Before presenting the meat of his thesis (which apparently isn’t very meaty), de Waal ensures that the reader is properly oriented. Could it be that behavior in general, and altruism in particular, pose any sort of a problem for evolution? Could it be that there are any serious problems for evolution, at all? Of course not. Right up front de Waal writes:
Don’t think for one moment that the current battle lines between biology and fundamentalist Christianity turn around evidence. One has to be pretty immune to data to doubt evolution, which is why books and documentaries aimed at convincing the skeptics are a waste of effort.
There you have it. The battle is between biology and fundamentalist Christianity. These are the battle lines. Those who doubt evolution are religious “fundamentalists,” while evolutionists are merely scientists in white lab coats busy following the data, as Huxley prescribed. There is no religion in evolution, none at all.
And failure to convince skeptics could not be a sign of anything problematic in the theory of evolution. After all, it is undeniably true. The problem, of course, lies with the skeptic, err that is, fundamentalist. Got it.