The System of Animate Nature: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of St. Andrews in the Years 1915 and 1916 - Vol. 1

The System of Animate Nature: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of St. Andrews in the Years 1915 and 1916 - Vol. 1

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The System of Animate Nature: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of St. Andrews in the Years 1915 and 1916 - Vol. 1

The System of Animate Nature: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of St. Andrews in the Years 1915 and 1916 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It was evidently the desire of the founder of the Gifford Lectureships in the Scottish Universities that each lecturer should, from his own special studies and in his own way, endeavour to make some contribution that would help others in considering the highest questions that Man can ask: What kind of world is this in which we live--a universe or a multiverse? How has it come to be as it is? Does it give any hint of a purpose? What is Man's place in Nature? To what extent does our knowledge of Nature conform with our conception of God?

Lord Gifford contemplated the possibility of very varied answers to these and similar questions; he thought it possible that some of them might be held to be unanswerable; his one stipulation was for reverent study.

Under provisions so liberal, no apology need be made for a contribution which is scientific rather than philosophical, being in the main confined to the biological outlook. Whatever be our philosophical interpretation or our religious conviction, we must admit the desirability of having more than a passing acquaintance with the system of things of which our everyday life is in some measure part. The idea of Nature as a temptress leading man's soul astray has long since disappeared, and most of us turn to Nature with expectancy, varying with our temperament and experience. If the world we call "outer" be in any sense God's creation, will it not reveal to us something of Him? If it be our chief end to glorify God, should we not put ourselves in the way . . .

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