Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves

by James Le Fanu
New York: Pantheon, 2009. 320 pages.

Reviewer Jeffrey Shallit writes, “The thesis of Why Us? is simple: science has no answers to the questions that really matter—questions like: How did humans come to be bipedal and have large brains? How, precisely, does the human brain work? How does an immaterial mind affect the material body? What is awareness and free will? Science provides no explanations, and furthermore, Le Fanu argues, it is unlikely that it ever will.” Shallit gives a number of examples of incorrect, unsupported, and controversial assertions of Le Fanu’s, adding, “the most unattractive part of Why Us? is the book’s antiintellectualism.”