DescriptionAccording to evolutionary biologists, we are the minders of our genes. But, as Christopher Badcock points out in this book, it is only recently that evolutionists have realized that minders need minds, and that evolution needs psychology to fill the yawning gap between genes and behaviour.
Evolutionary Psychology assumes no prior knowledge of the subject, and concentrates on the fundamental issues raised by the application of modern Darwinism to psychology. Basic concepts of evolution are explained carefully, so that the reader has a sound grasp of them before their often controversial application to psychology is discussed. The approach is a critical one, and the author does not hide the many difficulties that evolutionary psychology raises. Examples include the strange neglect of Darwin's own writings on psychology, and the fact that no existing theory has succeeded in explaining why the human brain evolved in the first place.
The book is the first to give a non-technical account of remarkable new findings about the roles that conflicting genes play in building different parts of the brain. It is also the first to consider the consequences of this for controversies like those over nature/nurture, IQ, brain lateralization and consciousness.
Evolutionary Psychology is based on many years experience of teaching evolution and psychology to social science students, and is intended for all who wish to get to grips with the basic issues of one of the most exciting and rapidly growing areas of modern science.
'Once again Christopher Badcock has written a compulsively readable book on an important topic. The application of Darwinian evolutionary biology to our understanding of the human mind and our social behaviour is producing cutting-edge science, and Badcock explains the advances made and the problems remaining with skill and insight. Knowledgeable both about the social sciences and the discoveries of modern biology, this book offers a penetrating analysis of the interacions between the branches of science. Written in a clear and understandable style, Evolutionary Psychology will surely be a standard work on the subject for years to come.' Michael Ruse, University of Guelph
'Christopher Badcock's Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction has got to be one of the better introductory texts out there. It is a way into what can often be perceived as an intimidating and overly science-based endeavour. It fact it is extremely informed from within the natural sciences, but it is also intensely fascinating ... Christopher Badcock has done an excellent job introducing the public to a field that is often mired in high academia and scientific obfuscation.' Self & Society
'it contains excitement and vision that, when tempered by a mature critic such as a teacher or tutor, make this book stand out as one from which I should love to teach' Paul Harvey, Head of Zoology, University of Oxford, The Times Higher Education Supplement