Introduction to John William Dawson and the Origin of the World According to Science and Revelation
Sir John William Dawson was a geologist who held a professorship at McGill University in Montreal from 1855 to 1893. He published his book The Origin of the World According to Revelation and Science mid-career in 1877. However, the copy used in this exhibit was published in 1886.
As the name suggests, Dawson looked at both revelation, as outline in Scripture and confirmed through Church history, and science. Subsequently, he tried to piece the two set of facts and presuppositions together in order to create a theory for the origins of the world. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Dawson was unwilling to bend his religion to fit the facts. Rather, he reinterpreted the scientific facts to fit his overarching worldview which was based on the Bible. The book, therefore, represents an attempt to marry religion and science to create a coherent interpretation of the origins of the world.
The book is about 6” x 9” in size. There were signs of use, although it looked as though it was in great condition. There were creases and folds throughout the book. The book is of medium weight and feels like it is worn because it is softer than a brand-new book. It smells sort of musty like it has been sitting in a storage for a while. It is visually appealing and the appearance might show that it was well-loved and read often by many people over the course of decades.
Dawson's work was intended for an educated audience who wanted to reconcile their scientific knowledge with personal biblical beliefs. The book is to be used either in an academic setting or even just in a personal library because it is both educational and illuminating for those who want to mesh their scientific and Christian beliefs. The benefits of working with the actual book include a deeper understanding of what its readers felt was important and a detailed study of how it was used (based on which pages were folded). The book tells me that people during this time actually read this book and used it for personal growth and study.