Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Name That ID Guy

I blogged a bit about the theory of Intelligent Design here, and some people thought it was interesting.

So here's a little Intelligent Design in History game: Name That Intelligent Design Guy.

Rules: no Googling.

Can you guess who wrote this?

The six primary planets are revolved about the sun in circles concentric with the sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. Ten moons are revolved about the earth, Jupiter and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those planets; but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions, since the comets range over all parts of the heavens in very eccentric orbits; for by that kind of motion they pass easily through the orbs of the planets, and with great rapidity; and in their aphelions, where they move the slowest, and are detained the longest, they recede to the greatest distances from each other, and thence suffer the least disturbance from their mutual attractions. This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another.
Answer tomorrow.

Update: And the winner is . . . Southern Rants! The author was Isaac Newton; it's from the General Scholium to his Naturalis Philosophiae Principia Mathematica. The sure giveaway that it wasn't Copernicus or Galileo is that he mentions gravity. I think it's also interesting that he talks about the possiblity of other worlds, and hints at what would later be called the anthropic principle.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Capernicus, but I think it's a trick question. I'll go with Buddah.

David Wharton said...

It's not a trick question. I never do trick questions.

Stormy said...

I was thinking Galeleo... Just a guess. Capurnicus would work too, but I'll stick with Galeleo. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"Mutual attractions" and "aphelions"

Gotta be Isaac Newton.

Sue (southernrants and big time reader)

Anonymous said...

Oh, sure. A dead giveaway if you're smart or something.

Ed Cone said...

Um, that would be Isaac Newton, fervent believer in alchemy and the occult, disbeliever in the divine Trinity, and the man of whom John Maynard Keynes said: "Newton was not the first of the age of reason: he was the last of the magicians"?

David Wharton said...

Yep, that's the guy, tho' I think the Enlightenment people thought more highly of him than Keynes.

David Wharton said...

. . . I meant to say, "than Keynes did." Obviously the Enlightenment people couldn't think *anything* of Keynes.