This analysis reveals internal contradictions of sociobiology.
1. In conceptual terms, sociobiology “denies itself”: the development of its concepts on their own basis leads to the opposite socio-centric approach.
2. The main methodological achievement of sociobiology is the calculation of the “win”/”pay” ratio (efficiency/risk and (or) cost of presentation) to explain the reasons for choosing behavior in a problem situation. This approach confirmed the concepts and empirical consequences of a competing trend – comparative ethology.
3. Data on signals / mechanisms of communication in birds and other vertebrates, collected by the sociobiologists confirm the reality of the phenomena, from the point of view of sociobiological theories, even little or completely improbable.
Among these phenomena there is
a) typological certainty of forms of demonstrations and statistical stability of their effects (from the standpoint of sociobiology both must be “blurred” or flexibly changed according to the dynamics of motivation inside and stimulation from the outside demonstrator);
b) conventional signals, such as studied for anolis or corncrake (from the point of view of sociobiology they cannot honestly inform the recipient, since the “announcement” of more intensive influences does not cost the demonstrator as “more expensive”, and sometimes as “сheaper”).
The sociocentric approach is discussed as an alternative to sociobiology. The latter stores the value as a “null hypothesis”. Its refutation is necessary to justify any positive statements in the field of socio-ethology, but in itself does not give grounds for the latter.Keywords: animal communication, communication network, comparative ethology, eavesdropping behaviour, evolution of signals, evolution of sociality, group adaptations, group selection, ornithology, population biology, ritualization, social organization, sociobiology, sociocentric approach, thought experiment