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Evolution and the Emergent SelfThe Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature$
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Raymond Neubauer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231150705

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231150705.001.0001

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The Apex of Nature

The Apex of Nature

Chapter:
(p.254) 12 The Apex of Nature
Source:
Evolution and the Emergent Self
Author(s):

Raymond L. Neubauer

, Xuan Yue
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231150705.003.0012

This chapter explores some of the philosophical implications of the view that an apex of the evolutionary process is a person. It suggests that stars, planets, and life are “accidents waiting to happen,” and that the destiny of the universe will always be in a particular direction. It is possible that when the universe was only 10–35 seconds old, at the end of an inflationary period that followed the Big Bang, all the conditions were set for the future evolution of life. This chapter first considers how both carbon and water are suited ideally for the requirements of life and proceeds by discussing the abundance of carbon and oxygen in interstellar space. It then considers entropy, order, and hierarchies in the universe, along with the concept of multiverse invoked by most scientists to account for the improbability of coincidences that seem to coincide to allow a universe where life can appear. Finally, it offers an alternative to the multiverse theory based on some traditional ideas of monotheism.

Keywords:   evolution, life, universe, carbon, oxygen, water, entropy, order, multiverse theory, monotheism

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