Category Archives: Evolution & Philosophy

Evolution and Philosophy: Things I Learned From Richard J. Blackwell

Richard J. Blackwell directed my doctoral dissertation at St. Louis University and later wrote the Foreword, “Piaget as a Philosopher,” for my book, “Piaget’s Conception of Evolution.” I was a student in a number of his graduate seminars in the 1980s, all of which had a profound influence on my thinking. Here is a brief recap of those seminars as well as my memories of the man himself.

Graduate Seminars With Richard J. Blackwell 

In his course, “Concepts of Time,” I first pondered that enigmatic continuum which we all experience but cannot define. I particularly remember my fascination with J. M. E. McTaggert’s famous article, “The Unreality of Time,” and I left the class realizing that time, like so many things, is mysterious.

In his subsequent seminars on “Evolutionary Ethics” and “Evolutionary Epistemology,” I came to understand that knowledge and morality evolve, and in “The Seventeenth Century Scientific Revolution,” I encountered a dramatic historical example of intellectual evolution. Putting this all together, I now knew that evolution was the key to understanding the minds and behaviors of human beings.

A synthesis of some of these ideas occurred when I took an independent seminar with Professor Blackwell on “Aristotle’s Metaphysics.” Like Avicenna, who reportedly read the work 40 times without understanding it, I too was baffled by Aristotle’s book. And I wondered if Aristotle’s view of teleology—that reality strives unconsciously toward certain ends—could be reconciled with modern evolutionary theory, which is decidedly non-teleological.

In response to my queries, Professor Blackwell introduced me to the thought of Jean Piaget. [For more see my book, Piaget’s Conception of Evolution, or my summary of Piaget’s biological theorizing in Chapter 4 of The Cambridge Companion to Piaget.] What I found in Piaget’s thought was the concept of equilibrium, which was the biological analog of the quasi-teleological approach that I had been seeking. As a result, I saw how evolution could be characterized as a free, non-deterministic orthogenesis without resorting to Aristotle’s idea of final causation.

Furthermore, the evidence for orthogenesis was derived from an a posteriori analysis of cosmic evolution—order has emerged from chaos. An example of orthogenesis can be found by observing how the potential for language and thought are actualized in the maturing child. Teleology/equilibrium is strong enough to steer the development of the child’s language and cognitive faculties, but weak enough to allow for creative freedom.

In essence, what I came to believe as a result of my work with Professor Blackwell was that reality is unfolding in a progressive direction and that human life has meaning amidst this process of change.

My Further Development 

Since that time I have hedged my bets—perhaps life’s traumas have dampened my youthful optimism. In “Cosmic Evolution and the Meaning of Life,” I conclude that the best we can do is to hope that life if meaningful, inasmuch as the evidence that life is meaningful is mixed. I think this is an honest response to the conflicting messages we get from reality. However, I am currently reassessing that conclusion as well, as I fear that hope too must be abandoned by the intellectually and morally virtuous.

Finally, let me say that the only way to ensure a meaningful reality is through human enhancement—-the basic project of transhumanism. Only if we augment ourselves will we be able to improve reality. Whether this will happen is an open question. And while I doubt that Professor Blackwell would agree with this, he would definitely commend the continual search for better ideas.

Professor Blackwell As A Philosopher 

The January 1999 edition of the peer-reviewed philosophical journal, The Modern Schoolman, was titled: “Philosophy and Modern Science: Papers Presented in Honor of Richard J. Blackwell.” (Having an entire issue of a scholarly journal dedicated to your life and thought is one of the highest achievable academic honors.) The introduction of that work was penned by Professor Richard Dees, now of the University of Rochester. Dees begins:

The articles gathered here honor the legacy of Richard J. Blackwell, a dedicated scholar, a consummate colleague, and above all, a much-loved and much-revered teacher … During his tenure, he has directed a program in the history and philosophy of science, written five books on topics ranging from the logic of discovery to his now-famous work on Galileo, translated four other books of historical significance, held the Danforth Chair in Humanities, won the Nancy McNair Ring Outstanding Teacher Award, directed over 30 dissertations, and guided literally hundreds of students.

