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

by Natasha Abrahams (follow)
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alas poor darwin hilary rose steven rose

'Alas, Poor Darwin' consists of fifteen chapters penned by different authors on the limitations of evolutionary psychology.

Evolutionary psychology seeks to explain human behaviour through evolution. For example, evolutionary psychologists have argued that higher likelihood of children being abused by their step-fathers (as opposed to their natural parents) is an adaptation, as this gives the step-father a better chance of having his own children with the mother.
Evolutionary psychology is a controversial discipline, not least because it re-frames complex social problems as a natural consequence of evolved human behaviour.

Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution are revered by authors in this book. While the authors do not deny that he held some views which would be considered politically incorrect today, this is not the target of their criticism. They attack modern scientists, particularly Richard Dawkins of Selfish Gene fame, for perverting Darwin's work.

While the chapters are united by a common theme, each chapter is self-contained; it is not necessary to read them in order. With perspectives from many different experts, the book discusses the limitations of evolutionary psychology as a tapestry. With perspectives from geneticists, sociologists, and even an architect, the impression of the book is that a plurality of perspectives is needed to explain human behaviour.

Rating: 5/5
Published: 2000

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