Lucknow. 26th Feby, 1897.
Your letter to hand, & contents noted. In regard to critiques of a kindly, gentlemanlike style, they will be given to point out error, without offence & are always acceptable to a thinking mind. As to the sarcastic, sneering critic, from me, he would receive no reply, except a quiet smile, and in a society such as I presume yours to be, I should take it for granted it would not be tolerated for an instant. – I was for some years a member of the Canadian Institute – but as I found it at that time a chaos, I did not continue my subscription, and quietly dropped out as it was of no benefit to a person who would not be there once in two years, and the reports of the papers were a humbug, as I found to my sorrow. – I have no objection to become an associate or honorary member of your society, and to send you any meteorological observations I may happen to see, or the like and give any little assistance I can in an humble way. Remember I profess no astronomical knowledge, for I never studied the subject further than reading articles that came in my way as a general reader. I have read your letter carefully & I do not see how your severe rest can possibly interfere with the plain facts I have I think stated and shall send you a longer statement in reply as far as I understand you to this matter. You seem to have forgotten the action of the sun's force, that compels every thing to follow a series of regular laws and that the same force that regulates Beila's or Encke's periodical comets surely and certainly acts in exactly the same style on the larger comets that move to greater distances and you have, on your part, to prove that they are guided by some other force. The sun's light acts as a propelling force, not as a destructive force which you certainly seem to assume. I write to you in no dogmatic spirit, but in a spirit of research, and honest enquiry. So far I have satisfied myself in a measure and think I can give just reasons for it. You have to prove that the sun's force ever sends any part of a comet out of the solar system. If so how can any one compute its return. Is it to be a wandering nonentity in space, and your argument seems to me to lead to the argumentum ad absurdem. Mean time I shall do my best to express myself quietly and be as explicit as I can. I should have wirtten the brochure you have in hand, more extended, but was afraid of being too prolix.
Believe me Dear Sir
Yours very faithfully
John H. Garnier, M.D.
|Garnier letter, 1897 Feb 26 (PDF)||549.81 KB|
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