Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?

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Harvard University Press, Sep 30, 2004 - Philosophy - 384 pages
The intricate forms of living things bespeak design, and thus a creator: nearly 150 years after Darwin's theory of natural selection called this argument into question, we still speak of life in terms of design--the function of the eye, the purpose of the webbed foot, the design of the fins. Why is the "argument from design" so tenacious, and does Darwinism--itself still evolving after all these years--necessarily undo it? The definitive work on these contentious questions, Darwin and Design surveys the argument from design from its introduction by the Greeks, through the coming of Darwinism, down to the present day. In clear, non-technical language Michael Ruse, a well-known authority on the history and philosophy of Darwinism, offers a full and fair assessment of the status of the argument from design in light of both the advances of modern evolutionary biology and the thinking of today's philosophers--with special attention given to the supporters and critics of "intelligent design." The first comprehensive history and exposition of Western thought about design in the natural world, this important work suggests directions for our thinking as we move into the twenty-first century. A thoroughgoing guide to a perennially controversial issue, the book makes its own substantial contribution to the ongoing debate about the relationship between science and religion, and between evolution and its religious critics.
 

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Contents

Preface
Introduction
1
Two Thousand Years of Design
9
Paley and Kant Fight Back
31
Sowing the Seeds of Evolution
51
A Plurality of Problems
69
Charles Darwin
89
A Subject Too Profound
107
Theory and Test
195
Formalism Redux
223
From Function to Design
249
Design as Metaphor
271
Natural Theology Evolves
291
Turning Back the Clock
313
Sources and Suggested Reading
339
Illustration Credits
358

Darwinian against Darwinian
129
The Century of Evolutionism
151
Adaptation in Action
171
Acknowledgments
359
Index
361
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. He is the founder and editor of the journal Biology and Philosophy, and has appeared on Quirks and Quarks and the Discovery Channel.

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