In those days, students could be anti-Darwinist.
Readers may recall E.O. Wilson, founder of sociobiology (which was the predecessor of evolutionary psychology). Recently, he achieved fame/notoriety by renouncing his group selection evolution theory (after leading many of Darwin followers to devote careers to them). Here’s a profile of him in the Harvard Gazette:
Sociobiology was far more than what many of its critics wanted to call it: just the belief that human beings have genetic-based instincts. Sociobiology is the systematic study of the biological basis of social behavior in all kinds of animals, and that’s how I developed it in those two books. It was very simple. I did say that maybe the same principles that we’re learning from comparative studies of social behavior and the evolution of social behavior in animals might apply to human beings. But if it applied to human beings, the only way it can be applied meaningfully is that human beings have instincts. We have drives that are inborn, that people inherit, and there may be variation among people. I stepped into a minefield by finishing this big book, “Sociobiology,” with a chapter saying how it could be applied to people. I tried to be cautious. I should have been more politically careful, by saying this does not imply racism, it does not imply sexism, I’m not trying to defend capitalism, so don’t drop the world on top of me. If I’d added that in the book, then I might have gotten off a little easier. More.
Naturally, the interviewer doesn’t ask him to explain why his theory doesn’t imply racism or sexism. Perhaps it doesn’t, but that’s hardly self-evident.
Evolutionary psychology, he admits, was so named explicitly to distance itself from sociobiology (yes, it was that controversial).
And curiously there is no mention in the profile of the 2012 group selection uproar either.
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