ClockworkUniverse. Buenos Aires, winter 2014. Painting, Oil on canvas, Size: 47.2 W x 39.4 H in (120 W x 100 H cm). © 2014 Florencia San Martin Brück/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The “clockwork universe theory” compares the universe to a mechanical clock wound up by God and ticking along, as a perfect machine, with its gears governed by the laws of physics.
What sets this theory apart from others is the idea that God’s only contribution to the universe was to set everything in motion, and from there the laws of science took hold and have governed every sequence of events since that time. This idea was very popular among deists during 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.