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

By Hilary Rose, Steven Rose

At the present time, genes are known as upon to provide an explanation for nearly each point of our lives, from social inequalities to overall healthiness, sexual choice and illegal activity. in keeping with Darwin's concept 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 idea of the overdue twentieth century. Books comparable 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 see their impression once we open a Sunday newspaper. lately, notwithstanding, many biologists and social scientists have started to contest this new organic determinism and proven that Evolutionary Psychology rests on shaky empirical facts, fallacious premises and unexamined political presuppositions. during this provocative and ground-breaking booklet, Hilary and Steven Rose have collected jointly the main eminent and outspoken critics of this stylish 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 lifestyles through putting at its centre the residing organism instead of the gene.

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

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In a competitive academic world, it has been a delight to work with contributors none of whom attempted to impose their special disciplinary understandings on others, but who were prepared to listen and to collaborate in creating this book as, we trust, something more than the sum of its parts. This process was aided by Charles Jencks’s generous hospitality at Portrack and by the input of others present at the seminar, but who are not represented in this book: Cambridge (US) molecular biologist Jeremy Ahouse, MIT psychologist Bob Berwick and Birkbeck College historian of science Dorothy Porter.

Policies must change accordingly: ‘Tortured legal doctrines that defy . . our emerging comprehension of human nature . . ’29 Evolutionary psychologists explain international violence in terms of evolutionary pressures among males. Warfare, they claim, can be understood as an adaptive strategy for acquiring the resources to mate and produce offspring that will carry on their genetic endowment. 30 Evolutionary psychologists also apply their theories to the explanation of gender differences and to prescriptions about appropriate moral behaviour.

At one level, the gene is a biological entity, the unit of heredity, a sequence of DNA that specifies the composition of a protein carrying the information that forms the tissues and cells. 23 They too endow the gene with spiritual importance as a powerful and sacred object – an essential and immortal entity through which human life, history and fate can be explained and understood. They too elevate genes by treating them as a way to explore fundamental questions about human life, to define the essence of human existence and to imagine immortality.

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