After describing Blackwell’s many philosophical projects, and introducing the articles written in his honor by distinguished scholars, Dees summarizes Blackwell’s conclusions about the Galileo affair—the work for which he is most well-known. In the concluding paragraph, I found this pearl of wisdom. Dees writes:

The … question is whether the Catholic Church—or any organized religion—can open up its inquiries into the nature of reality in the same way that science has. Blackwell thinks that such a change is possible, but not without reconceptualizing the very structure of traditional Christian thought. As long as faith is considered the key virtue, any religion can fall too easily into dogmatism. Instead, he suggests, hope should be the center of our thought, for in hope lies all possibilities. (emphasis mine)

While I don’t share Professor Blackwell’s interest in Christian thought and consider religion to be as harmful as it is untrue, I think that Professor Dees captures Blackwell’s exceedingly positive and optimistic philosophical attitude. And he has maintained that attitude, as far as is humanly possible, despite age and infirmity.

Professor Blackwell As A Man

As for Professor Blackwell himself, I can only restate the dedication of my book, Piaget’s Conception of Evolution:

To Richard J. Blackwell
an exemplar of moral and intellectual virtue

Finally, in a hand-written letter (remember those?) I received from him in the mid-1990s, Blackwell replied to my queries about the meaning of life like this:

As to your “what does it all mean” questions, you do not really think that I have strong clear replies when no one else since Plato has had much success! It may be more fruitful to ask about what degree of confidence one can expect from attempted answers, since too high expectations are bound to be dashed. It’s a case of Aristotle’s advice not to look for more confidence than the subject matter permits. At any rate, if I am right about there being a strong volitional factor here, why not favor an optimistic over a pessimistic attitude, which is something one can control to some degree? This is not an answer, but a way to live.

This is still some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

I would like to thank Professor Blackwell publically for his immense contribution to my education. I am lucky to have been his student.

P. B. Medawar: Critique of Teilhard de Chardin

Peter Brian Medawar.jpg

Yesterday’s post discussed the Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man.  While I do think the cosmic evolution holds the key to understanding if life is, or is not meaningful, I would be remiss if I didn’t note my discomfort with some of Teilhard’s more esoteric ideas. And I would also be negligent if I didn’t alert readers to the famous, devastating critique of Teilhard’s book by P. B. Medawar.

Sir Peter Brian Medawar OM CBE FRS (1915 – 1987)[1] was a British biologist born whose work on graft rejection and the discovery of acquired immune tolerance was fundamental to the practice of tissue and organ transplants. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet. For his works he is regarded as the “father of transplantation”.[2]He is remembered for his wit in real life and popular writings. Famous zoologists such as Richard Dawkins, referred to him as “the wittiest of all scientific writers”,[3] and Stephen Jay Gould called Medawar “the cleverest man I have ever known”.[4]

In 1961, in the philosophical journal Mind, Medawar reviewed Teilhard’s book. The review is unique in eviscerating both the book and its audience. Medawar begins:

It is a book widely held to be of the utmost profundity and significance … Yet the greater part of it … is nonsense, tricked out with a variety of metaphysical conceits, and its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself. The Phenomenon of Man cannot be read without a feeling of suffocation, a gasping and flailing around for sense.

The book’s style and language appal Medawar: “the style that creates the illusion of content, and which is a cause as well as merely a symptom of Teilhard’s alarming apocalyptic seizures.” He hates Teilhard’s fuzzy concepts and obfuscating metaphors. “… he uses in metaphor words like energy, tension, force, impetus and dimension as if they retained the weight and thrust of their specific scientific usages.” And Medawar hates Teilhard’s adjectives:

Teilhard is for ever shouting at us: things or affairs are, in alphabetical order, astounding, colossal, endless, enormous, fantastic, giddy, hyper-, immense, implacable, indefinite, inexhaustible, extricable, infinite, infinitesimal, innumerable, irresistible, measureless, mega-, monstrous, mysterious, prodigious, relentless, super-, ultra-, unbelievable, unbridled or unparalleled.

