books for a better world

What the Experts Say


“In times like these a new worldview often arises at the margins of power, at the periphery of the action unfolding on the main stage . . .David Loye’s central in my opinion right on the money...The organizing principle of the new faith—a faith of human beings about human beings—is evolution itself. Not the traditionally taught evolutionary scenario dominated by competition and selfishness, but an understanding closer to the original Darwinian one that sees cooperation and transcendence of the self as the most exciting parts of the story.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, co-founder of the field of Positive Psychology, Director Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University, author of The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, and Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.


"David Loye's rediscovery of the 'real' Darwin rehabilitates one of the most cited yet also most misunderstood scientists of all times: Darwin the visionary, the moral thinker, not the mechanistic random-evolutionist as his followers have it. For this rediscovery not only biologists, and not only all natural and social scientists, but everyone concerned with our understanding of evolution on this planet owes Loye a deep debt of gratitude."

Ervin Laszlo, founder of the General Evolution Research Group and the Club of Budapest, Editor of World Futures:The Journal of General Evolution, former Director of Research for the United Nations Research and Development Program, author of Evolution: The General Theory, The Akashic Field, and over 40 other books on evolution and systems science.

"The idea that Charles Darwin himself believed that the final climb to human civilization required the enactment of a principle of moral conduct far above the "selfish gene" concept so prevalent in today's popular accounts comes as a surprise. But the fact that he argued at length and with passion for the recognition of this principle, along the way anticipating scientific concepts from far beyond his time, and further that this work has been utterly disregarded by the official keepers of evolutionary theory ever since, boggles the mind.

"Here, prominent social and evolutionary theorist David Loye treats us to a scientific mystery story of the first order. Taking us back to the final years of Darwin's life, in his home at Down and during the summer of 1868 at his Freshwater cottage on the Isle of Wight, where he struggled to find expression for the thoughts that would form the core of The Descent of Man, Loye leads us with sure steps through Darwin's emerging work, and through the Great Invisible Book that lies within, unfolding its vast implications and leaving no doubt that Darwin's long ignored plea for a larger vision of human nature is still relevant in the modern world and more desperately needed than ever.

"This is an immensely important book with an engaging and easy style that will recommend it to eaders of all backgrounds and interests."

Allan Combs, psychologist and evolution theorist, author of The Radiance of Being and The Enchanted Loom, psychology department, University of North Carolina in Asheville, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, and the California Institute of Integral Sudies.

"This is the most exciting, most revealing book on Darwin that I have ever read. More than any other, it has restored the full grandeur to Darwin's thesis as it evolved, as living beings evolved, from he survival of the fittest, through altruistic acts in social communities to the final affirmation of a desire for good, more compelling even, than our desire for self-preservation."

Mae Wan Ho, biophysicist and evolution theorist, author of The Worm and the Rainbow, Genetic Engineering, and editor, Beyond Neo-Darwinism: The New Evolutionary Paradigm, biology department, The Open University, London

"Once in a decade or more a special book comes along, of urgent importance to the intellectual iscourse of the time: Darwin, Freud, Jantsch, Lovelock. David Loye's Darwin’s Lost Theory is this special. It represents the culmination of the Chaos Revolution, and the critical application of General Evolution Theory. It corrects an oversight in the history of science which has swerved the modern world off its track. It provides the key to the reintegration of the sciences: physical, biological, and social. It can be the spark to jumpstart the social sciences to a new golden age of relevance to popular culture, by clearly showing how evolution theory bears on the survival of our species and our biosphere. In this work Loye has brought his unique erudition to an enormous and critical task, and carried it off with genius. We urgently need this book, and we need it now."

Ralph Abraham, mathematician and chaos theorist, author of Chaos, Gaia, and Eros: A Chaos ioneer Uncovers the Three Great Streams of History, Dynamics: The Geometry of Behavior, and The WEB Empowerment Book, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Santa Cruz.

"David Loye has passionately called our attention to a part of Darwin's work that not only significantly modifies his construction of natural selection, but does so more prominently in The Descent of Man than many other modifications scattered throughout his vast writings. Even a number of neoDarwinians are now getting ready to accept some version of what Loye identifies as Darwin's discovery of 'organic choice,' usually under the label of 'self-organizing processes.' I think oye's work comes along at a propitious time."

Stanley Salthe, biologist and evolution theorist, author of Development and Evolution and Evolving Hierarchical Systems, Professor Emeritus, biology department, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

"This book is a block-buster and an old paradigm smasher! I read it with a deep sense of its importance in balancing the biological reductionist myopia about our possible future and the volution of our moral sentiments. Congratulations!"

