Sociobiology's evolutionary
basis for morality

Edward Wilson, a Harvard entomologist, coined the term "Sociobiology." The discipline of Sociobiology believes that there is a biological basis that explains ethics and social behavior.

This is a shift from traditional evolutionary ethics; instead of developing an ethical system based on evolution, sociobiologists strive to explain ethics in biological terms.

For example, moral perceptions and social behavior arise from the hypothalamus and limbic systems of the brain. Since these biological components are subject to natural selection, genetics indirectly act like a biological controller, and can be seen as determining the direction of one’s ethics (whether one is good or bad).

Sociobiologists in general do not believe that morality evolves. They believe that morality is a product of culture, which moderates more basic instincts and improves social behavior.

Sociobiologists would answer the two essential questions as: 1) no answer, and 2) human beings were genetically inclined to be moral.

©2003 A resource for learning how to read the Bible.