Evolution and the American social sciences: An evolutionary social scientist's view
American social scientists rarely ever use evolutionary concepts to explain behavior, despite the potential of such concepts to elucidate major social problems. I argue that this observation can be understood as the product of three influences: an ideologically narrowed political liberalism; a fear of ''Social Darwinism'' as a scientific idea, rather than a scientific apostasy; and a widely believed criticism of evolutionary thinking as deterministic, reductionistic, and Panglossian. I ask what is to be done to encourage social scientists to learn and to apply evolutionary lessons. I answer with four solutions. First, evolutionary social scientists should more effectively educate their non-evolutionary students and colleagues. Second, they should publicize, even popularize, accessible refutations of perennially misleading criticisms. Third, they should more credibly assure skeptics that evolutionary theory not only keeps the ''social'' in social science but better explains social behavior than can any individual-level theory, such as rational-choice theory. Fourth, they should recall that biology took generations to become Darwinian, and they must understand that the social sciences may take as long to become evolutionary.
Defense and Strategic Studies
Thayer, Bradley A. "Evolution and the American social sciences: An evolutionary social scientist's view." Politics and the Life Sciences 23, no. 1 (2004): 2-11.
Politics and the Life Sciences