And here is a typical incomprehensible paragraph:

Love in all its subtleties is nothing more, and nothing less, than the more or less direct tract marked on the heart of the element by the psychical converge of the universe upon itself.’ ‘Man discovers that he is nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself,’ and evolution is ‘nothing else than the continual growth of. … ‘psychic’ or ‘radial’ energy’. Again, ‘the Christogenesis of St Paul and St John is nothing else and nothing less than the extension … of that noogenesis in which cosmogenesis … culminates.

This may be profound—if only we knew what he was talking about. Medawar also felt this kind of writing appealed to the scientifically illiterate and the credulous.

Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.

Ouch! Medawar concludes with an exhortation to clear thinking:

I have read and studied The Phenomenon of Man with real distress, even with despair. Instead of wringing our hands over the Human Predicament, we should attend to those parts of it which are wholly remediable, above all to the gullibility which makes it possible for people to be taken in by such a bag of tricks as this. If it were an innocent, passive gullibility it would be excusable; but all too clearly, alas, it is an active willingness to be deceived.

Such a critique cautions us against taking flights of fancy. However I know such criticisms won’t change the minds of the credulous, for most people would rather believe than know.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Universal Progressive Evolution

(This article was reprinted in the online magazine Humanity+, March 25, 2015.)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955), a Jesuit priest trained as a paleontologist and geologist, was one of the most prominent thinkers who tried to reconcile evolutionary theory, religion, and the meaning of life. In his magnum opus, The Phenomenon of Man
he sets forth a sweeping account of cosmic unfolding.

While Teilhard’s philosophy is notoriously complex, the key notion is that cosmic evolution is directional or teleological. Evolution brings about an increasing complexity of consciousness, leading from an unconscious geosphere, to a semi-conscious biosphere, and eventually to a conscious sphere of mind. The arrival of human beings on the cosmic scene is particularly important, signaling that evolution is becoming conscious of itself. As the process continues, the human ability to accumulate and transmit ideas increases along with the depth and complexity of those ideas. This will lead to the emergence of what Teilhard calls the “noosphere,” a thinking layer containing the collective consciousness of humanity which will envelop the earth. (Some contemporary commentators view the World Wide Web as partial fulfillment of Teilhard’s prophecy.)

Not only does evolution explain how mind arose from matter, according to Teilhard, but it is also the key to providing a firm foundation for metaphysics.

Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.[i]

Teilhard recognized this evolutionary worldview, with its oceans of space and time, as a source of disquiet for minds previously comforted by childlike myths. Anxiety begins when we reflect, and reflection on the nature of the universe clearly discomforts.

Which of us has ever in his life really had the courage to look squarely at and try to ‘live’ [in] a universe formed of galaxies whose distance apart runs into hundreds of thousands of light years? Which of us, having tried, has not emerged from the ordeal shaken in one or other of his beliefs? And who, even when trying to shut his eyes as best he can to what the astronomers implacably put before us, has not had a confused sensation of a gigantic shadow passing over the serenity of his joy?[ii]

So psychic troubles derive from this evolutionary worldview. “What disconcerts the modern world at its very roots is not being sure, and not seeing how it ever could be sure, that there is an outcome—a suitable outcome—to that evolution.”[iii]But alas the source of our discomfort is also the fount of our salvation. For if the future is open to our further development, then we have the chance to fulfill ourselves, “to progress until we arrive … at the utmost limits of ourselves.”[iv]

The increasing power and influence of the noosphere or world of mind will culminate in the Omega Point—a supreme consciousness or God. At that point, all consciousness will converge, although Teilhard argues that individual consciousness will somehow still be preserved. While the Omega point is extraordinarily difficult to describe, it must be a union of love if it is to be a sublimely suitable outcome of evolution. Here Teilhard waxes poetic:

