Need a one paragraph reply to this discussion. only need to be 6 sentences long, but well written.
The Design Argument
The design argument is a belief that nature is so intricate, and so orderly that it could not have occurred by chance and therefore must have been by a creators design. This argument has been made by many ultimately with no true resolution. William Paley made the argument that the complex structure of living things like the human eye, or the epiglottis was proof that a creator must exist. Eventually Darwin’s concept of natural selection would present the idea that natural forces could progressively alter organic structures and change innate features in response to and countering Paley’s work.
The design argument had such a powerful following due to the culture of England. They believed that science would help prove and back up their religion. As natural theology evolved and more was discovered about the natural world England unlike many other countries fostered the growth and allowed the ideas to be presented as long as they remained pious. Religion was a major aspect of the culture in England, but it was not a controlling force. Many of the clergymen were the same people studying nature and they were encouraged within reason. Religion and science worked together as opposed to opposite each other. Interpreting the bible literally was weakened with advances in natural theology, but since the people studying science always did so with the intent of respecting and trying to find proof of their religion their ideas brought about new ways to interpret their religion without abandoning the main things they represented. This allowed the traditional beliefs to be weakened, but encouraged a belief in Christianity.
Linneaus was a naturalist who studied plants and worked to develop a system of naming and classifying them. He believed his work supported natural theology because he suggested that the upper levels of taxonomic hierarchy he assigned were ascribed to God, but he did not support the literal interpretation of the bible that each species was the same as it was when saved from the flood in Noah’s ark a concept of “each after its kind”. His study into hybridization demonstrated that the original plant species may have began as represented in the bible, but over time interbreeding plants formed new species in different climates and geography with the same mothers and separate fathers. At the time he believed he was supporting his religious beliefs in the arguments he presented. His concepts were considered negative because they had broader implications undermining the religion he was working to better understand. His work brought up the questions concerning how if nature was capable of changing through generations than could a single organism have possibly brought all organisms into existence, which was contrary to the bible.
At this point in England women for the most part were uneducated unless wealthy and then very little, and were controlled by their fathers and husbands with no real rights or opinions that could differentiate than those of the men. Most of the people of that time believed in the design argument. It stands to reason that if I was around at this time that the design argument would most likely be what my opinion was and the only opinion presented in my presence.
Brooke, John Hedley. Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.