Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Shop Now HTL
Darwinian Fairytales and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $18.95
  • Save: $3.01 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Darwinian Fairytales: Sel... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by owlsbooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes and possibly contain highlighting.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $3.66
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution Paperback – March 15, 2007

54 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$10.34 $9.99
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
$15.94 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution
  • +
  • What's Wrong with Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment
  • +
  • Cricket versus Republicanism: and other essays
Total price: $56.81
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like a clever agnostic in Sunday school, Stove (Scientific Irrationalism) relentlessly frustrates Darwinism in this posthumous collection of 11 linked essays. To the chagrin of creationists, however, he also takes pains to note he is of no religion and believes it's "overwhelmingly probable that humans evolved from some other animal." His more modest objective is to show that Darwinism, while largely valid, fails to explain known humanity. Unfortunately, this effort is confused: if Darwin's theory of evolution were true, "there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive," when "it is perfectly obvious that human life is not like that." To illustrate, Stove cites altruism, alcohol, anal intercourse, abortion and other behaviors that shorten lives or lessen the number of children people have. He goes so far as to condemn Darwinism as a "ridiculous slander on human beings," whom he views as mammals, but not animals in the evolutionary sense. The great unexamined problem in all of this is how did humans jump off the evolutionary track? This is not to say that Stove, who made a name for himself as a conservative philosopher (most recently at the University of South Wales), is necessarily wrong. Rather, he exists in a skeptical abyss, borrowing from two distinct and potentially correct perspectives. This makes his work provocative, but flawed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

Philosopher David Stove concludes in his hilarious and razor-sharp inquiry that Darwin's theory of evolution is "a ridiculous slander on human beings." But wait! Stove is no "creationist" nor a proponent of so-called "intelligent design." He is a theological skeptic who admits Darwin's great genius and acknowledges that the theory of natural selection is the most successful biological theory in history. But Stove also thinks that it is also one of the most overblown and gives a penetrating inventory of what he regards as the "unbelievable claims" of Darwinism. Darwinian Fairytales is a must-read book for people who want to really understand the issues behind the most hotly debated scientific controversy of our time.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594032009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594032004
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Scott C. Locklin VINE VOICE on April 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Stove is one of the great underappreciated writers of the late 20th century. He's also dead, which doesn't generally do much for one's ability to slay dragons. It is fortunate the good people at the New Criterion have more or less sponsored his revival; he deserves to be much more widely known. Stove was an Australian academic philosopher who became embroiled in a university in-fight against what I like to call, the "know nothing academics" who came to prominence in the 1960s. Know nothings essentially make their livings making raspberry sounds at Western civilization. Stove was outraged such people could be taken seriously by anyone, and so he devoted a large amount of his considerable remaining wit and energy making such people miserable. This book represents one of his efforts in that direction. Contrary to what many people are saying in the reviews, Stove explicitly believes in Darwinian evolution, "more or less." I.e. he states that he believes in the broad strokes of evolutionary theory. He is, as others have stated, an atheist (as am I, if that matters to anyone).

He very specifically doesn't believe in nonsense views of evolution; in particular, the "hard man" view of Herbert Spencer or its intellectual descendant, the "selfish gene" view of Dawkins and company. Stove ruthlessly mocks the preposterous premises of these ideas (which even a 'good' Popperian would instantly recognize as non-falsifiable piffle), simply by examining them for what they really are. He also points out numerous giant conceptual lacunae, counterfactuals and the examples of flat out nonsense that make up the evidence for sociobiological "theory." Why does Stove do this? Apparently, he was ahead of his time.
Read more ›
7 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
42 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on October 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
"[Stove] is particularly good at exposing the `amazingly arrogant habit of Darwinians' of `blaming the fact, instead of blaming their theory' when they encounter contrary biological facts. Doctrinaire Darwinists have an answer for everything, always a bad sign in science, since it means that mere facts can never prove them wrong." - from Roger Kimball's Introduction

It is not at all the case that Stove objects to Darwinism on religious grounds, in fact he believes that present life has by some means evolved from earlier forms; however he is quite certain that "Darwin's explanation of evolution, even though it is . . . still the best one available, is not true." Stove would object, and strongly so, to having his essays cast as being sympathetic to `creationism' or, so far as I can tell, `intelligent design', as he defines himself as a man "of no religion." His knowledge and scholarship of Darwinian theory is self-evidently vast; he suggests that he has "wasted" his time reading hundreds of Darwinism's books and `Darwinian Fairytales' makes it quite evident that he has indeed studied every prominent Darwinian "from 1859 to the present hour."

I had just begun reading Richard Dawkins' `The Blind Watchmaker' when I noticed that David Stove's `Darwinian Fairytales' had been reprinted. While reading them both it quickly seemed imperative that I read Dawkins' `The Selfish Gene' before proceeding with either TBW or DF. So that is what I did. Reading the three books in close conjunction was quite a fascinating experience, and, as I have indicated elsewhere (my review of TSG), Dawkins didn't fare to well.

Stove, the late Australian philosopher of science, effectively skewers Dawkins (especially TSG, but, to a lesser extent, TBW as well), Stove nails E.O.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
74 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Stebbins on April 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Many scientists and laypersons, sadly, never read philosophy of science. Though informal and humorous, this is a fine introduction to the genre. Those who grasp its importance may also enjoy Midgley's "Darwinism as a Religion" and Polanyi's "Science, Faith, and Society." Like Stove, but with less humour, they harangue those (such as Dawkins and Sagan) who publish popular propaganda or religion disguised as science.

Stove highlights how illogical science can be silly or, in the case of neo-Darwinism applied to humankind, insulting. Midgley does that and more--especially by showing how Darwinism's core tenets are held by faith. Polanyi, though, is the scariest of the lot, for he describes (from his experiences of Nazism and Stalinism) how pop evolution has led to the inhumanities of abortion, euthanasia, eugenics and genocide.

When Stove attacks neo-Darwinians' use of purposive language (for, in order to, plan, strategy, etc.), and especially, when he compares it to the language of Intelligent Design, he is very, very good. I've long wondered how unguided natural forces, without the benefits of intent, are supposed to "adapt for" anything. Perhaps most delightful is Stove's description of how the anti-religious Dawkins has ordained himself the high priest of gene worship. At times, Stove takes too long (by, say, 20-30%) saying what he says. His prose is so delightful, though, that I forgive (even welcome) his verbosity.

Reviewers read books. Since "reviewer" John's last sentence points out that he has not read this one, I'm not sure what he was reviewing. If, however, he's looking for "real scientists" (i.e. not philosophers or Christians!
Read more ›
10 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution
This item: Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution
Price: $15.94
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: science history