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About the book
  • Published: 1 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446412176
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304
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Alas Poor Darwin

Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology




The first comprehensible critique of Evolutionary Psychology and its key thinkers (Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, E.O. Wilson, etc.), written for the general reader

Today, genes are called upon to explain almost every aspect of our lives, from social inequalities to health, sexual preference and criminality. Based on Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, Evolutionary Psychology with its claim that 'it's all in our genes' has become the most popular scientific theory of the late 20th century. Books such as Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene, Edward O.Wilson's Consi/ience and Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct have become bestsellers and frame the public debate on human life and development we can see their influence as. soon as we open a Sunday newspaper.
In recent years, however, many biologists and social scientists have begun to contest this new biological determinism and shown that Evolutionary Psychology rests on shaky empirical evidence, flawed premises and unexamined political presuppositions. In this provocative and ground,breaking book, Hilary and Steven Rose have gathered together the most eminent and outspoken critics of this fashionable ideology, ranging from Stephen Jay Gould and Patrick Bateson to Mary Midgley, Tim Ingold and Annette Karmiloff-Smith. What emerges is a new perspective on human development which acknowledges the complexity of life by placing at its centre the living organism rather than the gene.

  • Pub date: 1 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446412176
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Authors

Hilary Rose

Steven Rose is Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and University of London. From 1999 to 2002 he was joint Professor of Physiology at Gresham College, London with his wife, the sociologist Hilary Rose. She is currently Visiting Research Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of Bradford and Professor Emeritus of Physick, Gresham College, London, UK.

Steven Rose

Steven Rose is Professor of Biology and Director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at The Open University, Visiting Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at University College London, and, jointly with sociologist Hilary Rose, was the Professor of Physic (genetics and society) at Gresham College, London. His previous books include The Chemistry of Life (1996), Science and Society (with Hilary Rose) (1973), The Conscious Brain (1973), Molecules and Minds: Essays on Biology and the Social Order (1988), and The Making of Memory (1992). The Making of Memory won the 1993 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize and he has received a variety of medals and international awards, most recently the Biochemical Society’s special medal for science communication, the Edinburgh Medal and the silver medal of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts.


Praise for Alas Poor Darwin

“There is much that is good in this book”

New Statesman


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