FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Guyot Hall, Room 10, Princeton University
(on Washington Road across from Ivy Lane)
Simon Conway Morris
Professor in Evolutionary Paleobiology
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge
Nine Evolutionary Myths: The Closing of the Darwinian Mind?
Science thrives on two themes: predictability and the sense that there is still work to be done. Evolution seems to be the opposite, stuck in a self-defensive rut. Of course evolution happens and Darwin got it right, but is there some unfinished business? Myths, not fairy tales but rather areas of received wisdom that might be long overdue for a re-examination. Consider randomness, mass extinctions, optimal forms, extra-terrestrials and the big one: consciousness. A lot to play for.....
Simon Conway Morris is a Professor in Evolutionary Palaeobiology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He is well-known for his work on the Burgess Shale (summarized in The Crucible of Creation) and more recently has become increasingly interested in the question of evolutionary convergence (addressed in Life’s Solution). He was elected to the Royal Society in 1990 and gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1996. He has received various awards, including the Walcott Medal from the National Academy. He is also engaged in the science and religion dialogue, but when undisturbed can usually be found reading something by the Inklings with a glass of wine close to hand.
This lecture is part of the Inquiry on Evolution & Human Nature run by the
Center of Theological Inquiry, 2012-2013.