David Sloan Wilson – Religion and Spirituality in the Context of Everyday Life


Hosted by Green College’s Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture: The Evolution of Religion, Morality and Cooperation lecture series. Religion and spirituality are often discussed as “big” philosophical and scientific questions, but they also need to be understood in the context of everyday life. The small city of Binghamton, New York, includes almost 100 religious congregations, along with many non-churchgoers with their own religious/spiritual/secular beliefs. The city can be studied as a “cultural ecosystem” using the same theories and methods that are used to study biological ecosystems. This approach to religion and spirituality can be employed at other geographical locations and provides a new perspective on the “big” philosophical and scientific questions. David Sloan Wilson is Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University.


Select Articles and Books from UBC Library

Wilson, D. S. (1980). The natural selection of populations and communities. Menlo Park, Calif: Benjamin/Cummings Pub. Co.

Wilson, D. S. (2014). Does altruism exist?: Culture, genes, and the welfare of others. West Conshohocken, PA; New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wilson, D. S. (1998). Adaptive individual differences within single populations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.Series B: Biological Sciences, 353(1366), 199-205. doi:10.1098/rstb.1998.0202 [Link]

Wilson, D. S. (2011). The neighborhood project: Using evolution to improve my city, one block at a time. New York: Little, Brown and Co.


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Philosophy