A book review of Daniel C. Dennett Freedom Evolves and Daniel N. Robinson Praise and Blame that I wrote for the Times Literary Supplement in 2003.
From the review:
To a point being good at maths might be biologically useful, but very quickly maths moves away from anything so utilitarian. As such we would expect it to reduce our biological fitness. But the maths thing has its own momentum, securing its influence at a pace that far outstrips the speed with which mere biological evolution can produce countermeasures. In the same way, the practice of reason asking and giving, and what follows in its wake, could also establish an influence independently of whether it makes us fitter or not.
This version includes the spelling error that the sub-editor and I both missed, but one TLS reader and letter writer did not. Can you spot it?