Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2011 / Santagata Lecture: “Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?” Elliott Sober

Environmental Studies

Santagata Lecture: “Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?” Elliott Sober

Story posted September 28, 2011

Event date(s): September 28, 2011 — October 31, 2011

Monday, October 24  7:30 pm
Kresge Auditorium, VAC

Elliott Sober is the Hans Reichenbach Professor and William Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University fo Wisconsin. The two big ideas in Darwin’s theory of evolution are common ancestry and natural selection. Why did he give natural selection top billing in the Origin, and have the idea of common ancestry emerge gradually in the book, as a secondary idea? To answer this question, Sober will investigate how these two ideas are related to each other, and Darwin’s use of evidence to support his two part theory.

“Few philosophers of science command the respect that Elliott Sober enjoys for the rigor of his investigations into the logic of evolutionary biology. In his latest, enthralling book he argues that Darwin’s theory is best described not as evolution by natural selection but as common ancestry plus natural selection. . . . Accessible, lively, controversial, this is a book full of good things, including a fresh look at Darwin’s position on group selection.” JOHN HEDLEY BROOKE • Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford