Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology by Hilary Rose, Steven Rose

By Hilary Rose, Steven Rose

This present day, genes are referred to as upon to give an explanation for virtually each element of our lives, from social inequalities to wellbeing and fitness, sexual choice and criminal activity. in response to Darwin's conception of evolution and normal choice, Evolutionary Psychology with its declare that 'it's all in our genes' has turn into the most well-liked clinical concept of the overdue twentieth century. Books similar to Richard Dawkins's The egocentric Gene, Edward O.Wilson's Consilience and Steven Pinker's The Language intuition became bestsellers and body the general public debate on human lifestyles and improvement: we will be able to see their impact once we open a Sunday newspaper. lately, even though, many biologists and social scientists have started to contest this new organic determinism and proven that Evolutionary Psychology rests on shaky empirical proof, improper premises and unexamined political presuppositions. during this provocative and ground-breaking ebook, Hilary and Steven Rose have accrued jointly the main eminent and outspoken critics of this trendy ideology, starting from Stephen Jay Gould and Patrick Bateson to Mary Midgley, Tim Ingold and Annette Karmiloff-Smith. What emerges is a brand new viewpoint on human improvement which recognizes the complexity of existence through putting at its centre the residing organism instead of the gene.

Show description

Read or Download Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology PDF

Best biology & life sciences books

Agricultural Development in Tanganyika

In early 1961 the Ho-Institut fur Wirtschaftsforschung (Ho-Institute for monetary study) proven an "African experiences Centre" with the help of the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation to behavior examine into the commercial and political difficulties of constructing nations, with spe cial connection with the African international locations.

Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology

Likelihood and Necessity: Essay at the normal Philosophy of contemporary Biology (French: Le Hasard et los angeles Nécessité: Essai sur l. a. philosophie naturelle de l. a. biologie moderne) is a 1970 publication by way of Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod, examining the approaches of evolution to teach that lifestyles is just the results of typical strategies via "pure chance".

Biology Science for Life (4th Edition)

Coleen Belk and Virginia Borden Maier have helped scholars demystify biology for almost 20 years within the school room and approximately ten years with their e-book, Biology: technological know-how for all times. within the new Fourth version, they proceed to exploit tales and present concerns, corresponding to dialogue of melanoma to coach phone department, to attach biology to student’s lives.

Extra resources for Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology

Example text

The fervent claims of evolutionary psychologists, their search for ultimate meaning through their theories, are not unique. God-talk has come into vogue among scientists who are using explicit religious metaphors to project the meaning and power of their work. A spate of recent books blur the traditional boundaries between science and religion when their authors claim, with nearly religious conviction and clearly religious language, that they have found the ultimate unifying principle which will reveal the most fundamental truths.

Richard Dawkins takes this idea further, to claim that women have a disproportionate stake in children because of their ‘biological investment’ of both time and cytoplasm (the egg is larger than the sperm). 32 Such arguments, dealing with popular stereotypes, quickly reach the public through the mass media. In 1995 ABC aired a news special called ‘Boys and Girls are Different’ to announce the scientific evidence demonstrating the genetic differences between the sexes. Men have better spatial and directional abilities; women are better nurturers; men are better at maths; women have better verbal skills.

Cultural theorists, philosophers, anthropologists, developmental psychologists, ethologists and molecular biologists were drawn into criticising claims which affected their fields and hence general culture. Thus in a moment of exasperation with some of EP’s more fantastic claims, the ethologist Pat Bateson complained that it had set back evolutionary theory by ten years. A colleague teaching family studies to social work students saw the plausibility of the EP theory of stepfather infanticide as troublingly attractive to those students who wanted easy answers to complex problems.

Download PDF sample

Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology by Hilary Rose, Steven Rose
Rated 4.74 of 5 – based on 30 votes