John Ray

John Ray. Portrait: unknown artistJohn Ray (1627 -1705) has been called the father of English natural history. He made extensive collections and catalogs of English flora in particular. Along with Boyle, he was one the founding members of the Royal Society. He was the greatest authority of his day in both botany and zoology.

Ray was also a strong Christian and creationist, writing a number of books on natural theology, chief of which was The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Crea­tion. God’s works of creation, he said, were “the works created by God at first, and by Him conserved to this day in the same state and condition in which they were first made.” Much of his efforts were directed toward oppos­ing the deistic evolutionists of his day, especially Descar­tes (1596 -1650) and his followers on the Continent.

Excerpted from Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris. Copyright 1982, 1985 by Henry M. Morris. Used by permission.

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