Thomas Rawson Birks was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and a senior professor of philosophy. This book was first published in 1872, the year of his appointment to the prestigious Knightbridge Professorship. As an active Anglican clergyman, Birks engaged energetically in many heated theological controversies. In the Victorian debates on the relationship between religion and science he took a strongly anti-Darwinian stance, declaring that the theory of evolution contradicted the doctrine of creation and could not explain the mystery of life. In other areas, however, he argued that the findings of science confirmed the glory of God, since 'the telescope reveals the grandeur and vastness of the starry worlds' and 'the microscope discovers marks of design and beauty' which are evidence of a supreme designer. His influential evangelical views are expressed in this book, which argues for scripture as the ultimate key to the mystery of existence.
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Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. On religious nihilism; 2. On religious nihilism (continued); 3. The alleged law of scientific progress; 4. The beginning; 5. The creation of matter; 6. Of infinite space; 7. On force, law, and necessity; 8. On creation and life; 9. On creation and evolution; 10. Evolution as an inductive theory; 11. On creation by law; Conclusion.