Isaac Newton VS Thomas Burnet

posted May 17, 2010, 2:48 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Dec 22, 2011, 12:53 PM ]
Science in the service of religion (the Newtonian Enlightenment) can be seen quite clearly in the debate between Isaac Newton (1642-1727) and Thomas Burnet (1635?-1715), the master of Charterhouse (1685-1715).
Thomas Burnet was the author of Telluris theoria sacra (London, 1681-9), published in English as The Sacred Theory of the Earth (London, 1684-90), with seven English editions by 1759.
Newton disagreed with almost everything Burnet wrote there, and argued that he should have paid more attention to the text of the Bible and stayed closer to the Mosaic account.  There could be no contradictions, only gaps in the biblical story...and modern science could help us understand the truth as it is written in the Bible, even if the entire story is not told there.
In other words, religion (the Book of Scripture) and science (the Book of Nature) confirm each other.