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Why Men Won't Ask for Directions: The Seductions of Sociobiology
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Why Men Won't Ask for Directions: The Seductions of Sociobiology

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  8 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews

Much of the evolutionary biology that has grabbed headlines in recent years has sprung from the efforts of sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists to explain sexual features and behavior--even differences between how men and women think--as evolutionary adaptations. They have looked to the forces of natural selection to explain everything from the mimicry of male mo
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Hardcover, 325 pages
Published January 18th 2004 by Princeton University Press (first published December 29th 2003)
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Socraticgadfly
Francis takes an in-depth look at the difference between what he calls (riffing on John Maynard Smith) the difference between why-biology (or teleological explanations) and how-biology (or non goal-oriented changes). Riffing on Aristotle, this can be seen as the difference between final cause and proximate cause explanations. Or adaptationism, especially in a hard-core form, and neutralist stances.

The book is overall a mixed bag, almost infuriatingly so at times.

The last chapter, "Darwin's Tempt
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Sophia
May 02, 2016 Sophia rated it it was amazing
This was a really well written book that walks the reader through different approaches to evolution, making it quite clear what exactly consists of a strong answer, and what is a weak one. This lets the reader walk away knowing not just a collection of facts about exotic fish, but also decent criteria for interpreting new data.

While I give this 5 stars, I did not necessarily agree with everything being said, or specifically, how it was said. The author systematically explains why proper evolutio
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Richard C. Francis is a writer who has a PhD in biology from Stanford University. He is the author of Why Men Won't Ask for Directions. He lives in New York City.
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