The theory first gained attention when E. O. Wilson of Harvard published Sociobiology (1975); it became controversial when he proposed extending the theory to explain human social behavior and psychological patterns. Critics charged that this application of sociobiology was a form of genetic determinism and that it failed to take into account the complexity of human behavior and the impact of the environment on human development.
Scientists have recently discovered individual genes in laboratory worms that influence social behavior, such as gregarious feeding habits. Continued research of this kind, into what has been called the
molecular biology of social behavior, is likely to provide new insights into sociobiology.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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