Author: Richard J. Blackwell, PhD

Article Abstract:

Blackwell provides an insightful analysis of E.O. Wilson’s view of man in his trilogy on sociobiology. Rejecting a purely environmental model of the causes of human behavior, “… Wilson’s writings make it clear that…human behavior is the joint product of both internal genetic causes and external environmental influences.” Why the controversy then? Blackwell answers that sociobiology claims to be a scientific study of human behavior. In so doing it posits that man is a machine. Questions then of determinism, free will and freedom also enter into the discussion. Blackwell notes that sociobiology goes beyond science to a religion if you will, requiring a “faith” in which “the individual human person has only an instrumental value (the gene pool) and is ultimately insignificant. Only the genes really count.”

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