Darwin in a New Key : Evolution and the Question of Value

Darwin in a New Key : Evolution and the Question of Value

English | 2016 | ISBN: 1498231195 | 130 Pages | ePUB/mobi/PDF(conv) | 1.76 MB

Can one coherently integrate Darwin's view of evolution with an affirmation of the value of existence? In this fresh, lean, and substantive volume, William Meyer addresses this important question. By carefully analyzing Darwin's own writings and by drawing on the philosophical perspectives of William James, Alfred North Whitehead, and others, Meyer persuasively redirects the cultural conversation about Darwin away from the retrospective question of origins toward the prospective question concerning the ultimate significance of evolutionary life. As James recognized, the question about the reality of God is more critical for the forward-looking question of value than it is for the backward-looking question of origins. Darwin was a theist in search of a better theism, and because theology had not yet caught up to him, he became increasingly agnostic and caught between his mechanistic understanding of nature, on the one hand, and his affirmation of the value and beauty of the world, on the other. Whitehead's philosophy of organism offers a way to integrate Darwin's evolutionary insights with his affirmation of the grandeur of nature. Meyer's clearly written and richly argued book enables us to integrate our evolutionary understanding of the world with our experience of value within it.

William J. Meyer is Professor of Philosophy and the Ralph W. Beeson Professor of Religion at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. He is the author of Metaphysics and the Future of Theology (2010).

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