Big ideas: Beginnings

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1. William Paley and the Divine Watchmaker
In Natural Theology, a book that Charles Darwin studied as a young man, the theologian William Paley pointed out that if you found a watch on a heath you’d naturally assume it had a designer. The human eye was like a sophisticated piece of machinery: so just as you’d know any watch must have had a designer, so, Paley argued, you ought to recognize that the human eye, a brilliant piece of biological machinery, must have had one too.



Source: BBC (2012-2015); Open University (2012-2015). History of Ideas.  Duration: 01:50


2. Thomas Aquinas and the First Mover Argument
Some things in the universe are in motion. You may be, your heart certainly is, the birds in the sky and the cars on the road are. But anything in motion must have been caused to move: nothing can move itself spontaneously without something else moving it. Learn about the brilliant medieval scholar St. Thomas Aquinas’ and his argument for God as the first cause of everything.



Source: BBC (2012-2015); Open University (2012-2015). History of Ideas.  Duration: 01:53


3. Hindu Creation Stories
Most religions have a single creation story. Hinduism has many. This is because for Hindus there is no single creation, but periodic cycles of creation. The universe we live in is one of innumerable universes.



Source: BBC (2012-2015); Open University (2012-2015). History of Ideas.  Duration: 02:03


4. The Big Bang
How did the universe begin? It’s tempting to believe that it didn’t, that there was always something, rather than nothing. Cosmologists used to believe this so-called Steady State theory of the universe, but hardly any do now as increasingly the evidence is pointing against that.



Source: BBC (2012-2015); Open University (2012-2015). History of Ideas.  Duration: 01:55




01. Beginnings
02. Who am I?
03. Being human
04. Knowledge
05. Beauty
06. Love
07. Freedom
08. Society
09. The good life
10. Right from wrong
11. Justice
12. Technology


01. Astronomy
02. Microgravity
03. Thoughts on theory
04. Theology explained
05. History of the English language
06. History of Money
07. Economics explained
08. The European Union explained