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Sociology

Portal · History Edward Osborne Wilson (b. ... Sociobiology: The New Synthesis was a 1975 book by E. O. Wilson. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Sociology is a relatively new academic discipline among other social sciences including economics, political science, anthropology, and psychology. ...

General Aspects

Applied sociology · Public sociology
Social research · Sociological theory Sociology is the study of society and human social interaction. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Sociological practice. ... Public sociology is an approach to the discipline which seeks to transcend the academy and engage wider audiences. ... Social research refers to research conducted by social scientists (primarily within sociology, but also within other disciplines such as social policy, human geography, social anthropology and education). ... Sociological theory can refer to: contemporary sociological theory social theory sociological paradigms (also known as perespectives or frameworks) See also list of theories in sociology. ...

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Comparative sociology · Criminology
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Sociology of: culture · deviance
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science · stratification · work Sociology has many subfields. ... Comparative Sociology Comparative sociology generally refers to sociological analysis that involves comparison of social processes between nation-states, or across different types of society (for example capitalist and socialist). ... Criminology is the scientific study of crime as an individual and social phenomenon. ... Map of countries by population Population growth showing projections for later this century Demography is the statistical study of human populations. ... Social movements are broader political associations focussed on specific issues. ... Social Psychology is a subfield of sociology which looks at the social behavior of humans in terms of associations and relationships that they have. ... This article or section cites its sources but does not provide page references. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The sociology of deviance is the sociological study of deviant behavior, the recognized violation of cultural norms, and the creation and enforcement of those norms. ... Economic sociology may be defined as the sociological analysis of economic phenomena. ... Sociology of gender is a prominent subfield of sociology. ... The sociology of knowledge is the study of the social origins of ideas, and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies. ... An approach to law stressing the actual social effects of legal institutions, doctrines, and practices and vice versa. ... Political sociology is the study of power and the intersection of personality, social structure and politics. ... Sociology of science is the subfield of sociology that deals with the practice of science. ... In sociology, social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of social classes, castes, and strata within a society. ... Industrial Sociology (also known as sociology of industrial relations or sociology of work) is the study of the interaction of people within industry it includes the study of boss-subordinate, inter-departmental, and management / trade-union relationships´. Moreover, on a macrosociological scale, it is the study of the impact of...

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Sociobiology is a synthesis of scientific disciplines that explains behavior in all species by considering the evolutionary advantages of social behaviors. It is often considered a branch of biology and sociology, and it also draws from ethology, anthropology, evolution, zoology, archeology, population genetics, and other disciplines. Within the study of human societies, sociobiology is closely related to the fields of human behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology. // Foundations The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Max Weber Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus, 1904 Online version Description: In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber puts forward a thesis that Puritan ethic and ideas had influenced the development of capitalism. ... This is a list of terms in sociology. ... Synthesis (from the ancient Greek σύν (with) and θεσις (placing), is commonly understood to be an integration of two or more pre-existing elements which results in a new creation. ... For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Zoology (rarely spelled zoölogy) is the biological discipline which involves the study of non-human animals. ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ... Human behavioral ecology (HBE) or human evolutionary ecology applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimization to the study of human behavioral and cultural diversity. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


Sociobiology has become one of the greatest scientific controversies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Criticism, most notably made by Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould, centers on sociobiology's contention that genes play an important role in human behavior, suggesting that some of the individual variation in traits such as aggressiveness, is explained by variation in peoples' biology. In response to the controversy, anthropologist John Tooby and psychologist Leda Cosmides launched evolutionary psychology as a centrist form with less controversial focuses. For the Wikipedia policy regarding controversial issues in articles, see Wikipedia:Guidelines for controversial articles. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The 21st century is the present century of the Anno Domini (common) era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... Richard Lewontin Richard Charles Dick Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. ... Natural History magazine Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. ... This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Leda Cosmides Leda Cosmides, (born May 7, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American psychologist, who, together with anthropologist husband John Tooby, helped pioneer the field of evolutionary psychology. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

Contents

Definition

Sociobiology is based on the idea that some animal behaviors (both social and individual) are heritable and can be acted upon by natural selection. It predicts that animals will act in ways that improve their own inclusive fitness, and that this will result in social processes conducive to evolutionary fitness.


