3 episodes

What Is Evolutionary Theory?
In this lecture, Professor Lewontin discusses the origins of the theory of organic evolution, what the basic structure of Darwin's theory was, what evolutionary theory is really meant to explain and how the modern understanding of the process of evolution is different from Darwin's original idea. Lewontin also discusses what the deep problems of evolutionary explanation are and why evolution differs from the usual simple model of what is required of a science.

The Organism as Subject and Object of Evolution
This lecture directly challenges the notion that evolution is the process of "adaptation" of organisms to problems posed by the environment. Instead, it describes the evolution of the organism and its environment as a process of "construction."

Does Culture Evolve?
This lecture discusses the use of the notion of "evolution" to describe the history of human culture and the motivation for claiming that culture "evolves." It challenges the use of organic evolution as a model for human history and discusses the serious problems in trying to use evolutionary theory for historical processes.

These lectures were given November 11-13, 2003.

Richard C. Lewontin is the Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.

NOTE: Please excuse the production quality of some of our older videos. They were transferred from our video tape archive.

The Co-Evolution of Organism and Environment Santa Fe Institute

    • Natural Sciences

What Is Evolutionary Theory?
In this lecture, Professor Lewontin discusses the origins of the theory of organic evolution, what the basic structure of Darwin's theory was, what evolutionary theory is really meant to explain and how the modern understanding of the process of evolution is different from Darwin's original idea. Lewontin also discusses what the deep problems of evolutionary explanation are and why evolution differs from the usual simple model of what is required of a science.

The Organism as Subject and Object of Evolution
This lecture directly challenges the notion that evolution is the process of "adaptation" of organisms to problems posed by the environment. Instead, it describes the evolution of the organism and its environment as a process of "construction."

Does Culture Evolve?
This lecture discusses the use of the notion of "evolution" to describe the history of human culture and the motivation for claiming that culture "evolves." It challenges the use of organic evolution as a model for human history and discusses the serious problems in trying to use evolutionary theory for historical processes.

These lectures were given November 11-13, 2003.

Richard C. Lewontin is the Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.

NOTE: Please excuse the production quality of some of our older videos. They were transferred from our video tape archive.

    • video
    What Is Evolutionary Theory ?

    What Is Evolutionary Theory ?

    This lecture will discuss the origins of the theory of organic evolution, what the basic structure of Darwin's theory was, what evolutionary theory is really meant to explain and how the modern understanding of the process of evolution is different from Darwin's original idea. It will also discuss what the deep problems of evolutionary explanation are and why evolution differs from the usual simple model of what is required of a science.

    • 1 hr 35 min
    • video
    The Organism As Subject and Object of Evolution

    The Organism As Subject and Object of Evolution

    This lecture will challenge directly the notion that evolution is the process of "adaptation" of organisms to problems posed by the environment.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    • video
    Does Culture Evolve ?

    Does Culture Evolve ?

    This lecture will discuss the use of the notion of "evolution" to describe the history of human culture and the motivation for claiming that culture "evolves".

    • 1 hr 24 min

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