Buller ... Buller ... Buller ...: I'm sure evolutionary psychology has problems--explain homosexuality again, please!--and David J. Buller's Adapting Minds may be the great anti-Darwinian book the dialectic calls for. But Sharon Begley's wildly unconvincingWSJ rave [$] doesn't make it seem as if that's the case. For example, Begley writes:
The argument that Stone Age women preferred good providers, and that today's women are therefore wired to see a big bankroll as the ultimate aphrodisiac, is also shaky. Among some hunter-gatherers today, young mothers receive more food from their mothers than from their husbands. That makes even the theoretical basis for the claim -- that women who sought good providers had an evolutionary edge -- problematic.
But even if young mothers receive lots and lots of food from their mothers, that doesn't mean women with both mothers and husbands who are good providers don't have an evolutionary edge over women with only mothers to feed them. The evolutionary psychologists' claim may not be true, but Begley's factoid doesn't come close to undermining its theoretical basis. ... Begley throws up a similarly weak argument against the claim that "rape gave our male ancestors a reproductive edge." Why are there more men who don't rape than men who do, she asks--as if all inherited traits must be majority traits, as if evolution can't bequeath men impulses they don't act on. ... To paraphrase Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune: She has no idea. ... 11:07 P.M.
Harmonic convergence of kf villains: CNN's Jonathan Klein has embraced the David Shaw-like position that the established press should decide who gets to be a journalist and who doesn't. If that's not what Klein meant in his recent speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, then it was a contentless litany of cheap self-serving applause lines (as opposed to a meaningful litany of cheap self-serving applause lines). Sample:
Fourth: we need to police ourselves, to set clear standards of behavior and ethics for those who would call themselves journalists. When the Jeff Gannon bomb exploded in the White House press room, where was the White House Correspondents Association? Their board proudly voted to stay out of the fray, to remain out of the business of credentialing members of the White House press corps. They say that's the job of the White House. The White House is quick to say it's not their job to decide who's a reporter. And they're right. It's our job.
And Washingtonian reports:
"Some body—as in the correspondents' association—ought to vet the purported correspondents who proclaim to be reporters," says Klein, referring to Jeff Gannon, who was credentialed to cover the White House but turned out to be a quasi-reporter at best.
Decision '08 has an idea: How about we start by throwing out any network executive who thinks the Runaway Bride story merits extended, near-continuouscoverage. Standards! ... P.S.: Klein's pompous Self-Serving N.A.B. Point #3 was "cover what matters." ... P.P.S.: Klein also said he wants to "deliver useful information and hard facts instead of opinion or entertainment." [He's wrong about that?--ed Yes. Opinion and debate can be highly informative. But the point isn't that he's wrong. The point is that he's a Darwinian climber who will switch to "opinion and entertainment" in an instant if his current righteous "hard facts" schtick--assuming it's ever been more than a time-buying tactic--doesn't boost CNN's numbers. He's given himself a year to show "consistent ratings growth"-ed. Generous of him!] 10:00 P.M.
Some Middle Ground Isn't: It might make sense, as Instapundit and others suggest, to require that Senate filibusterers really filibuster, with allnighters, cots and potlikker recipes, etc.. But it is a non-solution to the problem confronting the Senate today--which is whether a minority should be able to block a Supreme Court nominee supported by a majority (but less than 60%). It's true, as Instapundit notes, that the "real filibuster" requirement would
ensure that the filibuster-nuke is dropped only when the stakes are high enough that the minority is willing to pay a price.