Friday, February 10, 2012

A Voice from the Past - Dionysius of Alexandria

How shall we bear with these men who assert that all those wise, and consequently also noble, constructions (in the universe) are only the works of common chance? those objects, I mean, of which each taken by itself as it is made, and the whole system collectively, were seen to be good by Him by whose command they came into existence. For, as it is said, "God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." But truly these men do not reflect on the analogies even of small familiar things which might come under their observation at any time, and from which they might learn that no object of any utility, and fitted to be serviceable, is made without design or by mere chance, but is wrought by skill of hand, and is contrived so as to meet its proper use.

Dionysius of Alexandria, 200-265 AD, Extant Fragments II: From the Books on Nature, II: A Refutation of This Dogma on the Ground of Familiar Human Analogies. (Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 6, Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, translated by S. D. F. Salmond, Hendricksen Publishers Inc., 2004, p. 85)

Does this still make sense today? What are its implications?

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