Genes, Genesis, and God

Genes, Genesis, and God : Values and Their Origins in Natural and Human History

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Holmes Rolston challenges the sociobiological orthodoxy that would naturalize science, ethics, and religion. The book argues that genetic processes are not blind, selfish, and contingent, and that nature is therefore not value-free. The author examines the emergence of complex biodiversity through evolutionary history. Especially remarkable in this narrative is the genesis of human beings with their capacities for science, ethics, and religion. A major conceptual task of the book is to relate cultural genesis to natural genesis. There is also a general account of how values are created and transmitted in both natural and human cultural history. The book is written by one of the most well-respected figures in the philosophy of biology and more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 14 b/w illus.
  • 113917326X
  • 9781139173261

Review quote

'This book ... is a full and fair natural theological attempt to understand modern biology and its relevance for social, ethical and religious thought.' The Philosophical Quarterlyshow more

Table of contents

Preface; Part I. Genetic Values: Diversity and Complexity in Natural History: 1. Natural history: diversity and complexity; 2. Contingent natural history?; 3. Searching genes; 4. Smart genes; 5. Genetic algorithms; 6. Intrinsic and inclusive genetic values; 7. Distributed and shared genetic values; 8. Storied natural history; Part II. Genetic Identity: Conserved and Integrated Values: 9. Genetic identity; 10. Genes in organisms; 11. Organisms in communities; 12. Sexuality, selfishness, and community; 13. Interspecifically and intraspecifically shared genes; Part III. Culture: Genes and the Genesis of Human Culture; 14. Nature and culture; 15. Gene-mind co-evolution; 16. Genetic determinants in culture; 17. The evolution of ideas; 18. The human genius; 19. Historical versus universal explanations in nature and culture; Part IV. Science: Naturalized, Socialized, Evaluated: 20. Science: generating and selecting theories; 21. Science naturalized?; 22. Science socialized; 23. The selective advantage of science; 24. Progress in scientific and in natural history; 25. Transcendent science; 26. An unfolding story; Part V. Ethics: Naturalized, Socialized, Evaluated; 27. Moral value: love, justice, and respect; 28. Naturalized ethics? Emergent, socialized morality; 29. Naturalized ethics? Illusory, Darwinized morality; 30. Evaluating ethics: values defended and shared; Part VI. Religion: Naturalized, Socialized, Evaluated: 31. The divine epic of life; 32. Religion and fertility; 33. Religion and altruism; 34. Functional and true religion; 35. Genesis and God; References; more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 33% (3)
4 33% (3)
3 22% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 11% (1)
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