What Evolution Does and Does Not Tell Us about Humans

Jun 24, 2020
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Simon Conway MorrisUniversity of Cambridge

Cosponsored by the Society of Catholic Scientists. This event is made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

Does evolution fully explain the human? Recent paleontological and archeological work trace the deep lineages underlying many of our physical traits, and reveals our complicated history as one of many hominid species. It is abundantly clear that modern humans are subject to the same evolutionary pressures as the rest of the biological world and that evolution continues to shape our species. However, the developing story of our evolutionary history is frequently framed as a challenge to the claim of human uniqueness, fundamental to the Judeo-Christian understanding of the creation of man. Does evolution truly undercut the assumption of human uniqueness? Is our understanding of biological evolution sufficient to explain what makes us human? Join us for an online lecture with evolutionary paleobiologist, Simon Conway Morris, as he examines “What Evolution Does and Does not Tell Us about Humans.”



Simon Conway Morris is Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology at the University of Cambridge. He is most well known for his work on the early evolution of metazoan life during what is popularly known as the "Cambrian Explosion". He is author of over 100 scientific articles, and is author or editor of 7 books, including The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals (Oxford University Press, 1998), Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and The Runes of Evolution: How the Universe became Self-Aware (Templeton Press, 2015). Among his many accolades are the Walcott Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, the Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society, and the Lyell Medal from the Geological Society of London. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1990. He has spoken extensively at the intersection of science and religion, including giving a series of lectures in 2007 as part of the University of Edinburgh's Gifford Lectures, entitled "Darwin's Compass: How Evolution Discovers the Song of Creation."