Sociobiology is sometimes called evolutionary psychology. It is, as the name suggests, an evolutionary theory. The starting point for sociobiology as it affects family life is Darwin's theory of sexual selection.
In teaching sociobiology, I find myself daily on the front line of the alleged war between evolution and intelligent design. So I bring you this dispatch from the front.
Evolution is a theory. It is as well grounded as any scientific theory, but it is a theory, and is in principle falsifiable by a theory that better explains the material evidence. And, like all human knowledge, even if it weren't falsifiable, it could be just plain wrong. But I don't think it is wrong, in the main.
Intelligent design is a theory. It is as well grounded as any theological theory, but it is a theory, and is in principle falsifiable by a better theory that explains the revelational evidence. And, like all human knowledge, even if it weren't falsifiable, it could be just plain wrong. But I don't think it is wrong, in the main.
The intellectual puzzle of sociobiology is to explain why some features of family life which seem to go against reproductive survival – such as menopause – would get selected for. The intellectual puzzle of design theory is to explain why some features of human life which seem to go against the designer's sovereignty – such as free will – would get designed in.
What the theories of evolution and intelligent design have in common is more important than what divides them. Evolution and design both believe that the world we see works the way it does for a reason. The common enemy of both is the belief that existence is random, irrational, and meaningless.
So when in class we are discussing a puzzle of family life, we often come to a point at which the only thing to say is "this exists for a reason. We cannot say for sure whether the reason was part of an initial design, or the result of millions of functional decisions, but we can discern a reason."
And thus the alleged war between evolution and design disappears.
The real war is not between faith and reason. The belief in reason is itself a faith. The real war is between reason and unreason.