Science and the Search for Meaning: Five Questions
What Does Evolution Want?
Are human beings just an evolutionary accident? 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, maverick paleontologist Simon Conway Morris explains why he believes evolution must ultimately lead to intelligent beings.
Original Air Date: November 28, 2010
Is there some design intention behind the apparently random choices made by the evolutionary process? Steve Paulson visits with renowned British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris in his office at Cambridge University in England to talk about Morris's radical idea that humans, or something like them, were the inevitable outcome of the appearance of life on earth.
Press Play to Listen (Running Time 16:15)
Historian and philosopher of science Robert Richards tells Steve Paulson that Charles Darwin himself believed evolution marches inevitably toward greater complexity. Also, 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. She talks about it with Jim Fleming, and reads some of her poems.
Press Play to Listen (Running Time 17:07)
John Haught is a Roman Catholic theologian at Georgetown University, and the author of God After Darwin and God and the New Atheism. Haught talks with Steve Paulson about his theology of evolution. Also, paleo-anthropologist John Hawks shows Anne Strainchamps around his lab at the University of Wisconsin and they talk about how human beings have evolved since their cave man days, and how the process is continuing.
Press Play to Listen (Running Time 19:37)