Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs: AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
News & Events: Public LectureDarwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion and the Nature of Society
12 November 2002
In this lecture David Sloan Wilson proposes an evolutionary theory of religion. The key is to think of society as an organism, an old idea that has received new life based on recent developments in evolutionary biology. If society is an organism, can we then think of morality and religion as biologically and culturally evolved adaptations that enable human groups to function as single units rather than mere collections of individuals? In developing this thesis Wilson will draw upon the biological and social sciences and consider religious communities from Calvinism in sixteenth-century Geneva to Balinese water temples; and from hunter-gatherer societies to urban America. One of his conclusions will be that all social organizations, including science, could benefit, in an evolutionary sense, by including elements of religion.
- David Sloan Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Biology & Anthropology, Binghamton University
- Cynthia S. W. Crysdale, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religion and Religious Education,
The Catholic University of America