like California’s version of Beirut. Butnin fact this was the first murder innOrinda (population 17,000) in sevennyears.nThe second villain indicted by RandallnSullivan turns out to be KirstennCostas herself Given that the killernhas told her side of the story in great (ifnincoherent) detail, while her victimnmust remain silent, it is perhaps inevitablenthat a writer in search of a storynwould adopt the killer’s point of view.nEven more than the producers of Innthe Belly of the Beast, Sullivan hasnsurrendered to this murderous illogic.nKirsten Costas, we are told, was nasty,ncompetitive, gossipy, shallow, obsessednwith material goods, appearance,n”popularity.” Every kind of criticismndredged up against her isnaccepted at face value. Even if all thenFacts of LifenA scientific study of human societynhas only been attempted seriouslynin the past 100 years. It is true that annumber of Enlightenment andnpost-Enlightenment intellectuals—nCondorcet, St. Simon, Comte,nHegel and Marx — attempted tonformulate historical laws, but nonenof these protosociologists put theirndisciplines on a firm footing. Somenof them were capable, like Comtenand Marx, of stunning insights. Butnit was not until Max Weber andnEmile Durkheim that one couldnspeak of a science of society.nIn its essence, sociology owesnmore to Durkheim than to anyonenelse. He not only established anschool that included luminaries likenMarcel Mauss, but he devotednmuch of his efforts to creating an”metasociology” that establishednthe independence of his disciplinenboth from psychology and from biology.nIt was Durkheim’s insistencenon the realm of “social facts” whichnliberated sociology (and anthropology)nfrom bondage to other fields.nBut if society was to be independentnof biology, then mind wouldnhave to be independent, somehow,nof brain—a conclusion Durkheimncheerfully embraced. There was anunflattering details were accuraten(which we may surely doubt), the picturenthat emerges is really that of anrather ordinary, insecure teenager:nvery few 15-year-olds remind us ofnAlbert Schweitzer. And the hard factnremains that Kirsten Costas nevernkilled anyone. Kirsten’s parents, havingnsuffered through her murder, nownmust see her memory trashed in annational magazine.nSullivan’s harsh treatment of Kirstennis all the more striking in view ofnhis descriptions of her killer, whichnverge on panegyric: Bernadette Prottinwas sweet, strong, intelligent, verynsensitive to the pain of others(!), anbeloved babysitter—‘”and she was anreally good writer, too,’ Kris Johnsonnsaid.” No wonder, then, that Sullivannpresents the brutal slaying of KirstennREVISIONSnprice to pay for this independence:nsociologists and anthropologists increasinglynturned their backs on thenscientific paradigm which dominatednresearch on the social life ofnevery other species. While theynmight not admit it to themselves,nmost social scientists have been farnmore anti-Darwinist than the statenof Tennessee or William JenningsnBryan. Even in the 1970’s and 80’s,nwhen an evolutionary perspectivenbegan to make inroads into anthropology,nsociologists turned a deafnear to the new synthesis of sociobiology.nThe biggest exception tonthis generalization is JosephnLopreato, whose Human Naturenand Biocultural Evolution (Allennand Unwin; Boston) is the firstnmajor attempt to work out a sociologicalntheory that takes account ofnevolution. While Lopreato was assimilatingnevolutionary biology, then”founder” of sociobiology, E.G.nWilson, was revising his basic theorynin collaboration with Charles J.nLumsden, Responding in part toncharges that sociobiology was a simplisticngenetic determinism, Lumsdennand Wilson proposed a theorynof coevolution which provides fornthe interaction of genes and culture:n”Culture is generated and shapednby biological imperatives while bio­nnnCostas at the hands of Bernadette Prottinas a tragedy for Bernadette Protti.n(Indeed, in view of her supposed writingntalent, perhaps Sullivan ought tonput Bernadette in touch with NormannMailer: she seems to meet his basicnqualifications for genius.)nThe intended impact of Sullivan’snarticle can be seen in the majority ofnthe responses it elicited last Septembernin the “Letters” column of RollingnStone. “When I began reading, I feltngreat sympathy for Kirsten Costas, andnthought what a monster BernadettenProtti must be. By the end of thenarticle, however, I felt compassion fornBernadette. I am in no way condoningnwhat Bernadette did. …” “I wouldnlike to commend Randall Sullivan onnhis article . . . which provided considerableninsight into the pressures thatnlogical traits are simultaneously alterednby genetic evolution in responsento cultural innovation.”nWorking independentiy, Lopreatonhas come to the same conclusion,nand his book is an attempt tonapply “biocultural evolution” to anwhole array of social structures andninstitutions.nIt was no easy task, andnLopreato’s prose sometimes showsnthe strain of his efforts to swallownwhole and assimilate an enormousnrange of theory and research. Still,nsomeone had to make the first effort,nand Lopreato has done a moreneffective job than anyone shouldnhave imagined.nIt would be foolish to attempt ansummary of this vast synthesis. Inngeneral, it is biology reinterpretingnsociology and vice versa. Confrontednwith the vast amount of evidencenon cultural universals like marriagenand social status, Lopreato takes thenplunge and assumes, tentatively,nthere is a genetic basis. Somewherenin France, the ghost of Emile Durkheimnwrithes in agony, but afternLopreato there will be no excuse fornsociologists who refuse to relate “socialnfacts” to the facts of evolutionarynbiology. ccnMARCH 1986 / 43n