J. K. Russell Fellow's Public Forum, Whence Morality: Biology or Religion?
Classroom 1 of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (Free and open to the public)
How much about human nature is not only rooted in our evolutionary past but fully determined by purely biological processes? Our capacity for reasoning seems to be an adaptive feature that evolved as a consequence of natural selection, but what about our moral and ethical faculties? Contrary to reductionists who argue that our moral codes are merely evolutionary byproducts with no grounding in the transcendent, Dr. Ayala has made the case that while human moral capacity evolved along with rationality, the specific contents of morality—the ethical and religious norms by which we organize society and live our lives—are not determined by our evolutionary history but instead are up to us individually and as a culture to determine. You are invited to hear Dr. Ayala address this and related fascinating and controversial issues at the frontiers of the creative interaction between science and religion.