Marc Hauser

You’ve written that the human sense of right and wrong has evolved. If we have a moral instinct, why did it evolve? What are the advantages?
So the ramifications here are enormous, for parenting, school, religion. Isn't that where most people think they get their sense of right and wrong from?
If our moral instinct, and guilt along with it, are inherited, do you foresee a way in the future to pinpoint that this gene does this, or this gene does that?
Are we still evolving? If so, is our moral instinct evolving as well?
Some think we're not evolving anymore, that natural selection requires isolation. You don't share that view?
Let's talk about evolution in the United States. If you don't accept evolution, how can you learn biology? Or genetics?
How do you see the issue of evolution and education?

Marc Hauser's research sits at the interface between evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience and is aimed at understanding how the minds of human and nonhuman animals evolved. By studying monkeys and apes in both the wild and in captivity, as well as human infants and adults, Hauser's work has unlocked some of the mysteries of language evolution, conceptual representation, social cooperation, communication, and morality. He is a Harvard College Professor, Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, and Biological Anthropology, Co-Director of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Program, Director of the Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, and the author of more than 200 papers and five books, including The Evolution of Communication (1996, MIT) , Wild Minds (2000, Holt), and the forthcoming Moral Minds: The unconscious voice of right and wrong (Harper Collins). He is currently working on a book about the mind with Noam Chomsky.

Future of Science

There of Science conference was held in Venice, Italy in September of 2006. Peter Atkins, Daniel Dennett, Marc Hauser, and Ian Tattersall were interviewed at this the Second World Conference. The theme was evolution and as the organizers themselves state:

Evolution is a central concept in many spheres of human endeavour, ranging from astrophysics and genetics to philosophy and psychology. Reflection about evolution is reflection about ourselves, our future and our place in the universe.

Visit the Future of Science website