It has sometimes been associated with the "selfish gene" hypothesis that states that individual genes are acted upon by evolution more than individual organisms are. For example, self-sacrificing ("altruistic") behavior is explained, by sociobiologists, as behavior which increases the fitness of individuals that are genetically related to an altruistic individual, and thus the fitness of genes that lead to the altruistic behavior. For example, this may be invoked to explain why a lioness will nurse not only her own young, but the young of her close genetic relatives in the pride (nephews and nieces).


Sociobiology seeks to explain animal and human behavior as products of natural selection, thus behavior is seen as an effort to preserve ones genes in the population. (e.g. It may be invoked to explain why a new dominant male lion will kill cubs in the pride that do not belong to him. Killing the cubs causes the nursing females to come into heat faster, thereby giving the male lion an opportunity to get his genes into the population much faster).


History

The word "sociobiology" was coined by Edward O. Wilson in the 1975 book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis and antecedants of sociobiological thinking can be traced to the work of Robert Trivers and William D. Hamilton. The book pioneered and popularized the attempt to explain the evolutionary mechanics behind social behaviors such as altruism, aggression, and nurturence, primarily in ants (Wilson's own research specialty) but also in other animals. The final chapter of the book is devoted to sociobiological explanations of human behavior, and Wilson later wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book, On Human Nature, that addressed human behavior specifically. Edward Osborne Wilson (b. ... Sociobiology: The New Synthesis was a 1975 book by E. O. Wilson. ... Robert L. Trivers, (born 19 February 1943) is an American evolutionary biologist and sociobiologist, most noted for proposing the theories of reciprocal altruism (1971), parental investment (1972), and parent-offspring conflict (1974). ... This article is about the British biologist Bill Hamilton. ... For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ... In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. ... The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. ... On Human Nature is a 1979 Pulitzer prize winning book by the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson. ...


Sociobiological theory

Sociobiologists believe that human behavior, as well as non-human animal behavior, can be partly explained as the outcome of natural selection. They contend that in order fully to understand behavior, it must be analyzed in terms of evolutionary considerations. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1186x1409, 2018 KB)Biologist Edward O. Wilson. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1186x1409, 2018 KB)Biologist Edward O. Wilson. ... E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... For other uses, see Human nature (disambiguation). ...


Natural selection is considered fundamental to evolutionary theory, and it asserts that hereditary traits which increase an organisms ability to survive and reproduce will be more greatly represented in subsequent generations; they will be "selected for". Thus, inherited behavioral mechanisms that allowed an organism a greater chance of surviving and/or reproducing would be more likely to survive in present organisms. Many biologists accept that inherited adaptive behaviors are present in non-human animal species. However, there is a great deal of controversy over the application of evolutionary models to humans both within evolutionary biology itself and the social sciences. Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...


Sociobiology is based upon two fundamental premises:

  • Certain behavioral traits are inherited,
  • Inherited behavioral traits have been honed by natural selection. Therefore, these traits were probably "adaptive" in the species evolutionarily evolved environment.

Sociobiology uses Nikolaas Tinbergen's four categories of questions and explanations of animal behavior. Two categories are at the species level; two, at the individual level. The species-level categories (often called “ultimate explanations”) are Nikolaas Niko Tinbergen (April 15, 1907 – December 21, 1988) was a Dutch ethologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns in animals. ... When asked questions of animal behavior such as why animals see, even grade school children can answer that vision helps animals find food and avoid danger. ...

  • the function (i.e., adaptation) that a behavior serves and
  • the evolutionary process (i.e., phylogeny) that resulted in this functionality.

