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Reader traces term “intelligent Designer” to 1765

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From Butler’s Analogy (1765 edition, p. 158) here:

And the Appearances of Design and of final Causes in the Constitution of Nature, as really prove this acting Agent, to be an intelligent Designer, or to act from Choice; upon the Scheme of Necessity, supposed possible, as upon that of freedom.

Note: The author of 250 years ago follows the older practice of capitalizing all nouns; today, of course, only proper nouns (names) are capped. We don’t know if he “would have” capped “Designer.”

See also: “Intelligent design” goes back to 1766 (the contest for earliest reference to the term.)

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