In this bonus episode, Wendy speaks with evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. This episode is being released in conjunction with Mind & Life's new film, Evolution of the Heart — a short documentary covering conversations between the Dalai Lama, David Sloan Wilson, and social scientist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela from a 2019 Mind & Life event in Dharamsala, India. The theme of that gathering was Compassion, Interconnection, and Transformation; please check out the film here! David’s work extends beyond genetics to include personal and cultural evolution, and sheds light on how we can move forward as a global community. In this conversation, they discuss many topics, including:
the role of competition, cooperation, and prosocial behavior in human evolution;
how evolutionary pressure operates at both individual and group levels (multilevel selection);the possibility of conscious evolution;what it means to be part of a group;expanding the notion of the self;becoming "bilingual" in scientific and spiritual perspectives;the need to create a system of ethics for the whole world;and core design principles for creating more egalitarian and compassionate communities.