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An Evolving Dialogue: Theological and Scientific Perspectives on Evolution [Paperback]

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Item Number 120326  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   532
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.59 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2001
Publisher   Trinity Press International
ISBN  1563383497  
EAN  9781563383496  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In 1996 Pope John Paul II startled many observers by declaring that "evolution is more than a hypothesis," while at the same time in the U.S., creationists continued to do battle over classroom texts. Miller has brought together seminal thinkers: Futuyama, Gould, Numbers, Peacocke, Dembski, Eldredge, Mayr, Behe, and others.

Publishers Description
Over the past four years, the religious and scientific debate about evolution has grown livelier and more visible to the public eye. In 1996, Pope John Paul II startled many religious laypeople by declaring that "evolution is more than a hypothesis." Three years later, the Kansas Board of Education acted to eliminate the teaching of evolution from the science education standards for its public schools. In An Evolving Dialogue, editor James Miller and some of today's best-known biologists and theologians explore what the debate is all about. This volume is a multidisciplinary educational resource for college, university, and theological seminary educational settings, that presents a basic introduction to contemporary evolutionary biology, and historical and philosophical perspectives on the relationship between evolutionary biology and religious thought. Finally, An Evolving Dialogue demonstrates that there can and must be constructive engagement between evolutionary biology and religious and ethical reflection. Contributors to the volume include: Francisco J. Ayala (University of California-Irvine); Mark Ridley (Oxford University); Charles R. Marshall (Harvard University); Douglas J. Futuyama (SUNY-Stony Brook); David Sloan Wilson (SUNY-Binghamton); Freeman J. Dyson (Princeton University); Stephen Jay Gould (Harvard University); Niles Eldredge (American Museum of Natural History); Ledyard Stebbins (late of University of California-Davis); Ian Tattersall (American Museum of Natural History); Ernst Mayr (Harvard University); John R. Durant (Imperial College, London); Ronald L. Numbers (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Ursula Goodenough (Washington University); John Haught (Georgetown University); Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J. (Fordham University); Arthur R. Peacocke (Oxford University); Philip Hefner (Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago); Stephen J. Pope (Boston College); Michael Behe (Lehigh University); William Dembski (Baylor University); Raymond E. Grizzle (University of New Hampshire); Charles Marshall (Harvard University); Elliot Sober (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Kenneth Miller (Brown University) For: Undergraduates; seminarians and graduate students; theologians; scientists>

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An unpunctuated dialogue in equilibrium?  Oct 16, 2003
A useful set of essays on the current deadlocked Darwin debate, now with the design folks somehow absorbed into a beggar's gift of a chapter or two. Darwinists had a problem with the design debate so now a new form of smothering thought is needed. Beyond that this is a reasonable overall compendium, although I think that the Darwin debate is clearly doomed to never get anywhere.
Valuable, but ultimately flawed  Oct 19, 2001
An Evolving Dialogue gets three stars for attempting to facilitate genuine dialogue on the topic of evolution. A number of contributors rightly point out that even if contemporary Darwinian theory is correct, it doesn't imply atheism, since the idea of "divinely-planned" evolution is simply outside of science's domain. That tact likely explains the absence of Richard Dawkins from this collection, since Dawkins is a Fundamentalist Atheist who bases on a career out of blending science's rules to propagate his own militant religious beliefs.

However, this book has a number of flaws that lay readers should consider before accepting it wholesale:

1. The evolutionary data is purely orthodox neo-Darwinism. There is no real question about natural selection's ability to create complex life forms, other than a nod to Stephen J. Gould's "punctuated equilibrium" theory. But a growing number of qualified, credentialed scientists are questioning neo-Darwinism, and not all of them are theists. Many are proposing "complexity theory" as an alternative. The editors should have acknowledged that the theory is in a state of transition. A number of statements made in the book - e.g., the universality of the genetic code - have been proven false in recent research.

2. The section on intelligent design gave two ID proponents (William Dembeski and Michael Behe) a chance to speak for themselves instead of being interpreted by hysterical neo-Darwinists. This is good. But the format gives the ID proponents an article followed by a Darwinist rebuttal, without giving the ID proponents a chance to rebut the rebuttal. The articles on the "design inference" of William Dembeski is too far above the non-mathematician's head to be comprehensible by either side. But the exchange between Michael Behe and Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller was more accessible. Miller's rebuttal should not have been allowed to stand, because his arguments (the condition of the genetic code, and "imperfections" in living organisms) have been conclusively debunked in numerous forums. Miller doesn't seem to understand the Intelligent Design position; he seems to confuse it with instantaneous creation, when actually Intelligent Design stands much closer to theistic evolution. Giving Miller the final word on the subject isn't wise, since Miller's analysis falls short and his arguments are known to be flawed.


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