is there order in the universe?


After we have established the value of the intellectual quest, the next most logical question is: how is this quest possible at all? In order to proceed with the intellectual journey one must first find out whether there is anything that can be intelligently studied, i.e., whether there is any order to what we experience. Bonaventure in this section deals with the question of whether there is natural order in the universe and the ways we can see this order. According to him, our journey starts with the natural world that becomes known to us through our bodily senses, which, in communion with the intellect, reveal the innate quality and excellence of the worldly arrangement. Discovering the orderly, and not chaotic, arrangement of the world justifies our attempt to study it intelligently. This step deals explicitly with the search for organizing principles in nature and teaches us a reverent approach to it. 


Observation (Is there order in nature?)

St. Bonaventure. Itinerarium 1.9, 14

Text of Step 1, transl. by O. Bychkov


Leopold, Aldo. Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There. NY: Oxford UP, 1966. (“On Reading the Forest Landscape,” pp. 72-82).

Colinvaux, Paul. Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare:  An Ecologist’s Perspective. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1978. (Ch. 12: “ The Succession Affair,” pp. 118-35).


Speculation (Is there order in nature?)


Davies, Paul. God and the New Physics. NY: Simon & Shuster, 1991. (Ch. 3: “Did God Create the Universe?” pp. 25-43).