Human Nature Review 2002 Volume 2: 187-194 ( 13 May )

What’s A Brain For? by David P. Barash*

Essay Review
What’s A Brain For?
by
David P. Barash*

A Brain For All Seasons
By William H. Calvin
341 pp, University of Chicago Press (2002)

The Mating Mind
By Geoffrey Miller
503 pp, Doubleday (2000; in paper Anchor Books: 2002)

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I recall an old joke – of the type known generically in the US as a “shaggy-dog story” – that involved a “potfer.” After several minutes of lengthy and irrelevant narration, the joke’s victim is led to ask, “What’s a potfer?” whereupon the joke-teller triumphantly announces the punch-line: “Cooking.” So, what’s a brainfer?… read more