Arguing for an evolutionary perspective, this book directly challenges the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) on which public policy has often been based. The SSSM maintains that human behavior is solely the product of culture and learning. In sharp contrast, the Evolutionary Model (EM) holds that our behavior flows from the interaction between learning and culture, on the one hand, and biological factors-especially our evolutionary legacy-on the other. These different approaches to human behavior understandably lead to divergent conceptions of sound domestic and foreign policy. The SSSM views human behavior as essentially plastic and thus readily changed by governmental action. Disagreeing, the Evolutionary Model sees that malleability as seriously limited by our species' evolved propensity for aggression, status seeking, xephobia, ethcentrism, and hierarchical social structures.
ALBERT SOMIT is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University. He has been Executive Vice-President of the State University of New York at Buffalo and President of Southern Illinois University. One of the earliest pioneers in the field of biology and politics, he is the founder of the International Political Science Association's Research Committee on Biology and Politics. STEVEN A. PETERSON is Director of the School of Public Affairs and Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. His areas of research interest include American Politics, Public Policy, and the relationship of biology to politics. He is on the Council of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences and serves as Vice-President and Secretary of the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Biology and Politics. DRS. SOMIT and PETERSON have co-authored or co-edited such volumes as Evolutionary Theory and the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2001), Research in Biopolitics (1996), The Dynamics of Evolution: The Punctuated Equilibrium Debate in the Natural and Social Sciences (1992), and, of course, their highly controversial Darwinism, Dominance, and Democracy (1997).