Natural Theology

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Oxford University Press, UK, Apr 13, 2006 - Religion - 342 pages
2 Reviews
In Natural Theology William Paley set out to prove the existence of God from the evidence of the beauty and order of the natural world. This edition reprints the original text of 1802, and sets the book in the context of the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates of the nineteenth century. - ;'The consciousness of knowing little, need not beget a distrust of that which he does not know.' In Natural Theology William Paley set out to prove the existence of God from the evidence of the beauty and order of the natural world. Famously beginning by comparing the world to a watch, whose design is self-evident, he goes on to provide examples from biology, anatomy, and astronomy in order to demonstrate the intricacy and ingenuity of design that could only come from a wise and benevolent deity. Paley's legalistic approach and skilful use of metaphor and analogy were hugely successful, and equally controversial. Charles Darwin, whose investigations led to very different conclusions in the Origin of Species, was greatly influenced by the book's cumulative structure and accessible style. This edition reprints the original text of 1802, and sets the book in the context of the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates of the nineteenth century. - ;This is an astonishing book, made all the more accessible by some excellent modern footnotes - John Habgood, Church TImes

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User Review  - deusvitae - LibraryThing

An attempt, using the known scientific discoveries as of the end of the eighteenth century, to demonstrate how the complexity of the natural world demonstrates that it was the creation of a Creator ... Read full review

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User Review  - Christopher Ballew - Goodreads

Read an original 2nd edition from the UK. It was a good book for its time. Read full review

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About the author (2006)


Matthew D. Eddy is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Durham. David Knight has edited the British Journal for the History of Science and served as President of the British Society for the History of Science.

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