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God and Evolution

Fundamental Questions of Christian Evolutionism

Jozef Zycinski

Publication Year: 2011

Written by Archbishop Józef Zycinski of Lublin, this book offers an important and insightful examination of the basic philosophical questions involved in the relation between evolutionary theory and the Christian religion.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Introduction: Interdisciplinary Dialogue in Place of Pathology

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pp. 1-7

Over the course of time, the question of the harmonious uniUcation of scientiUc theories of anthropogenesis with Christian faith in a Creator who directs the processes of evolution has received new and more insightful answers. This development is possible thanks to new discoveries concerning...

Part One

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1. Biology and Metaphysics in Charles Darwin’s Conception of Evolution

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pp. 11-31

Darwin’s view of an evolving nature is rightly interpreted as a completion of the Copernican revolution in science.1 Attempts to deUne the philosophical consequences of that revolution give rise to sharp controversies even today. In contemporary polemics, references to the philosophical views of the creator...

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2. Fundamentalisms and Evolution

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pp. 32-44

In the dispute over the possibility of reconciling evolutionary and theistic interpretations of the world, substantive discussion is sometimes replaced with bombastic appeal for the rescue of the foundations of our culture. At least two opposite...

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3. Elements of Fundamentalism in Atheistic Evolutionism

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pp. 45-59

The fundamentalist critique of evolutionism can appear to be wellgrounded when we take as the statement of evolutionism the philosophical theses found in the works of Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Lewontin, Carl Sagan, and Edward O. Wilson. A relatively large number of those sympathetic...

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4. Evolution and Christian Thought in Dialogue according to the Teaching of John Paul II

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pp. 60-76

In his teaching, John Paul II consistently emphasizes that “the Church’s dialogue with culture has a decisive role for the future of humanity.” He has said, “More than once I repeated this with conviction and I appealed to all the Church’s institutions...

Part Two

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5. Ontological Naturalism and the Role of Supervenience in Evolution

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pp. 79-94

To avoid raising what are only apparent con_icts between Christianity and evolutionism, it is necessary to distinguish those formulations inspired by the methodology of naturalism from formulations asserting ontological naturalism...

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6. Varieties of Teleology in the Philosophical Interpretation of Nature

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pp. 95-111

Modern science developed when scientists stopped thinking of the universe as a living organism in which all processes were supposed to serve goals deUned by God the Creator. The critical discoveries occurred when, in place of teleology, they began to concentrate their attention on causal connections...

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7. Physical Necessity and the Teleological Structureof the Universe

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pp. 112-129

Consideration of the role of global supervenience in cosmic evolution makes it possible to overcome the methodological oversimplifications of the past, which prohibited the combination of evolutionism with any kind of formulation...

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8. Discontinuity and Non-linearity in Evolution

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pp. 130-144

The traditional opposition of a cosmic end or purpose and an inexorable determinism turns out to be an oversimplification. The process of evolution can follow a model in which the traditional concepts of end and cause turn out to be inadequate...

Part Three

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9. The God of an Evolving Nature

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pp. 147-164

As our ideas about the structure and laws of nature develop, our ideas about the presence and role of God in the processes of nature also undergo signiUcant change. Before the emergence of modern science, nature—in Greek mythology...

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10. The Ontological Interpretation of the Immanence of God in Nature

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pp. 165-180

In contemporary discussions on the theme of the operation of God in nature, much attention is paid to “top-down” operations, in which extraordinary interventions of God into the order of nature occur, as well as to “bottom-up” interventions...

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11. The Cosmic Kenosis of God

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pp. 181-194

Philosophical treatments of the harmonious evolution of the cosmos, of God’s immanence in nature, and of the program of development directed to Divine ends contrast sharply with the reality of the struggle for survival. This reality manifests itself not only in the tooth and claw of biological survival,...

Part Four

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12. The Prehistory of Rational Man

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pp. 197-211

The thesis about the biological bonds connecting the species Homo sapiens with our animal ancestors has become the subject of a heated emotional critique on the part of the opponents of evolutionism. One can understand its cultural and psychological context, which has caused them to emphasize...

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13. Sociobiological Explanations of the Essence of Human Culture

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pp. 212-229

The essential discontinuity in the evolutionary view of development appears at the level of human culture. The moral consciousness of man, our experience of a comparative freedom of will, religious experiences, aesthetic appreciation...

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14. The Anthropological Meaning of the Truth about Original Sin

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pp. 230-248

The attempt to provide an evolutionary interpretation of the truth about original sin has already seen an extensive literature in which a wide variety of opinions continue to be maintained. Neither entering into biblical hermeneutics nor appealing to detailed elaborations of theological...

Afterword: Solidarity and Meaning

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pp. 249-252

Index of Names

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pp. 253-257


E-ISBN-13: 9780813215983
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813214702

Page Count: 269
Publication Year: 2011