Evolution in the Minor Key
Wisdom does not evolve. It is rather the name for a process of evolution, radically orthogonal to what passes for evolution in mainstream science. With its dominant metaphors of inheritance, selection, and adaptation, orthodox evolutionary theory is written unequivocally in the major key. In this key, life is expended in the expression of design solutions to environmental problems. Wisdom, however, is evolution in the minor key. It is an open-ended process of attention and response – a life process – which cuts through the gap between design and its expressions like a river between its banks. And as life generates further life, wisdom ever surpasses itself.
Tim Ingold is Chair of Social Anthropology at the Univeresity of Aberdeen. He has carried out fieldwork among Saami and Finnish people in Lapland, and has written on environment, technology, and social organisation in the circumpolar North, on animals in human society, and on human ecology and evolutionary theory. His more recent work explores environmental perception and skilled practice. Ingold’s current interests lie on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art, and architecture. His recent books include The Perception of the Environment (2000), Lines (2007), Being Alive (2011), Making (2013), and The Life of Lines (2015).
A response will be given by Karen Kilby, the Bede Professor of Catholic Theology at the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University. She is a systematic theologian who has worked on questions related to the Trinity, evil and mystery, and published books on Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar. She was one of the editors of the Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology, has served as the President of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain, and is currently President of the Society for the Study of Theology.
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University of Notre Dame (U.S.A.) in England
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The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing is grateful for the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation and the Henkels Lecture Fund, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame.
Originally published at ctshf.nd.edu.