Newton and ID

From: Ted Davis (tdavis@messiah.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 03 2002 - 08:13:21 EDT

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    Burgy gives Newton as an example (the first?) of a scientist using ID in his
    work. In fact ID ideas trace back to the Stoics, as they are fully aware
    themselves, and a great many scientists over the years have seen design as
    an integral part of their scientific work. A very early example is the
    pagan Greco-Roman anatomist and physician, Galen. His hymns to divine
    wisdom caused Christian thinkers to see him as a type of "proto-Christian,"
    and they saw Plato in much the same way because of the strong design
    elements in Timaeus.

    As for Newton, there are several relevant passages, but undoubtedly the
    most famous is his General Scholium, appended to the second edition of the
    Principia, where he makes a long argument about the dominion of the deity
    and concludes, "And thus much concerning God, to discourse of whom from the
    appearances of things does certainly belong to natural philosophy." This
    attitude was wholly commonplace in the late 17th century.

    And thus much concerning Newton...

    Ted Davis



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