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Editor's comment

Deism, or natural religion of the 17th and 18th centuries, is a prime example of how scientific discoveries can change a worldview. The success of the Newtonian vision turned men's thought to justify religion by rational thought.

Advances in the natural sciences fostered confidence that the perceived regularity of
nature reflected the benevolence of a divine providence. This confidence, together with a widespread distrust of the church, made Deism a popular view in England and on the continent.

God as the Prime Mover, or First Cause, gets the universe going and then leaves it alone.