In an opinion piece published online EO Wilson responds directly to his critics regarding his recent rethink of a long held tenet of evolutionary biology. Wilson officially abandoned his long-held belief that cooperative and altruistic behavior among some organisms can be simply explained as a veiled selfishness (kin selection) in 2010. This came after a lifetime promoting the opposing view. In a controversial peer-reviewed Nature paper titled "the evolution of eusociality" Wilson explains why he thinks kin selection theory is insufficient to explain altruistic behavior and ought to be replaced with multi-level selection theory. With the publication of this paper Wilson and coauthors ignited a massive debate that has recently unfurled in popular media. Wilson explains.
Though I may not accept multi-level selection theory currently I do like Wilson's point that "science is not advanced by polling." As a citizen of a post-enlightenment democracy my hope is that all politics will eventually die at the hand of science. Politics is subject to rhetoric. Science in an idealized sense is immune to rhetoric. Science can be spun in all kinds of directions but at its core really is not subject to opinion. The existence of seasonal Antarctic ice layers measurable for nearly 740,000 years is indisputable. The existence of fossilized trilobites in Cambrian geologic formation is indisputable, the fact that you and I have nearly identical genetic code for hemoglobin molecules is indisputable. And so I am undaunted by this new debate in evolutionary theory. In the new version of the group selection vs. kin selection debate no one person's opinion will affect the validity of one over the other.