1859 Darwins theory of natural selection dealt a devastating blow to the
argument from design based upon contrivances in biology. It also painted a
picture of biological history vastly different from the Genesis account. For
many, the Christian conception of a providentially active God had become so
strongly associated with the kind of argument that Paley had devised that its
refutation was in effect a refutation of theology as a whole.
the following section I shall explore several ways in which evolutionary
biology is held to challenge theological commitments, focussing on how these
challenges are tied to the diminished credibility of special providence.
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