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By Stephen R. L. Clark

This stimulating and wide-ranging booklet mounts a profound enquiry into probably the most urgent questions of our age, by way of analyzing the connection among organic technological know-how and Christianity. The historical past of organic discovery is explored from the viewpoint of a number one thinker and ethicist. What influence may still smooth organic conception and perform have on Christian knowing of ethics? How a lot of that concept and perform should still Christians advocate? To what quantity can "nature" set our criteria? Professor Clark takes a reasoned examine organic conception on account that Darwin and argues that an orthodox Christian philosophy is best in a position to accommodate the reality of such idea than is this kind of innovative, meliorist interpretation of Christian doctrine that's frequently provided because the correctly "modern" choice.

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In those privileged eras the rule of life (`like father, like son') was bent, but not broken. The ®rst bird hatched from a reptile's (or more probably a dinosaur's) egg. This speculative scenario would be more plausible if it were true that an organism's character depended not only on its 24 25 27 28 Whewell, Plurality of Worlds, p. 161. , p. 172. , p. 163. , p. 176. Whewell here expresses what was to be a major obstacle to the acceptance of Darwin's theory ± namely, the lack of inductive support.

Kauffman, Origins of Order, p. 5. 24 `In what manner, by what agencies, at what intervals, they succeeded each other on the earth' 25 are serious questions. 26 How exactly new species came to be, so Whewell thought, we have no present evidence: We might feel ourselves well nigh overwhelmed, when, by looking at processes which we see producing only a few feet of height or breadth or depth during the life of man, we are called upon to imagine the construction of Alps and Andes; ± when we have to imagine a world made a few inches in a century.

Once we admit the possibility that parents might have had dissimilar offspring then the fact of our present dissimilarities no longer counts against our literal relationship. Perhaps the nested forms within which extinct and extant organisms can be located are themselves represented genealogically: the logical relationship of animal to vertebrate to mammal to primate is re¯ected in the passage from some Ur-animal in the long ago to something like Pikaia, to a milk-secreting reptile, to a tree-shrew.

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