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Natural Theology

Natural Theology

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Published by Joey Wheat

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Published by: Joey Wheat on Feb 01, 2010
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RECORD: Paley, W. 1809. Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence andAttributes of the Deity. 12th edition London: Printed for J. Faulder.REVISION HISTORY: Digitized by and reproduced with the permission of theUniversity of Michigan Digital Library Production Service. Reformatted by John vanWyhe 9.2006. RN1NOTE: Darwin, while a student at Cambridge, greatly admired Paley's work. See hisrecollections in his autobiography.[page vii]NATURAL THEOLOGY; OR,EVIDENCESOF THEEXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTESOFTHE DEITY. COLLECTED FROM THE APPEARANCES OF NATURE. BY WILLIAM PALEY, D.D.LATE ARCHDEACON OF CARLISLE.THE TWELFTH EDITION.[page] [viii][page] [ix]CONTENTSCHAPTER I.STATE of the Argument . . . . . . . PAGE 1CHAPTER II.State of the Argument continued . . . . . [8]CHAPTER III.Application of the Argument . . . . . . . [17]CHAPTER IVOf the Succession of Plants and Animals . . . [49]CHAPTER V.Application of the Argument continued . . . [55]CHAPTER VI.The Argument cumulative . . . . . . . [75]CHAPTER VII.Of the MECHANICAL and IMMECHANICAL Parts and Functions of Animals and Vegetables .[78][page] xCHAPTER VIII.Of MECHANICAL Arrangement in the human Frame,--Of the Bones . . . . . . . . [PAGE92]CHAPTER IX.Of the Muscles . . . . . . . . . . . [122]CHAPTER X.Of the Vessels of Animal Bodies . . . . . . [147]CHAPTER XI.Of the Animal Structure regarded as a Mass . [185]CHAPTER XII.Comparative Anatomy . . . . . . . . . [211]CHAPTER XIII.Peculiar Organizations . . . . . . . . [241]CHAPTER XIV.Prospective Contrivances . . . . . . . . [252]
CHAPTER XV.Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . [261]CHAPTER XVI.Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . [275]CHAPTER XVII.The Relation of animated Bodies to inanimateNature . . . . . . . . . . . . . [291]CHAPTER XVIII.Instincts . . . . . . . . . . . . . [299][page] xiCHAPTER XIX.Of Insects . . . . . . . . . . . . . [PAGE 319]CHAPTER XX.Of Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . [345]CHAPTER XXI.Of the Elements . . . . . . . . . . [368]CHAPTER XXII.Astronomy . . . . . . . . . . . . [378]CHAPTER XXIII.Personality of the Deity . . . . . . . . [405]CHAPTER XXIV.Of the natural Attributes of the Deity . . . . [441]CHAPTER XXV.Of the Unity of the Deity . . . . . . . . [449]CHAPTER XXVI.The Goodness of the Deity . . . . . . . [454]CHAPTER XXVII.Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . [535][page] [xii][page] [1]NATURAL THEOLOGY.CHAPTER I.STATE OF THE ARGUMENT.IN crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked howthe stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew tothe contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy toshow the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon theground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; Ishould hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for any thing Iknew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer servefor the watch as well as for the stone? why is it not as admissible in the secondcase, as in the first? For this reason,[page] 2and for no other, viz. that, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (whatwe could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and puttogether for a purpose, e. g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to producemotion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that, ifthe different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a differentsize from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order,than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have beencarried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now
served by it. To reckon up a few of the plainest of these parts, and of theiroffices, all tending to one result:-- We see a cylindrical box containing a coiledelastic spring, which, by its endeavour to relax itself, turns round the box. Wenext observe a flexible chain (artificially wrought for the sake of flexure),communicating the action of the spring from the box to the fusee. We then find aseries of wheels, the teeth of which catch in, and apply to, each other,conducting the motion from the fusee to the balance, and from the balance to thepointer; and at the same time, by the[page] 3size and shape of those wheels, so regulating that motion, as to terminate incausing an index, by an equable and measured progression, to pass over a givenspace in a given time. We take notice that the wheels are made of brass in orderto keep them from rust; the springs of steel, no other metal being so elastic;that over the face of the watch there is placed a glass, a material employed in noother part of the work, but in the room of which, if there had been any other thana transparent substance, the hour could not be seen without opening the case. Thismechanism being observed (it requires indeed an examination of the instrument, andperhaps some previous knowledge of the subject, to perceive and understand it; butbeing once, as we have said, observed and understood), the inference, we think, isinevitable, that the watch must have had a maker: that there must have existed, atsome time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers who formed itfor the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended itsconstruction, and designed its use.I. Nor would it, I apprehend, weaken the conclusion, that we had never seen awatch made; that we had never known an artist[page] 4capable of making one; that we were altogether incapable of executing such a pieceof workmanship ourselves, or of understanding in what manner it was performed; allthis being no more than what is true of some exquisite remains of ancient art, ofsome lost arts, and, to the generality of mankind, of the more curious productionsof modern manufacture. Does one man in a million know how oval frames are turned?Ignorance of this kind exalts our opinion of the unseen and unknown artist'sskill, if he be unseen and unknown, but raises no doubt in our minds of theexistence and agency of such an artist, at some former time, and in some place orother. Nor can I perceive that it varies at all the inference, whether thequestion arise concerning a human agent, or concerning an agent of a differentspecies, or an agent possessing, in some respects, a different nature.II. Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watchsometimes went wrong, or that it seldom went exactly right. The purpose of themachinery, the design, and the designer, might be evident, and in the casesupposed would be evident, in whatever way we accounted for the irregularity[page] 5of the movement, or whether we could account for it or not. It is not necessarythat a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made: stillless necessary, where the only question is, whether it were made with any designat all.III. Nor, thirdly, would it bring any uncertainty into the argument, if there werea few parts of the watch, concerning which we could not discover, or had not yetdiscovered, in what manner they conduced to the general effect; or even someparts, concerning which we could not ascertain, whether they conduced to thateffect in any manner whatever. For, as to the first branch of the case; if by theloss, or disorder, or decay of the parts in question, the movement of the watchwere found in fact to be stopped, or disturbed, or retarded, no doubt would remain

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