Ninth Bridgewater Treatise

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The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise was published by Charles Babbage in 1837 as a response to the eight Bridgewater Treatises that the Earl of Bridgewater, Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl, had funded and in particular with reference to a comment in one of them by William Whewell

The book is a work of natural theology, and incorporates extracts from related correspondence of Herschel with Charles Lyell.[1] Babbage put forward the thesis that God had the omnipotence and foresight to create as a divine legislator. In this book, Babbage dealt with relating interpretations between science and religion; on the one hand, he insisted that "there exists no fatal collision between the words of Scripture and the facts of nature;" on the one hand, he wrote the Book of Genesis was not meant to be read literally in relation to geological terms. Against those who said these were in conflict, he wrote "that the contradiction they have imagined can have no real existence, and that whilst the testimony of Moses remains unimpeached, we may also can be permitted to confide in the testimony of our senses."[2]

Babbage also defends the belief in miracles, in his Chapter VIII, where he states:

It is more consistent with the attributes of the Deity to look upon miracles not as deviations from the laws assigned by the Almighty for the government of matter and of mind; but as the exact fulfilment of much more extensive laws than those we suppose to exist.

— [3]

See also[edit]

Religious views of Charles Babbage


  • Hyman, Anthony (1985). Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer. Princeton University Press. pp. 136–142. ISBN 0-691-02377-8.