Laws of Nature

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    Cartwright, Nancy

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    No God, No Laws

    "My thesis is summarized in my title, ‘No God, No Laws’: the concept of a law of Nature cannot be made sense of without God. It is not as dramatic a thesis as it might look, however. I do not mean to argue that the enterprise of modern science cannot be made sense of without God. Rather, if you want to make sense of it you had better not think of science as discovering laws of Nature, for there cannot be any of these without God."
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    Padgett, Alan G.

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    The Roots of the Western Concept of the “Laws of Nature”: From the Greeks to Newton

    "This article traces the historical origins of the traditional Western idea of the laws of nature, from the classical period and its biblical roots to the early modern period (Newton). The laws of nature, in this view, are regularities built and sustained by God into the natural world. They are secondary causes, sustained by the ordained power of God. The focus is upon developments in the Middle Ages, especially scientists influenced by Arabic learning and Aristotelian science. I conclude that the division between primary and secondary causes, and between God’s ordained and absolute power, is still important for today’s religion and science dialogue."
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    Poythress, Vern S.

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    Why Scientists Must Believe in God: Divine Attributes of Scientific Law

    "Poythress argues that the character of law presupposed by modern science -- in its omnipresence, eternality, immutability, and rationality -- is itself a revelation of God's nature."
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    Swinburne, Richard

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    Relations between Universals, or Divine Laws?

    "David Armstrong has developed and refined his theory of laws of nature as relations between universals in many writings in the course of nearly thirty years. The basic idea of the theory seems initially to be a very natural and plausible way of explaining the causal regularities of nature. It is however - I shall argue - ultimately unsatisfactory because it fails to give an adequate account of causation; and a better account of causation opens the way to two very different explanations of the regularities of nature - a possible one of a familiar scientific kind, and/or a more probable one involving divine agency."