William Whiston

Rev. William Whiston (1667–1752),
A New Theory of the Earth, From its Original, to the Consummation of All Things.
London: R. Roberts, for Benjamin Tooke, 1696. (02331)

This is the first edition of English theologian William Whiston’s most influential treatise, “Wherein the Creation of the World in Six Days, the Universal Deluge, and the General Conflagration, as laid down in the Holy Scriptures, are Shewn to be perfectly agreeable to Reason and Philosophy.” Attempting to reconcile the Genesis account with seventeenth-century science, Whiston posited that God had made the Earth inhabitable by introducing water from the vaporous tail of a comet. Likewise, he suggested that Halley’s comet caused the biblical Flood in 2346 BCE. The book was dedicated to Isaac Newton, who endorsed Whiston’s theories as reasonable and plausible.

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William Whiston