Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories : a Critical Appraisal 150 Years After "The Origin of Species"

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Gregorian Biblical BookShop, 2011 - Religion - 747 pages
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As a well-established scientific fact, biological evolution still provokes heated debates all over the world about its compatibility with religious beliefs. Moreover, the Darwinian theory, although remaining the general framework of life sciences, is in itself undergoing a sort of evolution by virtue of recent advancements in different biological disciplines, which lead to better assess the ideas that Darwin introduced more than 150 years ago. Finally, both the scientific fact of evolution and the Darwinian theory are concerns of philosophy and theology in relation to difficult issues such as the teleology ascribable to the realm of life, the meaning and relevance of ontological emergence, the mechanist and reductionist view of living beings, the level of complexity peculiar to biological systems, the relationships between evolution and Creation, the presence of contingency in nature, the ontological discontinuity between animals and the human being, and so on. The Conference held at the Pontifical Gregorian University represented a multidisciplinary attempt at dealing with such a cluster of intellectual problems, and this volume of proceedings testifies not only the event in its uniqueness but also the efforts made in order to establish a true dialogue beyond any kind of cheap agreement or ideological closure. The volume gathers the contributions provided by 37 prominent scholars - scientists, philosophers and theologians - coming from major academic institutions like the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Stanford University, the College de France, the University of California, the University of Arizona, the Institute Catholique de Toulouse, the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, and the University of Notre Dame that also participated to the organization of the Conference. Even if a lot of work is still to be done, this volume shows that important steps have been made towards a critical view of biological evolution, in which an appropriate philosophical mediation allows scientific knowledge and theological reflection to profitably interact. This seems crucial for establishing a culture that is both updated and an appropriate context for the human development of future generations.
 

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Contents

Address by His Eminence Cardinal William Levada
7
Contributors
19
Darwins revolution Francisco Ayala
25
History of evolution theories ean Gayon
49
Introduction Saverio Forestlero
75
Biomolecular evidences Werner Arber
81
What We learn from comparisons among species
95
Origin of evolutionary novelty by symbiogenesis Lynn Margulls
107
Introduction Gennaro Auletta
403
A philosophical introduction fiirgen Mittelstrass
407
The metaphysical significance of creation Georges Cottier
419
Why teleological principles are inevitable for reason Natural theology after Darwin Vittorio Hosle
433
Accident adaptation and teleology in Aristotle Empedocles and Darwinism DauiaI Depew
461
Emergence directionality and finality in an evolutionary universe William R Stoeger
479
Moving towards humankind? Loaouieo Galleni
493
Scientific creationism and intelligent design RonalaI Numbers
517

The mystery of speciation fefirey L Feder
117
How alterations
153
A new perspective
169
Introduction Fiorenzo Ftltthini
195
The origin of man Yves Coppens
217
Macroevolutionary process acting during embryogeny
243
HOW humans came to I36 SO diffCICIlt t0 OtllCI monkeys and 3 1368
275
Paleocultural approach in the hominization and different implications
291
The concept of evolution as applied to the development of human cultures
307
Introduction Paolo DArnbrosio and Massimo Stanzione
317
Some epistemological questions concerning the use of mathematics in evolution theory Dominique Lambert
347
Why methodological naturalism? Elliott Sober
359
Darwinism and philosophy Massimo Stanzione
379
Evolution metaphysics and teleology
401
The theological debate Introduction Rafaelzl Martinez
539
Some pointers Anare lWenin
543
The various meanings of the word evolution in science philosophy and theology jeanMichel Malaame
557
A theological perspective aeques zlrnoulaI
573
The reception of evolutionary theories in the Church Rafaelzl Martinez
589
Evolution according to Teilhard de Chardin Georges Cloantraine 33 Theological debates around evolution Robertoon Russell 613 645
613
Appendix
640
The resistible ascent of reductionism in biology Marcello Buiatti
667
Evolutionary developmental biology and intelligent design Scott? Gilbert
691
Evolution and the emergence of the human person IVilliam B Hurlout
701
Author Index
719
Subject Index
735
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Gennaro Auletta, PhD, is Aggregate Professor and Scientific Director of the Specialization “Science and Philosophy” at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome). He is author of more than 10 books, including Cognitive Biology: Dealing with Information from Bacteria to Minds (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Quantum Mechanics (with G. Parisi and M. Fortunato, Cambridge University Press, 2009), and of more than 50 papers.

Marc Leclerc sj is Full Professor of Philosophy of Nature at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome). He holds a PhD in molecular biophysics (Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1977) and in philosophy (Université Catholique de Louvain, 1990). Since 1987, he is a priest of the Society of Jesus.

Rafael A. Martínez is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome). A trained physicist and philosopher, he is interested in the historical and epistemological aspects of scientific concepts. Co-author, with Mariano Artigas and Thomas F. Glick, of Negotiating Darwin. The Vatican confronts Evolution 1877-1902 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

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