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Five Models Of God And Evolution

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Chapter Summary

The first section of this chapter traces the development of evolutionary theory from Darwin himself to molecular biology and recent hypotheses about complexity. The second explores four themes in recent writing about biological processes: self-organization, indeterminacy, top-down causality, and communication of information. Subsequent sections examines theological models of God's action in nature based on analogies with each of these four characteristics of organic life. The chapter suggests that a fifth model from process theology avoids some of the problems arising in other models of God's relation to nature. Evolutionary theory has undergone significant reinterpretation and modification since Darwin. The growth of population genetics and molecular biology is briefly described. Then the expansion of Darwinism is discussed, particularly the recognition that other factors in addition to natural selection influence the direction of evolutionary change. Recent theories of complexity and self-organization are considered.

Keywords: Darwinism evolving; God's relation to nature; process theology



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