I'm a professor of psychology at University of Nottingham Malaysia. My research revolves around the idea that theories from evolutionary biology can shed light on human psychology. In particular, I'm interested in the evolutionary origins of human sex differences and altruistic behaviour. I also have a long-standing interest in the philosophical implications of evolutionary theory. Some of my earliest academic work was on the placebo effect.
I also briefly pursued a career as a musician and put together an album of my songs; click here for a sample. (I like "Won't Stop till We Get Home" best.) I was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand.
20 November 2023 - Scientists censoring science
Our paper on the censorship of science by scientists is now available in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, titled “Prosocial Motives Underlie Scientific Censorship by Scientists,” was spearheaded by Cory Clark, and co-authored by 38 academics representing a diverse range of expertise and political persuasions. Click here to read it.
And check out Steve's Substack post on the paper here.
10 November 2023 – Fifty years of gender bias
Led by Dr Michael Schaerer, our meta-analysis of field studies of gender bias in hiring decisions is now available in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Click here to read the paper, and here to read Steve's Substack post about it (excerpt below).
6 November 2023 – Polygamy in the UK
Led by Dr Andrew Thomas of Swansea University, our paper on polygamous inclinations in a monogamous nation has just been accepted by Archives of Sexual Behavior. Stay tuned…
18 October 2023 – Paper accepted in PNAS!
Led by the inimitable Dr Cory Clark, our paper “Prosocial Motives Underlie Scientific Censorship by Scientists” has been accepted for publication in one of the world’s top journals: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences!
27 September 2023 – New podcast appearance!
Steve appears on the Uncomfortable Conversations podcast with the great Josh Szeps. Check it out here or here.
22 July 2023 – The childless have a stake in the future too
Steve quoted in this thought-provoking Spectatorarticle by Melanie Notkin.
4 April 2023 – A miniature parliament in our heads…
Steve quoted in this fascinating new article by Dr Yael Schonbrun about work-family conflict.
17 February 2023 – The Turkish edition of TATUTU is out!
The Turkish edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe is now available in bookstores and online!
1 December 2022 – Steve interviewed for the Male Psychology magazine
Topics covered include sex differences and similarities, nature and nurture, memes and more. Read the full interview here.
John Barry: ”The acclaim that Steve Stewart-Williams enjoys is well-deserved. He manages to write accurately and intelligently about sensitive topics that are often written about clumsily by others. The result is that many more people are open to learning from him, which is surely the aim of every educationalist.”
16 November 2022 – Steve promoted to professor!
It’s official: Steve has been promoted to full professor of psychology!!
6 November 2022 – The Polish edition of TATUTU is out!
The Polish edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe is now available at bookstores and online!
28 September 2022 – Our research covered in The Psychologist
A very nice write-up by Emily Reynolds of our latest paper in The British Journal of Psychology. You can read it here!
18 July 2022 – How people react to research on sex differences
Our paper “Reactions to research on sex differences: Effect of sex favoured, researcher sex, and importance of sex-difference domain” has been published in The British Journal of Psychology. Click here to read!
20 June 2022 – Paper accepted!
Our paper “Reactions to research on sex differences: Effect of sex favoured, researcher sex, and importance of sex-difference domain” has been accepted for publication in The British Journal of Psychology!
20 May 2022 – Japanese edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Cambridge University Press has negotiated a contract for a Japanese edition of TATUTU. Coming soon!
18 May 2022 – Two research awards
Steve awarded the Dean’s Excellence Award 2021 for his “exceptional contribution to Faculty research,” and the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FOSE) Research Excellence Award 2021.
7 April 2022 – Hidden Games
Steve endorses Moshe Hoffman and Erez Yoeli’s new book Hidden Games : The Surprising Power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behaviour. Check out the Amazon page here!
31 March 2022 – New paper!
Our article “People react more positively to female- than to male-favoring sex differences: A direct replication of a counterintuitive finding” has now been published in PLOS ONE. Click here to read it!
18 March 2022 – Paper accepted!
Our article “People react more positively to female- than to male-favoring sex differences: A direct replication of a counterintuitive finding” has been accepted for publication in PLOS ONE. One of several in the pipeline…
2 December 2021 – Portuguese edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Cambridge University Press has negotiated a contract for a Portuguese edition of TATUTU. Coming soon!
30 September 2021 – Making music
Now out: Steve’s commentary on Mehr et al. and Savage et al.'s target articles in Behavioral and Brain Sciences on the evolutionary origins of music.
"It is premature to conclude that music is an adaptation. Given the danger of overextending the adaptationist mode of explanation, the default position should be the byproduct hypothesis, and it should take very strong evidence to drag us into the adaptationist camp. As yet, the evidence isn’t strong enough – and the proposed adaptationist explanations have a number of unresolved difficulties."
9 September 2021 – "Swing what nature gave you..."
Steve mentioned in the Financial Times as one of the inspirations for José González' new album!
"'Swing', a track that includes the lines 'swing your belly, baby... Swing what nature gave you', was apparently partially inspired by the evolutionary psychologist Steve Stewart-Williams and his book The Ape that Understood the Universe."
24 July 2021 – Defending free inquiry in academia
Steve invited to be one of the founding members of the Society for Open Inquiry in the Behavioral Sciences (SOIBS). The society's executive council includes Roy Baumeister, Cory Clark, Leda Cosmides, Lee Jussim, Steven Pinker, Catherine Salmon, Sally Satel, and Phil Tetlock.
13 July 2021 – Steve endorses Carole Hooven’s new book T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us
Check out the Amazon page here!
6 July 2021 – New paper!
Led by Andrew Thomas, the paper investigates sex differences in voyeuristic and exhibitionistic interest. We argue that “courtship disorders… are extreme nonfunctional versions of desires and behaviors manifested as part of an evolved short-term mating strategy.” You can read the paper here.
8 June 2021 – New position
Steve appointed chair of the University's Research Integrity and Research Ethics Committee (RIREC) at UNM: a campus-wide committee overseeing research integrity and ethical review at the university.
3 June 2021 – Steve endorses Nichola Raihani’s new book The Social Instinct
Check out the Amazon page here!
17 May 2021 – It takes a village to raise a child – especially during a pandemic
Steve quoted in this fascinating new article about alloparental care in humans, by Dr Yael Schonbrun and Dr Rebecca Schrag Hershberg.
6 May 2021 – Polish edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Steve signs a contract for a Polish-language edition of TATUTU. Estimated publication date: 2023...
12 April 2021 – Male- vs. female-favouring sex differences
Our article “Reactions to male-favoring vs. female-favoring sex differences: A preregistered experiment and Southeast Asian replication” is now in print in The British Journal of Psychology. Click here to read. A second paper is on the way!
3 February 2021 – New PhD student!
A very warm welcome to Steve’s new PhD student, Xiu Ling Wong. Xiu Ling’s FRGS-funded research will look at how people react to research on sex differences, depending on such factors as whether the findings favour men or favour women, the sex of the lead researcher, and the cultural background of the people reacting.
8 January 2021 – New paper!
Contrary to a prominent hypothesis in evolutionary psychology, we found that fertility status doesn't predict the desire for short-term sex in women. Led by Andrew Thomas, with co-authors Steve, Stephanie Armstrong, and Ben Jones. You can read the paper here.
20 December 2020 – Our research covered in PsyPost
A very nice write-up of our recent paper on how people react to research on sex differences, depending on whether the research favours men or favours women.
26 November 2020 – Another Italian translation
Busy month! The second edition of the Italian edition of Steve’s first book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life, was released today. Featuring Pablo Malo’s interview with Steve about free will, human nature, the naturalistic fallacy, morality after Darwin, and more.
4 November 2020 – Grant success
Steve awarded an FRGS grant for his research on how people react to research on sex differences. The grant will fully fund a PhD student for three years, with additional funding for research costs and travel expenses. The position will be advertised soon...
4 November 2020 – Twin-study grant
Steve Janssen and Steve SW awarded an FRGS grant to continue setting up a twin-registry in Malaysia and to conduct research into the nature and nurture of autobiographical memory. Steve J. is the principle investigator on the project; Steve SW is a co-investigator.
25 October 2020 – In praise of science and reason
Steve quoted on the Centre for Inquiry's Canadian website.
26 August 2020 – Steve Stewart-Williams on the value of evolutionary psychology
A very nice write-up by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne of my recent interview with Pablo Malo for the New Evolutionary Enlightenment.
Subrena Smith’s recent paper arguing that evolutionary psychology is impossible in principle
Evolutionary Psychology vs. evolutionary psychology
Brooke Scelza’s paper showing a non-paternity rate of 48% among the Himba of Namibia
Temrin et al.’s attempted debunking of the Cinderella effect
22 August 2020 – How to survive the heyday of dating apps
Steve interviewed by Javier Sinay for RED/ACCIÓN (an Argentinian newsmedia website) about dating in the Internet age.
5 August 2020 – Böse Männer, gute Frauen?
Our paper on how people react to male-favoring vs. female-favoring sex differences covered in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
27 July 2020 – The myth of pervasive misogyny
Our recent paper on how people react to male- vs. female-favoring sex differences cited in this fascinating new piece in Quillette.
23 July 2020 – New article!
Our article “Reactions to male-favoring vs. female-favoring sex differences: A preregistered experiment and Southeast Asian replication” has now been published in The British Journal of Psychology. You can read it here.
27 May 2020 – Evolution Is the Greatest Show on Earth
Steve has a new article in Nautilus magazine. It uses viral animal videos to illustrate key concepts from the science of animal behaviour. Enjoy!
27 May 2020 – Coming soon...
Our article “Reactions to male-favoring vs. female-favoring sex differences: A preregistered experiment and Southeast Asian replication” accepted for publication in The British Journal of Psychology. Preprint here.
23 May 2020 – Are humans selfish or altruistic?
Steve interviewed for The Times by James Marriot about human altruism vs. selfishness. Questions included "Do you believe humans are kind and altruistic animals and why/why not?" and "Do you believe that civilisation has made human beings less kind and altruistic?"
2 March 2020 – Are humans peacocks or robins?
Steve discusses the evolution of human sex differences in a chapter in Workman, Reader, and Barkow’s new edited book The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behavior.
