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That order should govern the nature of the world is an idea not confined to England, though the history of science in this country demonstrates again and again that a conception of Divine Order lay at its heart. To people of earlier days, want of order implied confusion, displacement, derangement, time out of joint, even the presence of malevolent power – ‘when the planets in evil mixture to disorder wander’. The divine scheme revealed by scripture was a frame and support for Earth science. It told an indisputable story of an ordered beginning, a diluvial reordering, and a future...

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