The subject of evolution has, from its very beginnings, been
subject to a variety of controversies. One of the most heated
and long lasting has been in the area of science and religion.
Another controversy, of more recent origin (beginning in 1975)
has been in the area of sociobiology. Unfortunately we simply
do not have the time to probe these issues in depth, however,
we would like to provide you with some resources to further explore
these areas on your own if you find these topics of interest.
Lecture (html) (print) (audio 17:01)
Additional Resources for Interested Students
"Chapter 17: The Sociobiological Controversy" from Naturalist By E.O. Wilson
Biology Students Meet E.O. Wilson
The Attack on
E.O. Wilson from the New York TImes Review
of Books November 1975
York Times Article: Is Jealousy "evolved" in the
York Times Article: Genetic Basis to Fairness
York Times Article: Genetic Basis to Fariness (2)
York Times Editorial on Capuchin Monkey Study
via Nurture By Matt Ridley
•A nice middle ground in the debate
Article in the New York Times about Stephen Pinker's book, The
Traits Pinker suggests that might be innate.
Interview with Stephen Pinker.
Excellent Review of "The Blank Slate" from the Economist.
An article in the New York Times on what E.O. Wilson is doing post-sociobiology controversy.
Darwin's Rottweiler: Richard Dawkins (Discover Magazine, September 2005)
The Literary Darwinist (A new approach to literary criticism using sociobiology, New York Times, November 2005)
If you are interested in sociobiology and one of
its subdisciplines, evolutionary psychology, here are a couple
of interesting links.
The best history of the sociobiology controversy
is called, "Defenders of the Truth", by Ullica Segerstrale.
Most readers think she has done a very fair job of dissecting
the different motivations and tells the story in an unbiased way.
If you are interested in reader's reactions to her book you might
want to go to Amazon.com to read the reviews. If you want to read the book you are free
to borrow my copy.
The Center for Evolutionary Psychology at
UC Santa Barbara has published a primer
on evolutionary psychology. It is long, but will give you
the current status of this research agenda. The site also lists
universities where one can study evolutionary psychology.
Animal Behavior and Sociobiology (McMaster University Lectures)
and Science (html) (print) (audio 19:17)
Hammack's Personal View of the Science versus Religion Debate
Additional Resources for Interested Students
Francis Collins Interview on Charlie Rose (19 minute interview)
•The interview includes clips from interviews with James Watson, EO Wilson, and Richard Dawkins (all who disagree with Francis Collins)
Francis Collins Lecture at Stanford: God and the Genome (Feb. 5, 2008)
Francis Collin's book: "Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief"
Science and Religion Blog (from Discover Magazine)
Science, Evolution, and Creationism (National Academy of Sciences Press)
Evolution-Religion Debate in the News
New York Times Coverage of Evolution Debate
Public Views on Origin of Life (Pew Charitable Trust Survey Results)
Evolution Resources from the National Academy of Sciences
Dover Trial Transcripts (Fascinating Reading!)
Catholic Church's View of Evolution
on Evolution by Pope John Paul II
If you are interested in issues of the relationship
between religion and science a number of websites exist that have
well-balanced and interesting information. All these sites represent
the view that there can and should be a healthy dialogue between
the two disciplines.
A site that tries to strike a balance in the
religion/science debate is Counterbalance.
Some of the most interesting are videos of conferences in which
all the major players in the evolution/creation debate are featured
(both sides). Click on "Info" to the left of the home
page and explore all the evolution links. A particularly interesting
link is the one entitled, "Evolution and Providence",
in which you can view all the talks given at a conference from
June 2000. Soon you will be on the cutting edge of the current
arguments on both sides of the issue.
One of the primer places for serious academic
research is The Center for Theology
and the Natural Sciences (located in Berkeley). Within their
website is an enormous amount of information.
John Templeton, the billionaire mutual fund
manager, has devoted an enormous amount of his wealth to funding
research and education in the area of the relationship between
science and religion.The John
Templeton Foundation website is an interesting place to look
at some of his work.
•A website attempting to generate a dialogue between both disciplines. According to their mission statement: Science & Spirit explores how science and religion can work together to address the vital issues of our time. Life's complexities can weigh heavy on the spirit. Looking at them through the lenses of both science and religion offers insight neither discipline provides alone. We appreciate serious science, and we cover a world of faiths. Our mission is to explore the integration of the scientific and spiritual aspects of our culture in a way that is accessible and relevant to everyday living.
For a specifically Christian response to these
issues the American Scientific
Affiliation is a good site to examine.
Science vs. Religion (other sites of possible interest from many different perspectives)
The Meaing of Life (Video interviews of famous scientists and thinkers in the religion/science debates)
Gifford Lectures (Yearly lectures given in Scotland for over 100 years dealing with religion and science)
Discovery Institute Evolution Site (an organization advocating the teaching of "Intelligent Design")
Ken Miller's Site (Professor at Brown University)