Heythrop lecture on evolution of morality and religion


The Heythrop Association is offering an online lecture by Dr Christopher Corbally SJ and Dr Margaret Boone Rappaport, Co-founders of the Human Sentience Project LLC, Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday 23 February 2022 at 7pm (GMT). They will speak about ‘Cultural, Moral, and Religious Capacities – How important are these and in what order did they evolve?’

A Q&A session will follow the lecture and the discussion should be lively. Here is a synopsis of the lecture:

In recent years, the analysis of genetic and neurological findings on early members of the genus Homo has led to new understandings of prehistoric religion. The first part of this presentation is the rationale for a recently published book, The Emergence of Religion in Human Evolution, Routledge, 2020, where the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis lays a foundation for a model of the emergence of moral capacity in Homo erectus and religious capacity only in Homo sapiens. The scientific models are used later in the book to analyse some of the issues and tests for artificial intelligence – seen as the latest member of the genus Homo, an inorganic one! The speakers ask: Can AI have moral and religious thinking? The talk is rounded out by a presentation of 12 Key Innovations on the evolutionary line to modern humans, and then an informal “factor analysis” of core features. The presentation winds up with questions about what we might expect from other ETIs (extra-terrestrial intelligences) if these features produced sentience in humans.

The Zoom link is:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81502513987?pwd=anlMU2pNa1FGMzBIdFh4YXArL2NOUT09

Meeting ID: 815 0251 3987

Passcode: 968504

All very welcome!