On the Origin of the Evolution Revolution: Conversations with the Pioneers of Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology, and Psychology

Some of the founders and most prominent members of HBES. From left to right: Mark Flinn, Sarah Hrdy, Douglas Kenrick, Leda Cosmides, Steven Pinker, John Tooby, Bobbi Low, Napoleon Chagnon, William Irons, David Buss, Martin Daly, Randy Thornhill.

Although Darwin first viewed human nature through an evolutionary lens over 150 years ago, for much of the 20th century, evolutionary explorations of Homo sapiens’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior were meager, ghettoized, and controversial. The Svengali-like grip that behaviorists, cultural anthropologists, sociologists, and other “blank slaters” had on the study of human behavior began to loosen 50 years ago when a small cadre of scientists rejected blank slatism and explored the Darwinian wisdom that natural selection embedded in our bodies and brains. Over the past few years, evolutionary psychologists Barry X. Kuhle and Catherine Salmon have interviewed nearly two dozen founders and leading lights of evolutionary behavioral science. These interviews are the heart of their forthcoming edited volume that elucidates the rise of human evolutionary behavioral science through the struggles and successes of many of these pioneers and luminaries, in their own words. Among many topics, they discuss their journeys to see for themselves and to show others the ‘grandeur in the evolutionary view of life’ that Darwin first envisioned in the final words of On the Origin of Species, and the crucial role HBES has and continues to play.

Kuhle, B. X., & Salmon, C. (edited volume in prep). On the origin of the evolution revolution: Conversations with the pioneers of evolutionary biology, anthropology, and psychology. To be published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press.