What an interesting idea ...
"... the whole world ... [perhaps] is the result of the mutual interaction, according to definite laws, of the forces possessed by the molecules of which the primitive nebulosity of the universe was composed. If this be true, it is no less certain that the existing world lay potentially in the cosmic vapour, and that a sufficient intelligence could, from a knowledge of the properties of the molecules of that vapour, have predicted, say the state of the fauna of [today], with as much certainty as one can say what will happen to the vapour of the breath on a cold winter's day."
A very similar thought had occurred to me. It also raises the interesting suggestion that until organisms capable of choice appeared, everything that brought the universe to that point happened because it had to happen according to those same "definite laws" which the writer invokes. Thus before we arrived, things pretty much had to be the way they were. Now they don't.
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