The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 19, Issue 3, Autumn 2019

Justo Aznar, MD
Pages 403-413

Is There a Purpose in the Biological Evolution of Living Beings?

An unquestionably important biological question is whether human beings are the product of chance or of purpose in the evolutionary process. Charles Darwin did not accept purpose in biological evolution, a view not shared by his colleague Alfred Russel Wallace. The controversy has remained ever since, and while many experts argue against purpose in biological evolution, many others defend it. This paper reflects on this biological and ethical problem, relating it to the possible existence of a plan that governs and shapes the evolution of living beings and that is ultimately responsible for the development of Homo sapiens.