Until recently, morality and religion have been closely linked. From well before the time of the ancient Greek philosophers, religion has guided our moral judgments. Contemporary moral psychologists provide compelling evidence that humans – whether male or female, atheist or religious, American or Aboriginal – make remarkably similar moral judgments. So if religion doesn’t guide our moral judgments, what does? Presenting data from human and non-human studies, Dr. Strand shows that regions in the frontal and temporal lobes form a “moral network,” which are active when making moral judgments. Further, morality is subject to evolutionary mechanisms in much the same way as physical and behavioral traits.
Dr. Sarah Strand has a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has conducted behavioral, physiological, and neuroscience research since 1999. Her current work includes lecturing in Psychology at California State University in Sacramento and speaking to area secular groups on topics related to the neurobiology of religion.
Our first Saturday talks begin with refreshments and an unstructured meet-and-greet at 2:30. The presentation itself will start at 3 o'clock. Most lectures incorporate a long period of Q&A, finishing around 4:45. Afterward, many of us head to the mall next door for an early dinner. The dinner is a great way to get to know people in your local humanist community, and if you're not hungry you can always come along and grab a drink instead.
We will be in room 619 on the 6th floor. Please enter the building from the 835 Market St. entrance between Walgreens and the Timberland store.