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Book Title: The Triumph of Sociobiology|
The author of the book: John Alcock
ISBN 13: 9781280531507
Edition: Oxford University Press, USA
Date of issue: February 16th 2012
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 461 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.8
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In 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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Read information about the authorJohn Alcock (b. 1942) is an American behavioral ecologist and author. He is currently the Emeritus' Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His research interests include the evolution of diversity in insect populations, studying the adaptive value of different ways in which males find mating partners. He has authored several books, including The Kookaburras' Song: Exploring Animal Behavior in Australia (1988), Sonoran Desert Summer (1990), The Triumph of Sociobiology (2003), and Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach (ninth edition, 2009). He authored Sonoran Desert Spring (1994) which was illustrated by Marilyn Hoff Stewart, and also authored In a Desert Garden: Love and Death Among the Insects (1999) illustrated by Turid Forsyth.
Alcock is one of the original scientists to participate in the Ask A Biologist program and continues to participate in interviews as well as answering questions from students around the world.
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