The Challenge of Evolution to Religion

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Johan De Smedt, Helen De Cruz
Cambridge Elements in the Philosophy of Biology
  • Cambridge: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , January
     79 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This Element focuses on three challenges of evolution to religion: teleology, human origins, and the evolution of religion itself. First, religious worldviews tend to presuppose a teleological understanding of the origins of living things, but scientists mostly understand evolution as non-teleological. Second, religious and scientific accounts of human origins do not align in a straightforward sense. Third, evolutionary explanations of religion, including religious beliefs and practices, may cast doubt on their justification. We show how these tensions arise and offer potential responses for religion. Individual religions can meet these challenges, if some of their metaphysical assumptions are adapted or abandoned.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Johan De Smedt, Saint Louis University, Missouri

Helen De Cruz, Saint Louis University, Missouri


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