SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST: The Science of Beauty
By Nancy Etcoff. Doubleday. 325 pp.$23.95
mental change. A strength of the book is its exposition of this feedback loop.
Other elements are not so solidly established. The author makes a politically correct attempt to dismiss Bell Curve-style hereditarianism—which, given that Wills’s whole argument rests on the biological bases of cognitive ability, seems rather unconvincing. Elsewhere, Wills gives the still-emerging story of Neanderthals the same billing, and its conjectures (which is what they are) the same weight, as much more secure findings. He waxes...