On the Origin of Species

Victoria Popoola
 Natural Theology is a branch of theology based on
reason and ordinary experience that explains God’s
rational as a part of the physical world
 deals with describing nature and the existence of God
lacking special or supposed supernatural revelation
 In about 116 -27 BC, Marcus Terentius Varro
established a distinction of three kinds of theology
 Civil – “the people” asking how God relates to daily life
and the state
 Natural – philosophers asking for the nature of God or
 Mystical – poets crafting mythology
 Natural Theology was formulated at a time where
people preferred Deism.
 Deism is basically a theistic position based upon the
preference of natural reason over sacred revelation
 Only “chosen people” experienced divine revelations
 High Middle Ages
 Made fixed part of Roman Catholic dogma in 1870
 Not intended to replace faith or grace of God revealed
in Christ
 Opportunity to establish certain truth by means
common to all
 Thomas Aquinas
 Adopted Aristotle’s beliefs
 First great proponent of Natural Theology
 Synthesized Greek philosophy and the Gospel
 Laid groundwork for “natural law”
 defined theology as a "science" in the Aristotelian sense, that
is, a definable body of knowledge with its own sources,
principles, methods, and content; beyond the truths derived
from the study of Scripture there was another body of
compatible truths based upon the application of reason to
the created world
 William Paley
 Made Natural Theology best known to Englishmen in
the 1800s
 How life works?
 Used a mechanical analogy of the world, comparing it
to a watch
 Design qua purpose – purpose behind the design
 Describes intricacies of
 human eye,
 the lacteal systems in mammals
 design of a bird's wing
 Charles Darwin
 Occupied Paley’s room at Cambridge University
 1838 –1859 Natural Selection “On the Origin of Species”
 Major conflict
 Explaining adaptation
 David Hume
 18th century philosopher
 Criticized Paley in "Dialogues concerning Natural
 Argued that God of theism could not be “THE Designer”
 Said designer would be capable of making mistakes and have
 Explains imperfections
 Or theory of team of gods/goddesses
 Science demonstrates dynamics of nature
 20th century, Natural Theology out of favor
 Metaphysics
 Theory of Evolution widely accepted
 Second half of 20th century, Metaphysics and Natural
Theology Return
 Practiced with a degree of diversity and confidence
unprecedented since the late Middle Ages
 Natural Theology - deals with describing nature and the
existence of God lacking special or supposed supernatural
 High Middle Ages, 1870
 Advocates
 Thomas Aquinas, William Paley
 Opponents
 Charles Darwin, David Hume
 Natural theology, more evolved today
 http://www.nicolaabbagnano.it/archivio_di/03.pdf
 http://www.helium.com/items/1119397-teleological-argument
 http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/natural.htm
 http://books.google.com/books?id=gG_2YyDX3_YC&printsec=frontcover
 http://books.google.com/books?id=p-PSrKkzDCMC&printsec=frontcover
 https://ptx-cca-