Life History Evolution and Sociology

The Biological Backstory of Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010

  • Steven C. Hertler

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Steven C. Hertler
    Pages 1-4
  3. Steven C. Hertler
    Pages 5-8
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 53-73

About this book


This book supplies the evolutionary and genetic framework that Charles Murray, towards the end of Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010, predicts will one day explain revolutionary change in American society. Murray’s Coming Apart documents 50 years of changed college admissions, government incentives, mating and migration patterns that have wrought national divisions across indexes of marriage, industriousness, honesty, and religiosity. The framework discussed is life history evolution, a sub-discipline within evolutionary biology singly capable of explaining why violent crime, property crime, low marriage rates, father absence, early birth, low educational achievement, low income, poverty, lack of religiosity and reduced achievement striving will reliably co-occur as part of a complex. This complex augments facultatively, developmentally and evolutionarily in response to unpredictable and uncontrollable sources of mortality. The uncertain tenure of life wrought by unpredictable and uncontrollable mortality selects for a present-oriented use of bioenergetics resources recognizable as the social ills of Fishtown, Murray’s archetypal working class community. In turn, the thirty years of life history literature herein reviewed confirms the biological logic of elite intermarriage and sequestration. The source of life history variation, policy implications, and demography are discussed.

Steven C. Hertler is Adjunct-Assistant Professor of Psychology for the College of New Rochelle, USA. Focusing on personality, evolutionary ecology, comparative psychology, and theoretical sociobiology, he has served as the sole or principal author for 14 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as contributing to several Sage reference guides, and serving as a senior editor for Europe’s Journal of Psychology.


Psychology Sociobiology Human development Life history theory Evolutionary developmental psychology Human behavioral ecology Behavioral ecology Population ecology Specific demographics Sociology Evolutionary ecology Comparative psychology Theoretical sociobiology

Authors and affiliations

  • Steven C. Hertler
    • 1
  1. 1.PsychologyCollege of New RochelleNew RochelleUSA

Bibliographic information