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    Darwin’s foil: the evolving uses of William Paley’s Natural Theology 1802–2005

    Shapiro, Adam R. (2014) Darwin’s foil: the evolving uses of William Paley’s Natural Theology 1802–2005. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 , pp. 114-123. ISSN 1369-8486.

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    This essay traces the divergent readings of William Paley’s 1802 Natural Theology from its initial publication to the recent controversies over intelligent design. It argues that the misinterpretation of the Natural Theology as a scientific argument about the origins of complex life—which Darwin’s Origin of Species refutes—did not develop all at once. Rather this reading evolved gradually, drawing from a variety of uses and appropriations during the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This study demonstrates the fluidity of “science” and “religion” during these centuries, and highlights the role that genres of science popularization play in altering the meaning of those categories.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Natural theology, Science popularization, Darwinism, Antievolution, Religion and science, Intelligent design
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2014 15:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:08


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