The Social Conquest of Earth

by Edward O Wilson

New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2012. 330 pages.

Rejecting kin selection as a viable explanation for altruistic behavior, The Social Conquest of Earth “examines an alternative model for the evolution of eusociality and presents it in terms of two very different sets of animals—the social insects (ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and humans ... The book begins and ends with humans, with social insects and theoretical issues taking up the middle sections,” writes reviewer John H Relethford, who found Wilson’s conclusions about humanity provocative but speculative, and unduly dismissive of religion.