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October 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Updating Teilhard de Chardin from a Modern Scientific Perspective

Event Description

Teilhard uniquely integrated the scientific knowledge of his day with a spiritual view that he regarded as a metamorphosis of the Christian religion. Today, he has been largely forgotten by scientists and continues to be read mostly for his spiritual quality. This is unfortunate, because Teilhard was remarkably prescient about developments in evolutionary science that have only taken place during the last few decades. I will provide a broad overview in an attempt to once again integrate the scientific and spiritual dimensions of Teilhard’s thought.

“The harmony and order that we associate with the word ‘organism’ indeed has a movable boundary that can be expanded to include biological ecosystems, human societies, and conceivably the entire earth. Special conditions are required, however, and when these conditions are not met, evolution takes us where we don’t want to go. There is no master navigator for our journey. We must be the navigators, consciously evolving our collective future, and without the compass provided by evolutionary theory, we will surely be lost.”
—This View of Life, p xiv

David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Binghamton University and president of Prosocial World, whose mission is “to consciously evolve a world that works for all”. His work represents a paradigm shift in evolutionary thinking: from one that was gene-centric, framed in terms of selfishness, and insisted that evolution has no purpose, to one that includes all variation-selection-replication processes, can explain the evolution of virtue at face value, and highlights the possibility and necessity of conscious evolution. The new paradigm provides a new set of tools for positive change efforts in the real world. David’s most recent books include This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian RevolutionProsocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive Equitable, and Collaborative Groups (with Paul W.B Atkins and Steven C. Hayes), and his first novel, Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III. Perhaps the most accessible introduction to David’s work is his conversation with H.H. Dalai Lama and associated podcast, organized by the Mind and Life Institute.


October 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm