This class will explore encounters between religion and evolutionary sciences, from the 19th century to the present. We will consider the history of evolutionary biology's entanglements with faith, from the initial explosion of interest in the wake of Darwin's Origin of the Species in 1859 to contemporary debates about creationism and intelligent design here in Pennsylvania in the 21st century. In the first half of the class, we will look at how writers, philosophers, and theologians from around the world and a range of religious traditions have assessed the evolution-religion relationship --- some seeing conflict, others concord. In the second half, we will consider evolutionary approaches to the origins of religion, from late-19th century accounts to modern cognitive science and group selection theories. Topics covered will include scientific racism, sociobiology and the evolutionary origins of morality, primate religion, and the relationship between science, religion, and politics.
Section 301 - LEC
MWF 1200PM-0100PM