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What is the origin of ethics?
Date:10/29/2008

Are human beings "blank slates" that are molded by the cultures into which they are born? Or are our values and predispositions genetically based, shaped solely by evolution? The controversy around evolution and human behaviour has been a hot topic of scientific research since Charles Darwin reframed the debate about the origin of our species 150 years ago.

On Nov. 6, McGill University will host the fourth annual Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium. This year's topic: Apes or Angels: What is the Origin of Ethics? Four of the world's leading economists and biologists will debate what economic theory and evolution have to say about human development and

This year's symposium commemorates the 150th anniversary of the joint presentation of the theory of natural selection by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace at the Linnean Society in 1858. The debate will deal with the still controversial topic of the relation between evolution and human behaviour.

It will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Stephen Leacock Building, Room 132, 855 Sherbrooke St. W. The panelists are:

Professor Theodore Bergstrom, is the Aaron and Cherie Raznick Chair of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Fellow of the Econometric Society. He is renowned for his research on the relation between economics and evolutionary biology, with special attention to the economics of the family, the evolution of altruism and rivalry between siblings, parent-offspring conflicts, marriage institutions, inheritance, and care for the aged.

Link to Prof. Bergstrom's homepage: http://www.econ.ucsb.edu/~tedb/

Professor Manfred Milinski, Executive Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology, in the Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Pln, Germany, conducts research on co-operation, sexual selection and host-parasite co-evolution. One of his current topics of research is th
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Contact: Allison Flynn
allison.j.flynn@mcgill.ca
514-398-7698
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

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