“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Shakespeare put that line in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, first staged in the 1590s, and I doubt that anyone at the play’s opening thought the idea was new. Thus, a whole book asserting that we mortals do indeed have our foolish side might seem unnecessary. But a series of doubters have appeared since Puck had his laugh, people who insist that, to paraphrase Dr. Pangloss, we mortals are the most rational of all possible species. Now there is an idea that could give both Puck and his audience a hearty laugh. Who, you might demand, argues such nonsense?