Evolution, the Human Sciences and Liberty meeting


Jason Collins


January 16, 2013

I had the following Mont Pelerin Society Special Meeting pointed out to me. It has a great bunch of speakers - Robert Boyd, Robin Dunbar, Leda Cosmides, Matt Ridley, Richard Wrangham, Pascal Boyer and Gary Becker among them. Not a bad location either, if you ignore the expense. Unfortunately, its for MPS members and their guests only.

Evolution, the Human Sciences and Liberty


This Mont Pelerin Society Special Meeting has the objective to link the concept of evolution to freedom, reinforce the debate that opposes classical liberal society and statism using biology and anthropology as theoretical foundations, and to understand cultural evolution of open societies as a mean to escape from the tribal order.

The Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), from Ecuador, will host this world summit on its Galapagos campus (GAIAS) located on the island of San Cristóbal.


Friedrich Hayek asserted that: “cultural evolution is not the result of human reason consciously building institutions, but of a process in which culture and reason developed concurrently…”. The co-evolution of human preferences and institutions poses serious problems to anyone who promotes policies that supposedly will alter only one of the two. It is the old problem of culture versus institutions. Freedom, property rights, rule of law, how is it that all these elements evolved to promote peace and prosperity? Why some are more prominent only in some societies while in others they are almost inexistent? During this world summit, scholars with training in the natural and social sciences will gather to discuss the evolution of and the current challenges to freedom. Galapagos provides a unique environment for this; it inspired Charles Darwin, more than one hundred fifty years ago, to make his groundbreaking contributions to the biological sciences.