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Edward O. Wilson

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Edward Osborne Wilson (born 1929) is an entomologist, biologist and naturalist famous for his work on Evolution. He recieved his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Wilson is a proponent of the gene as the unit of natural selection (often called gene selection or selfish gene theory) and was a pioneer of Sociobiology, with his 1975 book of the same name. When the book was first released Sociobiology was confused with social darwinism and Wilson and his colleagues were accused of racism and sexism and dismissed by many non-scientists as using science to push their right-wing agenda, despite having openly left-of-centre politics. There was a long running debate between Wilson and the late Stephen Jay Gould, who denied the existence of innate human behavioural characteristics (Steven Pinker (2002) claims Gould's motivation was more political than opposition to the science).

Wilson is also an expert on mass extinction, and fights for the conservation of ecosystems.



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