Summary of “We still live in the long shadow cast by the idea of Man-the-Hunter”

What would this Martian naturalist think of the behaviour of humans on Earth? Lorenz insisted that his imagined observer ‘would never gain the impression that human behaviour was dictated by intelligence, still less by responsible morality’.
The postwar reconstruction of the behaviour of human ancestors required drawing broadly from the human sciences.
As humans migrated, variations in the climate of their new habitats led to an efflorescence of human cultures around the globe.
In The Human Zoo, Morris turned his attention to the plight of increasingly urban human populations.
The view of humans as specialised animals carried implications for who among the scientists could truly judge what it meant to be human.
Was Man innately aggressive? Was the hunt a sufficient metaphor for conceptualising what it meant to be human? The linguistic ambiguity of ‘man’ meant it could refer either to the human species as a whole or simply to its male members.
In The Selfish Gene, the biologist Richard Dawkins espoused the idea that human nature in the 20th century had been dictated by the success of our ancestors’ genes in replicating themselves into the present.
We are still wrestling with these questions, even as the shifting politics of human nature have themselves solidified into arguments about nature or nurture, biology or culture.

The orginal article.