Evolution and Belief

Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist

Author: Robert J. Asher

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521193834

Category: Religion

Page: 300

View: 443

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Asher draws on his experiences as a paleontologist and a religious believer, arguing that science does not contradict religious belief.

Ritual, Play, and Belief in Evolution and Early Human Societies

Author: Colin Renfrew,Iain Morley,Michael Boyd

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110714356X

Category: Social Science

Page: 350

View: 9159

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The origins of religion and ritual in humans have been the focus of centuries of thought in archaeology, anthropology, theology, evolutionary psychology and more. Play and ritual have many aspects in common, and ritual is a key component of the early cult practices that underlie the religious systems of the first complex societies in all parts of the world. This book examines the formative cults and the roots of religious practice from the earliest times until the development of early religion in the Near East, in China, in Peru, in Mesoamerica and beyond. Here, leading prehistorians and other specialists bring a fresh approach to the early practices that underlie the faiths and religions of the world. They demonstrate the profound role of play ritual and belief systems and offer powerful new insights into the emergence of early civilization.

The Genetic Gods

evolution and belief in human affairs

Author: John C. Avise

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674020351

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9473

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They mastermind our lives, shaping our features, our health, and our behavior, even in the sacrosanct realms of love and sex, religion, aging, and death. Yet we are the ones who house, perpetuate, and give the promise of immortality to these biological agents, our genetic gods. The link between genes and gods is hardly arbitrary, as the distinguished evolutionary geneticist John Avise reveals in this compelling book. In clear, straightforward terms, Avise reviews recent discoveries in molecular biology, evolutionary genetics, and human genetic engineering, and discusses the relevance of these findings to issues of ultimate concern traditionally reserved for mythology, theology, and religious faith. The book explains how the genetic gods figure in our development--not just our metabolism and physiology, but even our emotional disposition, personality, ethical leanings, and, indeed, religiosity. Yet genes are physical rather than metaphysical entities. Having arisen via an amoral evolutionary process--natural selection--genes have no consciousness, no sentient code of conduct, no reflective concern about the consequences of their actions. It is Avise's contention that current genetic knowledge can inform our attempts to answer typically religious questions--about origins, fate, and meaning. The Genetic Gods challenges us to make the necessary connection between what we know, what we believe, and what we embody. Table of Contents: Preface Prologue 1. The Doctrines of Biological Science 2. Geneses 3. Genetic Maladies 4. Genetic Beneficence 5. Strategies of the Genes 6. Genetic Sovereignty 7. New Lords of Our Genes? 8. Meaning Epilogue Notes Glossary Index Reviews of this book: Our genes, [Avise] says, are responsible not only for how we got here and exist day to day, but also for the core of our being--our personalities and morals. It is our genetic make-up that allows for and formulates our religious belief systems, he argues. Avise does not eschew spirituality but seeks a more informed, less confrontational approach between science and the pulpit. --Science News Reviews of this book: For the general scientific reader, the book is an excellent distillation of a broad and increasingly important field, a course of causation that cannot be ignored. From advising expectant parents to getting innocent people off death row, genetics increasingly dominates our lives. The sections on genetics are expertly written, particularly for those readers without in-depth knowledge. The author explains slowly and carefully just how genetics operates, using multiple metaphors. His genetic discourse proceeds in a neighborly fashion, as one might tell stories while sitting in a rocking chair at a country store. He seems to be invigorated by genes and just can't wait to tell about them. --David W. Hodo, Journal of the American Medical Association Reviews of this book: As a whole, this book is quite informative and stimulating, and sections of it are beautifully written. Indeed, Professor Avise has a real gift for prose and scientific expositions, and I would suspect that he must be a formidable lecturer...At its core, [The Genetic Gods] is a survey, and a very nice one at that, of evolutionary genetics, the field of the author's major research interests. There is a strong sociobiological cast to the arguments, and the work and ideas of E. O. Wilson figure prominently. The presentation of evolutionary genetics is imbedded in a more general discussion of modern human and molecular genetics...However, this book is, most of all, a philosophical treatise that attempts, admittedly with the bias of a biologist, to examine the intersection of the fundamental premises of evolution and religion. Professor Avise has given us plenty to think about in this book [and]...it was a real pleasure to wrestle with the ideas he was presenting. I would suggest that other readers give it a try. --Charles J. Epstein, Trends in Genetics Reviews of this book: [Avise's] account of the role genes play in shaping the human condition is wholly involving, paying particular attention to issues of reproduction, aging and death. In addition to presenting ample biological information in a form accessible to the nonspecialist, Avise does a superb job of discussing many of the ethical implications that have arisen from our growing knowledge of human genetics. Just a few of the topics covered are genetic engineering, the patenting of life, genetic screening, abortion, human cloning, gene therapy and insurance-related controversies. --Publishers Weekly Reviews of this book: Avise explains thoroughly how evolution operates on a genetic level. His goal is to show that humans can look to this information as a way to answer fundamental questions of life instead of looking to traditional religious beliefs...Avise includes some very interesting discussions of ethical concerns related to genetic issues. --Eric D. Albright, Library Journal This is a splendid account of a subject that affects us all: the breathtaking increase in understanding of human genetics and the insight it provides into human evolution. John Avise speaks with authority of molecular evolutionary genetics and with affecting compassion of what it might mean. --Douglas J. Futuyma, State University of New York at Stony Brook The Genetic Gods is many things. It is a wonderful introduction to modern molecular biology, by a man who knows his subject backwards. It is a stimulating account of the ways in which genetics impinges on human nature--our thinking and our behavior. It is a remarkably level-headed and sympathetic account of the implications of our new findings for traditional and not-so-traditional issues in philosophy and religion. In an age of genetic counseling, cloning, construction of new life forms, the book is worth its weight in gold for this alone. But most of all, it is a huge amount of fun to read--you want to applaud or argue with the author on nigh every page. Highly recommended! --Michael Ruse, University of Guelph The Genetic Gods makes a valuable contribution to the on-going task of sorting out the implications of evolutionary biology and genetics for human self-understanding. Avise addresses, with authority and grace, the most consequential intellectual issues of our time. A challenging and insightful book. --Loyal Rue, Harvard University A wonderfully informative and engaging book. Avise offers a lucid, accessible primer on our genes, angelic and demonic, and examines religious and ethical issues, all too human, now confronted by genetic science. He makes a compelling case that anyone seeking to 'Know Thyself' should study the DNA molecular scriptures, our most ancient and universal legacy. --Dudley Herschbach, Harvard University, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Evolution and Bahá'í Belief

