The Triumph of Sociobiology
By (author) John Alcock
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Triumph of Sociobiology by John Alcock
Book DescriptionIn The Triumph of Sociobiology, John Alcock reviews the controversy that has surrounded evolutionary studies of human social behavior following the 1975 publication of E.O. Wilson's classic, Sociobiology, The New Synthesis. Denounced vehemently as an "ideology" that has justified social evils and inequalities, sociobiology has survived the assault. Twenty-five years after the field was named by Wilson, the approach he championed has successfully demonstrated its value in the study of animal behavior, including the behavior of our own species. Yet, misconceptions remain-to our disadvantage. In this straight-forward, objective approach to the sociobiology debate, noted animal behaviorist John Alcock illuminates how sociobiologists study behavior in all species. He confronts the chief scientific and ideological objections head on, with a compelling analysis of case histories that involve such topics as sexual jealousy, beauty, gender difference, parent-offspring relations, and rape. In so doing, he shows that sociobiology provides the most satisfactory scientific analysis of social behavior available today. Alcock challenges the notion that sociobiology depends on genetic determinism while showing the shortcoming of competing approaches that rely on cultural or environmental determinism. He also presents the practical applications of sociobiology and the progress sociobiological research has made in the search for a more complete understanding of human activities. His reminder that "natural" behavior is not "moral" behavior should quiet opponents fearing misapplication of evolutionary theory to our species. The key misconceptions about this evolutionary field are dissected one by one as the author shows why sociobiologists have had so much success in explaining the puzzling and fascinating social behavior of nonhuman animals and humans alike.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195143836
(243mm x 161mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 24-May-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John Alcock
Exploring Animal Behavior, Paperback (August 2013)
This anthology contains 37 articles published since 1974 in American Scientist, the journal of the scientific society Sigma Xi. The richly illustrated articles provide a picture of how behaviourists think about and conduct their research, as well as insights into the behaviour of selected vertebrate and invertebrate species.
Animal Behavior, Paperback (July 2013)
The tenth edition features a major reorganisation, focusing first on the evolutionary basis of behavior followed by the underlying proximate mechanisms. Enduring features of previous editions also remain; the clear engaging writing style, the beautifully illustrated text with many new photographs and numerous references to new scientific articles.
Enthusiasm for Orchids, Hardback (January 2006)» View all books by John Alcock
What constitutes an adaptation, how do complex adaptations come into being, and where do species with their special attributes come from? This book explores these questions, explaining why some biologists think they know what adaptations are, and how they arise, and what species are.
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Author Biography - John Alcock
John Alcock is Professor of Biology at Arizona State University. A researcher in animal behavior, he is the author of the leading book in the field, Animal Behavor: An Evolutionary Approach, as well as several other books on behavior. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.
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