6. To this some oppose the following argument:
Works said to be produced by nature are the product of material forces, which are agitated mechanically by following the laws of attraction and repulsion. Particles of inert bodies are aggregated and disintegrated by the power of these laws. Plants are born, sprout, grow, and multiply always in the same manner, each one of its kind, by virtue of these same laws; each subject being like that from which it sprung. The growth, florescence, fructification, and coloring are subordinate to some material cause, such as heat, electricity, light, humidity, etc. It is the same with animals. Even stars are formed by attraction of particles, and move perpetually in their orbits by the effect of gravitation. This mechanical regularity in the employ of natural forces does not imply a free intelligence. Man moves his arms when he desires and as he desires, but he who would move them in the same manner from his birth to his death would be an automaton. Now, the organic forces of nature, considered as a whole, are, in some respects, automatic.
All that is true; but, these forces are effects which must have a cause, and no one has pretended that they constitute the divinity. They are material and mechanical; they are not intelligent of themselves, we all know, but they are set at work, distributed, and appropriated to the needs of everything by an intelligence, which is not that of man. The useful appropriation of these forces is an intelligent effect, which denotes an intelligent cause. A clock moves with an automatic regularity, and it is this regularity which constitutes its merit. The force which makes it act is material and not intelligent; but what would this clock be if an intelligence had not combined, calculated, and distributed the employment of this force in order to make it move with precision? Because we cannot see intelligence, and because it is not in the mechanism of the clock, is it rational to conclude that it does not exist? One judges it by its effects.
The existence of the clock attests the existence of the clockmaker; the ingenuity of its mechanism is a proof of the intelligence and knowledge of its maker. When ones sees one of these complicated clocks which mark the hour in order to give you the knowledge of which you have need, has it ever occurred to anyone to say, “There is a very intelligent clock?”
Thus, it is in the mechanism of the universe: God does not show himself, but he makes affirmation of himself in his works.