Postgenomic Darwinism and Human Nature

december, 2009

03dec3:30 pm5:30 pmPostgenomic Darwinism and Human Nature

Event Details

John Dupré , University of Exeter

In this talk, Professor Dupré will look at some of the ways that recent developments in molecular biology, especially within microbiology and epigenetics, have transformed the way we think, or anyhow should think, about evolution. For example, there are major difficulties with the standard view of the Tree of Life; overemphasis on competition may need to be balanced by much more serious attention to biological cooperation; and even the ultimate Taboo in recent evolutionary thought, Lamarckism, may need to be partially rehabilitated. Thus, contrary to some popular presentations that suggest that the broad outlines of evolution are entirely settled, Professor Dupré will argue that major issues about both the pattern and processes of evolution remain wide open. An immediate consequence is that detailed arguments about human nature based on evolutionary theory are premature. In addition, some very widely promulgated attempts to derive accounts of human nature from evolution, notably Evolutionary Psychology, are flatly inconsistent with our best current understandings of the science.

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Time

(Thursday) 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Location

2125 Rolfe Hall

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