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In this hour, is there some design intention behind the apparently random choices made by the evolutionary process? That's the intriguing question explored this hour. Steve Paulson visits with renowned British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris in his office at Cambridge University in England to talk about Morris's radical idea that humans, or something like them, were the inevitable outcome of the appearance of life on earth.
Next, historian and philosopher of science Robert Richards tells Steve Paulson that Charles Darwin himself believed evolution marches inevitably toward greater complexity.
Then, Ruth Padel is an acclaimed British poet and a direct descendent of Charles Darwin. She's now written Darwin: A Life in Poems, having grown up hearing stories about her famous ancestor. She talks about it with Jim Fleming, and reads some of her poems.
After that, John Haught is a Roman Catholic theologian at Georgetown University, and the author of God After Darwin and God and the New Atheism. Haught talks with Steve Paulson about his theology of evolution.
And finally, paleo-anthropologist John Hawks shows Anne Strainchamps around his lab at the University o Wisconsin and they talk about how human beings have evolved since their cave man days, and how the process is continuing. [Broadcast Date: December 1, 2010]