Friday 23 October 2009

Evolutionary Theory: Is This All There Is?

Yesterday I received my ticket for a one-day event on Saturday 31 October at Conway Hall put on by the Humanist Philosophers, supported by the South Place Ethical Society and the British Humanist Association, entitled Evolutionary Theory: Is this all there is?

Here's the blurb from the BHA website:

Evolutionary Theory has a lot going for it, but how far does it go? Can it provide adequate explanations of human psychology - emotions, imagination - of our moral sense and aesthetic appreciation? Does Evoluntary Theory have anything valuable to say about our free choices and the meaning of life?

These questions will be explored in three discussions, chaired by Peter Cave (chair of Humanist Philosophers and author of 'Humanism: a beginner's guide'), with opportunities for questions and contributions from the floor.

Human psychology: 'Are human minds made by memes?' with Susan Blackmore, Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of Plymouth and Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Ethics: 'Can there be genuine value and virtue in a godless universe?' with Emeritus Professor John Cottingham, University of Reading; Professor David Papineau, King's College, London; Professor Janet Radcliffe Richards, Director of the Centre for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine at University College London.

Meaning and purposes of life: 'What does evolutionary biology have to say about the meaning of life?' by Michael Reiss, Professor of Science Education and Assistant Director of the Institute of Education and Emeritus Professor Richard Norman, University of Kent.

It should be an interesting day. Michael Reiss resigned his post as education director of the Royal Society after his controversial statements about how creationism should be treated in school classrooms.

(As of today, tickets to the event are still available.)