not selfish gene theory!
hoov at freenet.tlh.fl.us
Mon Nov 29 12:04:42 PST 1999
> Oh say it isn't so! I'm gone a few days and return to find (amidsts dozens
> and dozens of really great posts) that the *the selfish gene* has
> insinuated its way on to the list as respectable banter!!
> The theory is actually a mutation from natural selection theories about
> _differential_ reproduction of _populations_ (based on _chance_ genetic and
> environmental shifts), to an individualist and maximizing model of
> selection resembling nothing so much as the competitive bourgeouis
> market-place in which its metaphors were spawned.
In the late 19th century, Herbert Spencer adopted Darwin's theory
to buttress the needs and interests of laissez-faire capitalism.
According to his social Darwinism, the Carnegies and Rockefellers were
simply the fittest survivors in a world of ruthless competition over
scarce resources. Dawkins is simply an update, nothing more, nothing
less--and he gets a sympathetic hearing because of the current
triumphalism of free-market economics. Nature will back you up if you
want its authority. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that someone
has invoked it to justify home schooling under the benign eye of the
family patriarch! Michael Hoover
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