ʻAbduʾl-Bahá's Response to Nineteenth-century Darwinism

Author: Keven Brown,Eberhard Von Kitzing

Publisher: Kalimat Press

ISBN: 9781890688080

Category: Religion

Page: 278

View: 2214

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God Is Here to Stay

Science, Evolution, and Belief in God

Author: Thomas R. McFaul,Al Brunsting

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1625646682

Category: Religion

Page: 212

View: 9909

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God Is Here to Stay offers new insights into one of humankind's most profound questions: Does God exist? During the past ten years, theists and new atheists have argued to prove or disprove God's existence. Examining the pros and cons of each side leads to one overarching conclusion: The existence of God can be neither proven nor disproven with complete certainty, even though both sides draw on modern science to support their views. Drs. Thomas R. McFaul and Al Brunsting approach the question of God's existence from an entirely fresh perspective. They examine scientific knowledge in several areas ranging across the physical sciences and human experience to explain how the universe operates within very narrow and highly structured boundaries. Most importantly, they create an innovative "L-M Confidence Scale" to establish confidence levels, not proofs, on how scientific discoveries impact belief in God. McFaul and Brunsting describe the three stages of scientific evolution. In stage 1, the world's religions developed divergent pre-scientific views. Modern science started with stage 2, during which atheists predicted that science would eventually eradicate religion. In stage 3, the authors show how science, evolution, and belief in God have become increasingly integrated and mutually supportive.

Evolution and Poetic Belief

A Study in Some Victorian and Modern Writers

Author: Georg Roppen

Publisher: Oslo :Oslo University Press ; Oxford : B. Blackwell

ISBN: N.A

Category: English literature

Page: 474

View: 2794

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Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief

Disagreement and Evolution

Author: Michael Bergmann,Patrick Kain

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019164854X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 2595

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Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief contains fourteen original essays by philosophers, theologians, and social scientists on challenges to moral and religious belief from disagreement and evolution. Three main questions are addressed: Can one reasonably maintain one's moral and religious beliefs in the face of interpersonal disagreement with intellectual peers? Does disagreement about morality between a religious belief source, such as a sacred text, and a non-religious belief source, such as a society's moral intuitions, make it irrational to continue trusting one or both of those belief sources? Should evolutionary accounts of the origins of our moral beliefs and our religious beliefs undermine our confidence in their veracity? This volume places challenges to moral belief side-by-side with challenges to religious belief, sets evolution-based challenges alongside disagreement-based challenges, and includes philosophical perspectives together with theological and social science perspectives, with the aim of cultivating insights and lines of inquiry that are easily missed within a single discipline or when these topics are treated in isolation. The result is a collection of essays—representing both skeptical and non-skeptical positions about morality and religion—that move these discussions forward in new and illuminating directions.

