Does evolution explain human nature?

This is the fifth in a series of conversations among leading scientists, scholars, and public figures about the "Big Questions."
For the other Big Questions in this series, click here.
To request a free booklet containing all the essays below, click here. For a PDF, here.
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related video
play Templeton/Discover panel discussion at
Yale University
play Bloggingheads.tv “diavlog” between Frans de Waal and Jeffrey Schloss.
play Bloggingheads.tv “diavlog” between Robert Wright and Joan Roughgarden.
play "Darwin 200: Evolution and the Ethical Brain"
with New York Times columnist David Brooks.
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  Frans de Waal Obviously, says the monkey.
Frans de Waal is C.H. Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University and conducts research at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. His popular books include Chimpanzee Politics, Our Inner Ape, and The Age of Empathy, which will be published this fall.

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Simon Conway Morris Except where it matters.
Simon Conway Morris is a professor of evolutionary paleobiology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St. John's College. Elected to the Royal Society in 1990, he is the author, most recently, of Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe.

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Lynn Margulis Quite well.
Lynn Margulis is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and, currently, the Eastman Professor at Balliol College, Oxford. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she is the author of, among other books, Acquiring Genomes and Dazzle Gradually (both with Dorion Sagan).

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Francis Collins Not entirely.
Francis Collins is a physician and geneticist noted for his leadership in directing the Human Genome Project. He is the author of The Language of God and the founder and president of the BioLogos Foundation, which seeks to promote harmony between science and faith.

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Geoffrey Miller More fully by the day.
Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature and Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior.

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Joan Roughgarden Not yet...
Joan Roughgarden is professor of biology at Stanford University. Her books include Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People and The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness.

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Martin Nowak In part.
Martin Nowak is professor of biology and mathematics at Harvard University, where he directs the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications and two books, Virus Dynamics (with Robert May) and Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life.

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Robert Wright Yes.
Robert Wright is the author of The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are and Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. His new book, The Evolution of God, will be published in June.


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Francisco Ayala Only up to a point.
Francisco J. Ayala is University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. A former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a winner of the National Medal of Science, he is the author of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion.

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Eva Jablonka Yes, but...
Eva Jablonka is an evolutionary biologist and a professor at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Her books include Animal Traditions (with Eytan Avital) and Evolution in Four Dimensions (with Marion Lamb).

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Jeffrey Schloss Totally, for a Martian.
Jeffrey Schloss is distinguished professor and chair of biology at Westmont College. He is the co-editor of several books on evolutionary themes, including The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives on the Origin of Religion (with Michael Murray).

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David Sloan Wilson Yes and no.
David Sloan Wilson directs EvoS, Binghamton University's evolutionary studies program and the hub of a nationwide consortium. His latest book is Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives.

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