The individual-level categories are A biological adaptation is an anatomical structure, physiological process or behavioral trait of an organism that has evolved over a period of time by the process of natural selection such that it increases the expected long-term reproductive success of the organism. ...

  • the development of the individual (i.e., ontogeny) and
  • the proximate mechanism (e.g., brain anatomy and hormones).

Sociobiologists are are interested in how behaviors can be explained logically as a result of selective pressures in the history of a species. Thus, they are often interested in instinctive, or intuitive behavior, and in explaining the similarities, rather than the differences, between cultures. For example, mothers within many species of mammals – including humans – are very protective of their offspring. Sociobiologists reason that this protective behavior likely evolved over time because it helped those individuals which had the characteristic to survive and reproduce. Over time, those individuals in the species that did not exhibit such protective behaviors likely lost their offspring and ultimately died out. In this way, the social behavior is believed to have evolved in a fashion similar to other types of non-behavioral adaptations, such as (for example) fur or the sense of smell. Sociobiologists may therefore argue that the evolutionary mechanism behind the behavior is genetic. The suckling of a newborn at its mothers nipple is an example of an instinctive behavior. ... Intuition is an unconscious form of knowledge. ... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... In biology, offspring are the product of reproduction, a new organism produced by one or more parents. ... A biological adaptation is an anatomical structure, physiological process or behavioral trait of an organism that has evolved over a period of time by the process of natural selection such that it increases the expected long-term reproductive success of the organism. ...


Individual genetic advantage often fails to explain certain social behaviors as a result of gene-centred selection, and evolution may also act upon groups. The mechanisms responsible for group selection employ paradigms and population statistics borrowed from game theory. E.O. Wilson argued that altruistic individuals must reproduce their own altruistic genetic traits for altruism to survive. When altruists lavish their resources on non-altruists at the expense of their own kind, the altruists tend to die out and the others tend to grow. In other words, altruists must practice the ethic that "charity begins at home." In sociology, a group is usually defined as a collection consisting of a number of people who share certain aspects, interact with one another, accept rights and obligations as members of the group and share a common identity. ... For alternative meanings see Paradigm (disambiguation). ... Game theory is often described as a branch of applied mathematics and economics that studies situations where multiple players make decisions in an attempt to maximize their returns. ... E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ...


Within sociobiology, a social behavior is first explained as a sociobiological hypothesis by finding an evolutionarily stable strategy that matches the observed behavior. Stability of a strategy can be difficult to prove, but usually, a well-formed strategy will predict gene frequencies. The hypothesis can be supported by establishing a correlation between the gene frequencies predicted by the strategy, and those expressed in a population. It must be noted that measurement of genes and gene-frequencies can be problematic, because a simple statistical correlation can be open to charges of circularity (Circularity can occur if the measurement of gene frequency indirectly uses the same measurements that describe the strategy). Look up Hypothesis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In game theory, an evolutionarily stable strategy (or ESS; also evolutionary stable strategy) is a strategy which if adopted by a population cannot be invaded by any competing alternative strategy. ... A circular definition is one that assumes a prior understanding of the term being defined. ... A circular definition is one that assumes a prior understanding of the term being defined. ...


Altruism between social insects and litter-mates has been explained in such a way. Altruistic behavior in some animals has been correlated to the degree of genome shared between altruistic individuals. A quantitative description of infanticide by male harem-mating animals when the alpha male is displaced. Female infanticide and fetal resorption in rodents are active areas of study. In general, females with more bearing opportunities may value offspring less. Also, females may arrange bearing opportunities to maximize the food and protection from mates. Eusociality is the phenomenon of reproductive specialisation found in some species of animal, whereby a specialised caste carries out reproduction in a colony of non-reproductive animals. ... In biology the genome of an organism is the whole hereditary information of an organism that is encoded in the DNA (or, for some viruses, RNA). ... In sociology and biology, infanticide is the practice of intentionally causing the death of an infant of a given species, by members of the same species - often by the mother. ... An alpha male or alpha female is the individual in the community to whom the others follow and defer. ...


