The Social Conquest Of Earth


Sharon and I stumbled across an interview on C-SPAN with E. O. Wilson in which he talked about his new book The Social Conquest Of Earth. On The e.o.wilson Biodiversity Foundation web site, I found this precis of the book.

Where did we come from? What are we? Where are we going? In a generational work of clarity and passion, one of our greatest living scientists directly addresses these three fundamental questions of religion, philosophy, and science while “overturning the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover magazine). Refashioning the story of human evolution in a work that is certain to generate headlines, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to show that group selection, not kin selection, is the primary driving force of human evolution. He proves that history makes no sense without prehistory, and prehistory makes no sense without biology. Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, Wilson 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.

There were some really big “Aha” moments in the interview.  For instance, I came to understand the roles of Democrats(Liberals) and Republicans(Conservative) in society.  He explains why we need them both and yet how we need to balance both. The “Aha” moment is more profound than even the above book summary indicates.

When I read The New York Times article, Capitalists and Other Psychopaths, I was able to appreciate it  at a much higher level because of what I had learned from E. O. Wilson.

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