Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Evolution's Purpose

Author Steve McIntosh's site; Evolution's Purpose: An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins on amazon

evolution's purpose book coverAs I began trying to read this book, I wondered why I opted for it from The Speakeasy; I generally can make my way around fairly dense theology, but this is more speculative and suggestive philosophy that may have taken more words than necessary to explain, but then again, possibly not. The author defines Integral Philosophy as "essentially a philosophy of evolution that emphasizes the evolution of consciousness as a central factor in the process of evolution overall; ... it demonstrates the connection between the personal development of each person's values and character and the larger development of human history." On xxix we read, "evolution is an [unrolling, as in a parchment scroll] overarching process of becoming, partly due to choices consciously made by creation itself (thus, evolution's - or the evolving creatures' - own "purpose") that shapes physical, cultural, conscious, social, and every imaginable aspect of life imaginable.

From that perspective of integral philosophy, the book discusses values, human agency, freedom of choice, beauty, truth, and goodness. Humanity, creation, nature... I wouldn't necessarily describe Evolution's Purpose as densely written, but it does seem to ramble on without much purposeful direction. The book is at least semi-scientific, and somewhat spiritual; to me it's also not very engaging. However, it might be more interesting and more accessible to someone trained in the physical and biological sciences than in theology.

"not exactly in my field of endeavor," my amazon review

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