Author: Didier Maleuvre

The Goodness Paradox—A Review

A review of The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution by Richard Wrangham (Pantheon, 2019) 400 pages. To future historians, it may seem strange that science in the early twenty-first century once again fell afoul of dogma. This time it issued, not from the pulpit, but from the university lectern. Today, prevailing intellectual doctrines hold that reality is a social construct, and their adherents do not take kindly to biologists reminding us that nature is comprised of objective facts. Biologists have lately awoken to the news that their science makes them heretics in the postmodern imperium, and guilty of retailing the ideas most heretical to the progressive, constructivist, utopian-egalitarian worldview. Progressives were the natural friends of science when it overturned the altars of biblical certainty, and they continue to invoke its authority in debates about global warming and environmental degradation. However, when it comes to understanding the human animal or, say, the heritability of character traits like intelligence, or the fact that nothing can be had for nothing and …