Pinker writes a very lively and smart criticism of the Bioethics Council’s book on dignity. There’s even a lot I agree with, especially his last paragraph. I do think there’s a tendency among some conservative bioethicists to worry too much about the real coming of the Brave New World. But I don’t think that tendency comes from any specifically Cathoic influence, but from the untrue thought that Nietzsche’s "last man" (which like the Brave New World only exists in a book) could become real. Sociobiologists (including even our buddy Darwinian Larry) sometimes have the merit of reminding us of how modest our techno-victories over nature have been and are likely to be. Pinker does seem blind to the fact that the authors in the book with religious influences and even from religious colleges really disagree with each other. His most charmingly naive thought is that the reduction in cruelty and increase in freedom that we find in recent centuries has some evolutionary cause. I even doubt that, when you closely, that you will really see that the amount of cruelty in the world has diminished. AND: Can a sociobiologist really explain the behavior of hyper-liberated individuals in Western Europe and even in our country as good for the future of our species?