An important concept in sociobiology is that temperamental traits within a gene pool and between gene pools exist in an ecological balance. Just as an expansion of a sheep population might encourage the expansion of a wolf population, an expansion of altruistic traits within a gene pool may also encourage the expansion of individuals with dependent traits. Ecology is the branch of science that studies the distribution and abundance of living organisms, and the interactions between organisms and their environment. ... Species See text. ... Wolf Wolf Man Mount Wolf Wolf Prizes Wolf Spider Wolf 424 Wolf 359 Wolf Point Wolf-herring Frank Wolf Friedrich Wolf Friedrich August Wolf Hugo Wolf Johannes Wolf Julius Wolf Max Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf Maximilian Wolf Rudolf Wolf Thomas Wolf As Name Wolf Breidenbach Wolf Hirshorn Other The call...

Sociobiology is often associated with arguments over the "genetic" basis of intelligence. While sociobiology is predicated on the observation that genes do affect behavior, it is perfectly consistent to be a sociobiologist whilst arguing that measured IQ variations between individuals reflect mainly cultural or economic rather than genetic factors. However, many critics point out that the usefulness of sociobiology as an explanatory tool breaks down once a trait is so variable as to no longer be exposed to selective pressures. In order to explain aspects of human intelligence as the outcome of selective pressures, it must be demonstrated that those aspects are inherited, or genetic. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (808x1024, 417 KB) Image caption at Flickr: File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sociobiology User:Interested2 User:Interested2/Userboxen/Dawkins ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (808x1024, 417 KB) Image caption at Flickr: File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sociobiology User:Interested2 User:Interested2/Userboxen/Dawkins ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ...


Researchers performing twin studies have argued that behavioral traits such as creativity, extroversion and aggressiveness are between 45% to 75% genetic, and Intelligence is said by some to be about 80% genetic after one matures (discussed at Intelligence quotient#Genetics vs environment). However, critics (such as the evolutionary geneticist R. C Lewontin) have highlighted serious flaws in twin studies, such as the inability of researchers to separate environmental, genetic, and dialectic effects on twins[1], and twin studies as a tool for determining the heritability of behavioral traits in humans have been largely abandoned. Fraternal twins at two weeks old. ... Look up Creativity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The terms Introvert and Extrovert (originally spelled Extravert by Carl Jung, who invented the terms) are referred to as attitudes and show how a person orients and receives their energy. ... Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... IQ tests are designed to give approximately this Gaussian distribution. ...


Criminality is actively under study, but extremely controversial. There are arguments that in some environments criminal behavior might be adaptive [1]. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Controversy

The application of sociobiology to humans was immediately controversial. Several academics opposed to Wilson's "Sociobiology" created "The Sociobiology Study Group" to counter his ideas. Many critics quickly appeared, both within evolutionary biology and outside of it. Some of the most noteworthy critics have included: Image File history File links Richard_Lewontin. ... Image File history File links Richard_Lewontin. ... Richard Lewontin Richard Charles Dick Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. ...

Natural History magazine Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. ... Richard Lewontin Richard Charles Dick Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. ... Steven Rose Steven P. Rose (born July 4, 1938 in London) is a professor of biology and neurobiology at the Open University and University of London. ... Leon J. Kamin (born December 29, 1927 in Taunton, Massachusetts) is an American psychologist. ... Marshall Sahlins (born 1930) is a prominent American anthropologist. ... Alfie Kohn is an American lecturer and author in the fields of education, psychology and parenting, residing in Belmont, Massachusetts. ...

