Book Launch: ‘Human Origins: Contributions From Social Anthropology’

Evening class

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Camilla Power, Morna Finnegan, Hilary Callan

Book Launch: ‘Human Origins: Contributions From Social Anthropology’

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 18:45

'Human Origins: Contributions from Social Anthropology' is an exciting new book edited by the all-woman team of Camilla Power, Morna Finnegan and Hilary Callan. Many will see the book as a refreshing development, ending the long-standing absence of social anthropologists from debates about human evolution. Signed copies of the book will be available, plus drinks and refreshments.

More about Camilla Power, Morna Finnegan, Hilary Callan

Evening class information

Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Chris Knight

Selfish Genes, Sociobiology And The Emergence Of Modern Darwinism
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

When Richard Dawkins' book 'The Selfish Gene' was published in 1976, it caused an outrage on the left. Marxists, feminists and others took the book to be a celebration of laissez-faire economics and competitive individualism. But when we look at the versions of Darwinism which had prevailed in the previous period, it becomes clear that 'selfish gene' theory represented a major scientific advance. Far from justifying selfishness, the new Darwinism explains in a convincing way why instincts of solidarity and generosity are commonplace throughout the natural world. Today, one of the major figures in human evolutionary theory is the feminist thinker and 'selfish gene' pioneer Sarah Hrdy, whose book 'Mothers and Others' explains how cooperative childcare was the critical factor which gave rise to our species. Hrdy's work represents a modern scientific vindication of the traditional Marxist theory, popularized by Frederick Engels, that early human kinship and family life was based on collective rather than individual parenthood. This talk will review the catalogue of misunderstandings which led the left across most of the western world to respond to a scientific controversy by tragically backing the wrong side.