Past Meetup

'The Evolution of Human Morality’ - Darwin Day speaker - Diana Fleischman

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The 2019 Darwin Day Celebration Lunch at 12.00pm followed by talk at 2.00pm at the Bournemouth International Centre.

‘The Evolution of Human Morality’

Our Darwin Day guest speaker is Diana Fleischman who grew up in in the Southern United States in a religious and conservative area where evolution was not taught in school. At the age of twelve she was called ‘monkey girl’ for endorsing evolution. Her sceptical perspective on religion was reinforced by attending both church and synagogue. During a formative year at the London School of Economics, shortly after the September 11th attacks, Diana read Richard Dawkins and other evolutionists and this stimulated her interest in atheism and evolutionary psychology.

In this talk, Diana will explain that human morality developed in small face-to-face groups in which humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years. Survivors protected themselves against hostile out-groups, butchered animals, prioritized the welfare of themselves and their kin and somehow managed to maintain a moral reputation whilst exploiting opportunities for cheating.

Our world is very different. Today we are aware of the suffering of billions of strangers and trillions of animals, our moral inconsistencies are magnified by surveillance, and we must prevent artificial agents developing a morality completely antithetical to our survival. How does our evolved morality cope with this novel ethical landscape and will we allow ourselves moral enhancement?

Diana is an evolutionary psychologist (Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor) at the University of Portsmouth.

Lunch & Talk Ticket (12.00pm start): £22 Members / £25 non-members including a welcoming glass of wine or soft drink, followed by a 2-course Italian buffet lunch & coffee. Talk only Ticket (2.00pm start): £4.00 includes coffee or tea on arrival. Bookings: Lyn Glass[masked] [masked]