Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Watch Analogy.

William Paley is justly famous for his watch analogy which is referred to at the top of this Blog. David Samuel (Without Excuse) points out that Paley got it from Bernard Nieuwentyt a Dutch physician and mathematician who lived from 1654 to 1718 "Let us suppose, that in the middle of a sandy down, or desart and solitary place, where few people are used to pass, any one should find a watch..."

These ideas were being discussed by English theologians prior to this however.

I happened to come across a passage in John Preston from 1631 which discussed the design argument in a very similar way to Paley's detailed examination.

Preston mentions "the impressions of skill and workmanship that is upon the creatures. All which argue that there is a God.... just as he that makes a watch or any ordinary work of art, he knows all the junctures, all the wheels, and commissures of it.... (John Preston- Life Eternal 1631)


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