Jeffrey Schloss
Westmont College

Evolution, Theism and Human Nature: An Analytic Survey

Project Description:

Man is neither angel nor brute. And the unfortunate thing is: he who would act the angel, acts the brute. - Pascal

The focus of this project is to produce a biologically and philosophically sensitive analytic survey of a range of prominent contemporary issues in evolutionary understandings of human nature, which represent recent progress on questions Darwin lacked analytic tools to address, and all of which are theologically significant. Although there are numerous monographs and edited volumes on each topic, this volume will seek both to map the broad landscape of issues and to represent accurately the topographic relief in scientific understanding. The ultimate goal is to assess theological and philosophical implications of alternative theories rather than highlight from amongst many in contention, those with favored entailments. The major topics to be treated include Hominid origins & Imago Dei, evolution of altruism, evolutionary ethics & moral realism, and evolutionary accounts of religious cognition.  The project will constitute the second half of a volume on Biology and Religion for a Cambridge University Press series in the philosophy of biology.

Jeffrey Schloss is Distinguished Professor of Biology and T. B. Walker Chair of Natural & Behavioral Sciences at Westmont College, where he directs the Center for Faith, Ethics and the Life Sciences. His twofold scholarly interests involve water balance in poikilohydric organisms and evolutionary accounts of human nature, including the philosophical and theological entailments of these theories.  Recent publications in this area have appeared in  Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Religion, Brain, and Behavior; Theology & Science; Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Collaborative volumes include Altruism & Altruistic Love (Oxford, with Stephen Post, Lynn Underwood, and William Hurlbut), Evolution and Ethics (Eerdmans, with Philip Clayton), and The Believing Primate (Oxford, with Michael Murray).