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Crowther describes the relationship between the work of these two scientists as follows:. In biology the comparable work was carried out by John Ray. In the course of his scientific research, John Ray found abundant evidence that all things — not only the heavens and the earth, but also living organisms — had been created by an infinitely wise and loving God. Ray mounted a powerful cumulative case for a Creator of Nature in a book entitled The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation , which became a best-selling classic.

My Observation and Affirmation is, that there is no such thing in Nature, as AEquivocal or Spontaneous Generation , but that all Animals, as well small as great, not excluding the vilest and most contemptible insect, are generated by Animal Parents of the same Species with themselves; that Noble Italian Vertuoso, Francisco Redi, having experimented, that no putrified Flesh which one would think were the most likely of any thing will of itself, if all Insects be carefully kept from it, produce any: The same Experiment, I remember, Dr.

Wilkins, late Bishop of Chester, told me, had been made by some of the Royal Society. Moreover, I am inclinable to believe, that all Plants too, that themselves produce Seed, which are all but some very imperfect ones, which scarce deserve the Name of Plants come of Seeds themselves. For that great Naturalist Malpighius, to make Experiment whether Earth would of itself put forth Plants, took some purposely digged out of a deep place, and put it into a Glass-Vessel, the Top whereof he covered with Silk many times doubled, and strained over it, which would admit the Water and Air to pass through, but exclude the least Seed that might be wafted by the Wind; the Event was that no Plant at all sprang up in it… The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation , Part II, pp.

Ray also put forward an Intelligent Design argument in his book, when he reasoned that the absence of any maladaptive parts in the human body attests to the existence of an infinitely wise and benevolent God as our Creator:. Had we been born with a large Wen upon our Faces , or a Bavarian Poke under our Chins, or a great Bunch upon our Backs like Camels, or any the like superfluous Excrescency; which should be not only useless but troublesome, not only Stand us in no stead, but also be ill-favoured to behold, and burdensome to carry about, then we might have had some Pretence to doubt whether an intelligent and bountiful Creator had been our Architect; for had the Body been made by Chance, it must in all likelihood have had many of these superfluous and unnecessary Parts.

But now seeing there is none of our Members but hath its Place and Use, none that we could spare, or conveniently live without were it but those we account Excrements, the Hair of our Heads, or the Nails on our Fingers ends; we must needs be mad or sottish if we can conceive any other than that an infinitely Good and Wise God was our Author and Former… The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation , Part II, pp.

The modern Intelligent Design movement is much more modest than John Ray in its claims: it does not state that only God could have produced the first living things, but that only an Intelligent Agent could have done so. One cannot therefore accuse the Intelligent Design movement of bringing religion into the classroom.

He was the first to observe and describe single-celled micro-organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules, as well as being the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa, and blood flow in capillaries small blood vessels. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was an eminent scientist and naturalist, whose scientific writings repeatedly expressed his conviction that science could tell us more about the Creator, as well as his firm belief as a scientist that the wonders of Nature had all been created for a purpose.

Thus we see again that Christianity was the driving force during the rise of modern science. Let us pause here and recapitulate. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was an eminent scientist and naturalist, whose scientific writings repeatedly expressed his conviction that science could tell us more about the Creator, as well as his firm belief as a scientist that the wonders of Nature had all been created for a purpose — even if it was one of which we are wholly ignorant.

But Dr. He also informs us that Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was an early proponent of Intelligent Design: he argued that the complexity of micro-organisms constituted evidence for their having had a Creator, as well as powerful evidence against the proposition that something as complex as life could evolve from inanimate matter as a result of undirected natural processes:.

He observed the complete life cycle of ants, fleas, mussels, eels, and various insects, proving that all organisms had parents. It is clear, too, from his stand against non-Christian superstitions such as the doctrine of spontaneous generation, that he held to a Biblical doctrine of creation. After another remarkable series of experiments on rotifers in he concluded:.

The preceding kinds of experiments I have repeated many times with the same success, and in particular with some of the sediment which had been kept in my study for about five months… From all these observations, we discern most plainly the incomprehensible perfection, the exact order, and the inscrutable providential care with which the most wise Creator and Lord of the Universe had formed the bodies of these animalcules , which are so minute as to escape our sight, to the end that different species of them may be preserved in existence.

And this most wonderful disposition of nature with regard to these animalcules for the preservation of their species; which at the same time strikes us with astonishment, must surely convince all of the absurdity of those old opinions, that living creatures can be produced from corruption of putrefaction. His virtues were perseverance, simplicity, and stubbornness. He loved truth above any theory, even his own.

He asked of his challengers only that they prove their points as he proved his.

Leonora Piper

To him, as to many others of his time, a watch was a greater specimen of craftsmanship than a clock in a tower; this opinion is reflected in his biological views. Bold emphases are mine — VJT. He would have found their insistence that science can tell us nothing about the supernatural very puzzling. Robert Hooke was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath. In , Hooke discovered the law that bears his name. In , Hooke published Micrographia , a book describing microscopic and telescopic observations, and some original work in biology.

Hooke coined the term cell to describe the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. He built some of the earliest Gregorian telescopes, observed the rotations of Mars and Jupiter and, based on his observations of fossils, was an early proponent of biological evolution. He investigated the phenomenon of refraction, deducing the wave theory of light, and was the first to suggest that matter expands when heated and that air is made of small particles separated by relatively large distances.

Hooke also developed a scientific model of human memory. He referred to God in his scientific writings. Not only that, but he also referred to Adam and quoted Scripture. So may he so order several materials, as to make them, by several kinds of methods, produce similar Automatons. Chapter XLIV. Nicolas Steno, the Dutch geologist, anatomist and in later life bishop, is regarded as the co-founder of modern human stratigraphy and modern geology, along with James Hutton. But what did Steno believe during the years up to his conversion? During his study in the Netherlands —64 , he made acquaintance with Cartesian, deistic, and atheistic thinking, all of which shook his Lutheran faith and consequently led him to a religious crisis.

Influenced especially by deism, he believed that it would be possible to grasp all mysteries of faith with the help of the natural reason alone. During a dissection performed as bishop in Celle on 7 May, he even confessed that he had been nearly seduced by atheism, by doubting a personal God and accepting an impersonal fate. A personal, wise God was involved. This realisation led him back to faith in a personal Creator. He also developed a corpuscular theory of light, and invented calculus independently of Leibniz. Who invented it first remains a controverted question.

Newton was an advocate of natural theology and thus saw the study of nature as revealing the creative hand of God, as his Principia and Opticks both abundantly illustrate. Newton also put forward Intelligent Design arguments in a scientific treatise on optics. Newton put forward Intelligent Design arguments in a scientific treatise on optics. First, Newton was stimulated by his religious beliefs to study nature. This religious stimulus to work in natural philosophy, which can be termed an example of a weak relationship between science and religion, did not directly shape the specifics of the content of his natural philosophy.

Newton was an advocate of natural theology and thus saw the study of nature as revealing the creative hand of God. This commitment to natural theology can be found briefly in the first edition of the Principia and more extensively in the later editions of the Principia and the Opticks. So what did Newton actually say? In the edition of his Opticks , he attached an appendix with queries about scientific matters. In Query 28, he poses a rhetorical question about the skill or art with which animals were fashioned:.

How came the Bodies of Animals to be contrived with so much Art, and for what ends were their several Parts? Is not the Sensory of Animals that place to which the sensitive Substance is present, and into which the sensible Species of Things are carried through the Nerves and Brain, that there they may be perceived by their immediate presence to that Substance? Newton, Opticks , Query 28, pp. Newton answers his own rhetorical question by appealing to an incorporeal intelligent Being whose omnipresence grounds the unity of natural phenomena, and who is immediately aware of events occurring in the world and thus able to respond to them:.

