Life Theories: Their Influence Upon Religious Thought

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J. & A. Churchill, 1871 - Religion and science - 97 pages
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Page 14 - If this be true, it is no less certain that the existing world lay, potentially, in the cosmic vapour ; and that a sufficient intelligence could, from a knowledge of the properties of the molecules of that vapour, have predicted, say the state of the Fauna of Britain in 1869, with as much certainty as one can say what will happen to the vapour of the breath on a cold winter's day.
Page 14 - If the fundamental proposition of evolution is true, that the entire world, living and not living, is the result of the mutual interaction, according to definite laws, of the forces possessed by the molecules of which the primitive nebulosity of the universe was composed, it is no less certain that the existing world lay, potentially, in the cosmic vapour...
Page 27 - Many who hold it would probably assent to the position that, at the present moment, all our philosophy, all our poetry, all our science, and all our art — Plato, Shakespeare, Newton, and Raphael — are potential in the fires of the sun.
Page 20 - ... must, I think, be obvious to thoughtful persons, that the view, that man is a mere machine, constructed by force, whose structure and actions depend upon the properties of the material particles of which his body is composed, and the influence of physical agencies upon these, is scarcely reconcilable with the idea that man is made in the image of God, and that man holds, or can ever hold, communion with his Maker. But theories in high favour in these days, and very widely taught, rest upon the...
Page 27 - It cannot be too distinctly borne in mind that between the microscope limit and the true molecular limit there is room for infinite permutations and combinations. It is in this region that the poles of the atoms are arranged, that tendency is given to their powers, so that when these poles and powers have free action and proper stimulus in a suitable environment, they determine first the germ and afterwards the complete organism.
Page 27 - Strip it naked, and you stand face to face with the notion that not alone the more ignoble forms of animalcular or animal life, not alone the nobler forms of the horse and lion, not alone the exquisite and wonderful mechanism of the human body, but that the human mind itself — emotion, intellect, will, and all their phenomena — were once latent in a fiery cloud.
Page 84 - Physiology when it imports into its interpretations a psychical factor — a factor which no physical research whatever can disclose, or identify, or get the remotest glimpse of.
Page 2 - ... made in the negative. Sufficient distinction has not, I think, been drawn by many who devote their lives mainly to religious thought and work, between science, and the statements put forward in her name — between scientific demonstration, and facts said to have been demonstrated by investigation called scientific — between the actual discovery of new truths proved beyond all question, and mere assertions sufficiently dogmatic, dictatorial, and positive, but resting upon authority instead...
Page 13 - ... there is a wider Teleology which is not touched by the doctrine of Evolution, but is actually based upon the fundamental proposition of Evolution. That proposition is, that the whole world, living and not living, is the result of the mutual interaction according to definite laws of the forces possessed by the molecules, of which the primitive nebulosity of the universe was composed.
Page 83 - The chasm between the inorganic and the organic is being filled up. On the one hand, some four or five thousand compounds once regarded as exclusively organic, have now been produced artificially from inorganic matter ; and chemists do not doubt their ability so to produce the highest forms of organic matter. On the other hand, the microscope has traced down organisms...

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