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Darwin's Cathedral

Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society

David Slo­an Wil­son (2002)

Darwin's Cathedral__

David Slo­an Wil­son is some­thing of a qui­xotic figu­re in the field of evo­lu­tio­na­ry approa­ches to human affairs. For most of his pro­fes­sio­nal life he has batt­led what has beco­me a rigid ortho­d­oxy again­st see­mingly hope­l­ess odds. The ortho­d­oxy is that natu­ral selec­tion ope­ra­tes more or less exclu­si­ve­ly at the indi­vi­dual level, and that natu­ral selec­tion bet­ween groups is a tri­vi­al pheno­me­n­on that has not left any import­ant mark on the archi­tec­tu­re of the human mind or on human his­to­ry.

Fur­ther­mo­re, one of the great intel­lec­tual batt­les of modern times is bet­ween evo­lu­ti­on and reli­gi­on. Until now, they have been con­side­red com­ple­te­ly irre­con­cil­able theo­ries of ori­gin and exis­ten­ce. David Slo­an Wilson’s Darwin’s Cathe­dral takes the radi­cal step of joi­ning the two, in the pro­cess pro­po­sing an evo­lu­tio­na­ry theo­ry of reli­gi­on that shakes both evo­lu­tio­na­ry bio­lo­gy and soci­al theo­ry at their foun­da­ti­ons.







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