Evolutionary ethics has an unfortunate reputation as being not just wrong, but unwholesome. Yet, if we humans are the end product of four billion years of evolution through natural selection, it seems incredible that our past is not pertinent to one of the most vital aspects of our very being, our obligation to follow the right and to counter the wrong. This talk, starting historically with Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, argues that one can in fact meld evolutionary thought with proper moral understanding. This is a secular position, but it has much to recommend it to Christians, as well as non- and post-secularists more generally.
MICHAEL RUSE, FRSC is a philosopher of science who specializes in the philosophy of biology and works on the relationship between science and religion, the creation–evolution controversy, and the demarcation problem within science. Ruse currently teaches at Florida State University and is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy (2000–present). In 1986, he was elected as a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Bergen, Norway (1990), McMaster University, Ontario, Canada (2003) and the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (2007). In September 2014 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by University College London. Ruse delivered some of the 2001 Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology at the University of Glasgow. His lectures on Evolutionary Naturalism, "A Darwinian Understanding of Epistemology" and "A Darwinian Understanding of Ethics," are collected in The Nature and Limits of Human Understanding (ed. Anthony Sanford, T & T Clark, 2003).
This event is organised by the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion in collaboration with the project, “Evolution, Ethics, And Human Origins,” the Humane Philosophy Project and the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. The event is free and open to the public.