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Evolution

(6,411 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip
1. Concept Since the term “evolution” embraces several dimensions, we cannot deal with it adequately without recognizing its various facets and clarifying precisely which of these are at issue in any given context. Four such facets are of particular importance: evolution as (1) an idea of change over time; (2) an idea of emergence, by which novelty arises from preceding entities and processes; (3) an idea that describes the origins of things, both proximate and ultimate; and (4) an idea of selection, explaining why things die or survive. Each of these facets deserves careful attention. 1.…

Burhoe, Ralph Wendell

(160 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip
[German Version] (Jun 21, 1911, Somerville, MA – May 8, 1997, Chicago). From 1964 to 1975 Burhoe was the professor of theology at the Meadville/Lombard Theological School, Chicago. He founded the Institute of Religion in an Age of Science in 1956, the journal Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science

d'Aquili, Eugene

(135 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip
[German Version] (Jun 4, 1940, Trenton, NJ – Aug 2, 1998, Philadelphia, PA), professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. D'Aquili pioneered in research that he himself termed “biogenetic …

Campbell, Donald T.

(243 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip
[German Version] (Nov 20, 1916, Grass Lake, MI – May 5, 1996, Bethlehem, PA) was professor of psychology at Northwestern University (1953–1979), Syracuse University (1979–1982), and Lehigh University (1982–1996); he was president of the American Psychological Association in 1975/1976. He wo…

Einstein, Albert

(1,198 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip
[German Version] I. Life – II. Work – III. Philosophical, Religious, and Social Approaches (Mar 14, 1879, Ulm – Apr 18, 1955, Princeton, NJ) I. Life Einstein grew up in Munich as the son of an electrical machinery manufacturer. At age 15, when the family moved to Milan, Einstein emigrated to Switzerland and finished his schooling in Aarau. After he graduated from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute, he taught at a school briefly before receiving an appointment in the Swiss patent office in Bern. Einstein was professor in Zürich, Prague, and Berlin ( inter alia, Director of the Kai…

Anthropic Principle

(401 words)

Author(s): Zycinski, Józef | Hefner, Philip
[German Version] I. Science – II. Philosophy of Religion I. Science In 1973, Brandon Carter introduced the expression “anthropic principles” in order to emphasize that the earthly observer assumes a privileged position in the universe in the sense that the development of life based on carbon requires very specific conditions. These conditions depend on certain characteristics of the universe, such as its age, the density of material, its rate of expansion, isotropy, entropy, spatial homogeneity, etc. Physical cosmology formulates the weak anthropic principle as follows: the observable physical and cosmological parameters assume values within a latitude that enables the origin of life based on carbon compounds. The controversial strong anthropic principle maintains that the universe must exhibit these characteristics that make the development of life in the course of cosmic evolution possible.…

Emergence

(723 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip | Evers, Dirk | Leiner, Martin
[German Version] I. Theology and Science – II. Systematic Theology – III. Ethics I. Theology and Science Emergence (from Lat. emergere, “to arise”), an idea that describes the appearance of novel and higher forms, represents an alternative to mechanistic, vitalist (Vitalism and mechanism), reductionist, and preformationist explanations. Emergence claims that complex structur…

Ethnology

(2,732 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip | Thiel, Josef Franz | Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Comparative Religion – III. Old Testament – IV. Ethnology and Theology I. The Concept The scholarly disciplines of ethnology, anthropology, social psychology, and cultural semiotics are closely related. The specific terminology employed in these disciplines differs at a number of important points in German- and English-speaking countries. According to one usage, ethnology is a synonym for anthropology, especially in the English-speaking context. Following another usage, however, it represents a sub-discipline of anthropology which focuses on the study of cultur…

Darwinism

(1,874 words)

Author(s): Livingstone, David N. | Daecke, Sigurd | Hübner, Jürgen | Hefner, Philip
[German Version] I. Science – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Systematic Theology – IV. Ethics I. Science Although Darwinism may be thought of as referring to the version of evolutionary theory originating from C.R. Darwin (Desmond & Moore), it is in reality, however, difficult to agree on any more precise definition. Darwin's own works on evolution involved several different mechanisms for br…