Reality about Human Morality


The four declarative statements below are based on a broad review of the multidisciplinary literature and are published along with associated “substantiating research studies” deemed adequate to support them. Taken together, they affirm the natural underpinnings of human morality. Listed below the statements are members of the review panel of research scientists and ethicists involved in the authentication process.

Statement A

Morality is an evolved repertoire of cognitive and emotional mechanisms with distinct biological underpinnings, as modified by experience acquired throughout the human lifespan. [See research studies]

see also n.b.

Statement B

Morality is not the exclusive domain of Homo sapiens; there is significant cross-species evidence in the scientific literature that animals exhibit "pre-morality" or basic moral behaviors (i.e. those patterns of behavior that parallel central elements of human moral behavior). [See research studies]

Statement C

Morality is a "human universal" (i.e. exists across all cultures worldwide), a part of human nature acquired during evolution. [See research studies]

Statement D

Young children and infants demonstrate some aspects of moral cognition and behavior (which precede specific learning experiences and worldview development). [See research studies]

Panel of Reviewers

Oliver Curry, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology
The University of Oxford

Herbert Gintis, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Economics
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Joshua D. Greene, Ph.D.
John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences
Harvard University

Debra Lieberman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
The University of Miami

Jessica Pierce, Ph.D.
Associate Faculty, The Center for Bioethics and Humanities
The University of Colorado

Peter Singer
Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics
Princeton University

Peter DeScioli, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Stony Brook University

Frans de Waal, Ph.D.
C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior
Emory University

Donald Brown, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara

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