Neither Gods Nor Beasts: How Science is Changing who We Think We are

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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2008 - Philosophy - 179 pages
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Traditional views of human nature focus on the supernatural, defining us as creatures with souls, minds, and spirits that transcend our physical attributes. In this provocative book, distinguished scientist and historian Elof Axel Carlson argues for a different understanding of ourselves based on our biology—cellular organization, genetics, life cycle, evolution, and our origins as a species. This interpretation does not negate our capacity for imagination, spiritual and emotional yearnings, or aesthetic appreciation for art, music, and literature. Carlson challenges educators, the media, and public policy makers to integrate the evidence from science more fully into our understanding of ourselves.

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Contents

Humanity in a Prescientific Universe
9
Between Gods and Beasts
17
Mind Soul Ideals and the Ephemeral
27
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Elof Axel Carlson is Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.

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