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That, of course, is the heart of the contention surrounding sociobiology. The political left, well-represented among evolutionary biologists, has long considered any genetic influence on human behavior anathema--such theories are believed to support racist policies, even in the unlikely event that they were not merely reflections of racist attitudes. To their credit, many scientists held more complex beliefs, but some used the ideological argument as a back door to introduce their own neo-Darwinian scientific theories. The struggle for understanding has been eclipsed for some time by the struggle for political and academic survival and dominance, and Segerstrale reports and scrutinizes both with humor, intelligence, and aplomb. The end of the controversy--if there can be one--is far off, but a careful reading of Defenders of the Truth will give insight into the forces influencing our scientific self-examination. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a difficult book to rate because it has many virtues and as many faults. It is an extremely useful historical account of the Sociobiology debates and their context in the... Read morePublished on November 26, 2010 by Cebes
By dissecting painstakingly the sociobiology wars, Ullica Segerstråle exposes fundamental discussions about the nature of and the relationship between science, society, morality... Read morePublished on February 19, 2010 by Luc REYNAERT
Ullica Segerstrale has written the definitive account of the sociobiology debates. This book is meticulously documented, exhaustively researched, and persuasively unbiased. Read morePublished on July 25, 2008 by Alexander Kemestrios Ben
This book succeeds on three levels.
First, as others have noted, it is indeed a real page-turner. Read more
Ullica Segerstrale was perhaps the only outsider to carefully follow the landmark debate over sociobiology first-hand, sitting in on meetings and interviewing the participants. Read morePublished on May 7, 2006 by Aaron Swartz
I won't reiterate the obvious: This book explains the internecine and trans-Atlantic Sociobiological Wars in marvellous detail from a sociologist's perspective. Read morePublished on June 17, 2005 by D. S. Heersink
Segerstrale gives an excellent account of the debates over the Sociobiology controversy. Basically, they were over issues raised by an ad hoc Sociobiology Study Group at Harvard... Read morePublished on August 15, 2004 by Arno Arrak
Possibly the most important scientific debate of the twentieth century is the claim of the sociobiologists that men are animals who can at least partly be understood using the... Read morePublished on January 9, 2004 by Donald B. Siano
James McCall's previous review shows exactly why this book is a piece of poison. He tells us in so many words that he was sympathetic to the notion that all men are created... Read morePublished on May 16, 2003 by F. P. Barbieri