Newton, Opticks , Query 31, pp. Newton is still more explicit about his theology in a private manuscript Newton, Keynes, MS. Maybe; maybe not. For Newton, the dividing line between science and religion lay not in the distinction between the natural and the supernatural, but in the sources of truth appealed to by science and religion: unlike religion, science could not appeal to any statements based on Divine revelation e. As Newton put it in an abandoned draft of a preface to a later edition of the Principia :. What is taught in metaphysics, if it is derived from divine revelation, is religion; if it is derived from phenomena through the five external senses, it pertains to physics; if it is derived from knowledge of the internal actions of our mind through the sense of reflection, it is only philosophy about the human mind and its ideas as internal phenomena likewise pertain to physics.

To dispute about the objects of ideas except insofar as they are phenomena is dreaming. In all philosophy we must begin from phenomena and admit no principles of things, no causes, no explanations, except those which are established through phenomena. Quite right. However, a Cause that is established through the study of natural phenomena need not be itself natural. William Derham was an English clergyman and natural philosopher. He produced the earliest, reasonably accurate estimate of the speed of sound.

Derham was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in He was Boyle lecturer in — In , he published his Artificial Clockmaker , which went through several editions. The best known of his subsequent works are Physico-Theology , published in ; Astro-Theology , ; and Christo-Theology , All three of these books are teleological arguments for the being and attributes of God, and were used by William Paley nearly a century later.

However, these books also include quantities of original scientific observations. For example, Physico-Theology contains his recognition of natural variation within species and that he knew that Didelphis virginialis the Virginia opossum was the only marsupial in North America. The author employs Intelligent Design-style arguments which were common in the eighteenth century:. A man that should meet with a palace beset with pleasant gardens, adorned with stately avenues, furnished with well contrived aqueducts, cascades, and all other appendages conducing to convenience or pleasure, would easily imagine, that proportionable architecture and magnificence were within; but we should conclude the man was out of his wits that should assert and plead that all was the work of chance, or other than of some wise and skillful hand.

And now let us pause a little, and reflect. And upon the whole matter, what less can be concluded, than that there is a being infinitely wise, potent, and kind, who is able to contrive and make this glorious scene of things, which I have thus given only a glance of! For, what less than infinite could stock so vast a globe with such a noble set of animals!

Particularly, who could feed so spacious a world, who could please so large a number of palates, or suit so many palates to so great a variety of food, but the infinite conservator of the world! And who but the same great He, could provide such commodious clothing for every animal; such proper houses, nests, and habitations; such suitable armature and weapons; such subtilty, artifice, and sagacity, as every creature is more or less armed and furnished with, to fence off the injuries of the weather, to rescue itself from dangers, to preserve itself from the annoyances of its enemies, and, in a word, to conserve itself, and its species!

What but an infinite superintending Power could so equally balance the several species of animals, and conserve the numbers of the individuals of every species so even, as not to over- or under-people the terraqueous globe! Who, but the infinite wise Lord of the world, could allot every creature its most suitable place to live in, the most suitable element to breathe, and move, and aft in!

And who, but He, could make so admirable a set of organs, as those of respiration are, both in land and water animals! Who could contrive so curious a set of limbs, joints, bones, muscles, and nerves to give to every animal the most commodious motion to its state and occasions! And, to name no more, what anatomist, mathematician, workman, yea, angel, could contrive and make so curious, so commodious, and every way so exquisite a set of senses, as the five senses of animals are; whose organs are so dexterously contrived, so conveniently placed in the body, so neatly adjusted, so firmly guarded, and so completely suited to every occasion, that they plainly set forth the agency of the infinite Creator and conservator of the world!

But here we have so large a prospect, that it would be endless to proceed upon particulars. It must suffice therefore to take notice, in general only, how artificially every part of our body is made. No botch, no blunder, no unnecessary apparatus, or in other words, no signs of chance; but everything curious, orderly, and performed in the shortest and best method, and adapted to the mod compendious use. What one part is there throughout the whole body, but what is composed of the fittest matter for that part; made of the most proper strength and texture; shaped in the completed form; and, in a word, accoutered with every thing necessary for its motion, office, nourishment, guard, and what not!

