NH Notes: The Scientific Enterprise and Paradise Gained

William_Blake,_The_Temptation_and_Fall_of_Eve

I’m sitting in the Boston Airport on my way to a conference at Gordon College but I have enough time for a natural history note while I wait for a colleague to arrive.  On my flight from Ohio I read the last chapter of the Peter Harrison’s “The Fall of Man and the Foundations of […]

Isaac Newton on the Mosaic Account of Creation

Sir Isaac Newton (16??

Creation chronometry was a much debated topic in the late 1600s and early 1700s among Christians with virtually no opinion expressed being of the same kind that that could be described as a literalist view held today. I often wonder what would have happened had the Westminster Confession of Faith been written after this debate rather than before it given how the landscape of the discussion changed in the 40 years after the Assembly of the Westminster Divines met.

Ray on the Purpose of Creation in “The Wisdom of God”

Hubble telescope image of the Sombrero Galaxy

John Ray’s most famous work is  The Wisdom of God which, like many books at the time, he continually revised and reissued until the time of his death and then even after his death edits he had made to manuscripts were incorporated into later editions.   The result of these many editions is that slight […]

Ray to Llwyd: On Formed Stones and Mammalian Fossils

ammonitefossils

This is part of a continuing a series of posts on John Ray’s correspondences.  Quotes are from the publication of Ray’s letters  (Further Correspondence of John Ray)  edited by Robert W. T. Gunther and printed for the Ray Society in 1928.    The first is from a letter to Mr. Edward Llwyd at the Museum of […]

Ray to Lhwyd in 1695 continued: Fossils and the Flood

Nodule containing fern fossil (click for larger image)

The same letter of Ray’s to Lhwyd in 1695 that I posted recently goes on to explain Ray’s feelings about the new flood theories that were being promoted in the late 1600s and some observations on fossils.    The letter reveals Ray’s reading of the prevailing interpretation of the flood narratives of Genesis in his day.  […]

John Ray on Woodward in 1695: Words that still apply today

Illustration of the building of Noah's Ark from The Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)

The following quote is by John Ray from a correspondence with Mr. Edward Lhwyd on April 8 1695.   The quote is from a publication of Ray’s letters called the Further Correspondence of John Ray Edited by Robert W. T. Gunther and printed for the Ray Society in 1928. I need to set the scene for […]

Mather on Genesis 1:21: What is the great sea creature?

SeaMonster

A note on Genesis 1:21 and the creation of the great sea creature  From page 328 of the 2011 translation of Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana vol 1 we find the following question and answer: “Q.  What are the Creatures intended in the Original, where our Translation reads, Great Whales?  V.21. A.  Job Ludolphus ha’s demonstrated, […]

A New Old Genesis Commentary – The Mather Project

Cotton Mather - Biblia Americana

An interesting new resource for research into 17th century natural history has been made available this year in the form of the first of what will be 10 volumes of the monumental work Biblia American by Cotton Mather (1663-1928).    The first volume coves this American puritan’s commentary on Genesis.   Unfortunately the book is rather expensive […]

John Ray: Testing Knowledge with Observation

commentaries

The following quote is from page 152 of the 1735 edition of Wisdom of God, Ray’s best known book.   He is bemoaning the fact that so few professors have any experience from observation but appear to be content with the knowledge of the past which they have gained from books. Let us not suffice us […]

Thoughts on Baraminology

The YEC creation orchard

A month ago or so I read an interesting article that got me thinking about the young earth creationists (YEC) view of the extent of the biblical term “kind.”  I wrote up some comments which you can see below. Apparently there has been a creation study group that has actively been asking the question what […]

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