Darwinian Fairytales

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Darwinian Fairytales
Darwinian Fairytales.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author David Stove
Language English
Subject Theory of evolution
Published 1995
Media type Print (Hardcover)

Darwinian Fairytales is a 1995 book by David Stove,[1] in which Stove criticizes application of the theory of evolution as an explanation for sociobiological behavior such as altruism.

The book was originally published by Avebury in 1995 and reprinted by Encounter Books in 2006.


Science writer Martin Gardner wrote:

"Whatever your opinion of ‘Intelligent Design,’ you’ll find Stove’s criticism of what he calls ‘Darwinism’ difficult to stop reading. Stove’s blistering attack on Richard Dawkins’ ‘selfish genes’ and ‘memes’ is unparalleled and unrelenting. A discussion of spiders who mimic bird droppings is alone worth the price of the book. Darwinian Fairytales should be read and pondered by anyone interested in sociobiology, the origin of altruism, and the awesome process of evolution."[1]

Criticism of the book has come from biologist Michael Ghiselin:

"Much of what he says is completely wrong. According to his version, organisms invariably reproduce as much as possible. And yet, contrary to what he says, there is nothing contrary to the theory as it is taught to undergraduate biology students, when older males prevents younger ones from getting access to females. It is straight-forward consequence of competition for a finite number of mates. Nor does there exist, as he claims, any contradiction in the fact that organisms defer reproduction until they reach a certain age and size; they are accumulating capital."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Darwinian Fairytales". Perseus Academic.
  2. ^ Ghiselin, Michael T. (1998). Darwinian fairytales by David Stove. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. Vol. 20, No. 1. pp. 108-110.

External links[edit]