What so commodious a structure and texture could have been given to the bones, for instance, to make them firm and strong, and withal lights as that which every bone in the body hath! Who could have shaped them so nicely to every use, and adapted them to every part, made them of such just lengths, given them such due sizes and shapes, channelled, hollowed, headed, lubricated, and every other thing ministering, in the best and most compendious manner, to their several places and uses!

What a glorious collection and combination have we also of the most exquisite workmanship and contrivance in the eye, in the ear, in the hands, in the foot, in lungs, and other parts already mentioned! Linnaeus, like John Ray, was an eloquent advocate of physicotheology. Nature was likened to a book in which God had written down messages, and just as one could read the Bible, one could also read the Book of Nature. Linnaeus believed that organisms had their place in nature, and that everything worked together like a perfect machine.

As a naturalist, he continually asked himself what the purpose of everything was. However, Uppsala University has created an excellent online Web site, Linne online , dealing with Carl Linnaeus, his life and his scientific discoveries. The Web site includes several topical essays contributed by researchers in various fields. Together with scientists like John Ray, William Derhamn, and William Paley, Linnaeus is one of the great thinkers in the physicotheological tradition. Nature was a key word and a sort of model during the 18th century. Linnaeus was probably the foremost interpreter of his time in regard to the glorious plan of Creation.

The notion that there existed an organized principle in nature, a perfect administration that meant that nothing was wanting and nothing was superfluous became a popular way of thinking during the 18th century. In treatises like Curiositas Naturalis , Oeconomia Naturae Husbandry of Nature , and Politia Naturae Polity of Nature Linnaeus developed ideas in this field that point forward to an ecological view.

He wrote about the cycle of nature and the importance of mulching in nature, about how organisms had their place in nature, and that everything worked together like a perfect machine. The relationship between God, nature, and humans was something that thoroughly occupied the minds of 18th-century scientists and philosophers.

The Englishman William Derham, who in published the book Physico-theology, is usually claimed to be the creator of physicotheology and its greatest exponent. In Sweden Linnaeus is usually counted among the leading representatives. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate an online copy of this speech in English. I would be very grateful if anyone could email me a copy, or direct me to where I might find one. The physicotheologists asserted that both religion and nature research were vital to humankind.

Through the study of nature our knowledge of God and His Creation would be enhanced; it can therefore be said that science had a religious utility. In his treatise Cui bono? By this he means that God never created anything unnecessarily, that every object is an important part of Creation. The task of the naturalist is therefore to discover this purpose. In doing so, the glory of God would be made manifest and economic utility would be promoted. I hope it is apparent by now that this view of Nature, which Linnaeus expounded in his scientific works and writings, is diametrically opposed to the tenets of methodological naturalism.

Ruder Josip Boskovic was a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian, Jesuit, and a polymath from the city of Dubrovnik in the Republic of Ragusa today Croatia , who studied and lived in Italy and France, where he also published many of his works. Boskovic is famous for his atomic theory.

His atomic theory, given as a clear, precisely-formulated system utilizing principles of Newtonian mechanics inspired Michael Faraday to develop field theory for electromagnetic interaction. He also made many important contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position.

In he also discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon. According to his Wikipedia biography :. Boskovic was a devout Catholic and in expressing his religious views was straightforward. The following quotes are taken from A theory of natural philosophy by Boscovich, Ruggero Giuseppe, ; translated by Child, J.

James Mark. Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago, In his Synopsis of the Whole Work p. Then with regard to GOD, I prove that He must exist by many arguments that have a close connection with this Theory of mine; I especially mention, though but slightly, His Wisdom and Providence, from which there is but a step to be made towards revelation. But I think that I have, so to speak, given my preliminary foretaste quite sufficiently. I am forced to conclude that Boskovic believed that the existence, wisdom and goodness of God were scientifically provable.

