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Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life Paperback – August 4, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This unique anthology of 39 major selections explores the basic issues and disparate interpretations of science, philosophy, and theology regarding evolution. The topics covered include complexity, diversity, contingency, dominant types, symbiosis, and mass extinctions; evolutionary worldviews ranging from Darwinian materialism to Teilhardian mysticism are discussed. Special attention is given to a critical examination of chance and necessity and to the alleged teleology (progress, purpose, direction, and end-goal) in organic evolution. Of particular significance are excerpts from Julian Huxley, Jacques Monod, William Provine, and Edward O. Wilson. Entries on the present Gaia hypothesis and the ongoing controversy between fundamentalist creationists and scientific evolutionists make this book relevant as well as informative and provocative. Enriched with poems, illustrations, editorial comments, and copious references, this is recommended for all academic and public library evolution collections.
James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A central issue in this readable, thought-provoking collection of excerpts is the relevance of theology to an understanding of evolution. Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin extols humankind as the predestined pinnacle of evolution, uniquely aware of a "great presence." Rubbish, replies molecular biologist Jacques Monodi; humans evolved by pure chance and stand alone in the vastness of an unfeeling universe. Arrayed around these antithetic views are the tenets of the "peacemakers and provocateurs." New religions are proposed, such as Julian Huxley's evolutionary humanism, which would replace divine revelation and the supernatural with a belief system founded on the scientific method. Also discussed are such maverick perspectives as James Lovelock's Gaia theory, which posits the earth as a living, dynamic entity and humanity as its sense organs, and Dawkins' selfish gene theory, which holds that we are robots invented by genes in an "arms race" response to perils beyond the primordial soup. Brenda Grazis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 4, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262522063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262522069
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,848,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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