Political Criticism

Many critics draw an intellectual link between sociobiology and biological determinism, referring to the social Darwinism and eugenics movements of the early 20th century, and to more recent ideas such as the IQ test controversy of the early 1970s. Steven Pinker argues that critics have been overly swayed by politics and a "fear" of biological determinism[9]. However, all these critics have claimed that sociobiology fails on scientific grounds, independent of their political critiques. In particular, Lewontin, Rose & Kamin drew a detailed distinction between the politics and history of an idea and its scientific validity[10], as has Stephen Jay Gould [11]. Categories: Biology stubs ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979. ...


Sociobiology has been used by right wing interests. For example, the conservative right-wing, anti-affirmitive-action Heritage Foundation of the US helped fund Richard Hernnstein's The Bell Shaped Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.[12]


Wilson and his supporters counter the intellectual link by denying that Wilson had a political agenda, still less a right wing one. They pointed out that Wilson had personally adopted a number of liberal political stances and had attracted progressive sympathy for his outspoken environmentalism. They argued that as scientists they had a duty to uncover the "truth" whether that was politically correct or not. They argued that sociobiology does not necessarily lead to any particular political ideology as many critics implied. Many subsequent sociobiologists, including Robert Wright, Anne Campbell, Frans de Waal and Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, have used sociobiology to argue quite separate points. Noam Chomsky came to the defense of sociobiology's methodology, noting that it was the same methodology he used in his work on linguistics. However, he roundly criticized the sociobiologists' actual conclusions about humans as lacking substance. He also noted that the anarchist Peter Kropotkin had made similar arguments in his book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, although focusing more on altruism than aggression, suggesting that anarchist societies were feasible because of an inborn human nature to do good. [13] In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics. ... American liberalism—that is, liberalism in the United States of America—is a broad political and philosophical mindset, favoring individual liberty, and opposing restrictions on liberty, whether they come from established religion, from government regulation, from the existing class structure, or from multi-national corporations. ... For the psychology topic, see Environmental psychology. ... Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Robert Wright. ... Anne Campbell (born April 6, 1940) is an English politician. ... Frans B.M. de Waal, PhD (b. ... Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (note: Hrdy is Czech for proud) (born July 11, 1946) is a U.S. anthropologist who has made several major contributions to evolutionary psychology and sociobiology. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (Hebrew :אברם נועם חומסקי Yiddish: אברם נועם כאמסקי) , Ph. ... Peter Kropotkin Prince Peter Alexeevich Kropotkin (In Russian Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин) (December 9, 1842 - February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of what he called anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society...


Wilson's defenders also claimed that the critics had greatly overstated the degree of his biological determinism. Wilson's claims that he had never meant to imply what ought to be, only what is the case are supported by his writings, which are descriptive, not prescriptive. However, many critics[14] have pointed out that the language of sociobiology often slips from "is" to "ought", leading sociobiologists to make arguments against social reform on the basis that socially progressive societies are at odds with our innermost nature. For example, some groups have supported positions of ethnic nepotism by arguing, as Richard Dawkins summarized (critically), "kin selection provides the basis for favoring your own race as distinct from other races, as a kind of generalization of favoring your own close family as opposed to other individuals' kin selection."[15] Views such as this, however, are often criticized as examples of the naturalistic fallacy, when reasoning jumps from descriptions about what is to prescriptions about what ought to be. (A common example is approving of all wars if scientific evidence showed warfare was part of human nature.) It has also been argued that opposition to stances considered anti-social, such as ethnic nepotism, are based on moral assumptions, not bioscientific assumptions, meaning that it is not vulnerable to being disproved by bioscientific advances (Pinker, 2001, p. 145). The history of this debate, and others related to it, are covered in detail by Cronin (1992), Segerstråle (2000) and Alcock (2001). Adaptationists such as Steven Pinker have also suggested that the debate has a strong ad hominem component. Some suggest that the controversy over the relative importance of various factors would be a quiet debate over subtleties if the critics were less prone to caricaturing their opponents[citation needed].
Ethnic nepotism describes a human tendency for in-group favoritism applied on the ethnic level. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... George Edward Moore The naturalistic fallacy is an alleged logical fallacy, delineated by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his seminal Principia Ethica (1903). ... -1... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology is the science of life (from the Greek words bios = life and logos = word). ... The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a 2002 book (published by Penguin Putnam, ISBN 0670031518) by Steven Pinker arguing against tabula rasa models of psychology, claiming that the human mind is shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: argument to the person, argument against the man) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or...


