Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dawkinsian Orthodoxy Challenged

Creating quite a stink is E. O. Wilson's championing of what he describes as a "heresy," an "alternative theory [which] holds that the origins of altruism and teamwork have nothing to do with kinship or the degree of relatedness between individuals" — Where does good come from?

Rather, "groups of cooperators can out-compete groups of non-cooperators, thereby ensuring that their genes — including the ones that predispose them to cooperation — are handed down to future generations." Author Leon Neyfakh notes, "Those who bristle at the notion that all altruistic behavior can be recast, via kin selection, as being indirectly self-interested — those who would like to think there’s room in nature for a more genuine form of altruism — may find it appealing."

Some recent posts on mention scientific challenges to Darwinian orthodoxy — The Prophet George Jackson Mivart, A Paleobiologist Reviews What Darwin Got Wrong, Natural Selection Debunked?, What Darwin Got Wrong. The Argument from Conscience, of course, provides a deeper explanation as to how the phenomena play out in our species.

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