Powerfully polemic, Robin Dunbar argues that biological evolution has not equipped us to think scientifically. The blind watchmaker of evolution has 'designed' us to be social animals, so that we are good at assessing whether other people are telling us the truth or not (because truth-telling is the foundation of social life). (Tom Wilkie The Independent
Brilliant...[This] is actually a paean of praise for, and robust defense of, science and scientific method. Dunbar benefits greatly from his training as an anthropologist. He knows what scientists do, say, and feel in their labs, at their conferences, on their expeditions, and in their relaxed moments, as well as what they and their (often misguided) supporters say when they feel obliged to put on a public performance for the laity. (John Ashworth Times Higher Education Supplement
The general reader will benefit greatly from Dunbar's book because he explains, with vivid examples and historical excursions, what science is, what it does, what it cannot be, and why most of us find science--or even thinking logically--relatively difficult. (Michael Thompson-Noel Financial Times
A terrific book...Dunbar has fun with the argument that science is a cultural construction and therefore subject to fashion...Science is not a great way to get lots of money, or these days, even a job. But there are great riches in it, and in this book, too. (Tim Bradford New Scientist
Dunbar's unassuming little book provides a contrast, and an antidote to the excesses of social constructivism, mainly through his informed, insightful celebration of science. He explicitly addresses the Trouble with Science
arising from the skepticism and hostility borne largely of ignorance and post-modernist philosophies of despair. His book may be seen as a volley fired in the 'science wars' that have been raging recently. (Peter Slezak Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
About the Author
Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Director of the Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford.