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Reconstructing Wonder

Chemistry Informing a Natural Theology


Timothy Weatherstone

The book uses scientific discipline of chemistry to inform a Natural Theology. While Natural Theology typically employs scientific analysis from Cosmology, Physics, Mathematics and at times Biology the author extends the subject. He refers to the perception of beauty to provide a conceptual framework linking aspects of Epistemology, Theology and Chemistry. The volume presents a working definition of Natural Theology and a new definition of Beauty that bridges the conceptual gaps between the humanities and the hard sciences.

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Chapter 6: Discussion


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Chapter 6: Discussion

6.1  Introduction

The objective of this book is to show that chemistry can indeed rationally inform a natural theology. In this final chapter I will draw together the arguments mapped-out in the preceding chapters to demonstrate how this might be achieved. The discussion has proceeded as follows: it was first necessary to establish an epistemological position on the basis of which it is rational to believe in the Christian God. Following this I explored natural theology as a mechanism for demonstrating this rationality to those who are not Christians. Within this second chapter I also developed a particular form of natural theology that I proposed was a best ‘fit’ for the discipline of chemistry. In the third chapter I familiarised the reader with aspects of chemistry both historical and contemporary. This was expanded to reveal the metaphysical in chemistry. I also began to show how beauty can act as a bridge between the natural theology and the practice of chemical research. A closer inspection of beauty was here also necessary to show how aspects of its perception are specifically attuned to the ways in which results of chemical research are seen by practitioners. A small survey of contemporary research papers emphasised those aspects of chemistry and beauty already alluded to. A discussion of God and beauty in the fifth chapter, in addition to illustrating how God has been shown to be related to beauty, also detailed how the obvious...

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