- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (6 Oct. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140167722
- ISBN-13: 978-0140167726
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (Penguin Press Science) Paperback – 6 Oct 1994
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More About the Author
From the Publisher
According to Matt Ridley, science is not a catalogue of facts; it is a search for new mysteries. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
MATT RIDLEY is a research fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and a Trustee of the International Centre for Life, living in Northumberland. His last book, The Red Queen, was short-listed for the Rhone-Poulenc Prize for science books and the Writers' Guild Award for non-fiction.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some people will have an issue with this book -by it's nature, evolutionary biology and behaviourology are somewhat deterministic. It also necessarily recognises sexual differences. People of a left-wing bias tend to find this at odds with the fundamentals behind their politics (although the same fuss is not made when the same principles are applied to animals...) - hence low scoring reviews of this book having a sexist/political slant. This is unfair as the subject matter is what it is - the book itself is a very well written popular science tome and that is what you want when buying such a book.
Looking at the evolution of sex, it is filled with intriguing facts, remarkable examples, and frequently alarming revelations. From why the peacock has that remarkable tail (it's probably to do with sexy sons) to why polygamy benefits females rather than males, the book is a real eye-opener.
Once you've learned the secret of the lek, the local disco will never seem the same again. And, given that a man's testicular size is evidence that neither he nor his partner evolved for true monogamy, you may not find this book terribly reassuring.
Polygyny, polyandry, incest, infanticide, and group-bonking bonobos: it may leave you thinking that, in comparison to even some of our closest relatives, we humans have very conservative sex lives indeed. And we may only have started doing it at all so that we don't fall prey to parasites!
A great read, and real incentive to read anything else available by Matt Ridley.
Matt also opens us up to debate as in one of the chapters he mentions about sexual reproduction "why do we have sex, why not go asexual, that way we would waste less energy" He wants us to question things instead of just accepting things for what they are just because someone famous made a discovery. He also mentions about the psychology of men and women and how any why they are different, the roles of beauty and how that could attract parasites and that is what makes this book so interesting up to the final ending when he leaves with a final analogy in the end of the chapter in The intellutual chess game. Recommended Reading!!!
It turns out that the purpose of sex is to enable our genes to refresh themselves often enough to outwit our equally `ingenious' parasites.
Sex itself has had to pass numerous Darwinian hurdles in order to prevail as a useful mechanism for survival. Ridley seems to have mastered vast amounts of research, and astonishes us with a scintillating account of the rigour, in genetic, biochemical, and biological terms, of the evolutionary tests which sexual reproduction itself has successfully overcome.
Once we understand the enormous respect which this evolutionary adaptation deserves, we are eager to hear more about it. Maintaining the ruthlessly exacting scientific perspective of Darwinian logic, Ridley surveys sexual selection and mating behaviour in the animal kingdom, including humankind.
For a fascinating new light on your love life, read this book !
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An insightful investigation into that most illusive subject -human nature. Matt's propositions are accurate, credible and oh, so refreshing in their political incorrectness!Published 2 months ago by Radhika Bhagwat
First half rather heavy on theory - second half lighter and easierPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Compelling and thought provoking book, very well researched and written with clarity of thought. Interestingly it appears to have upset a few female readers. Read morePublished 6 months ago by tim lazenby
Fantastic. One in the eye for the PC crowd who would have us believe we're all the same. Ignore the low scores from the disgruntled feminists...Published 7 months ago by Jerry
Bought for use for my dissertation brilliant read, written very well so as if it were a conversationPublished 9 months ago by Leia B
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