Paradise Essay

2570 Words11 Pages
Stripped of everything, how would you behave in paradise? Would you put all selfinterest aside to help form a moral, caring and supportive society? Would you be prepared to share food and space—even a lover—in order to reduce conflict and promote harmony? And even if you would, how would you then cope with others in your group who wouldn’t? Those who are perhaps more jealous, spiteful, possessive or aggressive than yourself? These are the dilemmas that confront a group of university students and staff in my novel, Primal. Taken on a field course to a remote and uninhabited Pacific island paradise by their Professor, Raúl Lopez-Turner, the students at first see the trip as just a fun way to earn marks towards their degrees. But then things start to go wrong and eventually they find themselves stripped of everything: privacy, clothes, medication, shelter, tools, all hope of rescue, and most of all law and accountability—everything. Almost overnight they find themselves as naked and dependent on their instincts for personal survival as the members of the feral society of chimpanzees that are living alongside them. So how would these people respond; can we in any way predict, perhaps looking for guidance from evolutionar y psychology? Or do we just allow our imagination free rein? From 1981 to 1996, I was Reader in Zoology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester, England, and in the final decade of that tenure my main research interest was the sexual biology of humans and other animals. My approach was evolutionary, hovering somewhere between biology and psychology. Several papers came from my lab during this time, and just before our group dispersed, our work culminated in an academic book, Human Sperm Competition, which I co-wrote with my former student, Mark Bellis. My hope as I left academia in 1996

More about Paradise Essay

Open Document