To the Best of Our Knowledge
Public Radio International

Science and the Search for Meaning: Five Questions

Part Two

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
 
Segment 1

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.

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Segment 2

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)

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Segment 3

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)

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Print
Science and the Search for Meaning: Five Questions
Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness
What is Life?
November 21, 2010
 
What Does Evolution Want?
November 28, 2010
 
 
 
Can Science Be Sacred?
December 19, 2010

WITH SUPPORT FROM

The Nour Foundation: Exploring Meaning & Commonality in Human Experience
The John Templeton Foundation
Promega Corporation