In the final episode of season 1, Ilari addresses one of the underlying themes in many of the season's episodes: Darwinism. Is Darwinism dangerous? Is Darwinism linked to vicious ideologies? Does Darwinism prove that we are all selfish?
These questions have been addressed in many of this season's episodes (most notably episodes 1 and 2, but also 6, 8, and 11). In this short solo episode, Ilari connects some dots by reading his essay Distorting Darwinism, published in the Skeptic Magazine. Topics include:
The early links between Darwinism and far-right ideologies
Why do even professional evolutionists make rookie mistakes when explaining human behaviour.
Richard Dawkin's U-turn on human nature
Are all males naturally inclined to mate with a harem of females?
Why human desires come in “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful”
The problem with “scratch an altruist and watch a hypocrite bleed”
Survival of the friendliest: from silver foxes to human self-domestication
Conclusions: ”Not everything evolution teaches us is nice and jolly. But we must stay alert at the perilous ease in which selfishness, ruthlessness, and deceptiveness seep into evolutionary theorising, even when not appropriate.”
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Charles Darwin / Herbert Spencer / William Jennings Bryan / Richard Dawkins / Edward Fox / Robert Sapolsky (author of Behave, 2017) / Michael Ghiselin / Jonathan Haidt / Frans de Waal / Dmitri Belyaev / Lyudmila Trut / Brian Hare / Richard Wrangham
Scopes Monkey Trial (famous legal case in 1925 regarding the teaching of evolution in Tennessee high schools) / Social Darwinism / Self-domestication