The Lucifer Principle is a revolutionary work that explores the intricate relationships among genetics, human behavior, and culture to put forth the thesis that "evil" is a by-product of nature's strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric.
In a sweeping narrative that moves lucidly among sophisticated scientific disciplines and covers the entire span of the earth's, as well as mankind's, history, Howard Bloom challenges some of our most popular scientific assumptions. Drawing on evidence from studies of the most primitive organisms to those on ants, apes, and humankind, the author makes a persuasive case that it is the group, or 'superorganism," rather than the lone individual that really matters in the evolutionary struggle. But, Bloom asserts, the prominence of society and culture does not necessarily mitigate against our most violent, aggressive instincts. In fact, under the right circumstances, the mentality of the group will only amplify our most primitive and deadly urges.
In Bloom's most daring contention he draws an analogy between the biological material whose primordial multiplication began life on earth and the ideas, or 'memes," that define, give cohesion to, and justify human superorganisms. Some of the most familiar memes are utopian in nature" Christianity or Marxism; nonetheless, these are fueled by the biological impulse to climb to the top of the hierarchy. With the meme's insatiable hunger to enlarge itself, we have a precise prescription for war.
Biology is not destiny, but human culture is not always the buffer to our most primitive instincts we would like to think it is. In these complex threads of thought lies the Lucifer Principle, and only through understanding its mandates will we able to avoid the nuclear crusades that await us in the twenty-first century.
- ISBN-13: 9780871136640
- ISBN-10: 0871136643
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
- Publish Date: March 1997
- Dimensions: 9.12 x 6.03 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.12 pounds
- Page Count: 466