Evolution and Emergence: Systems, Organisms, Persons

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Overview

A collection of essays by experts in the field, exploring how nature works at every level to produce more complex and highly organized objects, systems, and organisms from much simpler components, and how our increasing understanding of this universal phenomenon of emergence can lead us to a deeper and richer appreciation of who we are as human beings and of our relationship to God. Several chapters introduce the key philosophical ideas about reductionism and emergence, while others explore the fascinating world of emergent phenomena in physics, biology, and the neurosciences. Finally there are contributions probing the meaning and significance of these findings for our general description of the world and ourselves in relation to God, from philosophy and theology. The collection as a whole will extend the mutual creative interaction among the sciences, philosophy, and theology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199204717
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/31/2007
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosphy at Fuller Seminary, Pasadena. William R. Stoeger, SJ is Staff Astrophysicist, Vatican Observatory, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents


Abbreviations     xiii
Contributors     xiv
Introduction   Nancey Murphy     1
Philosophy
Reductionism: How Did We Fall Into It and Can We Emerge From It?   Nancey Murphy     19
Reduction, Emergence, and the Mind/Body Problem: A Philosophic Overview   Robert Van Gulick     40
Who's In Charge Here? And Who's Doing All the Work?   Robert Van Gulick     74
Three Levels of Emergent Phenomena   Terrence W. Deacon     88
Science
Science, Complexity, and the Natures of Existence   George F. R. Ellis     113
Reduction and Emergence in the Physical Sciences: Some Lessons from the Particle Physics and Condensed Matter Debate   Don Howard     141
True to Life?: Biological Models of Origin and Evolution   Martinez J. Hewlett     158
Nonlinear Science and the Cognitive Hierarchy   Alwyn Scott     173
The Emergence of Causally Efficacious Mental Function   Warren S. Brown     198
Theology
Reductionism and Emergence: Implications for the Interaction of Theology with the Natural Sciences   William R. Stoeger, SJ     229
Emergence, Scientific Naturalism, and Theology   John F. Haught     248
Emergent Realities withCausal Efficacy: Some Philosophical and Theological Applications   Arthur Peacocke     267
Reduction and Emergence in Artificial Life: A Theological Appropriation   Niels Henrik Gregersen     284
Toward a Constructive Christian Theology of Emergence   Philip Clayton     315
Postscript   William R. Stoeger, SJ     345
Bibliography     350
Index     369
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