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Public Talks on Evolution and Rationality  Dec 22, 2017

IISER Pune brings you:

Public Talks on Evolution and Rationality

Prof Jerry Coyne
(Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, USA)

See Pune Flyer

Jerry Allen Coyne is an evolutionary biologist, known for his work on speciation and his commentary on intelligent design. His work prominently focuses on understanding the origin of species: the evolutionary process that produces discrete groups in nature.

He is the author of the books Why Evolution Is True and Faith Vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible and is a co-author of the book SpeciationCoyne has written over 115 refereed scientific papers and 130 other articles, book reviews, and columns and is a frequent contributor to The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, and other popular periodicals. Coyne also maintains a website called Why Evolution Is True.

He will be giving two public lectures and one technical talk at IISER Pune. These talks are part of a series of lectures that Prof Coyne is delivering in various cities in India. See full tour schedule.  Prof Coyne will also be giving a technical talk on December 21. See details here.

Date: December 22, 2017

Title: Why  evolution is true

Time: 5:00 pm

Venue: Sir CV Raman Auditorium, Lecture Hall Complex, IISER Pune

Abstract: Despite a mountain of evidence for the truth of evolution from diverse scientific fields—genetics, paleontology, biogeography, embryology, and geology among them—many people in America (and India) still doubt that evolution happened. After defining what I mean by “the theory of evolution,” I present some of the compelling evidence that the theory is indeed a fact in any meaningful sense of that word, and then discuss some of the reasons people still resist such a well-established truth.


Date: December 23, 2017

Title: You don't have free will

Time: 5:00 pm

Venue: Sir CV Raman Auditorium, Lecture Hall Complex, IISER Pune

Abstract: The idea that people have free will—that at any moment they can freely choose one alternative versus another—is widespread. In this talk I show that that notion is false: our body is a complex computer, made of meat, that can produce only a single outcome, a decision, in any given circumstance. I discuss the scientific evidence behind this conclusion, its implications for our society and personal behavior, and the numerous but failed philosophical attempts to show that we can still retain a kind of “free will” even though our behaviors are completely determined by our genes and our environments.

All talks are free and open to all.