In The Triumph of Sociobiology, John Alcock reviews the controversy that bas surrounded evolutionary studies of human social behavior following the 1975 publication of E.O. Wilson's classic, Sociobiology, 2he New Synthesis. Denounced vehemently as an "ideology" Chat bas justified social evils and inequalities, sociobiology has survived the assault. Twenty-five years after the field was named by Wilson, the approach he championed bas successfully demonstrated its value in the study of animal behavior, including the behavior of our own species. Yet, misconceptions remain-to our disadvantage.
In this straightforward, objective approach to the sociobiology debate, noted animal behaviorist John Alcock illuminates how sociobiologists study behavior in all species. He faces the chief scientific and ideological objections head on, with a compelling analysis of case histories that involve such topics as sexual jealousy, beauty, gender difference, parent-offspring relations, and genocide. More importantly, he presents the practical applications of sociobiology and the progress sociobiological research has made in the search for a more complete understanding of human activities. The key misconceptions about this evolutionary field are dissected one by one as the author shows why sociobiologists have had so much success in explaining the puzzling and fascinating social behavior of nonhuman animals and humans alike.