The first scientists brought astronomy out of astrology in the 15th and 16th century; the Mechanical Philosophy became the corner-stone of science in the 17th century; and laws of nature became the language of scientific understanding in the 18th century.
The founding fathers of astronomy, physics and chemistry did science to glorify God the Creator. They were later called Deists as a derogatory term.
Life forms were classified in natural classifications showing the relationships between things, giving rise to the question: what were the units of creation, and to what degree can living things become changed through time? It was well-known that mankind could produce varieties of domestic animals and garden plants. Linnaeus identified orders of plants as the units of creation.
Earth sciences such as geology, palaeontology and biology started in the early 19th century as further ways to explore the wisdom of God. Creatures were seen as designed and purposefully fitted to their functions in nature. But the newly discovered dimension of deep time was now exercising the minds of thinkers.
Various types of Progressive Creationism were proposed to accompany Catastrophism in geology – which showed that various mass extinctions of life on earth had occurred. Other geologists proposed that rock strata accumulated very gradually over vast amounts of time.
Evolution was in the air when Darwin proposed that it occurred through natural selection in 1859.