Evolutionaries: Unlocking The Spiritual And Cultural Potential Of Science's Greatest Idea by Carter PhippsEvolutionaries: Unlocking The Spiritual And Cultural Potential Of Science's Greatest Idea by Carter Phipps

Evolutionaries: Unlocking The Spiritual And Cultural Potential Of Science's Greatest Idea

byCarter Phipps

Paperback | June 26, 2012

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“Carter Phipps brilliantly expands our understanding of evolution by showing us that a new science is emerging—one that will holistically integrate our understanding of consciousness, cosmology, and evolution.”
—Deepak Chopra

Blending cutting-edge ideas with incisive spiritual insights, Evolutionaries is the first popular presentation of an emerging school of thought called “evolutionary spirituality.” Carter Phipps, the former executive editor of EnlightenNext magazine, asserts that evolution is not only a scientific but also a spiritual idea in a book whose message has the power to bring new meaning and purpose to life as we know it. Readers will be fascinated and enlightened by Evolutionaries, a book which Deepak Chopra, the world-renowned author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes, Jesus, and Buddha, says “is going to help create a worldview that will influence our vision of the future direction of evolution and also our role in consciously participating in it.”

Carter Phipps is a writer and speaker and the former executive editor ofEnlighten-Nextmagazine. He lives in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Title:Evolutionaries: Unlocking The Spiritual And Cultural Potential Of Science's Greatest IdeaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.94 inPublished:June 26, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061916137

ISBN - 13:9780061916137


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Brief Summary and Review *A full executive-style summary of this book will be available at the website newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, on or before Monday, July 16, 2012. The main argument of the book: Up until the scientific revolution, some half a century ago, religion reigned supreme in the realm of belief and understanding. Since that time, though--and especially since the introduction of the theory of evolution in 1859--science has increasingly challenged religion as the chief source of how we understand the world and our place in it. Science's increasing influence can be seen in the growing trend towards secularism in the past 200 years, and particularly in the last century, as church and state have been increasingly separated, and a growing percentage of the population has moved away from the world's religions. Still, though, religion is not going down without a fight. What's more, even many who have turned away from religion question science's ability to provide the kinds of understandings that truly satisfy the human psyche. The problem, many believe, is that science, with its materialist explanations, fails to accommodate our deeper spiritual and moral nature. According to the author Carter Phipps, though, while science and spirituality may seem diametrically opposed, the latest developments in evolutionary theory are actually upsetting this notion. This is the case because the theory of evolution, which was once confined to the realm of biology, has now spread to envelop every other domain of human inquiry, such that it has become the key paradigm in understanding the natural (and meta-natural) world, from biology to psychology to morality to culture to spirit to god to the unfolding of the universe. The result is that evolution can now be turned to in order to answer virtually all of our deepest and most profound existential questions, and in a unified and coherent way that does in fact satisfy our deepest spiritual longings. When I say that this is Phipps' argument, it is true that the author is very much a proponent of the evolutionary worldview. However, rather than focusing on his own particular views in the book, Phipps centers his attention on the theories that the leading thinkers have advanced in the field. This includes not only current theorists, but all of the major theorists that have been involved with the worldview since its inception some 200 years ago (beginning with Georg Hegel--whom Phipps identifies as the first explicitly evolutionary philosopher). Phipps does do a very good job of outlining the theories of these major thinkers, and, through this, providing a broad overview of the evolutionary worldview. When I say broad overview, I really mean it: Phipps very much sticks to a general and theoretical exploration of the evolutionary worldview. In one sense, this is an advantage, as it allows the reader to gain a broad picture of such a worldview (to see the forest as a whole, rather than just the trees, as it were). However, the devil is in the details, as they say, and I did find that the lack of details in some cases compromised the believability of the theories (which are, in some cases, highly speculative). Also, Phipps does well to show how evolutionary views have spilled out of science and into more meta-natural domains, such as spirituality and conceptions of god (theology). While this is no doubt interesting, it presents a problem. The approach of scientific evolutionism to spirituality and god is entirely different from an evolutionarily-informed spirituality and theology (indeed, scientific evolutionism thinks of the phenomena of 'spirit' and 'god' as products [if not bi-products] of our evolved brain, and hence ultimately illusory--or at least not 'real' in any sense like spiritual/theistically-inclined people think they are). Given that this is the case, as evolutionary theory is pushed beyond the boundaries of science, it necessarily splits into opposing sects. This is a major problem for any supposedly whole and coherent evolutionary worldview. Phipps glosses over this issue by saying that subjective experience is every bit as important as objective reality (thus showing where he stands on the issue). While this may well be true, it is unlikely to convince any staunch scientific evolutionist that 'spirit' and 'god' are proper subjects of evolutionary theory--much less that we should be exploring and/or embracing an evolutionarily-informed spirituality and theology. As it stands, this issue is left unresolved in the book, and in fact seems completely insoluble, thus forcing us to question how viable a unified and coherent evolutionary worldview (that includes spirituality) really is. A full and comprehensive summary of the main argument of the book will be available at the website newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, on or before Monday, July 16, 2012.
Date published: 2012-07-08

Editorial Reviews

“A rare book, equally delightful and deep, Phipps explores how our growing knowledge about the evolutionary process catalyzes nothing less than a revolutionary understanding of our selves.”