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Abraam De Moivre: The Doctrine of Chances (1731)
What we have said is also applicable to a Ratio of Inequality, as appears from our 9th corollary. And thus in all cases it will be found that altho' Chance produces Irregularities, still the Odds will be infinitely great, that in the process of Time, those Irregularities will bear no proportion to the recurrency of that Order which naturally results from ORIGINAL DESIGN.
...Again, as it is thus demonstrable that there are, in the constitution of things, certain laws according to which Events happen, it is no less evident from Observation, that those Laws serve to wise, useful and beneficent purposes: to preserve the stedfast Order of the Universe, to propagate the several Species of beings, and furnish to the sentient Kind such degrees of happiness as are suited to their State.
But such Laws, as well as the original Design and Purpose of their Establishment, must all be from without; the Inertia of matter, and the nature of all created Beings, rendering it impossible that any thing should modify its own essence, or give to itself, or to anything else, an original determination or propensity. And hence, if we blind not ourselves with metaphysical dust, we shall be led, by a short and obvious way, to the acknowledgement of the great MAKER and GOVERNOR of all; Himself all-wise, all-powerful and good.
As you can see, my paraphrase does not do it justice. Make sure this excerpt doesn't fall in the hands of any Intelligent Design nuts.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 1st, 2006 at 06:16:36 PM EST
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