Scientific Criticisms

Within the scientific community, objections have been raised to many of the ethnocentric assumptions of early sociobiology, the experimental designs employed, and to the sampling and mathematical methods used in forming conclusions. Critics argue that the claims of sociobiologist "'psychobiological extremists' have been stretched far beyond what the evidence can support"[16]. Four key criticisms are made regularly: Ethnocentrism (Greek ethnos nation + -centrism) is a set of beliefs or practices based on the view that ones own group is the center of everything. ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ...


1. Anthropomorphism

In the biological sciences, "anthropomorphism" is the ascribing of human motivations to animal behaviors. For example, the assumption that when a dog barks, it is because it is "angry" (when there is no way we can see what is in a dog's mind and compare it to the human concept of "anger"). Critics of sociobiology accuse it of the same fallacy. For example, E.O. Wilson used altruism in ant societies as a model for altruism in human societies[17]. However, critics such as Alfie Kohn[18] have pointed out there is no evidence for a one-to-one correlation between an act of self-sacrifice in a worker ant and an act of sacrifice from an altruistic person, and thus no reason to think the situations are truly analogous. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


2. Reification

Critics such as Gould, Lewontin, Rose & Kamin argue that sociobiology regularly commits the reification fallacy; where abstract behaviors are treated as actual "objects" within the mind, when there is no (or insufficient) evidence to suppose that such behaviors represent true discreet "traits".[19] The classic example is of IQ; an IQ score is a statistical principle component (dubbed g) taken from the scores of several artificial mental tests, and many researchers early in the 20th century came to treat this g as a genuine thing within the brain[20], with no evidence whatsoever. Reification (also known as hypostatization or concretism) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it represented a concrete, real event or physical entity. ... In statistics, principal components analysis (PCA) is a technique that can be used to simplify a dataset; more formally it is a linear transformation that chooses a new coordinate system for the data set such that the greatest variance by any projection of the data set comes to lie on...


3. Hyper-Adaptationism

Sociobiologists are accused of being "super" adaptationists, believing that a given trait can be explained as an adaptation. This is one of the fundamental emphases of sociobiology that distinguishes it from other theories of human behaviour. In particular, evolutionary theorists such as Elisabeth Vrba, Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould have examined and popularized many alternate, non-adaptive pathways which evolution can take to produce the behaviors seen in animals and (particularly) in humans. Sociobiology, by definition, concentrates solely on adaptation as an explanation for behavior.[21] Adaptationism is the view that all or most traits are optimal adaptations. ...


Adaptationist researchers respond by asserting that they, too, follow George Williams' depiction of adaptation as an "onerous concept" that should only be applied in light of strong evidence. This evidence can be generally characterized as the successful prediction of novel phenomena based on the hypothesis that design details of adaptations should fit a complex evolved design to respond to a specific set of selection pressures. In evolutionary psychology, researchers such as David Buss contend that the bulk of research findings that were uniquely predicted through adaptationist hypothesizing comprise evidence of the methods' validity. George Williams Professor George Christopher Williams (b. ... David Buss is a professor of psychology at University of Texas, Austin. ...


4. Just-So Stories

In evolutionary science, a "Just So story" (named for the fables created by Rudyard Kipling) is a neat adaptive explanation of the evolution of some trait that does not rest on any evidence beyond its own internal logic. A Just-So story can be generated to argue for any trait, and examples exist within sociobiological literature of traits which have been explained with exactly opposite stories. Sociobiologists themselves have asserted that the creation of evolutionary stories is an infinitely malleable and playful affair[22], although they rarely acknowledge the problem this creates: an "evolutionary fable" or "Just-So" story can be twisted in any imaginable way to avoid falsification. This article is about the British author. ...


