I saw an interview with this fella last night but have not read his book- the Lucifer Principle.
The gist of his “theory” seemed to be that all lifeforms have aggression (towards each other and towards other species) hard-wired into their make-up and that this is very advantageous for evolution.
He suggested that humans were predisposed towards confrontation and the only hope of averting the emergence of another Hitler was to concentrate on turning our combatitiveness into “healthy” pursuits - i.e. trade competition.
All this made perfect sense and the thing that puzzled me was that the ideas expressed were presented as somehow being revolutionary.
The only thing that he said that could have been considered even vaguely contentious was that racism would always exist - but, by racism, I understood him to mean descrimination based on “us” and “them” groupings.
Is this not all commonly accepted and, if so, have I missed a crucial point of his arguments?
Can anyone tell me if his book is worth reading?
A good place to look for answers to these questions is the evolutionary psychology group at Yahoo. link. Real-deal profs and thinkers on a daily argue precisely the points you are interested in in the OP. It is also one of the biggest/fullest science groups at Yahoo. Highly recommended.
I don’t have an opinion on the book itself, but each of these points is a BIG issue in itself.
I have read both of his books and loved them. Although I agree that Global Brain was not as fun to read. I think Lucifer Principle is not so much ‘revolutionary theory’ as it is a great lesson in history. Or an interesting perspective on history. Global Brain is mostly about Memes; what they have done with humanity so far and where they are taking us. Also lots of detail on bacteria, the only other species aside from humans with a ‘global brain’. Both books are meticulously researched. Lots of examples from studies of animals to shed light on how Animal man still is.
Where did you spot him on TV? I’d be interested to see the interview.
I read him 5-6 years ago and its a GREAT book. Some low points of course as he stretches a bit some ideas. Overall though its very good. Really got me thinking about some stuff… in fact ever since I have bought several books on evolutionary pshycology and human evolution.
I came across a DVD of a show called Disinformation, hosted by a Richard Metzger, which was apparently a programme shown on Britain’s Channel 4 and bought by an American network, who then declined to air it.
As an extra included on the disc is an interview with Bloom, about 20 mins long.
He comes across as intelligent and passionate.