SCIENCE and RELIGION in the 19th CENTURY Notes

O the argument o answer to objections o the evidence

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o The argument o Answer to objections o The evidence The argument from design: William Paley, Natural Theology (1802) God created the universe in an orderly way so that humans could use reason to understand it God was a rational, designer, creator God Creationism Laws of physics There was no good reason to think that it did not also apply to life forms, this too was part of this orderly design Genesis William Paley o Very convincing and popular writer William Smith, engineer Canal builder o In order to build a canal or railroad you need a flat plane, so you need to cut through rock. You can see the layers of sediment, different layers of the history of the earth (find fossils) Needs some help, asks rev. Joseph Townsend, The Character of Moses (1813) o All of these fossils of these dead creatures proved the flood (Great Deluge, last of the great catastrophes to scrape the earth) o Science and what people were discovering seemed to support the Biblical story o Geological formation must have been a part of some giant catastrophe Jurassic period came from the Jura mountains in Switzerland
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o 1824—discover the first dinosaur o 1841—name dinosaur enters in our vocabulary Geology and paleontology developed together o Helped to layer out the story of history There were no human fossils in all of this—if all of this was a result of the deluge, then there should be human fossils The evidence from geology Sediment and erosion were all still going on Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology (1831) o Uniformitarianism o Processes of geology were observable things, you didn’t need to invent additional causes o Did need to make one assumption: it had been going on slowly and gradually for a very long time o Evidence was pretty persuasive so that most educated people in England o Most people were now starting to move away from the “Young Earth Theory” (Earth was created on Sunday October 23 rd 4000 BC) o Undermines the creationist argument, and somewhat the Bible —does not undermine the argument of design o All of these changes going on could still be the work of God Robert chambers, The Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844) o Theistic evolution Attempts at harmonization Book of Genesis o A day of creation = geological age Stages of the earth’s development Correlated roughly speaking with the days of creation in Genesis I o All of the geological things can be summed up in the first two sentences o Need to get rid of this idea of this sequence of stages, different aspects of the mind of God Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Extends the positivist view of things Things can be traced to other things back in time—theory of evolution Came to this almost by chance Came from a wealthy bourgeoisie class in industrial England o Father was a doctor, deeply religious man o Grandfathers were biologists
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o Goes to college and starts studying medicine but hates the sight of blood o Starts studying religion (next position that’s acceptable for his position)
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  • Fall '10
  • WILSON
  • The Bible, oI.e. crystal Palace

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