Sir Isaac Newton had a skilled craftsman build him a scale model of our solar system which was then displayed on a large table in Newton's home. Not only did the excellent workmanship simulate the various sizes of the planets and their relative proximities, but it was a working model in which everything rotated and orbited when a crank was turned.
One day while Newton was reading in his study, a friend came by who happened to be an atheistic scientist. Examining the model with enthusiastic admiration, he exclaimed: "My! What an exquisite thing this is! Who made it?" Without looking up from his book, Sir Isaac answered, "Nobody."
Stopping his inspection, the visitor turned and said, "Evidently you misunderstood my question. I asked who made this."
Newton, no doubt enjoying the chance to teach his friend a lesson, replied in a serious tone, "Nobody. What you see here just happened to assume the form it now has."
"You must think I'm a fool!" retorted the visitor. "Of course somebody made it, and he's a genius. I want to know who he is."
Laying his book aside, Newton arose and laid a hand on his friend's shoulder, saying: "This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?"
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2013. Last updated September, 2017.
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