- The Loom
Peace, war, and evolution: My profile of Steven Pinker in tomorrow's New York Times
I’ve followed Pinker’s work since I first came across his 1994 book, The Language Instinct. In the wake of the book’s success, he quickly became a leading exponent of evolutionary psychology, coming out swinging against its critics such as Stephen Jay Gould. When Pinker described his book to me, I was intrigued. I wondered how someone who argued that human nature was shaped long ago by natural selection would end up arguing that human nature–or at least human experience–is now changing rapidly for the better. But there were other things I was wondering–how, for example, does a writer of massive books about human nature live inside the same body as an expert on irregular verbs?
So I headed up to Cambridge to