By Kelly James Clark
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Additional resources for Religion and the Sciences of Origins: Historical and Contemporary Discussions
He who is presumptuous enough to think that he can find the true principles of physics and the laws of natural things by the force alone of his own mind, and the internal light of reason, must either suppose that the world exists by necessity, and by the same necessity follows the laws proposed: or, if the order of Nature was established by the will of God, that himself, a miserable reptile, can tell what was fittest to be done. (Newton, 1687) This passage reveals the foundational principles of science that were held not just by Newton but by his contemporaries as well.
Bacon’s work was motivated by his belief in the Doctrine of the Two Books— the belief that God revealed himself in two ways, the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature. A full and complete understanding of reality requires careful readings of both books. He writes: For our Saviour saith, You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God; laying before us two books or volumes to study, if we will be secured from error; first the Scriptures, revealing the will of God, and then the creatures expressing his power; whereof the latter is a key unto the former; not only opening our understanding to conceive the true sense of the Scriptures, by the general notions of reason and rules of speech; but chiefly opening our belief, in drawing us into a due meditation of the omnipotency of God, which is chiefly signed and engraven upon his works.
The Fabric of the Universe 39 Boyle’s mission “was to formulate a view of nature that allowed us to understand and marvel at the wonder of the created order, so that we might better appreciate the glory of the Creator” (Ashworth, 2003: 80). This goal could be achieved, he believed, through the mechanical philosophy. His mechanical philosophy was not a form of deism (a view that holds that God creates the cosmos and then leaves it alone to run on its own), but one in which God is intimately involved in the ongoing operation of his creation.
Religion and the Sciences of Origins: Historical and Contemporary Discussions by Kelly James Clark