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(RNS) — To many of the most ardent advocates of the theory of evolution, human beings are accidental creatures living a pointless existence whose every action is determined by neural chemistry, reflex and reaction.
In the words of scientist and atheist Sam Harris, “We are driverless cars running a program we did not write, which we cannot control, and whose existence we are not even wired to sense.”
Kenneth - R - Miller - Brown - University
Kenneth R. Miller, a Brown University biologist, agrees that humans evolved according to Charles Darwin’s law of natural selection, but in his new book, “The Human Instinct,” he suggests “we are more.”
Humans are also conscious, self-aware, creative and intelligent. We are, in Miller’s view, exceptional in those very traits.
Species - Pinnacle - Evolution - Humans - Stirrings
The human species may not be the pinnacle of evolution, which continues to unfold, but humans represent the first stirrings of true consciousness.
Miller may be best known as the plaintiffs’ expert witness in the landmark 2004 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in which a group of parents sued the Dover, Pa., public school district for requiring the teaching of intelligent design. They won when U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design was a religious view, not a scientific theory.
Miller - Roman - Catholic - Conflict - Faith
Miller, a practicing Roman Catholic, sees no conflict between his faith and science. He has written other books on the topic — “Finding Darwin’s God” and “Only a Theory” — but said he wrote this one to counter the message that evolution was dreary, depressing and demoralizing.
The book offers a summary of the basics of evolutionary theory and then moves on to address three additional topics: evolutionary psychology, the evolution of consciousness and the existence of free will.
Interview - Length - Clarity
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why did you write this book?
Years - Sense
About four or five years ago, I had a general sense, both from my scientific...
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