Edward Wilson's Social Conquest of Earth

New York Times Bestseller

From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career.

Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends “the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls “a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition,” Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a “great blessing and a terrible curse” (Smithsonian). Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth’s biosphere. 90 illustrations

I dont know, could be a dud, could be interesting.

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  • Calvin R.

    Fun discussion.

    October 1, 2014

    • Michael

      It was like a Science Friday episode on NPR.

      1 · October 2, 2014

  • Greg

    I'll be late, after 8. I'll stop rapping now.

    September 25, 2014

  • Laura

    Hi all,

    I'm reading the book now, and I can recommend some judicious skimming in places. This book is written by a major researcher in evolutionary biology. While he's a good writer who's written several popular science books, even I as a biologist (albeit one working in a totally different field) had trouble following the book at around chapter 18.

    But now in chapter 20, it's all quite accessible again. He's back to talking about different views of human nature, eg that we are born as blank slates and our natures are entirely determined by culture vs. the conservative religious view that we're happiest sticking to our innermost nature, which is fixed by God.

    So I hope people can push past the tough parts. I think the evolution of social behavior has some really interesting implications for morality and for sin, for the tribalism that causes such problems in world politics, and for the ideals of communism. So I'd look forward to talking about these things with others.

    September 21, 2014

    • Calvin R.

      Id have to agree Laura, while it is quite difficult to decipher at some points there is quite a lot of interesting stuff in the later chapters.

      September 24, 2014

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