London trip: the 2012 LERN debate

On the last day we attended the LERN debate at UCL. The topic of the debate was Ernst Mayr’s distinction between proximate and ultimate explanations of behaviour and the notion discussed was:

  • This house believes that the distinction between proximate and ultimate causes hinders a complete understanding of evolutionary processesIMAG0205

Not surprisingly the winner was the people arguing against the notion (Professor Tom Dickins, Middlesex University and Dr Thom Scott-Phillips, University of Durham), i.e. the distinction between ultimate and proximate still has value.

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