1st Edition

Creation, Evolution and Meaning

By Robin Attfield Copyright 2006

    This book presents the case for belief in both creation and evolution at the same time as rejecting creationism. Issues of meaning supply the context of inquiry; the book defends the meaningfulness of language about God, and also relates belief in both creation and evolution to the meaning of life. Meaning, it claims, can be found in consciously adopting the role of stewards of the planetary biosphere, and thus of the fruits of creation.

    Distinctive features include a sustained case for a realist understanding of language about God; a contemporary defence of some of the arguments for belief in God and in creation; a sifting of different versions of Darwinism and their implications for religious belief; a Darwinian account of the relation of predation and other apparent evils to creation; a new presentation of the argument from the world's value to the purposiveness of evolution; and discussions of whether or not meaning itself evolves, and of religious and secular bases for belief in stewardship.



    Part I: Meaning and Creation

    1 Meaning, Verification and Analogy

    2 Realism, Anti-realism and Religion

    3 God and Falsification


    Part II: Creation and Evolution

    4 Creation

    5 Arguments from World to God

    6 Darwinism, Disvalues and Design

    7 God and Evil

    8 Purpose, Immanence and the Argument from Value


    Part III: Evolution and Meaning

    9 Meaning, Evolution and Stewardship

    10 The Ethics and Metaphysics of Stewardship


    Robin Attfield is Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University, UK.

    ‘This is an important work of philosophical theology. What is so unusual about it is that Attfield seeks to traverse the whole arc from fundamental enquiry about the status of God-language, through the compatibility of Darwinism and theism, to the philosophical basis for environmental care… I am full of admiration for the clarity of thought that underlies every part of this book… an overview which will help very many readers. I commend it highly.’ – Christopher Southgate in Reviews in Science and Religion

    ‘This volume is one of the finest short cases for a realist understanding of language about God and a well-argued defense of theism and belief in creation. … Anyone seeking a good philosophical grounding for Christian apologetics related to the theme of creation will welcome this excellent summary.’ – Dennis W. Cheek in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

    ‘…essential for anyone wanting to dig deep into the philosophical side of the Christian faith.’ – Adam Ford in Church Times

    ‘… a reasoned discussion of the meaning of creation in the context of contemporary science and how religious faith illuminates that, but also an effective introduction to a wide sweep of the philosophy of religion. Students and others seriously concerned about the issues taken up will find here a resource that will hold them in good stead.’ – Paul Ballard in Theological Book Review

    ‘In writing about God Attfield exhibits his expertise across an extensive range of philosophical disciplines such as the philosophy of language, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of religion, ethics and the philosophy of value. Attfield's style is consistently and carefully argumentative… Attfield's book is a vigorous attempt to defend the existence of a Creator God. The consistent attention to detail and strong argumentation is admirable, and hence, Creation, Evolution and Meaning is a welcome addition to the philosophy of religion – and it would certainly be a happy supplement to the undergraduate's budding library.’ –British Journal of Undergraduate Philosophy

    ‘…a book which achieves ambitiously wide sweep in economical compass.’ – Neil Spurway in ESSSAT News

    ‘This is a serious, thoughtful book about serious issues that deserve our thinking. <Attfield> will not get much praise from fanatics on either side of the science-religion debate. He should anticipate their criticisms with pride.’ – Michael Ruse in Acta Biotheoretica

    ‘… a very useful work […] one which repays sustained and repeated study.’ Journal of Education and Christian Belief