Creation, Evolution and Meaning

Author: Robin Attfield

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135194777X

Category: Religion

Page: 244

View: 7096

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This book presents the case for belief in both creation and evolution at the same time as rejecting creationism. Issues of meaning supply the context of inquiry; the book defends the meaningfulness of language about God, and also relates belief in both creation and evolution to the meaning of life. Meaning, it claims, can be found in consciously adopting the role of stewards of the planetary biosphere, and thus of the fruits of creation. Distinctive features include a sustained case for a realist understanding of language about God; a contemporary defence of some of the arguments for belief in God and in creation; a sifting of different versions of Darwinism and their implications for religious belief; a Darwinian account of the relation of predation and other apparent evils to creation; a new presentation of the argument from the world's value to the purposiveness of evolution; and discussions of whether or not meaning itself evolves, and of religious and secular bases for belief in stewardship.

Evolution and Human Values

Author: Robert Wesson

Publisher: Rodopi

ISBN: 9789051838305

Category: Philosophy

Page: 251

View: 9333

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Initiated by Robert Wesson, Evolution and Human Values is a collection of newly written essays designed to bring interdisciplinary insight to that area of thought where human evolution intersects with human values. The disciplines brought to bear on the subject are diverse - philosophy, psychiatry, behavioral science, biology, anthropology, psychology, biochemistry, and sociology. Yet, as organized by co-editor Patricia A. Williams, the volume falls coherently into three related sections. Entitled Evolutionary Ethics, the first section brings contemporary research to an area first explored by Herbert Spencer. Evolutionary ethics looks to the theory of evolution by natural selection to find values for human living. The second section, Evolved Ethics, discusses the evolution of language and religion and their impact on moral thought and feeling. Evolved ethics was partly Charles Darwin's subject inThe Descent of Man. The last section bears the title Scientific Ethics. A nascent field, scientific ethics asks about the evolution of human nature and the implications of that nature for ethical theory and social policy. Together, the essays collected here provide important contemporary insights into what it is - and what it may be - to be human.

Evolutionstheorie und Schöpfungsglaube

neue Perspektiven der Debatte

Author: Hubert Philipp Weber,Rudolf Langthaler

Publisher: V&R unipress GmbH

ISBN: 3847101404

Category: Religion

Page: 428

View: 6181

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English summary: After the Darwin-Jubilee in 2009, well known experts of various disciplines of science, philosophy and theology should evaluate the situation of the discussion between evolution theory and the belief in creation. Charles Darwin's theory and its continuation in modern evolutionary biology got in a constructive discussion with philosophy, theory of science and theology. This process should avoid any ideological hangovers, get over barriers, offer new perspectives of dialogue also on pending questions. This volume collects edited contributions to this interdisciplinary discourse, that took place at the University of Vienna in February 2010.German description: Darwins Theorie und ihre Weiterbildungen in der modernen Evolutionsbiologie ins Gesprach zu bringen mit Fragen der Philosophie, der Wissenschaftstheorie und der Theologie - das ist das Ziel dieses Bandes. Weltanschauliche Altlasten und Barrieren werden uberwunden und neue Perspektiven der Debatte - aber auch nach wie vor offene Sachfragen - sondiert. Der Band ist in vier Bereiche gegliedert: Grundlagen und Methoden der Evolutionstheorie, Evolutionstheorie im Dialog der verschiedenen Disziplinen, zukunftsgerichtete Versuche, Evolution weiterzudenken, sowie Evolutionstheorie und Anthropologie. Der Band umfasst die uberarbeiteten Beitrage dieser interdisziplinaren Gesprache, die im Februar 2010 an der Universitat Wien gefuhrt wurden.

Discovering God

The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief

Author: Rodney Stark

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 006174333X

Category: Religion

Page: 496

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Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics The History of God In Discovering God, award-winning sociologist Rodney Stark presents a monumental history of the origins of the great religions from the Stone Age to the Modern Age and wrestles with the central questions of religion and belief.

