Evolution and Emergence

Author: Nancey Murphy
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199204713
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A collection of essays by experts in the field, exploring how nature works to produce systems of increasing complexity from simple components, and how our understanding of this phenomenon of emergence can lead us to a deeper appreciation of both our humanity and our relationship with God.

Cognitive Motivation

Author: David Beswick
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107177669
Format: PDF, ePub
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Motivation and cognition were treated as separate concepts throughout most of twentieth-century psychology. However, in recent years researchers have begun viewing the two as inextricably intertwined: not only does what we want affect how we think, but how we think affects what we want. In this innovative study, Beswick present a new general theory of cognitive motivation, synthesizing decades of existing research in social, cognitive and personality psychology. New basic concepts are applied to a wide range of purposive behaviour. Part I of the volume reviews different forms of cognitive motivation, such as curiosity, cognitive dissonance, achievement motivation, and the search for purpose and meaning, while Part II examines the basic processes that underlie it, such as working memory, attention and emotion. The central concept is the incomplete gestalt, in which motivation is generated by a universal striving to integrate information and make sense at all levels of cognitive organization.

Encountering Life in the Universe

Author: Chris Impey
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816528705
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Encountering Life in the Universe examines the intersection of scientific research and society to determine the philosophy and ethics of relating to the Earth and beyond.

Evolution in a Toxic World

Author: Emily Monosson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610912217
Format: PDF, ePub
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With BPA in baby bottles, mercury in fish, and lead in computer monitors, the world has become a toxic place. But as Emily Monosson demonstrates in her groundbreaking new book, it has always been toxic. When oxygen first developed in Earth's atmosphere, it threatened the very existence of life: now we literally can't live without it. According to Monosson, examining how life adapted to such early threats can teach us a great deal about today's (and tomorrow's) most dangerous contaminants. While the study of evolution has advanced many other sciences, from conservation biology to medicine, the field of toxicology has yet to embrace this critical approach. In Evolution in a Toxic World, Monosson seeks to change that. She traces the development of life's defense systems—the mechanisms that transform, excrete, and stow away potentially harmful chemicals—frommore thanthree billion years ago to today. Beginning with our earliest ancestors' response to ultraviolet radiation, Monosson explores the evolution of chemical defenses such as antioxidants, metal binding proteins, detoxification, and cell death. As we alter the world's chemistry, these defenses often become overwhelmed faster than our bodies can adapt. But studying how our complex internal defense network currently operates, and how it came to be that way, may allow us to predict how it will react to novel and existing chemicals. This understanding could lead to not onlybetter management and preventative measures, but possibly treatment of current diseases. Development of that knowledge starts with this pioneering book.

Emergent Freedom

Author: James W. Haag
Publisher: Ruprecht Gmbh & Company
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub
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Emergentism, as a metaphysical option between Reductive Physicalism and Substance Dualism, provides a space for free will to be both experientially balanced and evidentially accurate. By expanding notions of causation and adopting a process ontology, Emergentism revaluates age-old commitments to human free will. With Emergentism, James W. Haag believes Philip Hefner's model of human being (the created co-creator) to be a valuable place to look for dialogue. Hefner's claim that the created co-creator is simultaneously constrained and free fits securely with Dynamic Theological Naturalism and its acceptance of Emergentism.

Envisioning Nature Science and Religion

Author: James D. Proctor
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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Contemporary scholarship has given rise to several different modes of understanding biophysical and human nature, each of which is entangled with related notions of science and religion. Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religionrepresents the culmination of three years of collaboration by an international group of fourteen natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, and theologians. The result is an intellectually stimulating volume that explores how the ideas of nature pertain to science and religion. Editor James D. Proctor has gathered sixteen in-depth essays, each of which examines and compares different aspects of five central metaphors or "visions" of biophysical and human nature. These visions are evolutionary nature, emergent nature, malleable nature, nature as sacred, and nature as culture. The book's diverse contributors offer a wide variety of unique perspectives on these five visions, spanning the intellectual spectrum and proposing important and often startling implications for religion and science alike. Throughout the essays, the authors do a great deal of cross-referencing and engaging each other's ideas, creating a cohesive dialogue on the visions of nature. Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religionoffers a blend of scholarly rigor and readable prose that will be appreciated by anyone engaged in the fields of religion, philosophy, and the natural sciences.

Social Emergence

Author: Robert Keith Sawyer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521844642
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Can we understand important social issues by studying individual personalities and decisions? Or are societies somehow more than the people in them? Sociologists have long believed that psychology can't explain what happens when people work together in complex modern societies. In contrast, most psychologists and economists believe that if we have an accurate theory of how individuals make choices and act on them, we can explain pretty much everything about social life. Social Emergence takes a new approach to these longstanding questions. Sawyer argues that societies are complex dynamical systems, and that the best way to resolve these debates is by developing the concept of emergence, focusing on multiple levels of analysis - individuals, interactions, and groups - and with a dynamic focus on how social group phenomena emerge from communication processes among individual members. This book makes a unique contribution not only to complex systems research but also to social theory.

From Groups to Individuals

Author: Frédéric Bouchard
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262313456
Format: PDF, Docs
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Our intuitive assumption that only organisms are the real individuals in the natural world is at odds with developments in cell biology, ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and other fields. Although organisms have served for centuries as nature's paradigmatic individuals, science suggests that organisms are only one of the many ways in which the natural world could be organized. When living beings work together -- as in ant colonies, beehives, and bacteria-metazoan symbiosis -- new collective individuals can emerge. In this book, leading scholars consider the biological and philosophical implications of the emergence of these new collective individuals from associations of living beings. The topics they consider range from metaphysical issues to biological research on natural selection, sociobiology, and symbiosis. The contributors investigate individuality and its relationship to evolution and the specific concept of organism; the tension between group evolution and individual adaptation; and the structure of collective individuals and the extent to which they can be defined by the same concept of individuality. These new perspectives on evolved individuality should trigger important revisions to both philosophical and biological conceptions of the individual. Contributors:Frédéric Bouchard, Ellen Clarke, Jennifer Fewell, Andrew Gardner, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Charles J. Goodnight, Matt Haber, Andrew Hamilton, Philippe Huneman, Samir Okasha, Thomas Pradeu, Scott Turner, Minus van Baalen

A Fine tuned Universe

Author: Alister E. McGrath
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Exploring a wide range of physical and biological phenomena and drawing on the latest research in biochemistry and evolutionary biology, McGrath draws out the implications of our new understanding of the natural world for traditional debates about the existence of God. --from publisher description.