ARTICLE: The Darwin/Gray Correspondence 1857–1869: An Intelligent Discussion about Chance and Design

From the Winter 2010 issue of Perspectives on Science:

The Darwin/Gray Correspondence 1857–1869: An Intelligent Discussion about Chance and Design

James G. Lennox

Abstract The nature and place of teleological explanation in evolutionary biology is a central topic, as is the nature and place of chance, randomness, and accident. But these topics are often treated as if they had no connection to each other. This was not always the case. In this paper I explore an intense discussion between Charles Darwin and American botanist Asa Gray, carried on in correspondence and in publications, about the compatibility of chance and teleology in Darwin’s theory.

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