He is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American and producer of the 13-hour Fox Family television series, Exploring the Unknown. He is the author of The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule. He wrote a biography, In Darwin’s Shadow, about the life and science of the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace. He also wrote The Borderlands of Science, about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience, and Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of historical distortion. His book How We Believe: Science, Skepticism,and the Search for God, presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God. The Book was widely and positively reviewed and was on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list as well as the New Sciences science books bestseller list in England.
This lecture is based on the third volume in the trilogy on the power of belief. Two of the deepest and most challenging problems of our age are tackled:
Embedded within these two problems are questions that have occupied the greatest minds in history: Is it in our nature to be moral, immoral, or amoral? If we evolved by natural forces then what was the natural purpose of morality? If we live in a determined universe, then how can we make free moral choices? Does evil exist, and if so, what is the nature of evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? In this stunning conclusion to an intellectual journey into the mind and soul of humanity, Dr.Shermer peels back the inner layers covering our core being to reveal a complexity of human motives–selfish and selfless, cooperative and competitive, virtue and vice, good and evil, moral and immoral. He shows how these motives came into being as a product of both our evolutionary heritage and cultural history, and how we can construct an ethical system that generates a morality that is neither dogmatically absolute nor irrationally relative – a provisional morality for an age of science that provides empirical evidence and a rational basis for belief.
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