One interesting area of debate concerns human identity and whether we can give a purely scientific account of human nature in terms of its physical, chemical and biological components. Or do we need additional perspectives to deal with the complexity of human nature? In addressing these issues, the focus will be on how we deal with human nature, particularly our capacity for selfishness and the notion of sin. What scientific approaches might help us explore this, and offer ways of resolving this problem?
Focussing on Richard Dawkins's classic work The Selfish Gene (1976), we will look at some of its core themes, the capacity of humanity to transcend its genetic limitations and predispositions. How does a scientific narrative about selfish genes correlate with a theological narrative about sin?
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/is-humanity-naturally-good
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.