Saturday, November 03, 2012

Levevei Episode 53: Societal Development from an Evolutionary Perspective (David Sloan Wilson)

James Arnfinsen, host of the excellent Levevei (“way of life”) podcast series, recently interviewed David Sloan Wilson, one of the few biologists who have (rightly) supported and expanded on E.O. Wilson's sociobiology model. In addition to Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2003) and Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2007), Wilson's most recent book is The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time.

Episode 53: Societal development from an evolutionary perspective

By On October 31, 2012 ·

In this episode I have the delight of connecting with David Sloan Wilson, Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghampton University, New York. Wilson has written several books explaining evolution to the general public, while also championing the view that understanding evolutionary processes can be of great benefit to a whole range of issues, not only classical biology. From his point of view the evolutionary perspective can be applied to the human level as well, for instance in relation to social and cultural change.
In the interview we start of from his most recent book The Neighborhood Project – Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Timeand we explore how an evolutionary paradigm can inform and support urban development. Through different examples he makes an argument for how we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes and how universities can engage both local, national and global communities in steering towards a pro-social future.
Towards the end of our conversation Wilson tells about a planned case study involving Norway and he´s looking to connect with researchers and institutions for this purpose. If you´re interested in contributing or want to learn more, please contact Wilson directly at

The host: James Alexander Arnfinsen has a teacher education from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology… (more

Episode links:

In the interview David Wilson references the kriging-maps they derived from different neighborhood surveys. This one shows the degree of pro-sociality in the given area.

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