EO Wilson's new book, The Social Conquest of Earth, has reignited an old debate about natural evolution, i.e., the level at which it occurs. In the dominant camp are folks like Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker who hold that evolution occurs via gene selection. In the other camp, folks like Wilson and Jonathan Haidt claim that evolution occurs at multiple levels, including via both gene and group selection. Notably, Charles Darwin himself supported the latter view in Descent of Man.
Not surprisingly, Dawkins and Pinker wrote hostile reviews. Dawkins lamented Wilson's "erroneous and downright perverse misunderstandings of evolutionary theory" and called Darwin's own support of group selection "anomalous". Other reviewers I've read include David Sloan Wilson, Steven Mithen, Jerry Coyne, and Leonard Finkelman. Wilson responded with a vigorous defense of his thesis in a NYT's Stone column. At least to me—a general reader, not a specialist in the field—Wilson's account seems entirely plausible and more than likely. What empirical observations might settle this dispute however seems less than clear.
Whatever the truth, what concerns me more about both camps is their penchant for, in the words of H Allen Orr, Darwinian storytelling. Evolutionary psychologists, who abound in both camps, often try to explain too much of human behavior, including our current morality, through evolutionary selection. While it is undeniable that our basic moral instincts come out of millions of years of evolution, it also seems to me that to explain the prolific range of our behavior, we should look more at the cultural edifice that our humanoid ancestors have developed relatively recently through symbolic language and the resulting explosion of speech, concept formation, and social learning.