Evolutionary Narratives: A Cautionary Tale

Devereaux Kennedy
2014 Social Science Today  
While accounts of human action may be strengthened by the addition of a biological component we should be careful not to replace "hard core social constructionism" with oversimplified evolutionary narratives in which human traits are "explained" as the product of natural selection. Narratives have inherent weaknesses as explanatory accounts and evolutionary narratives share these weaknesses. In addition there is no consensus amongst biologists on the target of natural selection and human
more » ... on and human natural history was anything but a gradual step-by-step process of progressive advancement. Work in the cognitive sciences on the nature and function of human cognitive architecture should be integrated into accounts of human social action. Such integration should be done not by reducing human behavior to its biological prerequisites but by conceives of human biology as the basis for the almost unlimited variety of meaningful interaction characteristic of human culture and social life. ~ 13 ~ Evolutionary narratives share the weaknesses of all narrative explanations. Moreover evolutionary narratives which attempt to integrate Darwin's account of the evolutionary process with genetics have their own difficulties. There is, for instance, no consensus amongst biologists on the target of natural selection (Hamilton
doi:10.12735/sst.v1i1p12 fatcat:3hthsujerfghpg3r4l6xqhcwli