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1802 William Paley Watch on the Heath
Photograph of the start of William Paley's 1802 book on "Natural Theology" showing the title and text of his opening "Watchmaker analogy". Also in the photo are an Orrery mechanism and an original signed letter by William Paley. "Paley's Watch" is a teleological argument that the discovery of a designed object would logically suggest the existence of a designer, just as the presence of complex nature suggests a God. Paley was not the first, but is the most famous, proponent of this analogy. Paley owes much to the work of John Ray in his "Wisdom of God as Manifest in his Works of Creation" (1691). Darwin enjoyed the closely argued logic of this set text while a student at Cambridge - though his own "Origin of Species" (1859) would suggest a radically different explanation for natural complexity. Richard Dawkins alludes to this in his title of "The Blind Watchmaker"
© This image is Paul D. Stewart 2009. Do not reproduce without permission of the photographer at Stewartpauld@aol.com.