Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

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A talk by David Sloan Wilson
Monday Oct 6, 2008, 7:00 pm

Spooner Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
(right across from the Natural History Museum)

The most disturbing fact about public awareness of evolution is not that roughly 50% of Americans don’t believe it, but that nearly 100% don’t connect it to matters of importance in their lives. For most of the 20th century, evolutionary theory was restricted to the biological sciences and avoided for most human-related subjects. That is now rapidly changing, as virtually every human-related subject is being approached from an evolutionary perspective. As soon as evolution is perceived as unthreatening, explanatory, and useful for understanding the human condition and improving human welfare, it can become not just acceptable but irresistible.

Reception and book signing to follow

David Sloan Wilson is an evolutionary biologist, distinguished professor at Binghamton University. He is a prominent proponent of the concept of group selection (aka multi-level selection) in evolution. Wilson’s book, Darwin’s Cathedral proposes that religion is a multi-level adaptation, a product of cultural evolution developed through a process of multi-level selection. His latest book, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives attempts to give an introduction to evolution for a broad audience, detailing the various ways in which evolution can be applied to everyday affairs. Wilson started the Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program at Binghamton University to provide a program that unifies diverse disciplines under the theory of evolution. Students in the program take evolution-themed courses in a variety of disciplines including biology, anthropology, psychology, bioengineering, and philosophy.

Monday Oct 6, 2008, 7:00 pm The Commons,  Free and open to the public.

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