Purpose: What Evolution and Human Nature Imply about the Meaning of Our Existence

Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Samuel T. Wilkinson is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. He received his MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His articles have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He has been the recipient of many awards, including Top Advancements & Breakthroughs from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation; Top Ten Psychiatry Papers by the New England Journal of Medicine, the Samuel Novey Writing Prize in Psychological Medicine (Johns Hopkins); the Thomas Detre Award (Yale University); and the Seymour Lustman Award (Yale University).
"An essential book by every measure. Beautifully written, superbly researched--and life changing. You will never think of your life, or the earth, or the purpose of each in the same way again!"
--Greg McKeown, New York Times bestselling author of Effortless and Essentialism
"If you struggle to reconcile faith and reason, Sam Wilkinson's profound book Purpose was written for you. You will be left with an understanding of the guiding forces behind human evolution and behavior."--Arthur C. Brooks, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, and #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Into the midst of the often contentious debate about evolution and the meaning of life, Purpose breathes a breath of fresh air. By taking seriously the notion that "everything that is evolved", Wilkinson highlights how evolution must then be responsible not just for our genetic material, but also for the apparent dual nature of human nature--the tension between selfishness and altruism or between aggression and cooperation. These aspects of human nature suggest that, while the steps of evolution are random, the higher order principles that guide evolution have all the apparent hallmarks of having a clear purpose. I highly recommend this to those seeking a clear and hopeful perspective on how modern science can help us pursue a meaningful life."--Troy Van Voorhis, Professor at MIT and author of Certainty: Is Science All You Need?
"Psychiatrist Sam Wilkinson digs deeply into recent insights about how evolution has shaped the competing dispositions of human nature, and how these observations point to a Creator God who has a purpose for our existence. If you are one of many in our technological society who is troubled about whether science and faith can be harmonized, you will be reassured and inspired by this intellectually rigorous and spiritually compelling presentation."

--Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, Leader of the Human Genome Project, Author of The Language of God, and Founder of BioLogos
"Samuel Wilkinson brings his considerable expertise to questions of evolution, purpose and God. What results is an innovative approach which takes the science seriously both in what it can say and where it needs a wider context to give insights into what it means to be fully human."--Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College, Durham University
"In this lively, refreshing, and well-written book, Samuel Wilkinson thoughtfully explores the fascinating problems of evolution, freedom, meaning, and religion. Complex ideas are explained in simple and clear terms, and arguments on all sides are carefully scrutinized. Readers will enjoy engaging with this intelligent and humble mind. Anyone interested in the deep questions about human life will find this book a valuable and stimulating read."
--Roy Baumeister, President-Elect, International Positive Psychology Association, and co-author of New York Times Bestseller, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Strength
"Wilkinson has done something extraordinary: He has provided a science-based answer to the world's most intractable philosophical question. And he has done it in elegant, entertaining prose that any thoughtful person can enjoy. This book will change your life. It tells us not just how to live, but why. It is especially inspiring to young people struggling to find purpose in an uncertain age. This book is for anyone who wonders about the meaning of life."--John Morley, Yale University
"A clear and fascinating case for a broadly theistic conception of evolution that considers the "dual potential of human nature" -- our propensity for both altruism and selfishness, or, put another way, good and evil -- to be both a result of the way evolution shaped us and a key to what gives life meaning."--National Review
"Wilkinson, like so many 19th- and early-20th-century philosophers and scientists, is attempting to bridge the seeming gulf between reason and faith--and he does an admirable job. Wilkinson performs a service by making them more accessible to lay readers. Wilkinson's description of our nature deserves a hearing: In order to inspire and protect meaningful relationships, human beings have to negotiate their 'dual potentials' carefully. We don't have to be perfect, but we do, on balance, have to make the right decisions day after day, year after year. Every world religion, every great spiritual or wisdom tradition, has this idea stitched into its moral fabric. If Wilkinson is right, it's also part of our very flesh and blood."--The American Scholar
"An insightful explanation of evolution and human nature in which religion is neither excluded nor central."--Kirkus Reviews