Boskovic begins by putting forward the skeptical argument: that in an infinite amount of time, anything can happen, including an ordered universe. Boskovic concedes that if the order in the universe were like the order of the letters and words in a book, such order would inevitably emerge sooner or later.

But, he says, the order of the universe is not like that. To begin with, there are infinitely more ways in which the behavior of matter can be chaotic than the number of ways in which it can behave in an orderly fashion; thus, at the very least, it would take an infinite amount of time to guarantee the emergence of an orderly cosmos. But even this will not be enough. The reason is that space, unlike time, is three-dimensional.

Since, even for one dimension of space, chaotic outcomes are infinitely more likely than orderly outcomes, this means that for three dimensions of space, chaos is infinity-cubed times more likely than order. In addition, says Boskovic, the velocity of each particle can vary indefinitely, and once again, only an infinitesimal proportion of these variations are compatible with an orderly cosmos.

Thus chaos is more likely than order by a factor of infinity to the power of four. Infinity raised to the power of four is three orders of infinitude greater than the infinity of time, which means that the likelihood of an orderly cosmos arising in even an infinite amount of time is infinitesimal to the third degree — in other words, zero. Only an intelligent and benevolent Being can explain this order. Moreover, such a Being must be infinite, in order to make a wise and benevolent selection from an infinite number of possibilities, the vast majority of which are chaotic.

Appendix pp. The truly groundless dreams of those, who think that the Universe could have been founded either by some fortuitous chance or some necessity of fate, or that it existed of itself from all eternity dependent on necessary laws of its own, all these must altogether come to nothing. Now first of all, the argument that it is due to chance is as follows. The combinations of a finite number of terms are finite in number; but the combinations that throughout the whole of infinite eternity must have been infinite in number , even if we assume that what is understood by the name of combinations is the whole series pertaining to so many thousands of years.

Hence, in a fortuitous agitation of the atoms, if all cases happen equally, as is always the case in a long series of fortuitous things, one of them is bound to recur an infinite number of times in turn. Thus, the probability of the recurrence of this individual combination, which we have, is infinitely more probable, in any finite number of succeeding returns by mere chance, than of its non-recurrence.

But, leaving that out of account, it is quite false to say that the number of combinations from a finite number of terms is finite , if all things that are necessary to the constitution of the Universe are considered. The number of combinations is indeed finite, if by the term combination there is implied merely a certain order , in which some of the terms follow the others.

Hence, when a curve has to be selected which shall pass through all points of matter, we now have an infinity of at least the third order. Besides, after any curve has been chosen, the distance of each point from the one next to it can be varied indefinitely; hence the number of possible arrangements for any one point of matter, while the rest remain fixed, is infinite. Therefore it follows that the number derived from the possible changes in all of these things is infinite, of the order determined by the number of points increased at least three times. Hence the number of relative combinations necessary to the formation of the Universe is not finite for any given instant of time; but it is infinite, of an exceedingly high order with respect to an infinity of the kind to which belongs the infinity of the number of points of space in any straight line, which is conceived to be produced to infinity in both directions.

Then, to overcome definitely this infinite improbability, there would be required the infinite power of a Supreme Founder selecting one from among those infinite combinations. In the following passage, Boskovic argues that the Being responsible for ordering the cosmos must be infinitely powerful, knowledgeable and wise:. Next, Boskovic puts forward an Intelligent Design-style argument, to the effect that the order we see in the biological world is vanishingly unlikely; hence, an Intelligent Being must be responsible for it.

Indeed, Boskovic contends that the order we observe in the biological realm is so blindingly obvious that only a willfully blind person could fail to make the inference to a Designer:. But why do I enumerate these separate things? Finally, Boskovic suggests that since the benevolent Being Who orders the cosmos cares about us so much, He must have arranged some way for us to know the truth about Him — in other words, a revelation of Himself. However, says Boskovic, discussing such matters would take us outside the field of natural philosophy i.

