- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (May 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780199535750
- ISBN-13: 978-0199535750
- ASIN: 0199535752
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Natural Theology (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 15, 2008
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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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READ CAREFULLY: DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION OF THIS BOOK!
THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR!!!!
My intention was to purchase the famous and original 200 plus-year-old text penned by the scholar William Paley whose work literally set the stage for the creation vs. evolution debate. (Now, if we could just get one of the evolutionist’s to show up for the debate!) The book I received is a hacked up version pieced together by a ding-dong answering to the name Frederick Ferré from Dickinson College. As no title was assigned to Frederick, Foolish Freddie herein, perhaps he was the janitor or grounds-keeper at the college.
[No offense is intended toward janitors or groundskeepers of any college or institution of higher learning, but it is difficult – in the extreme – to imagine Freddie as the holder of any degree higher than, perhaps, grade-school.]
The reader of this text will be treated to a mere ten chapters of Paley’s excellent work, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Foolish Freddie, however, has seen fit to remove seventeen odd chapters from Paley’s famous text; this is done, of course, under the guise of “abridging” (“lying” is more accurate). Freddie then goes on to critique a work, quote a work, and misquote a work to which the reader has no access. Freddie repeatedly embarrasses himself in his twenty-two page “Editor’s Introduction”.
NOTE: While I usually – in an effort to be fair – limit my negative comments to the living, Foolish Freddie does not. (bottom of page xxxi) In kind, I see no reason to be courteous to Foolish-Freddie. As this version of the text was ABRIDGED fifty three odd years ago, and at that point, Freddie likely held some type of menial occupation at Dickinson college (Perhaps everyone at Dickinson’s is a little slow.), basic math illustrates that he is either very old or very dead.
NOTE: It is utterly absurd to abridge and pass off as an original a work as famous as Paley’s “Natural Theology”. How many modern day “hacks” have plagiarized, misquoted, and outright stolen Paley’s premise? It is an extensive list, to be sure. It should be inserted at this point, that of the pile of evolutionistic “KKKRAPPP” that I have read in the past few years, Freddie’s ramblings are the worst.
A bit more, I am not a devoted fan of William Shakespeare, John Calvin, or James Arminius but each has penned remarkable works that should not be hacked to pieces. This reeks of Nazism. And by the way, I have Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in my collection, and in no way do I subscribe to his lunacy, but his viewpoint as a demented madman is preserved that others might NOT follow in his footsteps.
“Paley… whose philosophical viewpoint was so quickly – and so utterly – demolished by scientific advance.” (xxi)
“Paley was wrong in many of his factual beliefs….” (xxi)
And my favorite,
“He [Paley] was unaware of the vast evolutionary history of life on our planet.” (xxi)
“The position represented by Paley is no longer popular….” (xxviii)
“Such influences, leading sometimes to the radical alterations of beliefs (as when discovery of the facts of evolution forced the withdrawal of certain untenable interpretations of Genesis) and sometimes even to recasting prevailing ideas about the nature of God…”. (xxix)
First, there was never, is never, and will never be a dark time for the Bible. The scientific community – which comes up with a different date and different plan of origins virtually daily – continues to embarrass its collective self. Foolish Freddie is a perfect case in point. God’s words, the Bible, have withstood countless attacks without being edited or renounced by the faithful of Christianity. Note, I said “the faithful”. As God’s words are accurately translated into additional languages, they are likewise faithful to the original. No need to recant what was accurate two thousand years ago. (Has any evolutionist penned three complete consecutive sentences that were not an embarrassment a scant three weeks later? Of course they have not; a case in point? Darwin.)
On the other hand, Foolish Freddie’s words are antiquated in far less than fifty years. In fact, they were dishonest when penned. Another classic case in point, Freddie remarks, “He [Paley] was unaware of the vast evolutionary history of life on our planet.” (xxi) If there is one thing that the faithful Christian and the devout follower of evolutionism’s prophet Darwin can agree upon, it is that THERE IS NO EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF LIFE ON OUR PLANET. While we have patiently waited for a dubious “missing-link”, the whole chain has been discovered to be not only missing, but it never existed anywhere at any time on any planet... certainly not on our beloved 6,000 odd year old planet Earth. Have they (the scientific community) not literally dug up half the planet in the lapsing 150 plus years since prophet Darwin promised a myriad display of steps between what was and what is?
Better still, Foolish Freddie asserts, “The position represented by Paley is no longer popular….” (xxviii) No longer popular? Evolutionists are abandoning their Darwinian faith in record numbers. Try to find a faithful Darwinist on his deathbed in the nursing home or the Intensive Care Unit of your local hospital. No. They all look both ways, quietly reach for the phone, and call the local Christian pastor. But to what end?
The Bible states in Proverbs 1:26-30,
“I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”
The time to renounce the silliness known as evolution is before the crisis comes.
Romans 10:9-10 reads,
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Fix the problem while it is fixable. Don’t be a Foolish Freddie.
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. 34)
Later, he deals with counter-argument (that would become stronger with the 1859 publication of Darwin's 'Origin of Species') that such contrivance might have been produced by chance: "Universal experience is against it. What does chance ever do for us? In the human body... chance... may produce a wen, a wart, a mole, a pimple, but never an eye. Among inanimate substances, a clod, a pebble, a liquid drop might be; but never was a watch, a telescope, an organized body of any kind... the effect of chance." (Pg. 49)
He further argues for the "goodness of the deity" based on the fact that "the Deity has superadded pleasure to animal sensations beyond what was necessary for any other purpose, or when the purpose... might have been effected by the operation of pain." (Pg. 295) His ultimate conclusion is, "The marks of design are too strong to be gotten over. Design must have had a designer. That designer must have been a person. That person is God." (Pg. 285)
Paley's book is essential reading (even if one is only reading it with a desire to refute it) for all philosophers, theologians, and scientists.