Omnipotence and other Theological Mistakes

Author: Charles Hartshorne

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438406029

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 2318

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This book presents Hartshorne’s philosophical theology briefly, simply, and vividly. Throughout the centuries some of the world’s most brilliant philosophers and theologians have held and perpetuated six beliefs that give the word God a meaning untrue to its import in sacred writings or in active religious devotion: God is absolutely perfect and therefore unchangeable 2.omnipotenc 3.omniscienc 4.God’s unsympathetic goodness, 5.immortality as a career after death, and 6.revelationble Charles Hartshorne deals with these six theological mistakes from the standpoint of his process theology. Hartshorne says, “The book is unacademic in so far as I am capable of being that.” Only a master like Hartshorne could present such sophisticated ideas so simply. This book offers an option for religious belief not heretofore available to lay people.

A Quest for Truth and Wisdom

Author: Robert Wilson

Publisher: WestBow Press

ISBN: 1490859888

Category: Religion

Page: 186

View: 2762

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Truth to some may be what is seen in the natural universe. Truth to some may be what is expressed by some individual who seems to be successful or charismatic. Truth to some may be what the Bible says. Truth to some may span a complex variety of issues, and to others, to be quite simple. Webster’s Dictionary says to attain wisdom a person must have good sense, good judgment, insight, and knowledge. Does that limit the number of persons who can have wisdom? This search for truth and wisdom comes from the perspectives of Western culture, scientific approach, logic, reason, and monotheistic philosophies. Monotheism encompasses Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and some other lesser-known belief systems. This subject might be treated differently from the perspectives of Eastern cultures, emotion, mysticism, or more spiritual concepts and polytheistic religious philosophies. The latter perspectives are not discussed here. This work addresses some aspects of the concepts of truth. Questions are asked and answers are suggested. Original Greek scripture is referenced rather than any translation or interpretation that could have been influenced by a particular theological philosophy, organized church, church tradition, or seminary. I propose a third concept to add to Evolution and Creation, or Intelligent design––the Eternal or Forever concept––everything has simply always been and always will be. No beginning and no end. I discuss aspects of the nature of man. I discuss intelligence, intellectualism, and education. I discuss global intelligence and terrorism in the world of today. I discuss dualisms in American culture. I discuss science and our limited view in space and time. I discuss difficult or significant passages in the Bible, with emphasis on the original Greek.

Evolution

What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511426

Category: Science

Page: 408

View: 574

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Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.

Evolution and Religion

A Dialogue

Author: Michael Ruse

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442262079

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 6530

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Michael Ruse, a leading expert on Charles Darwin, presents a fictional dialogue among characters with sharply contrasting positions regarding the tensions between science and religious belief. Ruse's main characters—an atheist scientist, a skeptical historian and philosopher of science, a relatively liberal female Episcopalian priest, and a Southern Baptist pastor who denies evolution—passionately argue about pressing issues, in a context framed within a television show: "Science versus God— Who is Winning?" These characters represent the different positions concerning science and religion often held today: evolution versus creation, the implications of Christian beliefs upon technological advances in medicine, and the everlasting debate over free will. The second edition of this innovative text incorporates the influence of Eastern religions and philosophies on the debate on human origins, broadening the contextual reach of the dialogue into comparative philosophy and religious studies.

Beginnings

Creativity, Belief, Evolution and Our Interconnected Universe

Author: Dennis Hollenberg

Publisher: Idlers Cove Press

ISBN: 9780971106918

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 9023

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This astonishing book shows how new ideas, creatures and other complex entities originate and, in the process, provides a guided tour of the back roads of the universe. Beginnings also offers new perspective into the anti-complexity reductionism that inflates the programs of writers like Richard Dawkins and advocates of creationism/intelligent-design. This may be the most important book since Darwins Origins of the Species.

Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads

The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums

Author: Stephen T. Asma

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199839123

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 1569

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The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun. Asma takes us on a wide-ranging tour of natural history museums in New York and Chicago, London and Paris, interviewing curators, scientists, and exhibit designers, and providing a wealth of fascinating observations. We learn how the first museums were little more than high-toned side shows, with such garish exhibits as the pickled head of Peter the Great's lover. In contrast, today's museums are hot-beds of serious science, funding major research in such fields as anthropology and archaeology. "Rich in detail, lucid explanation, telling anecdotes, and fascinating characters.... Asma has rendered a fascinating and credible account of how natural history museums are conceived and presented. It's the kind of book that will not only engage a wide and diverse readership, but it should, best of all, send them flocking to see how we look at nature and ourselves in those fabulous legacies of the curiosity cabinet."--The Boston Herald.

Creation Vs. Evolution

Author: Ralph O. Muncaster

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers

ISBN: 9780736903516

Category: Religion

Page: 48

View: 8538

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Darwin shocked the world with his evolution theory and belief that fossils would provide the proof. This Examine the Evidence book presents evolution scholarship, then reveals the scientific discoveries that now point to creation!