In Natural Theology, William Paley set out to prove the existence of God from the evidence of the beauty and order of the natural world. Famously beginning by comparing the world to a watch, whose design is self-evident, he goes on to provide examples from biology, anatomy, and astronomy in order to demonstrate the intricacy and ingenuity of design that could only come from a wise and benevolent deity. This new edition, which coincides with the bicentennial of Paley's death, reprints the original text of 1802, which was very influential in its day, and still controversial in ours as we see a resurgence in the debate between"intelligent design" and "creationism." The introduction explains how the book built on the early modern natural theology tradition and why it was so influential. The book also contains two appendixes on Paley's courses, an extended bibliography, and full notes offering further background on the key figures of the day.
This is an astonishing book, made all the more accessible by some excellent modern footnotes * John Habgood, Church TImes *