Talk on ‘The evolution of morality’ by SU’s Dr Juri van den Heever

Dr Juri van den Heever

The Friends of Richard Dawkins Association (FoRDA) will host a talk titled “The evolution of morality”, by Dr Juri van den Heever, senior lecturer in the Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University (SU), on Thursday November 21, at 7.30pm, at the Rotary Hall, corner of Cloetenberg and Lourensford roads, Somerset West.

Dr Van den Heever retired in 2007, but has since been annually reappointed. He is a graduate of the University of Stellenbosch.

In 1974 he joined the Department of Karoo Palaeontology at the South African Museum in Cape Town, where he worked as a Karoo palaeontologist, eventually to be appointed head of the department.

In 1988 he relocated to the then Department of Zoology at the University of Stellenbosch where he has continued his research on the comparative anatomy of the mammal-like reptiles of the Karoo, from time to time collaborating with palaeontologists at the University of Chicago in the United States, the University of Tübingen in Germany, the University of the Witwatersrand and the National Museum in Bloemfontein.

He has lectured extensively on the palaeontology, embryology, anatomy and evolution of vertebrates at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as presenting a postgraduate course on the philosophy of science.

During this time he also acted as study leader for a number of MSc and PhD students in palaeontology. Dr Van der Heever is a past president of the Palaeontological Society of South Africa.

His talk will explore that humans are inexorably the outcome of millions of years of development, and have been extensively shaped by evolutionary processes.

The complexity of our perceived world, including our predilection for a moral stance as the normative basis of our existence, is contingent upon this fact. Entry is free. For more information, go to