Evolution and Historical Explanation: Contingency, Convergence, and Teleology: CHED-IRC Conference, Oxford, 17-19 July




For further details, please contact  i.hesketh@uq.edu.au or the Ian Ramsey Centre administrator: irc.admin@theology.ox.ac.uk



Thursday 17 July 2014

2:00pm Registration

4:00pm Introduction and welcome

4:30pm Simon Conway Morris, “Is Convergence Becoming Too Popular?”

6:00pm Reception

6:30pm Dinner

8:00pm Michael Ruse, “Are Humans Necessary? Or Why You Feel the Way You Do”


Friday 18 July 2014

9:00am John Beatty, “Narrating Chance”

10:30am Coffee break

11:00am Short Papers

1:00pm Lunch

2:00pm Short papers

4:00pm Coffee break

4:30pm Betül Kacar, “Historical Contingency: Insights from in-vivo Molecular Evolution of a Reconstructed Ancient Protein”

6:00pm Free time

6:30pm Dinner


Saturday 19 July 2014

9:00am Short Papers

10:30am Coffee break

11:00am Short Papers

1:00pm Lunch

2:00pm Allan Megill, “Paradoxes, Presuppositions and Proposed Uses of the Evolutionary Epic”

3:30pm Free Time

5:00pm Play “Mr Darwin’s Tree” (in association with BioLogos and SCIO)

6:30pm Reception

6:30pm Final Dinner

This is an interdisciplinary conference that seeks to bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines in both the humanities and the sciences.  We are interested to explore questions at the interface of history and the natural sciences, particularly by focusing on laws, patterns and narrative structures in human history, evolutionary history, and cosmology. The conference is part of the “Science, Progress and History” project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland (CHED), and the Ian Ramsey Centre (IRC), Oxford.

Short papers accepted

Friday 18, 11:00am to 1:00pm

Session A

W. A. Phillips, The Third Big Bang: A Coherent Information-Theoretic Perspective on Directionality in the Evolution of Brain and Mind

Ivan Colagè; Paolo D’Ambrosio, Exaptation and Neural Reuse: Insights into Human Cognitive and Neural Evolution

Steve Donaldson, Who Pulls the Random Strings in Neural Evolution?

Louise Daoust, Appealing to Historical Function: The Significance of Evolutionary Explanation in Experimental Psychology

Session B

Friedrich von Petersdorff, A Reconsideration of Collingwood’s Analysis of the Difference between Human History and Natural Sciences

Martin J. Rice, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Hominin Natural History

Jack Tsonis, Big History and Critical Theory: The Potential of Collective Learning

Gregory Sandstrom, Evolution and Extension in Big and Little History: A Kind of Different Degrees

Session C

Efram Sera-Shriar, Historicising Inuit: Richard King, Monogenism, Travel Narratives and Early British Ethnology

James Ungureanu, J.W. Draper, Dynamical Physiology, and the Law of Progress

Tom Aechtner, Darwin, Discord, and Directionality: Biological Evolution and Progress Narratives in Anthropology Textbooks

Christopher Oldfield, Darwinian Fundamentalism: The Strange Place of Biology in the Atheist Imagination


Friday 18, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Session A

Robin Attfield, Directionality in History, Science, Humanities, and Evolution: The Interplay of Progressive Institutions

Herman Philipse, Is Evolutionary Theory Compatible with the View that God Guided Evolution?

Rope Kojonen, Salvaging Biological Design Arguments in Light of Darwin

Sam (R.J.) Berry, They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There, that Divine Elusive Creater-or

Session B

Arlyn Culwick, What is it to be Something? Order and Semiosis

Cleide Costa, What Makes Us Unique?

Lukasz Albanski, What Is the Meaning of Extra-terrestrial?

Paul Rezkalla, Outta My Head: Cognitive Science of Religion and Arguments Against Theism

Session C

Nanna Kaalund, The Cosmogony, Natural Theology, and Geology of John William Dawson

Peter N. Jordan, Providence and Laws of Nature before Darwin

Diana Stanciu, Convergence, Teleology, and the Evolution of Matter towards Consciousness: Science and Religion in Teilhard de Chardin

Craig A. Boyd, C.S. Lewis, Evolutionary Explanations, and Teleology


Saturday 19, 9:00am to 1:00pm

Session A

R. I. Vane-Wright, From Kant to Kauffman: Has Teleological Explanation ever been Absent from Biology?

Donovan Schaefer, Let’s Be Queer about Darwin: Teleology, Desire, and Religion

Karin Sellberg, Progress vs Progression: Vitalist Histories in Contemporary Feminist Philosophy

Session B

Mustapha Kara-Ali, Contingency and the Challenge of History: Discerning the Constructivist Structure of the Scientific Revolution

Juan Luis Fernandez, Darwin Goes to Sarajevo: Evolutionary Theories Underlying a Century of Historiography about the Outbreak of WWI

Carl Reinhold Bråkenhielm, Is Teleology Dangerous? Between Future-Inclusive and non Future-Inclusive Views of History

Session C

Hugh Desmond, Evolutionary Explanation and History: A Set-Theoretical Approach

Stephen Boulter, Contrastive Explanations in Evolutionary Biology and History

Paolo D’Ambrosio; Ivan Colagè, Directionality and Complexification in Evolution

Coffee Break

Session A

David Sepkoski, ‘Replaying the Tape of Life’: Simulations, Models, and Metaphors in Stephen Jay Gould’s View of Life

Ian Hesketh, The Distant Futurity of the Evolutionary Epic

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, The Future of Life as Counterfactual History

Craig Lundy, Counterfactuals and the Creative Evolution of History: From Possibility to Virtuality

Session B

Fabio Sterpetti, Are Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Really Self-Defeating?

Davide Vecchi, Internal Panteleology, Accidental Combinogesis and Evolutionary Contingency

Frederik Moreira dos Santos, The Concept of Life and the Second Law of Thermodynamics: From Conflict to Interdisciplinary Dialogue

Arianne Shahvisi, Particles do not Conspire

Session C

Eleonora Severini, Evolutionary Troubles with Moral Objectivity

Ron Bontekoe, The Violation of Institutional Norms in the (Presumed) Service of Ethical Progress

Gary Keogh, Ethics as the Last Vestige of Teleology in Evolution

Reinmar Seidler, Darwin, Beethoven, Humboldt: Modelling Ecological Complexity

Additional Information

Date 17-19 July 2014
Time 14:00
Speakers 2014 CHED-IRC Conference
Place St Anne's College, Oxford

Evolution and Historical Explanation: Contingency, Convergence, and Teleology: CHED-IRC Conference, Oxford, 17-19 July