The application of evolutionary biology in order to explain not only human morphological traits, but also human mind and human behavior, has been under attack from both social scientists and biologists alike, but it has also found enthusiastic support(Papierno 2005). Dawkins states that any effort to grasp human nature and humans' reason for existence that was undertaken before 1859 should be ignored, thereby putting the strongest possible emphasis on a Darwinian understanding of nature in the nature-nurture distinction. Tooby and Cosmides write that social sciences as they have been studied before without the incorporation of evolutionary biology have been extraordinarily unsuccessful as science just because of the shortfall of ignoring the evolved human nature.
Nature versus Nurture: The Case for Nurture
Before and still after the rise of sociobiology in the 1970s, two ways of dealing with the biological side of human nature in the social sciences and philosophical anthropology can be distinguished. Humans are either, first, regarded as a very special animal that has been equipped by evolution with a very peculiar nature. Since this peculiar nature has been brought forward by the forces of evolution, biological knowledge can to some degree be fruitfully applied in the enterprise of understanding humans. Since, however, human nature differs distinctly from animal nature, there are in this view limits for this application, and there is a clear distinction between the realm of animals and the human sphere: Evolution itself has led to a creature that has left the realm of pure biological determination (Miller 2005).
Second, against this cautious incorporation of biological knowledge in the humanities, a strong antibiological tendency can be found in the doctrine of the antiuniversalistic character of human cultures and in the idea of the autonomy of cultural processes, an idea originally already ...