• dualism;
  • emergence;
  • evolution;
  • human nature;
  • John Paul II;
  • matter;
  • Arthur Peacocke;
  • reduction;
  • soul


We will consider two Christian responses to the enormous advances in recent years in the connected sciences of genetics, evolutionary biology, and biochemistry, a dualist one by Pope John Paul II and an “emergentist” one by Arthur Peacocke. These two could hardly be more different. It would be impossible within the scope of a brief comment to do justice to these differences. What I hope to do instead is more modest: to draw attention to troublesome ambiguities in some of the key concepts on which discussions of human uniqueness depend, to recall very briefly some of the difficulties philosophers have encountered in their attempts to define the relation of the human powers of mind to the material capacities of body, and finally to ask what the theological significance of all this is.