Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life: How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew

Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life: How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew


This accessible, engaging, and timely book brings together philosophy and evolutionary psychology in a way that will open up debate between the two disciplines. Is religion compatible with evolution? Is religious faith intellectually flawed? Steve Stewart-Williams addresses these and other fundamental questions raised by Darwin’s theory of evolution. Drawing on philosophy, biology and the exciting new field of evolutionary psychology, he makes a strong case for a naturalistic, atheistic view of the universe. Topics covered include: God, life after death, whether we are superior to other animals, the meaning of life, voluntary euthanasia, and the proper treatment of other animals.


1. Darwin and the big questions
Part I. Darwin Gets Religion:
2. Clash of the Titans
3. Design after Darwin
4. Darwin’s God
5. God as gap filler
6. Darwin and the problem of evil
7. Wrapping up religion
Part II. Life After Darwin:
8. Human beings and their place in the universe
9. The status of human beings among the animals
10. Meaning of life, RIP?
Part III. Morality Stripped of Superstition:
11. Evolving good
12. Remaking morality
13. Uprooting the doctrine of human dignity
14. Evolution and the death of right and wrong


“Steve Stewart-Williams explains how evolutionary thought challenges many deep-seated assumptions about God, morality, and human superiority and raises significant questions about such things as euthanasia, suicide, and the way we treat non-human animals. While it has become commonplace for many to equate Darwin’s legacy with the stripping away of the moral and the good and to replace it with unpalatable ‘Darwinist’ alternatives that advocate a morality, nihilism, and a world where ‘might makes right’, Stewart-Williams carefully and entertainingly shows that, on the contrary, the world after Darwin remains meaningful, wondrous, and intrinsically moral.”
— Stephen Hill, Massey University

“This is an important, accessible, and timely book for anyone wishing to understand the implications of evolutionary theory for standard views of human nature, morality and religion.”
— Stephen Boulter, Oxford Brookes University

“If you are a broad thinker, you will really enjoy Stewart-Williams’ work …”
— David W. Boles, memeingful.com