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Outgrowth of a meeting of the "Altenberg 16" at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Altenberg, Austria, in July 2008. Cf. pref.
English summary: After the Darwin-Jubilee in 2009, well known experts of various disciplines of science, philosophy and theology should evaluate the situation of the discussion between evolution theory and the belief in creation. Charles Darwin's theory and its continuation in modern evolutionary biology got in a constructive discussion with philosophy, theory of science and theology. This process should avoid any ideological hangovers, get over barriers, offer new perspectives of dialogue also on pending questions. This volume collects edited contributions to this interdisciplinary discourse, that took place at the University of Vienna in February 2010.German description: Darwins Theorie und ihre Weiterbildungen in der modernen Evolutionsbiologie ins Gesprach zu bringen mit Fragen der Philosophie, der Wissenschaftstheorie und der Theologie - das ist das Ziel dieses Bandes. Weltanschauliche Altlasten und Barrieren werden uberwunden und neue Perspektiven der Debatte - aber auch nach wie vor offene Sachfragen - sondiert. Der Band ist in vier Bereiche gegliedert: Grundlagen und Methoden der Evolutionstheorie, Evolutionstheorie im Dialog der verschiedenen Disziplinen, zukunftsgerichtete Versuche, Evolution weiterzudenken, sowie Evolutionstheorie und Anthropologie. Der Band umfasst die uberarbeiteten Beitrage dieser interdisziplinaren Gesprache, die im Februar 2010 an der Universitat Wien gefuhrt wurden.
The definitive edition of one of the most important scientific books of the twentieth century, setting out the conceptual structure underlying evolutionary biology.
The natural world is infinitely complex and hierarchically structured, with smaller units forming the components of larger systems: genes are components genomes, cells are building blocks of tissues and organs, individuals are members of populations, which, in turn, are parts of species. In the face of such awe inspiring complexity, scientists need tools like the hierarchy theory of evolution, which provides a theoretical framework and an interdisciplinary research program that aims to understand the way complex biological systems work and evolve. The multidisciplinary approach looks at the structure of the myriad intricate interactions across levels of organization that range from molecules to the biosphere. Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective provides an introduction to the theory, which is currently driving a great deal of research in bioinformatics and evolutionary theory. Written by a diverse and renowned group of contributors, and edited by the founder of Hierachy Theory Niles Eldredge, this work will help make transparent the fundamental patterns driving living sytems.
This volume describes features of autonomy and integrates them into the recent discussion of factors in evolution. In recent years ideas about major transitions in evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. They include questions about the origin of evolutionary innovation, their genetic and epigenetic background, the role of the phenotype and of changes in ontogenetic pathways. In the present book, it is argued that it is likewise necessary to question the properties of these innovations and what was qualitatively generated during the macroevolutionary transitions. The author states that a recurring central aspect of macroevolutionary innovations is an increase in individual organismal autonomy whereby it is emancipated from the environment with changes in its capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior. The first chapters define the concept of autonomy and examine its history and its epistemological context. Later chapters demonstrate how changes in autonomy took place during the major evolutionary transitions and investigate the generation of organs and physiological systems. They synthesize material from various disciplines including zoology, comparative physiology, morphology, molecular biology, neurobiology and ethology. It is argued that the concept is also relevant for understanding the relation of the biological evolution of man to his cultural abilities. Finally the relation of autonomy to adaptation, niche construction, phenotypic plasticity and other factors and patterns in evolution is discussed. The text has a clear perspective from the context of systems biology, arguing that the generation of biological autonomy must be interpreted within an integrative systems approach.
Providing new insights into the contemporary creationist-evolution debates, this book looks at the Hindu cultural-religious traditions of India, the Hindu Dharma traditions. By focusing on the interaction of religion and science in a Hindu context, it offers a global context for understanding contemporary creationist-evolution conflicts and tensions utilizing a critical analysis of Hindu perspectives on these issues. The cultural and political as well as theological nature of these conflicts is illustrated by drawing attention to parallels with contemporary Islamic and Buddhist responses to modern science and Darwinism. The book explores various ancient and classical Hindu models to explain the origin of the universe encompassing creationist as well as evolutionary—but non-Darwinian—interpretations of how we came to be. Complex schemes of cosmic evolution were developed, alongside creationist proofs for the existence of God utilizing distinctly Hindu versions of the design argument. After examining diverse elements of the Hindu Dharmic traditions that laid the groundwork for an ambivalent response to Darwinism when it first became known in India, the book highlights the significance of the colonial context. Analysing critically the question of compatibility between traditional Dharmic theories of knowledge and the epistemological assumptions underlying contemporary scientific methodology, the book raises broad questions regarding the frequently alleged harmony of Hinduism, the eternal Dharma, with modern science, and with Darwinian evolution in particular.
Battles over creation or evolution have been perpetuated for years by vocal Christians and scientists alike. But conflict has never been the only choice. Laying Down Arms to Heal the Creation-Evolution Divide presents a comprehensive, uplifting alternative that brings together an orthodox, biblical view of a sovereign Creator-God and the meaningful discoveries of modern evolutionary biology. Gary Fugle offers unique insights into this debate from his dual perspective as both an award-winning biology professor and a committed leader in conservative evangelical churches. In focusing on the stumbling blocks that surround creation and evolution debates, Fugle sensitively addresses the concerns of skeptical Christians and demonstrates how believers may celebrate evolution as a remarkable aspect of God's glory. He describes how the mainstream scientific community, as well as numerous Christians, may alter current approaches to eliminate conflicts. He explains conservative readings of early Genesis that respect both the inerrant words of Scripture and the evolutionary revelations in God's natural creation. This book is for individuals who sense that biblical Christian faith and evolution are compatible without compromising core convictions. If given good reasons to do so, are we willing to lay down our arms to affirm an encompassing vision for the future?

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