This paper is aimed at comparing such books as The Mismeasure of Man written by Stephen Gould and Ian Tattersall’s work The Monkey in the Mirror. The authors focus on different questions that are related to the process of evolution. In particular, Stephen Gould presents a critique of such a theory called biological determinism according to which the behavioral norms, economic differences, and social inequalities can be attributed to inherited characteristics of a person such as race. In turn, Ian Tattersall wants to highlight those aspects that human beings have in common with other mammals such as monkeys of apes.
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Yet, in this way, the author wants to emphasize the uniqueness of a human being. These writers may examine different issues, but they want to show that various evolutionary models require a thorough examination of natural phenomena and rigorous analysis of data. This is one of the main arguments that can be made.
It is important to examine the topics of these books in greater detail. In particular, Stephen Gould wants to show how evolutionary theory gave rise to many racist or sexist views. For example, many people chose to draw parallels between the competition among species and the interactions among the representations of different races or ethnicities. Additionally, they came to the conclusion that some races could be inferior to others. Moreover, they tried to provide scientific evidence that could support this hypothesis. In his turn, Stephen Gould wants to show how many researchers attempted to falsify the results of their empirical observations in order to show that racial origins affect the behavior of an individual, his/her intelligence, or income level. The writer is able to show the danger of these falsified theories.
In turn, Ian Tattersall wants to show that human beings have many similarities with other mammals. For instance, this argument is applicable if one speaks about such aspects as mating, in-group competition, or the ability to experience various emotions like pleasure or fear. In the writer’s opinion, animals should not be regarded as mere automata because such an assumption overlooks the complexity of animal behavior.
The author wants to show that people have a great number of similarities with other species. Moreover, he believes that evolution is a very gradual process. Although Ian Tattersall does not focus on race, his arguments can be used to show that the racial theory of evolution is inconsistent. This is one of the main aspects that can be identified.
These works pose many thought-provoking questions to the readers. Apart from that, the arguments of the authors indicate that the ideas of Charles Darwin have transformed into a very complex framework that requires researchers to look at the same phenomena from different perspectives. Moreover, it demands rigorous collection and analysis of evidence. Otherwise, it will not be an effective scientific model. This is the idea that both authors want to express.
Overall, one can argue that these books can be of great interest to people who study the development of evolutionary ideas. Stephen Gould’s book shows how the main premises of this framework can be misinterpreted. In contrast, Ian Tattersall demonstrates how many questions should be answered by scientists and evolutionary psychologists. Nevertheless, these books indicate that evolutionary theory should not be used for promoting certain political agendas. Moreover, researchers have to meet certain standards while using this model.