Is Darwin’s theory of evolution out of date?
‘A fabulous book about human destiny’ — Rob Brooks, evolutionary biologist
In Charles Darwin’s thesis, only the fittest of the species — the alpha males and females — would lead the pack, enabled by their physical strength, social ability and strong genes. But in an increasingly man-made world, those are no longer the traits which take people to the top. As the laws of the jungle change, a new class is on the rise, a class which employs lateral thinking, multitasking and the ability to bend systems to their will. The geek class.
Among the geeks, it is figures like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Microsoft’s Bill Gates or Apple’s Steve Jobs, people who are often physically slight and socially awkward, who have succeeded. In doing so they have turned the laws of natural selection on their head.
As Mark Roeder (author of The Big Mo) documents, this has profound implications. Man is no longer shaped by the environment; he is actively shaping it. And the world he creates is radically changing how we evolve.
US edition released in 2014:
“Unnatural Selection paints a compelling picture of human adaptability, identifying new traits within all of us that are helping us to survive and succeed in a world dominated by information. This is not just wishful thinking for geeks—technology is changing the landscape of society, and Roeder describes how humanity is changing along with it” — Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse and Robogenesis
“Everyone knows that the kinds of people that would have been rejected as social outcasts in the 1950s—the shy science nerds, persnickety math geeks, obsessive recluses who turned their parents’ garages into labs—have transformed the way we live in the past twenty years, quietly rising to positions of great power in the process. In this provocative book, Mark Roeder explains how they have become a social force driving a new kind of human evolution.” — Steve Silberman, editor, Wired magazine
“Roeder’s excellent book is thought provoking and enjoyable—it provides a fresh perspective on human progress.” —Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, director of the Autism Research Centre, and Fellow of Trinity College
“An entertaining and engrossing read. Roeder smartly integrates evolution, genetics, and cognitive science to show how the rise of the geek is inevitable—and well under way. It’s a fabulous book about human destiny.” — Rob Brooks, professor of
evolutionary biology and prize-winning author of Sex, Genes & Rock n Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World
“It is becoming evident that our great technical achievements have far outstripped our capacity to evolve socially and emotionally. In Unnatural Selection, Mark Roeder has brought scholarship and prescience to understanding this dehumanizing challenge and in then finding a ‘middle way’ to use technology for our benefit and not be used by it. This is a most important book for our times.” — Peter A Levine, PhD, bestselling author of Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma, and In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness