LETTER : Morality of the selfish gene

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The Independent Online
From Mr Galen Strawson

Sir: According to Bryan Appleyard, Richard Dawkins "cannot explain how the selfish gene allowed goodness into the world". In fact, however, the explanation is well under way: the rapidly expanding discipline of evolutionary psychology is set to explain all the morally more attractive aspects of human nature in strictly Darwinian terms.

Accessible accounts of recent progress are to be found in Passions Within Reason, by Robert Frank (1988) and Robert Wright's clumsy but extremely interesting book The Moral Animal (1995). The hardest truth of Darwinism is still to come, but it is coming.

Yours faithfully,


Jesus College


1 May