Celebrity Tabloids and the Evolution of Gossip
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - The University of Sydney
Distinguished New York biologist and anthropologist, Professor David Sloan Wilson, has founded the world's first evolutionary think tank, the Evolution Institute. It uses evolutionary theory to address policy issues such as childhood education, risky adolescent behaviour, and the regulation of large-scale human social interactions."The most distressing fact about public awareness of evolution," Professor Wilson says, "is not that roughly 50 percent of Americans don't believe the theory but that nearly 100 percent of people worldwide don't appreciate its tremendous relevance to human affairs."He wants to show how evolutionary theory can help to solve the problems of everyday life, from the quality of life in our cities to rethinking the fundamentals of economic theory and policy. This can be done by incorporating the most accurate conception of human nature possible based on current scientific knowledge.And, unlike many American evolutionists, Wilson doesn't see evolution and religion at loggerheads. He suggests religion is itself a product of evolution acting at group-level. It's part of his "multi-level selection theory", which argues that natural selection can act on groups as well as individuals.