Hut.php

Lava dome in sight?

2. volcanism - 16 April 2009

Thank you! Busy catching up with things, including Redoubt – thanks for the heads-up.

3. Brian Owens - 16 April 2009

Speaking of catching up with things, I know there was a new update on Chaiten. Earthquakes are increasing, and probably the rate of the growth of the dome. Do you have the full translation?


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