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Arts & Sciences

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Goodenough, U. (1996) Biology: what one needs to know. Zygon, 31(4), 671–680. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00955.x


Biology on this planet represents an astonishing experiment in carbon-based chemistry which, over billions of years, has generated billions of species adapted to countless major and minor fluctuations in ecological circumstances. In one sense there is no way to generalize about biology. While biological activities can all be ultimately explained by physical laws (like everything else in the universe), it is the emergent intensely particular properties of organisms that most interest us. This essay represents an attempt to describe some of the more prominent patterns that emerge from the sea of biological particularities, patterns that present many opportunities for religious reflection.


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Goodenough, U. (1996) Biology: what one needs to know. Zygon, 31(4), 671–680, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.