I’ve been an admirer of Ed Wilson for a long time (after all, he helped me get into Harvard). He founded the discipline of evolutionary psychology, which is a branch of sociobiology, has been an ardent conservationist, and his work on ants is unparalleled, though he’s not really incorporated the latest statistical methodologies into his phylogenetic work. And he’s an excellent popular writer who has produced two Pulitzer-Prize winning books. I was a teaching assistant for Wilson when I was a grad student, and found him kind and amiable.
But as he gets older, Wilson seems to me to be getting more concerned with securing his place in scientific history—a place that is already secured—by attacking one of the most fruitful and innovative theories in modern evolutionary biology: inclusive fitness (sometimes called “kin selection”). I’ve written about Wilson and his colleagues’ scientific errors on this site (some of the links are here
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