The left via the now ancient ‘sociobiology’ was critical indirectly of darwinism, but always displaced criticism to social darwinism, blamed usually on spencer. But the question of ideological slant is intrinsic to the paradigm of darwinism as such with its obsession with the question of natural selection.
The era of dawkins has seen an amplified version in the almost absurd ‘selfish gene’ theme which has defied the obvious objections even of scientific critics. A clever twist on the original selectionist theory it has persisted in part due to the popularity of its creator who has maintained throughout a kind of fundamentalist darwinism. This perspective has shown its true colors in an obsessive set of claims about natural selection and the design argument, but the original theory is actually very brittle and survives only due to its institutional support, and ideological usefulness.
The Selfish Gene as neo-liberal ideology
January 29th, 2016 ·
The Selfish Gene is one of the most successful yet second-rate books on the subject of evolution in the whole course of the paradigm. Behind its smooth Dawkins-style PR scientism lies the whole gross fallacy of Darwinism rendered the more toxic with its ‘inclusive fitness’ bullshit, which does the same thing all over again that Adam Smith did for economics. Duh, it appeared at the dawn of the neo-liberal age.
The period in question should have seen scientists pull away from Darwinism: its problems were obvious to many (like SJ Gould, and better, Soren Lovtrup) but instead with Dawkins’ type of ideological fix the paradigm has survived to the present.
We should blame the ID movement on this situation: the flaws in Darwinism were so obvious that their suppression caused the whole critique to shift to the ID underground and with Denton’s Evolution in Crisis that movement took off (that book is not about ID, but a classic on the flaws of Darwinism). Biologists have only themselves to blame.
Why did this happen? In a real science, criticisms would be front and center immediately.
The Selfish Gene was exposed at once by Mary Midgely, but her critique was marred by her own
confusions over core ‘natural selection’ Darwinism…
The result here is that The Selfish Gene is really an ideological coup in disguise, one the left was
not really able to expose…