As humans, how we see ourselves and relate to each other, and the world, is a crucial issue of our time. What it means to be human—and more specifically, a moral being—is the particular concern of a program at the Center for Humans and Nature, supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
Subject Life Sciences
Many insights derived from social and psychological studies shed light on the nature of religious beliefs. Moreover, the research could usefully illuminate the public discussion of religion and science, which can otherwise descend into negative cultural wars. Addressing this gap was the goal of a recent workshop, Breaking New Ground in the Science-Religion Dialogue.
Are the biological sciences and religion in perpetual conflict with one another? Not necessarily, some believe, although the question remains a challenging one. Yet, this did not stop over 400 people who gathered to explore and discuss the topic in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and online from June 30-July 2 for the Evolution and Christian Faith Conference, the culmination of a 3-year program supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
Key milestones in the story of human evolution—including walking upright, developing technologies, and language development—are explored in a new traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian and the American Library Association. Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human?, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will appear at 19 public libraries across the United States between April 2015 and April 2017.
There can be little doubt that human beings are different from other animals. What other terrestrial creature notices its differences and seeks to understand itself to the extent that we do? But what makes us—and made us—unique? A new $4.9 million, three-year grant at Arizona State University’s Institute of Human Origins is enabling a multifaceted, transdisciplinary research project that will help chart the processes that led us to becoming human.
How to think differently was a theme that linked two recent episodes of On Being, the American Public Media radio show hosted by Krista Tippett. Both episodes, funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation, explored the idea that psychology is showing that changing our perception of ourselves and others can be achieved by recognizing how our views are intimately connected to our attitudes.