clockwork universe

Cultural Dictionary

clockwork universe definition


An image of the universe as a clock wound up by God and ticking along with its gears governed by the laws of physics. This idea was very important in the Enlightenment, when scientists realized that Newton's laws of motion, including the law of universal gravitation, could explain the behavior of the solar system.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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