Science is distinguished from pseudo-sciences by a process of analysis (derived from the philosopher Karl Popper) which emphasizes the falsifiability of scientific theories. One can only be confident of a theory if it theoretically can be proven wrong, but isn't. Critics believe that proponents of sociobiology do not allow their theories to be falsifiable, rendering it a pseudo-science. Sociobiologists / adaptationists would disagree, and point to volumes of studies published in scientific, peer-reviewed journals wherein hypotheses have been subjected to rigorous empirical tests. Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, FRS, FBA, (July 28, 1902 – September 17, 1994), was an Austrian born naturalized British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... In science and the philosophy of science, falsifiability is the logical property of empirical statements, related to contingency and defeasibility, that they must admit of logical counterexamples. ...


See also

Concepts:

Well-known sociobiologists: Astrosociobiology (also referred to as exosociobiology and xenosociology) is the speculative scientific study of extraterrestrial civilizations and their possible social characteristics and developmental tendencies. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Dual inheritance theory, (or DIT), in sharp contrast to the notion that culture overrides biology, posits that humans are products of the interaction between biological evolution and cultural evolution. ... Evolutionary psychology studies how our behavior evolved. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Evolutionary developmental psychology, (or EDP), is the application of the basic principles of Darwinian evolution, particularly natural selection, to explain contemporary human development. ... Human behavioral ecology (HBE) or human evolutionary ecology applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimization to the study of human behavioral and cultural diversity. ... Will the two prisoners cooperate to minimise total loss of liberty or will one of them, trusting the other to cooperate, betray him so as to go free? The prisoners dilemma is a type of non-zero-sum game. ... In evolutionary biology, kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals, and this forms much of the conceptual basis of the theory of social evolution. ... . ... Will the two prisoners cooperate to minimize total loss of liberty or will one of them, trusting the other to cooperate, betray him so as to go free? In game theory, the prisoners dilemma (sometimes abbreviated PD) is a type of non-zero-sum game in which two players... Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ... Sociophysiology is the “interplay between society and physical functioning” (Freund 1988: 856) involving “collaboration of two neighboring sciences: physiology and sociology” (Mauss 1936: 373). ... The Gene Illusion [1] is a book by clinical psychologist Jay Joseph[2] which challenges the evidence underlying genetic theories in psychiatry and psychology. ...

Books: Ethnic nepotism describes a human tendency for in-group favoritism applied on the ethnic level. ... Professor Cyril Dean Darlington FRS (19 December 1903 - 26 March 1981) was a British biologist, who, with Ronald Fisher established the journal Heredity. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ... E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... W. D. Hamilton William Donald Bill Hamilton, F.R.S. (1 August 1936 — 7 March 2000) was a British evolutionary biologist, considered one of the greatest evolutionary theorists of the 20th century. ... Robert L. Trivers, (born 19 February 1943) is an American evolutionary biologist and sociobiologist, most noted for proposing the theories of reciprocal altruism (1971), parental investment (1972), and parent-offspring conflict (1974). ... George Williams Professor George Christopher Williams (b. ... Professor John Maynard Smith[1], F.R.S. (6 January 1920 – 19 April 2004) was a British evolutionary biologist and geneticist. ... Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (note: Hrdy is Czech for proud) (born July 11, 1946) is a U.S. anthropologist who has made several major contributions to evolutionary psychology and sociobiology. ... Richard Machalek (born April 12, 1946) is a social theorist, sociobiologist, and professor of sociology. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ...