22 January 2020 – Visiting Scholar Position
Steve has been invited to take up a visiting scholar position at the University of Technology Sydney. More details soon…
21 January 2020 – Turkish edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Cambridge University Press have negotiated a contract for a Turkish edition of
TATUTU. Coming soon to a Turkish bookstore near you…
8 September 2019 – Mate-preferences priorities across the globe
Our recent research into mate-preference priorities has been published in the Journal of Personality. The research, which was led by Andrew Thomas, looks at what students from the UK, Norway, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore (n = 2,477) prioritise in a long-term partner. Read it
17 August 2019 – National Malaysian Twin Day
Steve gives a talk on “The Importance of Twin Research” at Monash University, Malaysia.
31 July 2019 – Twin study radio interview
Steve appears on BFM radio with Sue Ann Lim, to discuss twin studies, behavioural genetics, and the Nottingham Malaysian Twin Registry.
The interview is available as a podcast here or on iTunes.
28 July 2019 – A new review of TATUTU!
According to the psychologist Joseph Stubbersfield, "The Ape That Understood the Universe provides an excellent overview of evolutionary approaches to human behavior, with a particular focus on a Dawkins-inspired selfish-gene approach." The full review is available here.
10 July 2019 – New album from Baba Brinkman
Baba Brinkman’s latest album is called See From Space. The title track was inspired by Steve’s book The Ape that Understood the Universe, and other tracks were inspired by the work of folks like Michael Shermer and Randy Nesse. Available now from Bandcamp!
5 July 2019 – Korean Edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Cambridge University Press has negotiated a contract for a Korean edition of
Ape. Coming soon to a Korean bookshop near you…
20 June 2019 – "The Ape That Understood the Universe Will Challenge and Delight Readers of All Stripes."
Another very nice review of Steve’s book. This one’s by Zach Rausch.
20 June 2019 – 9 Best New Science Books To Read In 2019
Steve’s book, The Ape that Understood the Universe, made it onto BookAuthority’s list of 9 Best New Science Books To Read In 2019.
31 May 2019 – Steve appears on the Human Experience Live Show He and host Xavier Katana touch on evolutionary psychology, sex differences, altruism, cultural evolution... and even the meaning of life! Listen here or here.
28 May 2019 – You and me baby ain’t nothin but mammals… Steve appears on the Mountain Top Podcast with Scot McKay. Listen here.
16 May 2019 – TATUTU is one of Choice magazine's editors' picks for May Check out the very nice review by Jean-Baptiste Leca!
15 May 2019 – The audiobook is out! By popular demand, Cambridge University Press has released an audiobook of The Ape That Understood the Universe. It’s available from all the usual places: Audible, Amazon, Apple, etc. Click here for a sample.
14 May 2019 – Steve interviewed by Logan Chipkin for Quillette Topics of discussion include Steve’s book, The Ape That Understood the Universe, evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, the gender binary, and whether efforts to 'cure' sex differences are today's equivalent of forcing life-handed people to write with their right hands. Full interview here.
26 April 2019 – Nurture Alone Can’t Explain Male Aggression Steve has a new article in Nautilus magazine. It’s about the nature and nurture of sex differences in aggression.
18 April 2019 – New podcast alert Steve appears on the Insitome podcast with Razib Khan. Among other things, they discuss why Steve is not a fan of the concept of modularity. Check it out!
2 April 2019 – Spanish review of TATUTU Nereida Bueno Guerra reviews The Ape That Understood the Universe for Investigación y Ciencia (the Spanish equivalent of Scientific American).
Here’s a quote, courtesy of Google Translate, “Stewart-Williams is not an ordinary academic. Before being a professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham he was a rocker (his album Casual Angst can be heard on SoundCloud) and his Twitter account is full of curiosities about evolution, politics and basic psychology. This unusual biography is evident in the work, which exhibits an ironic, irreverent tone and full of anecdotes. Your style is closer to a Ted Talk than a manual to use. That allows an easy reading, which saves technicalities or that explains them in a friendly way.”
1 April 2019 – The paperback edition has a cover! Check out the new cover for the paperback edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe – featuring a foreword from the inimitable Michael Shermer! It should be out in September/October...
“Stewart-Williams offers a welcome overview of the field as it stands today for a lay audience in highly accessible prose… an enjoyable and at times enthralling brief on the state of play from a bona fide expert.”
15 March 2019 – Steve on the Dissenter Steve interviewed by Ricardo Lopes for the Dissenter: one of the best podcasts on the Internet. Click here to listen or here to watch it on YouTube!
8 March 2019 – Audiobook update The audiobook version of The Ape That Understood the Universe will be unveiled at the London Book Fair next week, and should be available via Audible, Amazon, etc. by the end of April...
26 February 2019 – Italian Edition of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Cambridge University Press have negotiated a contract for an Italian edition of
TATUTU, featuring a new preface by Steve. It’ll be unveiled in May 2020 at Salone del Libro di Torino: Italy’s largest book fair.
2 February – Audiobook Update
The audiobook of The Ape That Understood the Universe is now in production. The final product will include Baba Brinkman's song, “See from Space,” which was inspired by the book. As far as we know, it'll be the first audiobook with a bonus rap song!
29 January 2019 – Steve on the Dissenter
Steve interviewed by Ricardo Lopes for the Dissenter channel. Available soon on YouTube and later as a podcast!
4 January 2019 – Death by Selfie
Steve is quoted in this fascinating article by Mike Elgan about the phenomenon of “death by selfie.”
