A History of Ideas

A fresh take on the History of Ideas as big subjects like beauty, freedom, technology and morality get dissected by a team of thinkers. Philosophers, theologians, lawyers, Neuroscientists, historians and mathematicians join Melvyn Bragg to present a history in many voices.

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  Direct Link   Download 0 Minutes 16 Jan 2015

Historian Justin Champion on Early Modern Comet Theory Those who watched in awe as the space craft Philae bounced its way onto a comet last November should hold a candle for William Whiston. Back in 1696 this British theologian, mathematician and acolyte of Isaac Newton published a book called 'A new theory of the earth'. In it he argued that comets were responsible for the origins of the earth and life upon it. This was what Philae was tasked to help us find out when it dotted down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Not only does this feel like a coup for early modern farsightedness it also reminds us that much of early science was not built in opposition to Christianity but in order to justify it. Whiston's investigation of the natural world (like those of his peers) was designed to show how the biblical account of creation was true.. . .