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Jan Lever: Challenging the Role of Typological Thinking in Reformational Views of Biology

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This essay analyzes the view of evolution of Jan Lever (1922–2010), founder of the biology department at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and compares his view with those of J.H. Diemer and H. Dooyeweerd. Together with Dooyeweerd, Lever wrote a series of chapters on the species concept in Philosophia Reformata (1948–1950) in which species were defined as constant types. In his book, Creatie en Evolutie (1956), Lever still subscribed to Dooyeweerd’s philosophy but also suggested that it is possible that biological evolution occurred, including that of human beings, and that scientific research can shed light on these processes. Influenced by his idea of individuality structures, Dooyeweerd criticized Lever and suggested that species are constant; that science cannot speak to the topics that Lever discusses. It is argued that Dooyeweerd’s views are influenced by the typological thinking of the time and that reformational thought would benefit from de-emphasizing this aspect of reformational philosophy.

Affiliations: 1: The King’s University, Edmonton, Canada, Harry.Cook@kingsu.ca ; 2: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a.c.flipse@vu.nl

10.1163/23528230-08201002
/content/journals/10.1163/23528230-08201002
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2017-04-20
2017-05-24

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