Jewish World Review June 16, 2000 / 13 Sivan, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- I'VE ALWAYS BEEN partial to the evolutionary biologists, mainly because they drive feminists nuts. Truth be told, that is the only reason.
The basic idea behind evolutionary biology is that humans, like mollusks, are driven to maximize the propagation of their genes. The male of the species, the theory goes, has a primal instinct to mate with as many nubile females as possible, and the female has a directly opposing instinct to compel one single male to settle down and provide for her offspring. Consequently, men marry for youth and beauty (and then stray to ever younger and more beautiful mates); women marry for money (and rely on the marriage contract and child support laws for protection of their offspring).
You have to say, the gossip columns tend to support the evolutionary biologists, from Ivana Trump (and all other former and aspiring Mrs. Trumps) and the various former Mrs. Ronald Perlmans, to political wives like -- well, I do have a word limit here.
Still, I began questioning the evolutionary biologists one day when I was watching "Magnum PI" in the gym. If I am biologically programmed to find rich men desirable for mating, then why do I -- and all my theoretically offspring-minded friends -- find Magnum so much more attractive than, say, Ron Perlman? An atavistic trait from our caveman days? Well, what good do these genes do us if we don't evolve useful reproductive strategies over time?
That is the theory, after all: If our ancestors had not pursued effective reproductive strategies, they would not be our ancestors. But somehow, the useful tidbit about brawn not being necessary anymore hasn't managed to infect the gene pool for a thousand of years now.
Admittedly, there are plenty of females who do prefer a good set of mansions to a good set of biceps. The classy Anna Nicole Smith met an octogenarian billionaire while she was dancing in a strip club and eventually persuaded the old coot to marry her (a relatively painless 14 months before he died). But there's a name for women like this, and it's not any nicer if they happen to pick their johns from the Forbes 500.
As a point of gender pride, I note that there are plenty of male hustlers, too. I recently read an article in Vanity Fair about the billionaire socialite Carolyn Skelly. Though horribly physically deformed and more than 70 years old, Skelly had a different eager male escort every night and managed to collect several marriage proposals in her declining years (all refused). The only reason you don't read about a lot of male Anna Nicole Smiths out there is that there aren't as many elderly women as elderly men who are both independently wealthy and completely silly.
The naturally philandering male story has its own gaps. For one thing, why do unmarried men (whether divorced, widowed or never married) have such high rates of suicide, "accidental" death and mental illness? Shouldn't they be happy that they are free to propagate with abandon?
Also, why is it that so many cheating men trade down in the nubile good looks department? Mayor Rudy Giuliani had liaisons with women far less attractive and less youthful-looking than his wife. What's the reproductive strategy there, Mr. Evolutionary Biologist? The evidence suggests that some men are just philanderers -- just as some women are simply prostitutes. The strongest supporting evidence for the evolutionary biologists is drawn principally from the deviant classes.
Deviancy always seems more common than it is. The stories of Texas oilmen who remain happily married their whole lives don't make the news, just as newspapers don't report when a plane lands safely.
In fact, however, 75 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women have never been unfaithful. That's according to the most comprehensive, thorough and scientific study of the sexual behavior of Americans ever performed, "The Social Organization of Sexuality" by John Gagnon, Robert Michael and Stuart Michaels (University of Chicago Press, 1994). (And, by the way, commercial air flight is safer than taking a bath.)
Throughout time and across the globe, humans with the highest IQs have, on average, tended to have the fewest offspring. If sending our genes to the next generation is such a powerful driving force in humans, how come the smart people have never figured out how to propagate themselves competently?
As entertaining as their theories are, evolutionary biologists are missing a central piece of the puzzle:
There is a G-d, and we're in His image. This is the same fly in the ointment with wacky animal-rights types who won't eat animals on principle. The reason it's OK to eat chickens, but not humans, is that chickens aren't in G-d's image. And unlike chickens, humans marry and, most of time remain faithful, not to maximize the propagation of their genes, but for
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice