Eliminativism, Complexity, and Emergence

Authored by: Terrence Deacon , Tyrone Cashman

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415492447
eBook ISBN: 9780203803516
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634178

10.4324/9780203803516.ch18

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Abstract

The evolutionary perspective turned the classic worldview on its head. Since Roman times, the world was understood to be hierarchic in structure, explained by a transcendent mind at the top. From there, the great chain of being cascaded down through angels, humans, frogs, protozoa, and finally stones. Inverting the chain of being switched mind from being the ultimate explanation of things, to being the mystery to be explained. As an early critic of Darwin protested, this theory assumes that “Absolute Ignorance” is the ultimate artificer, even of life and mind (MacKenzie 1868).

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