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The Mythology of Evolution

Zero Books
Artists' Books
14 × 21.5 × 1.5 cm

What is the nature of life? Scientists turn to natural selection, genes or adaptation to explain the living world, but the imagery of evolution threatens to distort our understanding of the incredible history of our planet. There is no science without mythology, and the only way to reveal the facts is to understand the fictions.

The Mythology of Evolution exposes seven ‘spins’ given to evolutionary theory, each resting upon an ideological interpretation of an otherwise neutral idea. There are myths of progress and destiny, such as the ‘ladder of progress’ and ‘only the strong survive’. There are stories magnifying the significance of genes such as ‘the selfish gene’ or ‘kin selection’. There are more grandiose myths such as ‘survival of the fittest’ and the infamous ‘intelligent design’. All relate to a final myth – that of ‘science as truth’.

By liberating evolution from these misrepresentative stories, we can find a more nuanced vision of life that shows how advantages persist, trust is beneficial, and the diversity of species emerges from a refinement of possibilities made possible by a chain of inheritance that stretches back to the beginnings of life itself.

  1. The Mythology of Evolution

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