God or Beast: Evolution and Human Nature

God or Beast: Evolution and Human Nature

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Throughout the book the author assails the pop evolutionists--writers who, in an outpouring of nonsense on human evolution, have portrayed man as a brute or worse. Notable targets include Robert Ardrey (African Genesis, The Territorial Imperative), Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox (The Imperial Animal), Desmond Morris (The Naked Ape), Elaine Morgan (The Descent of Woman), and B. F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity). These writers, says Claiborne, have caricatured human nature by citing facts that are not evidence and evidence that is not fact, and in so doing have obscured--consciously or otherwise--the real social forces that beget present-day violence.

Taking his title from Pope's Essay on Man (He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest/In doubt to deem himself a god or beast), Claiborne contends that man is in fact neither god not beast; he is both--and, above all, human.