18 December 2018 – TATUTU to be released in a paperback edition!
Cambridge University Press is releasing a paperback edition of Steve’s book, The Ape That Understood the Universe, with a new cover and a new foreword from a prominent person (to be announced)...
16 December 2018 – Japanese Review of TATUTU
Read it here.
14 December 2018 – How Culture Makes Us Smarter
Steve has a new article in Psychology Today. This one’s about how cumulative cultural evolution makes human beings smarter than we would otherwise be.
7 December 2018 – Steve on the Naked Scientists
Steve has a new piece on the Naked Scientists website. It’s called “Why Blood is Thicker than Water,” and it’s all about kin selection in human beings.
6 December 2018 – Translations of TATUTU in the pipeline
Cambridge University Press is currently negotiating translations of Steve’s new book, The Ape That Understood the Universe, into Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, and Turkish.
28 November 2018 – The Ape That Understood the Universe is one of Cambridge’s Books of the Year!Order now and get 20% off the cover price…
23 November 2018 – Audiobook of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Cambridge University Press have just finalized a deal to produce an audiobook version of Steve’s new book. It should be out in a few months!
21 November 2018 – “Damn, this is good!”: New Review of The Ape That Understood the Universe
Steve’s book reviewed by Lance Workman in the December issue of The Psychologist. Click here to read!
16 November 2018 – Grant News: First Malaysian Twin Registry
Steve SW and his colleague Steve Janssen have been awarded an RPA Development Funding grant to set up the first twin registry in Malaysia and begin conducting twin studies in the region.
3 November 2018 – Je egalitärer die Gesellschaft, desto grösser der Unterschied
Markus Schär discusses Steve’s new book, The Ape That Understood the Universe, in the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung [German]. Click here to read.
30 October 2018 – Steve appears on Psychologists Off the Clock
Steve chats with Dr Yael Schonbrun for the Psychologists Off the Clock podcast, delving into all sorts of interesting topics related to Steve’s new book. Click here to listen.
26 October 2018 – 12 Mind-Bending Perceptual Illusions Check out Steve’s new piece in Nautilus Magazine.
18 October 2018 – Review of The Ape That Understood the Universe Peter Gray reviews Steve’s new book for Human Nature.
10 October 2018 – Where Does Jealousy Come From? Steve has a new piece in the BBC's Focus Magazine.
4 October 2018 – Steve Appears on the Psych Files Podcast Michael Britt interviews Steve about his new book, The Ape That Understood the Universe.
17 September 2018 – When Culture Kills Us Steve has a new piece in WIRED Magazine about the "roundabout of death" and other maladaptive memes.
15 September 2018 – The Patriarchy Paradox Steve is quoted in The Times, discussing new research showing that sex differences are larger, not smaller, in more gender-equal societies. Click here to read.
13 September 2018 – Steve’s new book, The Ape That Understood the Universe, officially released worldwide! You can read an excerpt here.
…and you can order it here (US), here (UK), or here (Canada).
18 August 2018 – Baba Brinkman Meets The Ape That Understood the Universe Cambridge University Press have commissioned science rapper Baba Brinkman to produce a rap song and video to promote Steve’s new book!!!
14 June 2018 – Some advertising material for Steve’s new book… PS: The Kindle version is now available for pre-order: US / UK.
“An eloquent and elegant exploration of human nature in the light of evolution, illuminating many modern social and political dilemmas.” -Matt Ridley, author of ‘The Red Queen’ and ‘Nature via Nurture’
“A compelling read – I learned something new on every page.” -Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, columnist for Scientific American, and author of ‘Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia’
“This book will turn your view of human nature inside out and upside down.” -Susan Blackmore, author of ‘The Meme Machine’ and ‘Consciousness: An Introduction’
“A twenty-first-century successor to The Selfish Gene.” -Lance Workman, co-author of ‘Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction’
“This book is nothing short of brilliant.” -Baba Brinkman, Science Rapper
“Stewart-Williams is an exceptionally good writer, a witty and learned guide through challenging but exciting terrain… Read this book for its literary grace, and learn along the way why you are an ape that can understand the universe.” -Todd Shackelford, Oakland University
“This book is nothing short of brilliant, unpacking both the profound and the ridiculous in our emerging picture of human nature and cultural evolution. We won’t really be the ape that understood the universe until we understand ourselves, and Steve Stewart-Williams has drawn us an irreplaceable roadmap.” -Baba Brinkman, Science Rapper
10 April 2018 – Steve’s next book, The Ape That Understood the Universe, has an Amazon page!
You can pre-order the book here (US), here (UK), or here (Canada).
10 April 2018 – Steve’s new book has a cover!
The Cambridge University Press webpage for the book is here. The publication date is September the 30th.
28 February 2018 – Coming soon: A new edition of the Italian translation of Steve’s first book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life
Plans are underway to re-release the Italian edition of DGML. You can read the preface to the first edition here (in English).
6 February 2018 – Michael Shermer endorses Steve’s forthcoming book!
Here’s what he said:
“The premise of Steve Stewart-Williams' magnificent contribution to the scientific study of human nature - an anthropologist from an alien planet visits Earth and tries to make sense of this bipedal ape called Homo sapiens - is one of those perspective-shifting thought experiments that results in readers gaining hitherto unknown insights into our peculiar species, and buries once and for all the fatuous blank slate model of humanity that discounts our deep connectedness to all other animals. A compelling read - I learned something new on every page.” -Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow of Chapman University. His latest book is ‘Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia’
26 January 2018 – Research on flexible mating strategies: It's about TIME Andrew and Steve's latest research article has been picked up by more than 30 media outlets, including TIME magazine:
Bustle - click here. CNN-News18 - click here. i - click here.
India.com - click here.
New Zealand Herald - click here. The Sun (print edition only).
TIME magazine - click here. TimesLIVE - click here.
16 October, 2017 - Steve hands in the final draft of his new book, The Ape That Understood the Universe!
Here are some early reactions to the book, which is due to hit the shelves in 2018:
"In The Ape that Understood the Universe, evolutionary psychologist Steve Stewart-Williams provides a masterful account of how the mind and culture evolve. Stewart-Williams is an exceptionally good writer, a witty and learned guide through challenging but exciting terrain that includes psychology, biology, anthropology, philosophy, and animal behavior. The Ape that Understood the Universe is a rare accomplishment: equal parts intellectual exhilaration and beautifully crafted narrative. Read this book for its literary grace, and learn along the way why you are an ape that can understand the universe." -Todd Shackelford, Oakland University
"In The Ape that Understood the Universe, Steve Stewart-Williams takes the reader from first principles to a deep understanding of the evolutionary and cultural underpinnings of human behaviour. Not only has Stewart-Williams produced a work of deep understanding, he has also produced one which is a real page turner. A twenty-first century successor to The Selfish Gene." -Lance Workman, co-author of 'Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction'
"A great introduction to human nature - whether you're a member of our species or an alien scientist puzzled by this planet's dominant life-form. Stewart-Williams shows how genes and memes entwine to explain our deepest concerns and our highest aspirations. This fun, easy-going, science-savvy book will make you smarter about your emotions, your relationships, and your society." -Geoffrey Miller, author of 'The Mating Mind', 'Spent', and 'Mate'
"This is a highly imaginative (and solidly informed) book about the nature of human nature - who we really are. Stewart-Williams has a firm grip on the latest data in evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution, all elegantly woven into a fine narrative packed with provocative (and astute) ideas. It's an insightful, accurate and refreshingly amusing read." -Helen Fisher, author of 'Anatomy of Love' and 'Why Him? Why Her?'
"Although there are many books covering evolutionary approaches to the human mind and behaviour, this is one of the best, in terms of its choice of topics, insightful coverage, knowledge of the subject-matter, and quality of writing. I enthusiastically recommend it both to those familiar with the area and to newcomers." -John Archer, University of Central Lancashire
"This is a fantastically comprehensive, clear, and highly entertaining sweep of every important facet of evolutionary psychology. It does something other books do not do: It presents the opposing arguments to various evolutionary theories and then objectively lays out the evidence for why they don't hold up. If you want to debate the evolution deniers, this is the book for you... I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand evolutionary psychology or understand it far better." -Amy Alkon, syndicated columnist and author of 'Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence'
"An eloquent and elegant exploration of human nature in the light of evolution, illuminating many modern social and political dilemmas." -Matt Ridley, author of "The Red Queen" and "Nature via Nurture"
"If you hate the idea of selfish genes, this book should change your mind. With vivid examples and fascinating evidence, Stewart-Williams provides a powerful challenge to the "culture is all" lobby. The best update of the gene"s-eye view I have seen for a long time. This book will turn your view of human nature inside out and upside down." -Susan Blackmore, author of "The Meme Machine" and "Consciousness: An Introduction"
28 August, 2017 - Interview with Steve on the FiveQuestionsFor Blog
Sebastian Kaiser interviews Steve about evolutionary psychology. Click here to read.
31 July, 2017 - Interview with Steve on Dollar Shave Club
Tracy Moore interviews Steve about our 2016 study on how sexual history affects attractiveness. Click here to read.
20 June, 2017 - The Genetics of Intelligence
Steve comments on an exciting new paper about the missing heritability problem for IQ. Click here to read.
19 May, 2017 - Steve signs a contract with Cambridge University Press for his second book
The book, entitled The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve, is due to hit the shelves in 2018.
10 March, 2017 - More press coverage of our article on how people's sexual history affects their attractiveness on the mating market
Hot Press. click here.
Love Matters. click here.
MEL Magazine. click here.
Reporter India - click here.
The Sun - click here.
ViralNova - click here.
24 December, 2016 - Our Article on Sexual History and Attractiveness is Getting a Lot of Press!
Here's a sample of the coverage:
AskMen - click here.
Classic105 - click here.
Cosmopolitan - click here. Daily Mail UK - click here.
Daily Mail Australia - click here.
Discover Magazine - click here.
The Express - click here.
FHM - click here.
The Frisky - click here.
IFLScience - click here.
The Independent - click here.
Maxim - click here.
Medical Daily - click here.
MTV Finland - click here.
Playboy - click here.
PsyPost - click here.
Raw Story - click here.
The Sun - click here.
Vanity Fair Italy - click here.
Vice - click here.
The most commonly cited quote from the paper: "Contrary to the idea that male promiscuity is tolerated but female promiscuity is not, both sexes expressed equal reluctance to get involved with someone with an overly extensive sexual history."