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. This is a fact of daily experience. At what moment do lovers come into the most complete possession of themselves if not when they say they are lost in each other? In truth, does not love every instant achieve all around us, in the couple or the team, the magic feat, the feat reputed to be contradictory, of personalizing by totalizing? And if that is what it can achieve daily on a small scale, why should it not repeat this one day on world-wide dimensions?[v]

In Teilhard’s vision, all reality evolves toward higher forms of being and consciousness, which includes more intense and satisfying forms of love. Thus spirit or mind, not matter or energy, ground the unity of the universe; they are the inner driving force propelling evolution forward. (This is Teilhard’s god.) Teilhard found meaning and purpose in the sweeping epic of cosmic evolution whose endpoint will be the highest good.

(Note – I have doubts about many of Teilhard’s esoteric concepts. Some of what he says is profound, but some of it is probably nonsense. For a devastating critique of Teilhard see the great biologist P. B. Medawar’s “Review of the Phenomenon of Man.” I have summarized that critique here.)

[i] Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre,  The Phenomenon of Man (New York: Harper Collins, 1975), 219.
[ii] Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man. 227.
[iii] Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, 229.
[iv] Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, 231.
[v] Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, 265.

Should We Believe in Progressive Cosmic Evolution?

We now ask whether we should believe grand cosmic visions like those of Teilhard, Huxley or Wilson. Should we believe that cosmic evolution is moving in a progressive direction? Should we believe in orthogenesis? Probably not. For when we look to the past we see that evolution has produced meaning, but it has also produced pain, fear, genocide, extinction, war, loneliness, anguish, envy, slavery, despair, futility, guilt, anxiety, depression, alienation, ignorance, torture, inequality, superstition, poverty, heartache, death, and meaninglessness. Surely serious reflection on this misery is sobering. Turning to the future our optimism must be similarly restrained. Fantasies about where evolution is headed should be tempered, if for no other reason than that our increased powers can be used for evil as well as for good. Our wishes may never be fulfilled.

Moreover, it is not merely that we cannot know if our splendid speculations are true—which we cannot—it is that we have a strong reason to reject our flights of fancy. And that is that humans are notorious pattern-seekers, story-tellers, and meaning-makers who invariably weave narratives around these patterns and stories to give meaning to their lives. The patterns of progress we glimpse likely exist only in our minds! There is no face of a man on Mars or of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches. Finding patterns of progress in evolution, we may be victims of simple confirmation bias.

After all progress is hardly the whole story of evolution. Most species and cultures have gone extinct, a fate that may soon befall us. Furthermore, since this immense universe (or multiverse) is largely incomprehensible to us, we should hesitate to substitute an evolutionary-like religion for our frustrated metaphysical longings. We should be more reticent in advancing cosmic visions, and less credulous about believing in them. Humility should temper our grandiose metaphysical speculations. In short, if reflection on a scientific theory supposedly reveals that our deepest wishes are true, our skeptical alarm bell should go off. If our searching easily finds precisely what we are looking for, we are likely moved by our wishes, not the implications of our science. We need to be braver than that, for we want to know, not just to believe. In our job as serious seekers of the truth, the credulous need not apply.

In the end cosmic and biological evolution—and later the emergence of intelligence, science, and technology—leave us awestruck. The arrival of intelligence and the meaning it creates is important, an idea echoed by the physicist Paul Davies: “the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.”[i] Similar ideas reverberate in the work of the Cambridge evolutionary palaeobiologist and evangelical Christian, Simon Conway Morris. Morris argues that if intelligence had not developed in humans, it would have done so in another species—in other words, the emergence of intelligence on our planet was inevitable. [ii]

We agree with both Davies and Morris that mind and its attendant phenomena inspire awe, but it does not follow that we are therefore meant to be here or that intelligence was inevitable. It is only because we value our life and intelligence that we succumb to such anthropocentrism. Homo sapiens might easily have never been, as countless events could have led to their downfall. This fact alone should give us pause when we imbue our existence with undue significance. We were not inevitable, we were not meant to be here—we are serendipitous. The trillions and trillions of evolutionary machinations that led to us might easily have led to different results—and ones that didn’t include us. As for the inevitability of intelligence, are we really to suppose that dinosaurs, had they not been felled by an asteroid, were on their way to human-like intelligence? Of course not, and such a view strains credulity. Dinosaurs were around for millions of years without developing greater intelligence. We want to believe evolution had us and our minds as it goal or central concern—but it did not—and we were not meant to be. We should forgo our penchant for detecting patters and accept our radical contingency. Like the dinosaurs, we too could be felled by an asteroid.[iii]