The clear implication here is that the preceding discussion of the existence and attributes of God did not fall outside of the scope of science. Such a position places Boskovic at odds with the principle of methodological naturalism:. This being done, we should indeed quite easily perceive which was the only true one, from amongst so many of those absurdities falsely brought forward as revelations.

Joseph Priestley was a Fellow of the Royal Society, chemist and discoverer of oxygen. His innovative techniques influenced the whole teaching of chemistry: the American Chemical Society has as its most prestigious award the Priestley Medal. Priestley was also a Doctor of Divinity and a Christian minister. His theological views, though, were very unorthodox for his day: he was a Unitarian, who held to a materialistic account of human nature and believed in a deterministic cosmos, in which everything happened for the best in the long run, because God had arranged it that way.


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In his philosophical works, he argued that the existence of an infinite, supernatural Deity could be demonstrated on rational grounds alone. In his scientific works, he expressed his belief in a Governor and Maker of the world. When we say there is a GOD, we mean that there is an intelligent designing cause of what we see in the world around us, and a being who was himself uncaused. Unless we have recourse to this supposition, we cannot account for present appearances; for there is an evident incapacity in every thing we see of being the cause of its own existence, or of the existence of other things.

Though in some sense, some things are the causes of others, yet they are only so in part; and when we give sufficient attention to their nature, we shall see, that it is very improperly that they are termed causes at all: for when we have allowed all that we can to their influence and operation, there is still something that must be referred to a prior and superior cause.


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  4. Thus we say that a proper soil, together with the influences of the sun and rain, are the causes of the growth of plants; but all that we mean, and all that, in strictness, we ought to say, is, that according to the present constitution of things, plants could not grow but in those circumstances; for, if there had not been a body previously organized like a plant, and if there had not existed what we call a constitution of nature , in consequence of which plants are disposed to thrive by the influences of the soil, th sun and the rain, those circumstances would have signified nothing; and the fitness of the organs of a plant to receive nourishment from the soil, the rain, and the sun, is a proof of such wisdom and design, as those bodies are evidently destitute of.

    It must be acknowledged, however, that our faculties are unequal to the comprehension of this subject. Being used to pass from effects to causes, and being used used to look for a cause adequate to the thing caused, and consequently to expect a greater cause for a greater effect, it is natural to suppose, that, if the things we see, which we say are the production of some divine power, required a cause, the divine being himself must have required a greater cause.

    But this train of thinking would lead us into a manifest absurdity, in inquiring for a and a higher cause, ad infinitum. It may perhaps be true, although we cannot distinctly see it so, that as all finite things require a cause, infinities admit of none. It is evident, that nothing can begin to be without a cause; but it by no means follows from thence, that that must have had a cause that had no beginning.

    But whatever there may be in this conjecture, we are constrained, by following the chain of causes and effects, to stop at last at something uncaused. That any being should be self created is evidently absurd, because that would suppose that he had a being before he had, or that he existed, and did not exist, at the same time. For want of clearer knowledge of the subject, we are obliged to content ourselves with terms that convey only negative ideas, and say that God is a being uncreated or uncaused , and this is all we mean when we sometimes say that he is self-existent.

    It has been said by some, that if we suppose an infinite succession of finite beings, there will be no necessity to admit anything to have been uncaused. The race of men, for instance, may have been from eternity, no individual of the species being much superior to the rest. But this supposition only involves the question in more obscurity , and does not approach, in the least, to the solution of any difficulty.

    For if we carry this imaginary succession ever so far back in our ideas, we are in just the same situation as when we set out; for we are still considering a species of beings who cannot so much as comprehend their own make and constitution; and we are, therefore, still in want of some being, who was capable of thoroughly knowing, and of forming them, and also of adapting the various parts of their bodies, and the faculties of their minds, and to the sphere of life in which they act.

    In fact, an infinite succession of finite beings as much requires a cause as a single finite being , and we have as little satisfaction in considering one of them as uncaused, as in considering the other. It was said, by the Epicureans of old, that all things were formed by the fortuitous concourse of atoms , that, originally, there were particles of all kinds floating at random in infinite space; and that, since certain combinations of particles constitute all bodies, and since, in infinite time, these particles must have been combined in all possible ways, the present system at length arose without any designing cause.