19 December, 2016 - Interview with Steve on PsyPost
Eric Dolan interviews Steve about our recent study on how sexual history affects attractiveness. Click here to read.
3 December, 2016 - Our Research Covered in Broadly
Broadly has an excellent write-up of our recent research on the sexual double standard and how people's sexual history affects their attractiveness.
11 November, 2016 - Our Research Covered in Discover Magazine
Discover magazine has a brief piece our new article, "Sexual History and Present Attractiveness: People Want a Mate with a Bit of a Past, But Not Too Much."
3 November, 2016 - New Paper on How Sexual History Affects People's Attractiveness
Our paper "Sexual History and Present Attractiveness: People Want a Mate with a Bit of a Past, But Not Too Much," is now in print.
26 August, 2016 - New Paper on Testosterone and Hand-Grip Strength in Men
Our paper, "Is salivary cortisol moderating the relationship between salivary testosterone and hand-grip strength in healthy men?" is now in print.
3 August, 2016 - Steve Now a Member of Heterodox Academy
Click here to read about Heterodox Academy's important work supporting viewpoint diversity and free speech on campus.
February 12, 2016 - Steve's Book Discussed in BHA Darwin Day Lecture 2016
Renowned evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne discusses Steve's book in his recent Darwin Day Lecture for the British Humnist Association. Watch it here.
January 23, 2016 - Evolution of Psychopathology Conference
Steve invited to the Evolution of Psychopathology Conference at Oakland University, Michigan (April 18-20, 2016). Looking forward to it!
November 22, 2015 - The Unfair Treatment of the Animal Rights Movement
Jerry Coyne gives Steve's book the thumbs-up on his popular blog, Why Evolution is True! Click here to read the whole piece.
October 31, 2015 - Coming soon: Are Humans Peacocks or Robins?
Steve invited to write a chapter on human sex differences for The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behavior (edited by Lance Workman, Will Reader, and Jerome Barkow).
September 1, 2015 - New Job!
As of today, Steve is no longer a Senior Lecturer at Swansea University; he's an Associate Professor at Nottingham University Malaysia Campus.
July 23, 2015 - Coming soon: Afterlife Beliefs, an Evolutionary Approach.
Steve invited to write a chapter on evolutionary approaches to afterlife beliefs for The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Religion (edited by David M. Wulff).
July 12, 2015 - Steve's on the Cover of Free Inquiry Magazine! Free Inquiry reprints Steve's forward to Martin and Augustine's Steve' foreword to Martin and Augustine's book "Myth of an Afterlife."
June 25, 2015 - Darwin and the End of Good and Evil.
Pablo Malo discusses Steve's book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life, in the "New Evolutionary Enlightenment."
June 9, 2015 - Andrew's a Doctor!
Huge congratulations to Andrew Thomas, who just passed his viva with flying colours!
May 18, 2015 - Just found out!
Steve' foreword to Martin and Augustine's book "The Myth of an Afterlife" is being reprinted in one of the top humanist magazines, Free Inquiry.
May 7, 2015 - Andrew submits his PhD!
The viva is scheduled for July. Good luck to the soon-to-be Dr. Andrew
April 30, 2015 - Interview with the New Evolutionary Enlightenment.
Steve's interview with Pablo Malo is now online. It covers free will, human nature,
evolutionary ethics, and Steve's next book. (Scroll down for the English version.)
April 22, 2015 - Out Now: Evolution and Morality.
Steve's article "Evolution and Morality" has just been published in The International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
April 19, 2015 - Darwin and the Problem of Evil
A great article by Pablo Malo on Chapter 6 of Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life. If you haven't seen it already, be sure to check out the Stephen Fry video at the bottom of the page.
April 19, 2015 - Booklist Boyne the God of Babble
A response to Ian Boyne's article "Debating God at Easter": "he set up celebrated atheist authors Michael Shermer and Steve Stewart-Williams with extensive quotes before trying, in his convoluted way, to debunk these authors."
April 5, 2015 - Debating God at Easter
Ian Boyne discusses Steve's book in The Jamaican Gleaner: "I love Stewart-Williams' honesty and I am forced to quote him again: 'Thus even though we in the West live in a semi-post-Christian world, the ethical attitudes they inspired linger on...'"
"...given the importance of mutual mate choice (Stewart-Williams & Thomas, 2013), pair-bonding, and bi-parental investment in humans, it could be that more musically skilled individuals attract higher quality sex partners (rather than greater quantity; Miller, 2013; Stewart-Williams & Thomas, 2013)... Both explanations are in accordance with the mutual mate choice model rather than the male compete/females choose model and emphasise long-term mating and mate quality over quantity (Stewart-Williams & Thomas, 2013)."
February 14, 2015 - New Wikipedia Article on Steve's Book
There's now a Wikipedia page for the Polish edition of Steve's book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life.
February 13, 2015 - Steve Quoted in Latest Issue of New Scientist
The article is "10 Biggest Love Myths Exploded," by Mairi Macleod. Some excerpts:
"What men and women prioritise often depends on the type of relationship they are looking for, says Steve Stewart-Williams at Swansea University, UK. 'For one-night stands and other short-term relationships, women usually put a lot of weight on a mate's looks - often more than men'"...
