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Before Darwin: How the Earth Went from Lifeless to Life

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Even as political rhetoric and court battles reflect a public struggle over Darwin's theory of evolution as an explanation for the origin of humans, a different struggle is unfolding within science about the adequacy of evolution as a theoretical foundation for biology.

On the surface, the two debates seem to have little to do with one another, but in a subtle way both reflect the need for a richer theoretical biology. The perception of evolution among the wider public might even be improved by better communication of scientific concerns about the limitations of evolutionary theory, and how those concerns are being addressed.

A sympathetic reading of public distrust over evolution would be that a simple theory of change seems too bare to account for the richness of structure we see in the world around us, and for how that structure first came to form.

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