Here, in a review of Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others (David Sloan Wilson/Yale University/Templeton Press):
Wilson believes that to answer this question, we must turn to evolutionary theory, and especially to a theory known as group selection, which holds that better adapted groups produce more offspring, with the result that their traits are passed on. The implications are far-reaching. If group selection is correct, it follows that humans and other group-living creatures are fundamentally not selfish but cooperative and even altruistic—that we human beings owe our existence to distant ancestors who were members of groups that succeeded because they were better able to cooperate than other groups.
Group selection departs from the more familiar model of individual selection that sees the evolutionary prize going to the individual, male or female, who has more surviving offspring, regardless of health and life-span, much less altruism. Yet another variant of Darwinian theory reduces evolution to what the biologist Richard Dawkins famously called “the selfish gene.” In this view, the true competition to reproduce is at the level of the gene, and an organism is only a gene’s way of making a copy of itself. More.
But who except Darwin’s followers decided that any such competition has ever existed?
Who said life forms were focused on spreading their genes, individually or collectively? As opposed to where their next meal is coming from?
It’s one of those “problems” that is only a problem if one believes in the theory.
Similarly, why didn’t the new Soviet man ever materialize? It’s a problem that disappears if one doesn’t believe in the theory. Templeton, the publisher of recent nonsense on the subject, apparently does.
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