Download A Book that Shook the World: Essays on Charles Darwin's by Julian S. Huxley, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Reinhold Niebuhr, PDF

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By Julian S. Huxley, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Reinhold Niebuhr, Oliver L. Reiser, Swami Nikhilananda

This assortment gains 5 essays from famous theologians, philosophers, geneticists, and biologists who talk about the sweeping influence of Charles Darwin's On the beginning of Species on their respective fields. This quantity, edited by means of Ralph Buchsbaum, professor of biology on the college of Pittsburgh, used to be released to have a good time the centenary of Darwin's assertion in 1858, in addition to Alfred Russel Wallace, in their autonomous discovery of the method of normal choice. Darwin's booklet used to be released 12 months later.

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Darwin and his followers were solely concerned with the evolution of physical forms and structures, whereas the Hindu philosophers discussed evolution from the standpoint of the soul. But Hindu thinkers, by an unprejudiced and respectful study of the Western theory of evolution, can benefit from it, as can Western thinkers by a study of the Eastern theories. The idea of evolution is found in the Vedas, which date back to at least two thousand years before Christ.

The discovery tliat the truths of science and philosophy undergo change and flow does not reduce our existing facets of knowledge to the status of driftwood in the restless tides of human opinion. There is a sense of direction in the ebb and flow of knowledge, just as there seems to be an upward thrust in the cosmic flow of energy; for, as Erwin Schrodinger puts it, "life feeds on negative entropy," to produce the "creative advance of nature' '-to employ Whitehead's terminology. " But in the present stage of intellectual development every synthesis is incomplete.

But in the minds of the pious the chief reason for challenging Darwin's conclusions were that they compromised both the majesty of the Creator and the dignity of the creature who had been / said to have been made "In His Image:" that is the dignity of man. One reason why the gradual acceptance of the Darwinian thesis ) proved not to be lethal to religious faith was that the Biblical doctrine of creation was not as dependent upon Aristotelian ontology as Christians had traditionally assumed. The two were, in fact, in contradiction to each other; but that was not discovered until Darwin's triumph shattered the relation and also prevented Christian obscurantists from using the doctrine of creation to obviate the necessity or possibility of inquiring into the sequence· of causes.

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