What is Book of Nature?

In AD 1623, Galileo published The Assayer dealing with the scientific studies of comets. He made some of his most famous and remarkable methodological declarations when he came up with the “Book of Nature.”

This religious and philosophical concept looks at nature as a figurative book to be studied for knowledge and understanding, and “written in the language of mathematics.”

Galileo believed divine wisdom was embedded within this book of nature and God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word.

The scientific investigations for Galileo’s concept have been ongoing since the beginning of human civilization.

To understand the wisdom of this concept, we need patience, an objective mind, and the pursuit of truth.

Otherwise, if people used their own subjective minds to explain it, the outcome could lead to misunderstanding and even misuse.

For example, taking the observation of gravity in nature.

The falling motion of two objects are compared: if one is heavy and one light, a few hundred years ago the general public assumed the heavier weight would move faster than the lighter object.

However, Galileo was determined to analyze this problem scientifically. He did experiments to compare the falling time for the two objects at the same distance.

He found the falling time for both the heavy and light objects to be the same.

After Galileo, Isaac Newton showed and explained this phenomenon with the law of universal gravitation. This scientific discovery and other ongoing investigations in physics opened a new period of classic mechanics in the eighteenth century.

When people came to understand and apply this wisdom in science and technology, a new chapter of civilization began with the “Industrial Revolution.”

In AD 1905, Albert Einstein, selected by Time magazine as the “most influential person” in the twentieth century, published a paper of “special relativity” at the age of twenty-five.

This breakthrough discovery in physics enabled human beings to further understand nature from a new perspective of time versus space, and energy versus matter.

This new chapter of the book of nature…

…related to modern physics, caused people to revise their traditional thinking about science.

All three scientists had one thing in common: they all believed God is the Creator and author behind this book of nature. As stated by Newton in The Principia, aka Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Throughout Newton’s life, he passionately pursued an understanding of the book of nature and also the “Book of Books” (Bible).

Newton believed the Bible communicated the divine revelation from God to humans using language they could comprehend.


The time he spent studying the Bible…

…was compatible with the time he spent studying science, as illustrated by his writing of 1.3 million words on biblical subjects.

Knowing the Creator was the author of the Book of Nature and the Book of Books, Newton was inspired by divine wisdom during his studies of science and life.

Newton’s life is best summed up in the epitaph on his tomb in Westminster, London.

“Here is buried Isaac Newton, Knight, who by a strength of mind almost divine, and mathematical principles peculiarly his own, explored the course and figures of the planets, the paths of the comets, the ideas of the sea, the dissimilarities in rays of light, and what no other scholar has previously imagined, the properties of the colors thus produced.

Diligent, sagacious and faithful, in his expositions of nature, antiquity and the Holy Scriptures, he vindicated by his philosophy the majesty of God mighty and good and expressed the simplicity of the gospel in his manners…”

1.) Galileo Galilei

2.) Faith Behind Famous Isaac Newton

3.) Isaac Newton’s Tomb


Note: Excerpt from my book A PHYSICIST’S PERSPECTIVE ON GOD  Ch. 3: Communication Through the Scientists and their Lives”


What is Book of Nature?


I have written many articles on science and faith here on Science and Life Blogs

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