Does Evolution Explain Human Nature?

Recently, I helped Discover Magazine put together a panel discussion sponsored by the Templeton Foundation at Yale. The topic: Does evolution explain human nature? This was part of the Templeton Foundation’s Big Questions Series.

Big shout out to Yale’s public affairs and broadcast media teams! Thanks for inviting me to sign the celebrity wall in the green room (sorry it’s much larger than Ted Kennedy, Jr’s autograph but, ya know).

Here are highlights from the discussion featuring Ken Miller, David Sloan-Wilson and Laurie Santos chatting with Discover’s Editor, Corey Powell. Check out this civil, thought-provoking discussion. So, does evolution explain human nature?

  • Jim Fisher

    It seems so obvious to me. Of course evolution explain our nature. The more we study animal behavior, the more we realize that many living things share our altruism, penchant for war, love, peace and even quest for knowledge. A recent study shows how even dogs have an innate sense of fairplay, right versus wrong and jealousy (check it out at http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=97944783) .

    Not everyone agrees that evolutionary psychology is a 100% legitimate field of study but the ramifications I’ve seen form the field are mind boggling. Thanks for sharing this fascinating conversation.

  • Jim Fisher

    It seems so obvious to me. Of course evolution explain our nature. The more we study animal behavior, the more we realize that many living things share our altruism, penchant for war, love, peace and even quest for knowledge. A recent study shows how even dogs have an innate sense of fairplay, right versus wrong and jealousy (check it out at http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=97944783) .

    Not everyone agrees that evolutionary psychology is a 100% legitimate field of study but the ramifications I’ve seen form the field are mind boggling. Thanks for sharing this fascinating conversation.

  • Zurab Silagadze

    April 1 joke about Darwinian evolution:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0903.5539 (Schrodinger’s cat versus Darwin).

  • Zurab Silagadze

    April 1 joke about Darwinian evolution:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0903.5539 (Schrodinger’s cat versus Darwin).