Darwin’s Biology of Intelligent Design


Beginning Monday, April 9, join Robert J. Richards, PhD’78, Morris Fishbein Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago, for this complimentary online course for an exploration of intelligent design in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Those in the intelligent design movement argue for two theses: that organisms give evidence of design and that this indicates the operations of a causal agent capable of producing intelligently designed creatures. They mean the latter also to suggest that human beings have a special place in the scheme of life. Darwin also argued in favor of the design thesis, and likewise thought human beings had a special place in the hierarchy of organisms. In short, he too argued for a biology of intelligent design. A close examination of the considerations that went into the construction of Darwin's theory of evolution leads, perhaps, to a surprising and heterodox conclusion concerning the roles of God and morality in this theory--but then, the work of great scientists can sustain such conclusions. Yet, what does Darwin's accomplishment mean for our contemporary attitudes about morality and the role of God in a neo-Darwinian world? These and other topics will be covered in this course based on selected readings from Darwin's On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man.
  • Read passages from On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
  • Engage in lively conversations with Professor Richards and fellow UChicagoans about the readings
  • Watch on-demand lectures and participate in live weekly online discussions

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Online Seminar Information

Cost: Complimentary
Dates: April 9 - May 18, 2018
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Event Contact
Kaleena "Rheeya" Narwani
Community Manager, AlumniU