The New Science of Evolutionary Cognition: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

The mechanistic view of animals of the last few centuries is on its way out as claims about human uniqueness in the cognitive domain have fallen one by one. From tool-using crows to cooperating fish, many unexpected new capacities across the animal kingdom have come to light. There is now overwhelming evidence that many animals monitor their own knowledge (“metacognition”) and can reflect on both past and future. It is increasingly clear that our old one-dimensional model of a scale of cognitive capacities that goes from “lower” to “higher” life forms doesn’t fit the data. The world-renowned primatologist/ethologist Frans de Waal will draw from his deep experience studying cooperation and empathy among primates to explore with us the concept of “convergent evolution” and the new science of Evolutionary Cognition. He will offer us a radically expanded vision of how intelligence evolves and is distributed among our planet’s creatures.

Marina Theater

May 14th | 2:45 pm to 4:15 pm


Frans B. M. de Waal
C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus
Emory University
Bioneers 2019 Conference - Seeding the Field: Growing Transformative Movements
Bioneers 2022 Conference - A Window Through
Bioneers 2022 Conference - A Window Through