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August 21 , 2009

Purpose in the Living World?

Creation and Emergent Evolution


Are evolution and creation irreconcilably opposed? Is 'intelligent design' theory an unhappy compromise? Is there another way of approaching the present-day divide between religious and so-called secular views of the origins of life? Jacob Klapwijk offers a philosophical analysis of the relation of evolutionary biology to religion, and addresses the question of whether the evolution of life is exclusively a matter of chance or is better understood as including the notion of purpose. Writing from a Christian (Augustinian) point of view, he criticizes creationism and intelligent design theory as well as opposing reductive naturalism. He offers an alternative to both and an attempt to bridge the gap between them, via the idea of 'emergent evolution'. In this theory the process of evolution has an emergent or innovative character resulting in a living world of ingenious, multifaceted complexity.

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