Thus we cannot confidently answer all of the questions. We can say that there has been some progress in evolution and that meaning has emerged in the process, but we cannot say these trends will continue or that they were good. And we certainly must guard against speculative metaphysical fantasies, inasmuch as there are good reasons to think we are not special. We do not know that a fully meaningful eschatology will gradually unfold as we evolve, much less that we could articulate a cosmic vision to describe it. We don’t even know if a truly meaningful reality is possible. We are moving, but we might be moving toward our own extinction, toward universal death, or toward eternal hell. And none of those offer much comfort.

We long to dream but always our skepticism awakens us from our Pollyannaish imaginings. The evolution of the cosmos, our species, and our intelligence gives us some grounds for believing that life might become more meaningful, but not enough to satisfy our longings. For we want to really believe that tomorrow will be better than yesterday and today. We want to believe with Kurzweil and Moravec, with Teilhard and Huxley, that a glorious future awaits but, detached from our romanticism, we know that the Monod may be right—there may be no salvation, there may be nothing over the rainbow, there may be no comfort to be found for our harassed souls.

Confronted with such meager prospects and the anguish that accompanies them, we are lost, and the most we can do, once again, is hope. That doesn’t give us what we want or need, but it does give us something we don’t have to be ashamed of. There is nothing irrational about the kind of hope that is elicited by, and best expressed from, an evolutionary perspective. Julian Huxley, scientist and poet, best conveyed these hopes.

I turn the handle and the story starts:
Reel after reel is all astronomy,
Till life, enkindled in a niche of sky,
Leaps on the stage to play a million parts.

Life leaves the slime and through the oceans darts;
She conquers earth, and raises wings to fly;
Then spirit blooms, and learns how not to die,
Nesting beyond the grave in others’ hearts.

I turn the handle; other men like me
Have made the film; and now I sit and look
In quiet, privileged like Divinity
To read the roaring world as in a book.
If this thy past, where shall thy future climb,
O Spirit, built of Elements and Time![iv]


[i] Paul Davies, The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), 232.

[ii] Simon Conway Morris, Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

[iii] Had the course of the asteroid 2005 YU55 that passed the earth on November 8, 2011 been slightly altered, millions might have died and this book not finished.

[iv] Julian Huxley, ‘Evolution: At the Mind’s Cinema’ (1922), in The Captive Shrew and Other Poems of a Biologist (London: Basil Blackwell, 1932), 55.



E. O. Wilson and the Evolutionary Epic

Edward O. Wilson (1929 – ) is a biologist, theorist, naturalist, and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author for general non-fiction. He is the father of sociobiology and as of 2007 was the Pellegrino University Research Professor in Entomology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He is also a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism, and one of the world’s most famous living scientists.

In his Pulitzer Prize winning book On Human Nature (1978), Wilson extended sociobiology, the study of the biological basis of human social behavior, into the realms of human sexuality, aggression, morality, and religion. Deploying sociobiology to dissect religious myths and practices, led him to affirm: “The predisposition to religious belief is the most complex and powerful force in the human mind and in all probability an ineradicable part of human nature.”[i]Religion is a universal of social behavior, recognizable in every society in history and prehistory, and skeptical dreams that religion will vanish are futile. Scientific humanists, consisting mostly of scholars and scientists, organize into small groups which try to discredit superstition and fundamentalism but “Their crisply logical salvos, endorsed by whole arrogances of Nobel Laureates, pass like steel-jacketed bullets through fog. The humanists are vastly outnumbered by true believers … Men, it appears, would rather believe than know. They would rather have the void as purpose … than be void of purpose.”[ii]