    But still, it may be asked, how could these atoms move without a mover ; and what could have arisen from their combinations, but mere heaps of matter, of different forms and sizes. That God is eternal, and immutable follows necessarily, as we have seen, from his being uncaused ; but if we consider the effects of which he is the cause , or in other words, the works of which he is the author, we shall be led to ascribe to him other attributes, particularly those of power, wisdom , and goodness , and consequently all the attributes which are necessarily connected with, and flow from, them.

    If we call a being powerful, when he is able to produce great effects, or to accomplish great works, then we cannot avoid ascribing this attribute to God, as the author of every thing that we behold; and when we consider the apparent greatness, variety, and extent of the works of God, in the whole frame of nature; as in the sun, moon and stars; in the earth which we inhabit, and the vegetables and animals which it contains, together with the powers of reason and understanding possessed by man, we cannot suppose any effect to which the divine power is not equal, and therefore we are authorised to say that it is infinite, or capable of producing any thing, that is not in its own nature impossible ; so that whatever purposes the divine being forms, he is always able to execute.

    The designs of such a being as this, who cannot be controlled in the execution of any of his purposes, would be very obvious to us if we could comprehend his works, or see the issue of them; but this we cannot do with respect to the works of God, which are both incomprehensible to our finite understandings, and also are not yet compleated; for as far as they are subject to our inspection, they are evidently in a progress to something more perfect. Yet from the subordinate parts of this great machine of the universe, which we can in some measure understand, and which are compleated; and also from the manifest tendency of things, we may safely conclude, that the great design of the divine being, in all the works of his hands, was to produve happiness….

    It seems to be an evident argument that the author of all things intended the animal creation to be happy, that when their powers are at their full strength, and exercise, they are always happy; health and enjoyment having a natural and necessary connection through the whole system of nature; whereas it can hardly be imagined, but that a malevolent being, or one who should have made creatures with a design to make them miserable, would have constituted them so, that when any creature was the most perfect, it would have also been the most unhappy.

    It agrees with the supposition of the benevolence of the divine being, that there is the most ample provision made for the happiness of those creatures which are naturally capable of the most enjoyment, particularly the human species. We have a far greater variety and extent of powers, both of action and enjoyment, than any other inhabitants of the earth; and the world abounds with more sources of happiness to us than any other order of beings upon it…. Priestley then goes on to argue that natural evils cannot be used to argue against the goodness of God, for the following reasons:.

    Fire, for instance, can wreak great harm, but the benefits it brings are immense;. Without predators, the earth would rapidly be over-run with organisms, and life would rapidly die out;. She became known for her trance mediumship but she also did automatic writing on occasion. The spiritualist supporters of Piper claimed she could channel numerous spirits through her consciousness.

    The problem with the spiritualist interpretation is that even Piper herself admitted her trance personalities were not spirits and many of the things she said in her trance sessions have proven to be false. On this subject the British hypnotist and psychical researcher Simeon Edmunds wrote:. The scientific community has rejected the telepathic and spiritualist hypotheses and have written that there is no need to resort to the paranormal as fraud and psychology explain the mediumship of Piper.

    Leonora Piper - RationalWiki

    The psychologists G. Stanley Hall and Amy Tanner who observed some of the trances of Piper wrote the explanation was in terms of the subconscious mind harboring various personalities that pretended to be spirits or controls. Piper had subconsciously absorbed information that she later regurgitated as messages from spirits in her trances.

    Psychical researchers and scientists who investigated Piper also believed she was fraudulent. Andrew Lang wrote that Piper would cheat when she could by making guesses and would try and get information out of her sitters. Piper's knowledge". Piper made many errors and mistakes in her mediumship. Tymn and Greg Taylor who ignore all of Piper's errors and fraud and claim Piper was in contact with spirits. Fighting pseudoscience isn't free. Jump to: navigation , search.

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