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Stars, Life, and Intelligence: Being a Darwinian and a Believer

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Stars, Life, and Intelligence: Being a Darwinian and a Believer

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By Terry Kelly SJ

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This book is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the current understanding of evolution. The second part brings together the scientific picture with various responses to the ‘God question’. Science is a powerful discourse; it has unravelled for us the workings of nature, and technology has enabled us to apply the findings in many ways to further advance knowledge, to perform complex tasks, to further communication, and to make life easier and more exciting. But there are boundaries and limits to science. Firstly, the final models of how nature is working are never the final word: they are always awaiting ‘falsification’, never blessed with certain ‘verification’. Secondly, the deeper one goes towards hoped-for truth: the more one is confronted with counter-intuitive models such as quantum theory, ‘spooky action’ at a distance, dark energy of the vacuum, the Big Bang. Thirdly, Science cannot advance beyond the questions accessible by scientific experiment: questions about purpose and God, right and wrong, good and evil, are not accessible to science. Scientific conclusions, however, can then be subjected to reasonable analysis, philosophical reflection, aided perhaps by religious beliefs. Today a dilemma is often offered for consideration: ‘either evolution by natural selection, or God and purpose’. Is this dilemma a false dilemma? Can purposeful creation and natural selection both be true? Such are the features of evolution, one can argue strongly the case for a purpose. One can at least say belief in God sits well with evolutionary theory. To come to this conclusion we need to extend and improve our image of the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. God is intelligent, subtle, powerful—a respecter of the freedom with which the divine will has endowed creation itself and homo sapiens.


 


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164 pages

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ISBN 9781921511691
Pages N/A
Dimensions N/A

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