Darwin and beyond

Anyone interested in evolutionary biology will, to some extent, touch upon the more far reaching and philosophical aspects that may follow from a darwinian view of life. Linked to an interest in environmental issues, I have allocated some time to study the evolution of biological ideas and concepts, and their potential bearings on moral issues like selfishness vs. altruism, and aspects linked to determinism, chance and necessity. Do avoid the naturalistic fallacy! Click on books and writings and essays for more information on darwinism and neo-darwinism among other things (mostly in Norwegian). An edited book on Darwin from various angles (Hessen, Stenseth and Lie) was published in 2009 in the honour of the 200 year (since birth) and 150 year (since Origin of Species) anniversaries. Also a book on evolutiona aimed for a younger audience will be published by fall 2009.

Another long-lasting interest is Nature at large, i.e. both human in nature and the nature in humans. Related to the first topic, I have since childhood had a deep passion for nature and "conservation" (not an ideal word in this context...) of nature. Related to this is the nature of humans. Are there inherited and deeply rooted drives in humans towards degradation of nature due to short-term harvesiting of goods. While I do argue against a belief in genetic determinism (cf. Gener, Gud og Gaia, 2003), human nature - or rather human natures - are never irrelevant. Pretty much of my more popular writings are centered around these issued, latest expressed in the book titled Nature (2008). As a consequence of this, I am very much in favour of Arne Næss´ wisdom of life; "Rich life, simple means" ("Det rike liv med enkle midler").

I have also had a long time fascination of the philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe and his biosophy as a tool for analyzing aspects of human life and fate (or the human tragedy with Zapffes existensialistic concept). Some rather superficial answers under the heading "Meanings of life" are given in this interview.Darwins verden