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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just so

In a review of the book "Catching the Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" (oh yeah, another meaningless effort to credit everything to 'evolution'), the reviewer, Simon Ings makes the following perceptive remark:

Good big ideas about evolution are rare. Often they're merely "just so" stories, stringing specious skeins of cause and effect over a much more complicated intellectual landscape. At first glance Wrangham's argument seems to have been fished from that dodgy pot.

Just so.

Then another review, on the same page, credits not cooking, but alcohol with making us who we are (I know, for some people, that is the case). More meaningless twaddle. At least the SADs might go along with this one: perhaps it gives a point to communion wine!

Both reviews in Spectrum, the Sydney Morning Herald's attempted literary weekend supplement.

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