Top positive review
Boethius, Move Over: The Dawn of New Understanding
Reviewed in Canada on June 11, 2002
Let me add my econium for this wonderful book, which received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, and is likely the best introduction into the emergent field of sociobiology (of which E. O. Wilson is progenitor).
The book is deftly, wittily, and elegantly written with great confidence and assuredness. The first half of the book introduces the reader to the promising field of evolutionary psychology, which, for the first time, promises to ground psychology on science rather than ideology. The book rings the death knell to Freud, Jung, pop-psychology, and other pie-in-the-sky notions that have mascaraded as a "human science."
The second half of the book addresses four of the most focal concerns of human nature: Aggression, sex, altruism, and religion, on the basis of sociobiology theory. The emergence of this endeavor begins with genes, evolution, and human enculturation, not with theories about infantilism, phallocentrism, and neuroticism. The topics are sufficiently covered in enough detail to keep the reader's interest and sustain the arguments, but with the intent of being introductory and accessible rather than sallying into the esoteric and academic.
The consequence is a wholly different orientation toward what is meant by "human nature." The concept is no longer the stuff of speculative metaphysics by armchair philosophers and psychologists, but a true science evolving out of the science of evolutionary theory and genetics. The implications are not quasi-scientific, but truly scientific. Humans do indeed have a "nature," and it is based on nature, not in the imaginations of wishful thinkers.
No one, not already exposed to sociobiology, will finish reading this book unaffected for the better. Wilson, the author of "Sociobiology," "Consilience," "The Future of Life," and other enjoyable works, will find a plethora of other authors and books flooding the market with scientific insights into man's true "human nature," including "The Adaptive Mind," "The Moral Animal," "Non-Zero," and "Unto Others."