David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy 73 (4):593-608 (1998)
This paper shows how the last twenty-five years of vocal human Darwinism (human sociobiology and evolutionary psychology) directly rejects the ‘selfish gene’ theory it is supposedly based upon. ‘Evangelistic sociobiology’, as Dawkins has called it, argues that humans evolved to be ‘the altruistic ape’. Using selfish gene theory this paper shows that we are born just another selfish ape. Given the ‘gross immorality’ (George Williams) of natural selection, one implication is that modern genetics has yet to face up to our true genetic code. The ultimate conclusion of this paper is that culture makes civilisation possible because it overwrites, or ‘manipulates’, our genetic heritage. We are born ape, but made human.
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