Design

Some 17th century philosophers claimed that life had appeared by chance.

“... These things (say the Atheists) are mistaken for tokens of skill and contrivance ... among almost infinite trials at the beginning of things, among millions of monstrous shapes and imperfect formations ... if such animals could in that way possibly be formed, as might live, and move, and propagate their beings, all this admired and applauded usefulness of their several fabricks is but a necessary condition and consequence of their existence and propagation ...
This is the last pretence and sophistry of the Atheists.”
Wisdom of God p.357

John Ray contended against this idea.

“... these Proofs taken from Effects and Operations, exposed to every Man’s view, not to be denied or questioned by any, are most effectual to convince all that deny or doubt of it. Neither are they only convictive of the greatest and subtlest Adversaries, but intelligible also to... illiterate Persons... they need no Proof of the Being of a God, for that every Pile of Grass or Ear of Corn, sufficiently proves that: For, say they, all the Men of the World cannot make such a thing as one of these; and if they cannot do it, who can, or did make it but God?”
Wisdom of God p.25

“ A Wonder then it must needs be, that there should be any Man found so stupid and forsaken of Reason, as to persuade himself that this most beautiful and adorn’d World was or could be produc’d by the fortuitous concourse of Atoms.”
Wisdom of God p.36

Ray also rejected the theory of spontaneous generation.

“... Whether there be any Spontaneous or Anomalous Generation of Animals, as hath been the constant opinion of naturalists heretofore, I think there is good reason to question.”
Further Correspondence p.66, 19 Sept 1674

“ My observation ... is that there is no such thing in nature ... but that all animals, as well small as great, not excluding the vilest and most contemptible insect, are generated by animal parents of the same species with themselves; that noble Italian vertuoso, Francisco Redi, having experimented, that no putrified Flesh (which one would think were the most likely of any thing) will of itself, if all Insects be carefully kept from it, produce any...”
Wisdom of God p.298-9

Creation’s design speaks of God’s character:

“ ... serve not only to demonstrate the Being of a Deity, but also to illustrate some of his principal Attributes; as namely, his infinite Power and Wisdom. The vast Multitudes of Creatures, and those not only small, but immensely great, the Sun and Moon, and all the Heavenly Host, are Effects and Proofs of His Almighty Power.”

“ The admirable Contrivance of all and each of them, the Adapting all the Parts of Animals to their several Uses, the Provision that is made for their Sustenance, which is often taken Notice of in Scripture, Psalm cxlv. 15,16. Matthew vi 26. Psalm cxlvli. 9. ... their mutual Subserviency to each other, and unanimous conspiring to promote and carry on the Publick Good, are evident Demonstrations of His Sovereign Wisdom. Lastly, they serve to stir up and increase in us the Affections and Habits of Admiration, Humility and Gratitude. Psalm viii 3”
Wisdom of God p.5

“ Again, the same Superiority of Knowledge would be display’d, by contriving Engines of the same Kind, or for the same Purposes, after different Fashions, as the moving of Clocks or other Engines by Springs instead of Weights: So the infinitely Wise Creator hath shewn many Instances, that he is not confin’d to only instrument for the working one Effect, but can perform the same thing by divers means. So, tho’ feathers seem necessary for flying, yet hath he enabled several creatures to fly without them... ”
Wisdom of God p.25


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