Many of those on "the left" have denounced "selfish gene theory" as if it demonstrated that human beings were necessarily selfish and therefore unable to create a supposedly selfless communist society.
As this talk delivered by Dr Camilla Power shows, selfish gene theory on the contrary provides the basis for understanding how the blind process of evolution by natural selection, led to the emergence of a species - man - whose survival depends on its capacity for solidarity.
Ignorance of the historic evolution of the species comes directly from the religious creationist doctrine still widely broadcast today. The vogue of this dogma is shown in the reinvention of the universe through a flourishing of creationist Christian museums in the United States.
The article we are publishing below is the second part
of Anton Pannekoek's pamphlet, Marxism
and Darwinism, the first chapters of which we published in the preceding
issue of the International Review.
world, the bicentenary of Darwin's birth (12th February 1809), and the hundred
and fiftieth anniversary of the publication (24th November 1859) of his first
fundamental work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, has
been declared "Darwin Year" by both scientific institutions and media and
Readers of our press are by now well aware that the ICC has gone to
great lengthsin the last few years
to open its internal discussions to the growing numbers of young – and not so
young – militants emerging from the working class these days. The emergence of new
militants searching for political clarity and the means to contribute to the
revolutionary struggle is itself a reflection of the global process of
maturation of class consciousness...
On the occasion of the
bicentenary of Darwin's birth and of the 150 years since the publication of The Origin of Species, a multitude of
books, each one with titles more mouth-watering than the other, has filled the
bookshops. Numerous more or less scientific authors have suddenly discovered an
attraction for Darwin. For the ‘public at large', it is thus
rather difficult to find one's bearings among all these books on science. For
our part, we have chosen the book by Patrick Tort, The Darwin Effect, Natural Selection and the Birth of Civilisation,
which offers a very enlightening explanation of the materialist conception
of morals and of civilisation in Darwin's thought.
This year sees the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth (and the passing of 150 years since the publication of Origin of Species). The marxist wing of the workers' movement has always saluted Darwin's outstanding contributions to humanity's understanding of itself and nature.
David Attenborough's contribution to the BBC's Darwin bi-centenary season (‘Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life', 1/2/9) was a masterly defence of the theory of evolution, delivered with Attenborough's customary ability to convey complex scientific ideas using straightforward language and copious, beautifully filmed illustrations, and with his usual infectious enthusiasm and respect for the natural world.