This is a groundbreaking attack on the most influential scientific orthodoxy of the last 150 years. The authors, working in tandem, reveal major flaws at the heart of Darwinian evolutionary theory. They do not deny Darwin's status as an outstanding scientist but question the inferences he drew from his observations. Combining the results of cutting-edge work in experimental biology with crystal-clear philosophical argument they mount a devastating critique of the central tenets of Darwin's account of the origin of species.
The logic underlying natural selection is the survival of the fittest under changing environmental pressure. This logic, they argue, is mistaken. They back up the claim with evidence of what actually happens in nature. This is a rare achievement – the short book that is likely to make a great deal of difference to a very large subject.
Jerry Fodor is Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini started his academic career in Italy and France as a bio-physicist and molecular biologist and is now Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona.
"An overdue and valuable onslaught on neo-Darwinist simplicities"
– Mary Midgley, Guardian
"A brave and welcome challenge"
– Philip Ball, Sunday Times
"Entertaining and engaging"
– Samir Okasha, TLS
"Whatever the outcome of intellectual engagement with this stimulating work, it is sure to be a most rewarding experience"
– Noam Chomsky