It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly - to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.”
In a series of engaging and insightful examples - from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant - Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales - from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.
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“Utterly fascinating and beautifully written.... [Wilson] addresses deep questions about humanity: how we can avoid physical or mental illnesses, raise children, make groups more effective, create sustainable economies and nurture better planetary stewards.... This View of Life should...be on everyone’s bedside table - company heads and policymakers included. I’ll be leaving a copy in the rented cottage outside Bristol where I am staying, confident that it will change future guests’ own view of life.” (Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Nature)
“Splendid.... An excellent argument that evolution applies to culture as well as organisms.... [Wilson is] a masterful educator.” (Kirkus)
“David Sloan Wilson has long been one of the most visionary and trail-blazing evolutionary biologists around, forcing the field to recognize that evolutionary change occurs from far more than selection solely at the level of the gene. In This View of Life, he explores the various surprising things that ‘evolution’ is and isn’t, and its relevance to everything from everyday life to global policy decisions. It’s thick with ideas and insights, written in a graceful, accessible style.” (Robert Sapolsky, New York Times best-selling author of Behave and professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University)
What members say
- hans sandberg
Excellent introduction to evolutionary biology
Davis Sloan Wilson gives us a very good and accessible introduction to modern evolutionary biology, and the theory of multilevel selection. It provides a deep and radical framework for thinking about how we as individuals fit in to groups, families and successively larger social organization. It also shows why neither the invisible hand, nor socialist central planning works. We have to build on the foundation that Darwin laid, which had nothing to do with "social Darwinism", Ayn Rand B.S. or "greed is good".