In 1976, biologist Richard Dawkins shook the world when he described humans as "robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes," a view which he has espoused throughout his career, saying later "I am not apologizing for using the language of robotics. I would use it again without hesitation."

The psychologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides take a similar perspective, viewing the human mind as "a set of evolved information-processing mechanisms … produced by natural selection over evolutionary time," and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker has said

The brain’s special status comes from a special thing the brain does, which makes us see, think, feel, choose, and act. That special thing is information processing, or computation... The ultimate goal that the mind was designed to attain is maximizing the number of copies of the genes that created it.

Clearly our bodies are nothing like clanking, metallic robots and our brains are nothing like desktop or laptop computers. Why are these scientists and many others united in using the language of computers and robotics to describe us, and what does evolution have to do with it?

This website examines the rationale for viewing humans (and all other animals) as evolved robots and explores the implications of this perspective for human psychology and for our lives as a whole.

Feel free to join the discussion on our forum.