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Simon Conway Morris

Simon Conway MorrisBorn: 6-Nov-1951
Birthplace: Carshalton, Surrey, England

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Paleontologist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Evolutionary paleobiologist

Simon Conway Morris is a professor of evolutionary paleobiology at the University of Cambridge, best known in scientific circles for his research and writing about the Burgess Shale formation, a fossil field in mountains of British Columbia. He has taken a somewhat middle of the road position on creation, accepting evolution as scientific fact but arguing that convergent evolution (similar biological traits in unrelated lineages, or as Morris puts it, "Many different groups of plants have learned how to become trees") suggests the existence of a creator working through evolution. He has written that the presence of human beings, despite long odds against mankind's existence, is a miracle, and humans "had to exist, exactly as we are." He also maintains that life on other planets is extremely unlikely, but that if such life forms exist the most evolved and advanced beings among them would be similar to humans on Earth.

    University: BS Geology, University of Bristol (1972)
    University: PhD, Cambridge University (1976)
    Fellow: St Johnís College, Cambridge University (1975)
    Lecturer: Earth Sciences, Open University (1979-83)
    Teacher: Earth Sciences, Cambridge University (1983-91)
    Professor: Evolutionary Palaeobiology, Cambridge University (1991-)

    NAS Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal 1987
    PS Charles Schuchert Award 1989
    GSL Charles Lyell Medal 1998
    Geological Society of London
    European Union of Geosciences
    Royal Society 1990
    UK Official Natural Environment Research Council (1997-2002)

Appears in articles:
U.S. News and World Report, 29-Sep-2003, DETAILS: Divining nature's plan (p.62, three pages), BYLINE: Thomas Hayden

Author of books:
The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals (1998)
Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (2003)


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