Evolution is almost alone among scientific ideas in the degree of controversy it generates. Part of the reason for this is, of course, that it can be more than a scientific theory, capable of expansion to include philosophical claims about the existence of God or human nature. Even if restricted to the material order, evolution inevitably has consequences for religion, as its claims must influence our understanding of the process of creation, and of human nature. The anthropological and theological implications of evolution are so profoundly felt by many that it is rare to find people who do not have an opinion on the subject.
Indeed, it is not uncommon to find people lacking a specialist background in biology willing to hold opinions that contradict those of the overwhelming majority of biologists. This is a remarkable fact. Few indeed are the well-established fields of scientific inquiry that experience such popular resistance. The resistance to evolution is, furthermore, not limited to a fringe of young earth creationists. There have also been objections to evolution put forward on sophisticated philosophical grounds.
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Thomas von Kempen - Thomas Hammerken (or Hammerlein -- both mean "little hammer") was born at Kempen (hence the "A Kempis") in the duchy of Cleves in Germany around 1380. He w...
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