I'm at Logan to leave for Istanbul -but I just found out that the video for our latest lecture is now ready (thanks to Thomas Ciaburri). So here it is.
Dr. Barbara J. King was our Science & Religion Lecture Series speaker at Hampshire College on September 22nd. She gave a fantastic talk on the roots of our religious (or proto-religious) beliefs. Here is the video of her talk, Gorillas and God: The Evolutionary Roots of Religion (video of Q&A and the abstract for her talk below) Enjoy!
Gorillas and God: Evolutionary Roots of Religion by Dr. Barbara J King from Hampshire TV on Vimeo.
And here is the Q&A session:
Q&A with Dr. Barbra King from Hampshire TV on Vimeo.
Anthropologists routinely seek evidence for the primate origins of human technology, language, and culture. In this illustrated talk, anthropologist Barbara J. King reviews the findings to date from the search for an aspect of our primate past even more elusive: the deepest roots of human religiosity. Using modern African apes such as gorillas and chimpanzees as a guide, she reflects upon the earliest evolutionary manifestations of compassion, imagination, thinking beyond the here-and-now, and ritual. She traces the first evidence for spirituality in human material culture by consideration of archaeological sites such as the Chauvet and Lascaux Caves in France, and Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk in Turkey. King reflects as well on how we may, via a focus on the plasticity and contingency of our becoming-human trajectory (instead of on a heavily biologized account of our past), come to grasp more fully when it means to be human.
Dr. Barbara King is a biological anthropologist and Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at The College of William & Mary. Professor King’s research interests include primate behavior, especially ape communication, culture, and cognition; hominid evolution, especially evolution of language, culture, and religion; religion and science; dynamic systems theory;. She has studied ape and monkey behavior in Gabon, Kenya, and at the Language Research Center at Georgia State University. The recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, her books include The Information Continuum: Social Information Transfer in Monkeys, Apes, and Hominids, The Dynamic Dance: Nonvocal Communication in African Great Apes, Evolving God: A Provocative View on the Origins of Religion, and Being with Animals.
Please check out videos of earlier lectures at our Hampshire College Lecture Series on Science & Religion website.