Other scholars have tried to compartmentalize science and religion—one reads the book of nature, the other the book of scripture. However, with the advance of science, the gods are now to be found below sub-atomic particles or beyond the farthest stars. This situation has led to process theology where the gods emerge alongside molecules, organisms and mind, but, as Wilson points out, this is a long way from ancient religion. Elementary religion sought the supernatural for mundane rewards like long life, land, food, avoiding disasters and conquering enemies; whereas advanced religions make more grandiose promises. This is what we would expect after a Darwinian competition between more advanced religions, with competition between sects for adherents who promotes the religion’s survival. This leads to the notorious hostility between religions where, “The conqueror’s religion becomes a sword, that of the conquered a shield.”[iii]

The clash between science and religion will continue as science dismantles the ancient myths that gave religion its power. Religion can always maintain that gods are the source of the universe or defend esoteric arguments, but Wilson doubts the strategy will ultimately succeed, due to the power of science.

It [science] presents the human mind with an alternative mythology that until now has always, point for point in zones of conflict, defeated traditional religion … the final decisive edge enjoyed by scientific naturalism will come from its capacity to explain traditional religion, its chief competitor, as a wholly material phenomenon. Theology is not likely to survive as an independent intellectual discipline.[iv]

Still, religion will endure because it possesses a primal power that science lacks. Science may explain religion, but it has no apparent place for the immortality and objective meaning that people crave and religion claims to provide. To fully address this situation, humanity needs a way to divert the power and appeal of religion belief into the service of scientific rationality.

However, this new naturalism leads to a series of dilemmas. The first is that our species has no “purpose beyond the imperatives created by its genetic history.”[v]In other words, we have no pre-arranged destiny. This suggests the difficulty human society will have in organizing its energy toward goals without new myths and new moralities. This leads to a second dilemma “which is the choice that must be made among the ethical premises inherent in man’s biological nature.”[vi] Ethical tendencies are hard-wired, so how do we choose between them? A possible resolution to the dilemmas combines the powerful appeal of religion and mythology with scientific knowledge. One reason to do this is that science provides a firmer base for our mythological desires because of:

Its repeated triumphs in explaining and controlling the physical world; its self-correcting nature open to all competent to devise and conduct tests; its readiness to examine all subjects sacred and profane; and now the possibility of explaining traditional religion by the mechanistic models of evolutionary biology.[vii]

When the latter has been achieved religion will be explained as a product of evolution, and its power as an external source of morality will wane. This will leave us with the evolutionary epic, and an understanding that life, mind and universe are all obedient to the same physical laws. “What I am suggesting … is that the evolutionary epic is probably the best myth we will ever have.”[viii]  (Myth here means grand narrative.) None of this implies that religion will be fully eradicated, for rationality and progressive evolutionism hold little affection for most, and the tendency for religious belief is hard-wired into the brain by evolution. Still, the pull of knowledge is strong—technologically skilled people and societies have tremendous advantages and they tend to win out in the struggle for existence.

Our burgeoning knowledge of human nature will lead in time to a third dilemma: should we change our nature? Wilson leaves the question open, counseling us to remain hopeful.

The true Promethean spirit of science means to liberate man by giving him knowledge and some measure of dominion over the physical environment. But at another level, and in a new age, it also constructs the mythology of scientific materialism, guided by the corrective devices of the scientific method, addressed with precise and deliberately affective appeal to the deepest needs of human nature, and kept strong by the blind hopes that the journey on which we are now embarked will be farther and better than the one just completed.[ix]

[i] Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979) 169.
[ii] Wilson, On Human Nature, 170-71.
[iii] Wilson, On Human Nature, 175.
[iv] Wilson, On Human Nature, 192.
[v] Wilson, On Human Nature, 2.
[vi] Wilson, On Human Nature 4-5.
[vii] Wilson, On Human Nature, 201.
[viii] Wilson, On Human Nature, 201.
[ix] Wilson, On Human Nature, 209.