"Even the most attractive males are likely to settle down at some point, notes Stewart-Williams. 'These men - the most eligible bachelors, the highest-status males in our species - often do what male chimpanzees never do: they fall in love.'"
February 2, 2015 - Interview with Steve's Polish Translator
Check out this interview with Piotr Szwajcer, who translated Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life into Polish.
"...authors such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Steve Stewart-Williams. Did you have a chance to meet them in person?"
January 29, 2015 - Another Review of the Polish Edition of Steve's Book!
Quote: "an important voice in the discussion" (that's what Google translate says it says, anyway). DGML seems to be doing well in Poland!
January 26, 2015 - Show Your Work, Volume 1: Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life (Review)
"After Darwin's daughter Annie died at the age of ten, he stopped going to church." -Steve Stewart-Williams
SAfÂ¸ren Kaneda: "Sometimes an entire universe is encoded into a single sentence.
"Ten years from now, I'll remember this sentence. So much pain, so much devastation, packed into a couple words...
"Whether naturalism leads to nihilism is a contentious topic of debate, and this book helps to illuminate it. In part, I tried to answer this question in a different way - I wrote a novel about it."
January 22, 2015 - New Review of the polish Edition of Steve's Book
Marek Misiak reviews the Polish edition of Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life.
January 22, 2015 - Steve is the Answer! (To a Question in a Competition)...
Three Prizes to be Won!
Q3. Who is the author of the book "Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life"?
25/12/2014 - A Nice Christmas Present For Steve and Andrew!
Pablo Malo discusses Steve and Andrew's work on sex differences in the New Evolutionary Enlightenment.
26/11/2014 - Sex and the Size Effect - Why Reporting on Gender is Often Hyped
An excellent article by Ian Rickard discusses Steve and Andrew's work on sex differences:
"in reality, as Steve Stewart-Williams and Andrew Thomas have compellingly argued, human males and females might be psychologically far more similar than many of us imagine..."
07/10/2014 - New Review of the Polish Edition of Steve's Book
According to Google translate: "This book is relentless... not another atheist manifesto, but [an] accessibly written philosophical essay." Why thank you!
24/09/2014 - Friends or Foes: Is Empathy Necessary for Moral Behavior?
Decety and Cowell: "it would be misleading to see morality as a direct product of evolution. Morality is also a social institution, and many moral codes redirect or even oppose our evolved tendencies, such as in-group favoritism (Stewart-Williams, 2010)." Click here for more.
24/09/2014 - Jewish Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century
Alan Mittleman: "Can human dignity, broadly speaking, be rationally defensible within a framework increasingly shaped by neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, evolutionary psychology (previously known as sociobiology) and neuroscience/neurophilosophy? Authors such as Steven Pinker, Peter Singer, and Steve Stewart-Williams do not think so" (p. 260).
"'We like to think that reason is the supreme adaptation,' Stewart-Williams writes, 'that rational animals deserve preferential treatment and that non-humans, because they don't have reason, have no intrinsic moral value. However, after Darwin, this is no different and no more convincing than, say, an elephant thinking that trunks are the supreme adaptation; that animals with trunks deserve preferential treatment and that non-elephants, because they don't have trunks, have no intrinsic moral value'" (p. 262).
20/09/2014 - Steve's Research Featured in Latest Edition of Workman and Reader's Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction
"Stewart-Williams (2007) found that for low-cost aid, friends were given as much aid as kin but that when this shifted to high-cost aid, kin were favoured and the closer the kin relationship, the greater the aid provided..."
20/09/2014 - Steve's Book = Vacation Reading...
C. Boyd Pfeiffer: "The book I was reading was 'Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life - How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew', by Steve Stewart-Williams.
"It is a good book dealing with some difficult questions and some serious stuff. A passing gentleman saw the book cover and commented to me his thoughts.
"'That looks like an interesting book,' he said. 'You must be a minister.' Well, not exactly, which I briefly explained to him. But I suggested to him that he must be a minister to make such a remark. He admitted as much."
26/04/2014 - Steve Cited in The Age of Atheists.
"Steve Stewart-Williams has taken this reasoning to its logical conclusion when he says, in Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life (2010), that there is no God, that the universe is entirely natural and in that sense accidental, so that there can be no purpose to life, and no ultimate meaning other than that which we work out for ourselves as individuals." Read an excerpt here.
23/03/2014 - Steve and Andrew's Memes Colonize Wikipedia!
Steve and Andrew's work on the evolution of sex differences is covered in detail in the French edition of Wikipedia.
23/01/2014 - Steve interested to learn he's "a priest of the House of Disbelief"!
According to a new essay on the New Atheism, "Such self-proclaimed superior honesty, bravery, morality and intellect is well spelled out by a priest of the House of Disbelief evolutionary psychologist, Dr. Steve Stewart-Williams." :)
16/9/2013 - Cited by Neuroskeptic!
The inestimable Neuroskeptic mentions Steve and Andrew's new paper on sex differences.
07/08/2013 - Steve's Book Mentioned inNature Magazine
According to Glenn Branch, P. Z. Myers' new book, The Happy Atheist, is rather disappointing, and "is not comparable with... Steve Stewart-Williams's Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life (Cambridge University Press, 2010)." Nice!
25/06/2013 - In The News
An article about the Turkish edition of Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life.
