What Does Evolution Want?

August 7, 2011
(was 11.28.2010)

Science and the Search for Meaning: Five Questions, Part Two: What Does Evolution Want?

If there’s one strand of evolutionary theory that sticks in the craw of nearly every religious believer, it’s the idea that human beings are just an evolutionary accident.  But what if we aren’t?  What if the evolution of humans, or some brainy creature like us, was inevitable once life first appeared on Earth?  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk with maverick paleontologist Simon Conway Morris and explore the question “What does evolution want?”

  • Transcript of Steve Paulson Extended Interview with Daniel Dennet
  • Transcript of Steve Paulson Extended Interview with Simon Conway Morris
  • Transcript of Steve Paulson Extended Interview with John Haught
  1. Simon Conway Morris on the Evolution of Intelligent Life

    Renowned British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris believes human-like intelligence was the inevitable outcome of the appearance of life on earth.

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    Average: 4.1 (8 votes)
  2. Robert Richards on Charles Darwin

    Historian and philosopher of science Robert Richards tells Steve Paulson that Charles Darwin himself believed evolution marches inevitably toward greater complexity.

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    Average: 3.2 (6 votes)
  3. Ruth Padel on “Darwin: A Life in Poems”

    Ruth Padel is an acclaimed British poet and a direct descendent of Charles Darwin. She’s now written “Darwin: A Life in Poems,” having grown up hearing stories about her famous ancestor.

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    Average: 4.4 (5 votes)
  4. John Haught on the Theology of Evolution

    John Haught is a Roman Catholic theologian at Georgetown University, and the author of “God After Darwin” and “God and the New Atheism.”

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    Average: 3.2 (10 votes)
  5. John Hawks on Modern Human Evolution

    Paleo-anthropologist John Hawks talks about how we continue to evolve--changes that can be seen in the bones of modern humans.

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    Average: 3.7 (15 votes)