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Natural Theology (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an astonishing book, made all the more accessible by some excellent modern footnotes John Habgood, Church TImes

About the Author


Matthew D. Eddy is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Durham and has recently held fellowships at the Dibner Institute (MIT), Harvard University, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) and the University of Notre Dame's Erasmus Institute. He has just finished editing (with David M. Knight) Science and Beliefs: From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science, 1700-1900 (Ashgate,2005). 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. In 2003 he received the American Chemical Society's Edelstein Award for History of Chemistry.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535750
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
William Paley (1743-1805) was an English Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian. He also wrote The evidences of Christianity. This was his last book, first published in 1802.

He begins with his famous "watchmaker" argument, in which he supposes that if he "pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there, I might possibly answer, that for any thing I knew... it had lain there for ever... But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground... I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given... Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone...? For this reason... that when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive... that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose... This mechanism being observed... the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker---that there must have existed... an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer, who comprehended its construction and designed its use." (Pg. 9-10)

He then points out that "Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty farther back... by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch... and so on indefinitely... Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver." (Pg. 16) He poses the objection, "Why resort to contrivance when power is omnipotent?" He says, "one answer is this: It is only by the display of contrivance that the existence, the agency, the wisdom of the Deity COULD be testified to his rational creatures." (Pg.
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Though written in the late 1800's, this book provides many insights into the current clash between science and religion, including intelligent design. I won't go further with my personal views, only say that this book helps clarify many aspects of the issue.
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Format: Paperback
Natural Theology is a product of the age. It protests too much. A very detailed exposition of animal characteristics and environmental adaptations is given and when read with 21st century eyes reads like an argument for Evolution with God attached to protect the book from the censors and the author from disrepute. I have the same opinion about Descartes who had to adopt a religious veneer as protection from the times he lived in. It is certainly a compelling read however you approach this classic work!
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Kindle version scanned in but not proofed; spelling errors abound. Horrible. Don't waste your money.
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Format: Kindle Edition
thjs ishe kind og spelling you will see im this book. i's wort 99 cents, ant not a penny more.
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