Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and by David Stove, Roger Kimball

By David Stove, Roger Kimball

No matter what your opinion of ‘Intelligent Design,’ you’ll locate Stove’s feedback of what he calls ‘Darwinism’ tricky to prevent examining. Stove’s blistering assault on Richard Dawkins’ ‘selfish genes’ and ‘memes’ is extraordinary and unrelenting. A dialogue of spiders who mimic chook droppings is by myself definitely worth the expense of the publication. Darwinian Fairytales can be learn and contemplated via someone drawn to sociobiology, the foundation of altruism, and the notable technique of evolution. --Martin Gardner, writer of Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Debunking Pseudoscience

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Extra resources for Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution

Sample text

Malthus and Darwin knew it too, of course. As I said at the beginning of this essay, they were as well aware as we are of predation and disease as checks to population. They mentioned them often enough, too. But Malthus and Darwin were held captive by the picture of a struggle or competition or battle for life among conspecifics, while disease and predation simply will not fit into that picture. As 37 we have seen, you cannot struggle with a conspecific for immunity to a certain disease, or compete with him for improved defence against predators.

You would expect, therefore, if the Malthus-Darwin principle were true, to find throughout the animal world a distinct bias towards incestuous reproduction, at least during early adulthood. In fact, however, there is not only no such thing: there is the very opposite - a marked and general bias against incestuous reproduction. That this bias is not strictly universal, should go without saying. But it is so very general and strong that biologists, ever since Darwin, have believed that they could even see a prefiguring or parallel of it, in the great trouble plants go to, to prevent their flowers from self-fertilising.

To the members of these orders, sexual abstinence, either permanent or periodic or 'in business hours' (so to speak), is typically prescribed. Here, then, is another fact about our species which is contrary to what one would expect on the principle that population always increases when, and as fast as, the amount of available food permits. That priest, doctors, and soldiers sometimes violate their professions' prescription 26 of sexual abstinence, should go without saying. , which are told by Freudian and other sex maniacs, by neo-Darwinian reproduction maniacs, and by Enlightened persons generally.

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