By Stephen R. L. Clark
This stimulating and wide-ranging e-book mounts a profound enquiry into the most urgent questions of our age, by means of studying the connection among organic technology and Christianity. The historical past of organic discovery is explored from the viewpoint of a number one thinker and ethicist. What impact should still smooth organic concept and perform have on Christian realizing of ethics? How a lot of that thought and perform may still Christians advocate? To what quantity can "nature" set our criteria? Professor Clark takes a reasoned examine organic thought considering that Darwin and argues that an orthodox Christian philosophy is best capable of accommodate the reality of such conception than is this sort of revolutionary, meliorist interpretation of Christian doctrine that's frequently provided because the correctly "modern" alternative.
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Extra resources for Biology and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)
Mice help to keep us tidy; bed bugs stop us lying in bed too long. But the mainstream view remained far closer to Plotinus' than is now remembered. All living creatures, like diamonds and snow¯akes, exist because there are a limited (but very large) number of ways to be, to be beautiful, to declare God's glory. Their resemblance to each other did not suggest, but neither did it preclude, a genealogical relationship. In humankind, it was often thought, the highest beauty possible for extended, temporal things was born.
54 That humankind itself would divide into many species, genera, families (and that the most proli®c might not even be the most intelligent) is an idea that he only hinted at. Of all his ideas it is the one we most need to understand, and answer. 55 All budding scientists are taught to believe that science itself took shape as part of the rebellion against an established order. It is widely supposed that `in the Middle Ages' (a period ¯exibly extended from Augustine until Francis Bacon) people believed (and `the Church' desired them to believe) that the earth was ¯at, that the sun went round the earth, that everything began six thousand years ago, and that Aristotle had all the answers to all `scienti®c' questions.
But Darwin denied, implicitly, what Whewell still believed. In rejecting ®nal causes, and reinterpreting `functions',44 Darwin was not only denying anthropocentric interpretations of the natural world: those had been disputed for centuries, as they were by Whewell's critics. '45 Darwin was denying that it mattered whether things were beautiful at all: nothing comes to be, or persists in being, because it is good that it should do so. Nothing comes to be or persists in being even because it is good 43 44 45 Even Descartes, who sometimes seemed to be prepared to deduce an entire world system from his own ®rst principles, actually insisted that the world he had imagined was only a world God possibly could have made: which one He had actually made was not to be learnt by introspection only.