20/06/2013 - Altruism Research Replicated
One of Steve's studies was recently replicated in rural Tibet. You can find the corrected proofs here.
12/06/2013 - Seminar at Swansea University
Steve presents a seminar at the June meeting of the Research Group for Health, History and Culture, Swansea University. The title is: "The Ape that Thought It Was a Peacock: The Evolution of Mutual Mate Choice."
04/05/2013 - Coming Soon: The Ape that Thought It Was a Peacock, by Steve SW and Andrew Thomas
Our article, "The Ape that Thought It Was a Peacock," is now in press with Psychological Inquiry. It should be out in the next few months - watch this space...
14/03/2013 - Is Your Future in Your Hands?
A nice little article on our recent 2D:4D data collection at Millbrook Academy.
13/03/2013 - "Our Cosmic Insignificance," by Guy Kahane
"Stewart-Williams puts this most bluntly: 'Science tells us that we are inconsequential specks of dust scrabbling around blindly on a pale blue dot orbiting a tiny star in an inconceivably large universe. Some say that size doesn't matter, but we all know that really it does. How can anything we do be important?'" You can read the paper here.
12/03/2013 - A Successful Replication!
One of Steve's studies replicated in a rural Tibetan village.
12/02/2013 - What was Darwin's most important contribution?
"To honor Darwin's 204th birthday yesterday, we asked a few of our leading experts on Darwin: 'What was Darwin's most important contribution?'" Check out Steve's answer here.
06/02/2013 - Talk at Brunel University
Steve gives a talk at the psychology department at Brunel University. The title is: "The Ape that Thought It Was a Peacock: Do Evolutionary Psychologists Exaggerate Sex Differences?" Brunel has an amazing masters program in evolutionary psychology - click here for details.
01/02/2013 - Get Your Genome Analysed with 23andMe
Steve is 2.8% Neanderthal! How about you?
02/01/2013 - "Is Murder Wrong?"
Dennis Prager discusses Steve's work in the Jewish Journal: "The very premise of his book is that because there is no God, there is no ultimate morality or meaning to life, so we have to fashion a godless morality and meaning."
22/10/2012 - Coming soon: Evolution and Morality
Steve invited to write an article on evolution and morality for The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.).
28/09/2012 - The Rap Guide to Evolution!
Baba Brinkman releases the DVD if his Rap Guide to Evolution. Look for Steve's name in the credits! (You'll have to be quick or you'll miss it!)
09/09/2012 - The Turkish Edition of DGML is out now!
The Turkish edition of Steve's book is now available. The title is Darwin Tanri ve Yasamin Anlami: Evrim Kurami Bildigimiz Her Seyi Nasil Alt AfA"st Etti?
27/08/2012 - Review Review of the Italian edition of Steve's book (and the CD he released before going into academia!)
08/06/2012 - Mass Experiment: Do Hands and Fingers Point to Career Preferences?
Steve is leading a team of Swansea Uni researchers looking at the relationship between finger length and job preferences in secondary school students. The research will be featured in the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2013.
09/05/2012 - Atheism at Church!
Steve discussed his book Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life with the Bethany Discussion Group, St Peter's Church, Swansea.
17/04/2012 - In the News
"Dr Steve Stewart-Williams' first published book, DGML, was recently translated into Italian. The book is also due..."
01/04/2012 - In the News
An article about Steve's work in the Jamaican newspaper, The Gleaner: "In his disturbing and provocative 2010 book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life..."
16/03/2012 - Academic Review Review of Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life in The Australian Humanist.
12/02/2012 - Steve's Book Featured in Darwin's Day Celebrations
To commemorate Darwin Day 2012, the UAAR (an Italian secularist group) organized two public presentations/debates on the Italian translation of Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life.
23/01/2012 - Conference to Debate Steve's Book
In January, a mini-conference was held in Torino, Italy, specifically to debate the ideas in Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life. It was led by professors from diverse fields, including Christian theology, Muslim theology, bioethics, and human genetics.
28/12/2011 - Interview on Italian Radio
Professor Maurizio Mori interviewed about Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life on Italian radio (Prof Mori did the Italian translation).
19/11/2011 - Review of Steve's Book - in Italian!
First review of the Italian edition of Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life.
18/10/2011 - Steve on the Dennis Prager Show
Steve's interview with Dennis Prager is available for purchase here.
14/10/2011 - The Italian Edition is out now!
The Italian edition of Steve's book is now available. It's called Il senso della vita senza dio: Prendere Darwin sul serio. Check out the cover!
13/10/2011 - Adieu to God
Mick Power's new book, Adieu to God, is available now - featuring a glowing endorsement from Steve.
19/09/2011 - Academic Review
Review of DGML by Land and Shackelford in the Peer Reviewed journal Evolutionary Psychology: "Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life is a trailblazing advancement of the application of scientific values to traditionally metaphysical questions."
14/08/2011 - Coming soon: On the Origin of Afterlife Beliefs by Means of Memetic Selection
Steve invited to write the foreword for the Michael Martin and Keith Augustine's new edited book, The Myth of Afterlife: Essays on the Case against Life after Death.
12/08/2011 - Review
Review of DGML at Metapsychology. 09/08/2011 - Steve's book to hit bookshelves in Poland
Steve's book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life, to be translated into Polish.