There must be few readers of Geological Magazine who are likely to declare an interest in sociobiology, let alone bioeconomics. A glance at the subtitle of this provocative and stimulating book, however, will give the first hint that there are indeed topics discussed here that are relevant to anyone with a serious interest in biological evolution and its implications. At the heart of the matter is a contest, if not battle, between those who take a severely reductionist view of the evolutionary process as against those who espouse such concepts as ‘systems’ and ‘complexity’. The views of the former are...

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