Sociobiology: The New Synthesis was a 1975 book by E. O. Wilson. ... Edward Osborne Wilson (b. ... The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a 2002 book (published by Penguin Putnam, ISBN 0670031518) by Steven Pinker arguing against tabula rasa models of psychology, claiming that the human mind is shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... Original book cover from the painting The Expectant Valley by zoologist Desmond Morris The Selfish Gene is a very popular and somewhat controversial book on evolutionary theory by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ... Cover of Not in our Genes. ... Richard Lewontin Richard Charles Dick Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. ... Steven Rose Steven P. Rose (born July 4, 1938 in London) is a professor of biology and neurobiology at the Open University and University of London. ... Leon J. Kamin (born December 29, 1927 in Taunton, Massachusetts) is an American psychologist. ...

References

  • Alcock, John (2001). The Triumph of Sociobiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Directly rebuts several of the above criticisms and misconceptions listed above.
  • Barkow, Jerome (Ed.). (2006) Missing the Revolution: Darwinism for Social Scientists. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cronin, H. (1992). The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Viking.
  • Richards, Janet Radcliffe (2000). Human Nature After Darwin: A Philosophical Introduction. London: Routledge.
  • Segerstrale, Ullica (2000). Defenders of the Truth: The Battle for Science in the Sociobiology Debate and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Richard Lewontin, Leon Kamin, Steven Rose (1984). Biology, Ideology and Human Nature: Not In Our Genes. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-394-50817-3. 
  • Gisela Kaplan, Lesley J Rogers (2003). Gene Worship: Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture Debate over Genes, Brain, and Gender. Other Press. ISBN 1-59051-034-8. 
  • Richard M. Lerner (1992). Final Solutions: Biology, Prejudice, and Genocide. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-00793-1. 
  • Nancy Etcoff (1999). Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty. Anchor Books. ISBN 0-385-47942-5. 

Notes

  1. ^ Lewontin, Rose & Kamin (1984) Biology, Ideology and Human Nature: Not In Our Genes
  2. ^ Gould, S.J. (1997) "Darwinian Fundamentalism", published in The New York Review of Books, June 12, 1997.
  3. ^ Gould, S.J. (2002) "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory"
  4. ^ Lewontin, R.C. "It Ain't Necessarily So"
  5. ^ Lewontin, Rose & Kamin (1984) "Biology, Ideology and Human Nature: Not In Our Genes"
  6. ^ Lewontin, Rose & Kamin (1984) "Biology, Ideology and Human Nature: Not In Our Genes"
  7. ^ Sahlins, M. "The Use and Abuse of Biology"
  8. ^ Kohn, A. (1990) "The Brighter Side of Human Nature"
  9. ^ Pinker, S. "The Blank Slate"
  10. ^ Lewontin, Rose & Kamin (1984) "Biology, Ideology and Human Nature: Not In Our Genes"
  11. ^ Gould, S.J. (1996) "The Mismeasure of Man", Introduction to the Revised Edition
  12. ^ Alexander Cockburn, "In honor of charlatans and racists," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 3, 1994; Nina J. Easton, "Linking Low IQ to Race, Poverty Sparks Debate," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 30, 1994; Jesse Jackson, "Bell Curve Exemplifies the Retreat in Race," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 23, 1994
  13. ^ http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199505--.htm#TXT2.23
  14. ^ Lewontin, Rose & Kamin (1984) "Biology, Ideology and Human Nature: Not In Our Genes"
  15. ^ http://www.vdare.com/sailer/nepotism.htm
  16. ^ http://www.evolutionary-philosophy.net/psychology.html
  17. ^ Wilson, E.O. (1976) "Sociobiology: A New Synthesis"
  18. ^ Kohn, A. (1990) "The Brighter Side of Human Nature"
  19. ^ Lewontin, R.C. "It Ain't Necessarily So"
  20. ^ Gould, S.J. (1981) "The Mismeasure of Man"
  21. ^ Gould, S.J. (2002) "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory"
  22. ^ Dawkins, R. "The Selfish Gene"

External links


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