Darwin and the Boundaries of Science

If you’re in Greenwich Village on Friday and have some free time in the afternoon, come by to hear me give a talk during a conference at NYU called “Darwin and the Boundaries of Science.”

Here’s the meeting’s self-description:

The two-day conference will examine how Darwin’s ideas have changed the boundaries of knowledge: between science and religion, between speculation and theory, between the past and the present, and between humans and the world around us. Interdisciplinary in scope, the event draws upon the expertise of scholars from a wide range of fields, including biology, astronomy and astrophysics, mechanical engineering, philosophy, sociology and history. Speakers will discuss not just the content of Darwin’s discoveries, but also the way these discoveries forever altered what counted as knowledge and what could be ultimately understood. We will draw on both scientific and historical expertise to form a robust perspective on how science does—or does not—relate to the wider culture of which it is a part. Scientists will have an opportunity to explain how and why they draw the boundaries of their disciplines, and humanities scholars will demonstrate the complex processes that formed and continue to reshape these boundaries.

I’ll be talking about how Darwin showed how the same forces that shape human nature can be observed throughout nature.

There are some great talks I hope to catch, including one by Harvard historian Janet Browne, author of my favorite Darwin biography.