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By J. F. Scott

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70 Huxley’s Church and New Reformation Huxley and friends began an assault against the Anglican Church’s control that would last decades. They wanted to ensure, however, that their attacks were not misconstrued. They emphasized that they were not against religion, they were against theology. 71 Tyndall reminisced about his rigorous Irish Protestant education: I was well versed in Scripture: for I loved the Bible, and was prompted by that love to commit large portions of it to memory. Later on I became adroit in turning my Scriptural knowledge against the Church of Rome, but the characteristic doctrines of that Church marked only for a time the limits of enquiry.

53 Note that he did expect even these sorts of harmonizations to change—the progress of science was axiomatic for Maxwell. This continuous progress of scientific thought also played an important role in the way Maxwell thought God had designed the laws of nature. The divine uniformity of natural laws had implications even beyond the simple recognition of a creator. Natural laws were designed with the special feature that they were meant to be discovered: [Once we understand some science,] we are prepared to see in Nature not a mere assemblage of wonders to excite our curiosity but a systematic museum designed to introduce us step by step into the fundamental principles which are displayed in the works of Creation.

86 It was not scientific facts about the natural world that were important; it was the deeper spiritual and moral benefits that needed to be taught. The doctrines of his imagined church were not intended to be novel; they were all the values that Huxley saw as shared between science and true religion. This was in an important sense the underlying goal of all his work to promote and shape science. ”87 Darwin The scientific naturalists’ reverence for a pure religion and a new reformation was largely obscured in the public eye by their vitriolic attacks on Christian theology and the established Church.

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A History of Mathematics: From Antiquity to the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century by J. F. Scott


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