Harvard Science Book Talk: Richard Wrangham (Jan 30 @6:00PM)

January 14, 2019
Photo of Prof. Richard Wrangham and cover of the book "The Goodness Paradox"
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Photo credit: Stuart Halperin

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Richard Wrangham
Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University

"Capital Punishment and the Origin of Homo Sapiens"

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 @6:00PM
Science Center Hall C, One Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

In comparison to other primates, in face-to-face interactions humans are very peaceful. Biological parallels between humans and domesticated animals indicate that our social tolerance emerged through a process of self-domestication beginning around 300,000 years ago. Capital punishment appears responsible. This socially approved form of deliberate killing led to genetic selection against reactive aggression, promoted the unique form of human morality, and was the prime influence on the evolution of Homo sapiens from more aggressive, earlier forms of our genus.

In this lecture, Prof. Richard Wrangham, the acclaimed author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human and Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, will discuss his new book, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution.

The talk is free and open to the public

For more information and to be notified about future events, please contact: science_lectures@fas.harvard.edu.


Science Center Hall C


Cabot Science Library

The talks are sponsored by the Harvard Division of Science and Cabot Science Library in collaboration with Harvard Book Store.