Evolutionary psychologist Dr Diana Fleischman will deliver the Darwin Day Lecture 2018 in London on Thursday 8 February. After less than a week on sale, almost two thirds of tickets are now sold, making it Humanist UK’s fastest-selling event ever.
Each February, people around the world come together for Darwin Day, a celebration of the life of Charles Darwin and his enormously influential discovery of evolution by natural selection. Humanists UK has organised a Darwin Day Lecture in London each year since 2003, and it is the largest event of its kind in the UK. More than 5,000 people have attended a Humanists UK Darwin Day Lecture since 2014, while hundreds of thousands have seen the videos online.
An evolutionary psychologist at the University of Portsmouth, Fleischman’s work focuses on developing a better understanding of what it means to be human, including the biology and psychology of topics such as sexuality, disease, and disgust. She will speak on ‘the evolution of human morality’.
Fleischman’s lecture will raise intriguing questions about human nature. Morality developed in small face-to-face groups in which humans lived for the last hundreds of thousands of years. In these environments, those who succeeded protected themselves against hostile outgroups, butchered animals, prioritized the welfare of themselves and their kin and managed to maintain a moral reputation while finding available opportunities for cheating. Humanity’s moral limitations are plain in a world that is so different compared to the environment in which we evolved. Fleischman’s lecture will seek to explain how our evolved morality copes with this novel ethical landscape, and if we as a species will grant ourselves the means of further moral enhancement.
Commenting on the announcement, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘We’re delighted to be hosting Diana Fleischman to deliver the Darwin Day Lecture 2018. Once again, demand for the event has blown us away. Tickets first went on sale last Friday and already most of them have been snapped up. I’d encourage anyone looking to attend this year’s fascinating lecture to book their tickets as soon as possible.’