Hazel Henderson, economics theorist and futurist, author of Building a Win-Win World, The Politics of the Solar Age, Paradigms for Progress, and Creating Alternative Futures.

"At the end of ten years studying the application of chaos and other new theories to human evolution and researching the moral studies of the founding fathers of social science, David Loye unearthed a major scientific treasure: Darwin's 'hidden' theory of moral choice. Carefully piecing ogether fragments scattered in The Descent of Man and in Darwin's other writings, Loye reconstructs the 'hidden' theory and shows that Darwin believed that love, rather than the "selfish gene," is the prime mover in human evolution. Loye's book should cause a revolution in social theory as diverse fields such as human ecology, urban studies, population dynamics, collective organization, and the study of culture and moral order are rethought and recast in the light of Darwin's moral theory. Darwin's Lost Theory is absolutely essential reading for every social scientist."

Raymond Trevor Bradley, sociologist, Director, Institute for Whole Social Science, Carmel, CA, Associate Research Professor, BRAINS Center, Radford University, Radford, VA, author Charisma nd Social Structure: A Study of Love and Power, Wholeness and Transformation.

"One of the central difficulties in modern biology is how to account for the origin of those human features we are inclined to consider superior, traits such as morality, ethics, rationality, self-consciousness, and spiritual experiences. The difficulty is that they must have arisen in evolution from a manner of living that did not contain them. Darwin's Lost Theory shows that Darwin saw this, and that his vision of a detailed answer to the question in terms of human emotional and cognitive development beyond the basic operation of natural selection has not been acknowledged. t is important that this part of Darwin's writing be recovered, as Loye does very clearly and in a compelling manner in Darwin's Lost Theory."

Humberto R. Maturana, professor, Department of Biology, The University of Chile, developer of the concept and theory of autopoiesis, author (with Francisco Varela) of Autopoiesis and Cognition and The Tree of Knowledge, and (with G.Verden-Zoller) of Amore e Gioco and other books in Italian, German, and Spanish.

"In his book on Darwin's 'lost theory,' Loye grips the reader's imagination somewhat as if glued to watching him put together a giant jig-saw puzzle showing the whole sweep of evolution in the light of both former and recent thinking. I have been particularly fascinated by Loye's discovery of the connection between Darwin's projection of the evolutionary development of the moral sense and my own brain research. In the notebook of 1838 Darwin asked himself, 'May not moral sense arise from . . . our strong sexual, parental, and social instincts?' This is point for point what I found 100 years later in my own extensive exploration of the primate brain in regard to primal sex-related functions. I am very impressed with how Loye shows that Darwin expanded this core insight into the full theory so long overlooked in The Descent of Man."

Paul D. MacLean, M.D., Senior Research Scientist, National Institute of Mental Health, evolutionary brain theorist, author of The Triune Brain in Evolution.

"Loye's book makes an important contribution to illuminating the real bases of human social behavior. The complexity of our mental and emotional dynamical system argues against attempts to account for all human social customs and structures in terms of theories of the "selfish gene" or "sociobiology" variety. Since selfish gene theories are often linked to Charles Darwin, it is exciting to see a psychological theorist of Loye's quality and productivity argue that Darwin's own viewpoint as not that of the selfish gene theorists. Loye gets us into the heart of Darwin's words and shows that when it came to human evolution at least, love and connectedness were regarded not as anomalies but as intricately related to the entire evolutionary process. Sexuality has been assumed to be motivated solely by reproductive needs, and its pleasurable and bonding aspects discounted, whereas Loye shows that Darwin saw sexual evolution as the primary basis of bonding and love in many animal species including our own.

"Darwin's Lost Theory will fill an important gap. It will be a widely read and controversial book by an experienced and thoughtful author with style and flair. I expect it will become one of the major books of the early Twenty-First Century."

Daniel S. Levine, theoretical psychologist and neural network theorist, author of Introduction to Neural and Cognitive Modeling and (forthcoming) Common Sense and Common Nonsense, psychology department, University of Texas at Arlington.

"Loye's thesis is nothing less than revolutionary. In a carefully researched and beautifully written work, he dramatically changes our understanding of Darwin and of evolution itself."

Alfonso Montuori, Chair of Graduate Studies, School for Consciousness and Transformation, California Institute of Integral Studies, Associate Editor, World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution, and author of Evolutionary Competence.