Patterns of Speciation and Extinction and the Divine Valuing of Creation
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The near-universal concern over the current rate of species extinction must be contextualized, given the occurrence ofprevious mass extinctions during the course of Earth\'s natural history. Current scientific knowledge regarding patterns of speciation and extinction present two challenges to the theologian: 1 ) how to understand God\'s relationship to these patterns; and 2) how to understand God\'s valuation of transient creatures in creation. After reviewing current theories regarding speciation and extinction, the implications for theology are addressed, particularly the need to account for extinction as an undeniable feature of cosmic history.