Tim Lewens

Last updated

Timothy Mark Lewens
Born (1974-06-29) 29 June 1974 (age 49)
Era Modern
Region British philosophy
Main interests
History and philosophy of science
Website www.people.hps.cam.ac.uk/index/teaching-officers/lewens/

Tim Lewens (born 29 June 1974) [1] is a professor in the history and philosophy of biology, medicine, and bioethics at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Lewens is a Fellow of Clare College, where he serves as Director of Studies in Philosophy [2] and he is a member of the academic staff and lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). [3]



Lewens completed his PhD thesis at the Department of HPS, Cambridge University in 2001. He became a lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge soon after completing his doctoral thesis. He now serves as a governor at Exeter School where he was formerly a pupil. [4] He was member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 2009 to 2015 [5] and a member of the Council's Working Party on human bodies in medicine and research (report published autumn 2011). [6]


Lewens has written and lectured extensively on evolution and his book on this subject, Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere (2004) received wide critical acclaim, [7] [8] [9] [10] as did his 2007 monograph on Charles Darwin. [11] [12] [13] [14]


In 2008, Lewens was one of eleven recipients of the University of Cambridge's Pilkington Prize for the quality of his teaching. [15]

Selected publications

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Darwinism</span> Theory of biological evolution

Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Also called Darwinian theory, it originally included the broad concepts of transmutation of species or of evolution which gained general scientific acceptance after Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, including concepts which predated Darwin's theories. English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley coined the term Darwinism in April 1860.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Natural selection</span> Mechanism of evolution by differential survival and reproduction of individuals

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The teleological argument is an argument for the existence of God or, more generally, that complex functionality in the natural world which looks designed is evidence of an intelligent creator.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stephen C. Meyer</span> American author, educator and advocate of intelligent design creationism

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The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), of the University of Cambridge is the largest department of history and philosophy of science in the United Kingdom. A majority of its submissions received maximum ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2014 REF. Located in the historic buildings of the Old Physical Chemistry Laboratories on Free School Lane, Cambridge, the department teaches undergraduate courses towards the Cambridge Tripos and graduate courses including a taught Masters and PhD supervision in the field of HPS. The department shares its premises with the Whipple Museum and Whipple Library which provide important resources for its teaching and research.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Teleology in biology</span> Use of language of goal-directedness in the context of evolutionary adaptation

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"The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme", also known as the "Spandrels paper", is a paper by evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin, originally published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences in 1979. The paper criticizes the adaptationist school of thought that was prevalent in evolutionary biology at the time using two metaphors: that of the spandrels in St Mark's Basilica, a cathedral in Venice, Italy, and that of the fictional character "Pangloss" in Voltaire's novella Candide. The paper was the first to use the architectural term "spandrel" in a biological context; the term "spandrel" has since gained currency in biology to refer to byproducts of adaptation.


  1. LexisNexis Academic Database: 2009 ICC Information Group
  2. Clare College Admissions Dr Tim Lewens Retrieved 21 August 2010
  3. HPS, University of Cambridge Teaching Officers Tim Lewens
  4. "Exeter School Governing Body: Tim Lewens MA MPhil PhD". Exeter School . Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  5. "Past Council Members". Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  6. Nuffield Council on Bioethics' official website - human bodies
  7. Neander, K. (2006). "Moths and Metaphors. Review Essay on Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere by Tim Lewens". Biology & Philosophy. 21 (4): 591–602. doi:10.1007/s10539-005-9006-6. S2CID   84425781.
  8. Elder, Crawford L. (2005) Review: Are Organisms Artifacts of Natural Selection? by Tim Lewens, The American Journal of Psychology , Vol. 118, No. 3 (Fall, 2005), pp. 469-475
  9. Shanahan, T. (2004). "Design by Nature". BioScience. 54 (11): 1044–1046. doi: 10.1641/0006-3568(2004)054[1044:DBN]2.0.CO;2 . ISSN   0006-3568. (Review of Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere by Tim Lewens.)
  10. Zimmerman, William F (2005) (Review of) Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere. Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology. By Tim Lewens. A Bradford Book. Cambridge (Massachusetts): MIT Press. $32.00. xi + 183 p; ill.; index. ISBN   0-262-12261-8. 2004. The Quarterly Review of Biology , June 2005, vol. 80, no. 2
  11. Ghiselin, Michael T. (24 March 2007). "Tim Lewens Darwin". Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  12. "Interview with Tim Lewens". Darwin Correspondence Project . Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  13. Ruse, M. (2008). "Review: Tim Lewens: Darwin". Mind . 117 (468): 1094–1097. doi:10.1093/mind/fzn135.
  14. Lennox, J. G. (2009). "Darwin, Philosopher". Metascience. 18: 121–124. doi:10.1007/s11016-009-9252-3. S2CID   189912275.
  15. "Pilkington Prizes honour teaching excellence". University News. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2010.