Mohammad's Reviews > The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

The Myth of Monogamy by David P. Barash
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Nov 28, 09

bookshelves: modern-time
Read in November, 2009

I did not find this book as interesting as I expected. The title is not very honest; around 70 percent of the book is about animals and for pages and pages you will see reports about monkeys, fish, birds, and even flies and cockroaches, some which are indeed interesting to read, but not what you expect from reading a book by such a title.

The last two chapters that are talking about human beings are very shallow and does not provide an interesting discussion beyond what you can more or less guess by thinking about this matter yourself.

Moreover, the organization of the book is terrible. You don't see any sections, subsections, etc. and chapters go on and on for tens of pages without giving any clue of what is to be discussed next.
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Reading Progress

10/06/2009 page 9
3.75%
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Charlayne (new) - added it

Charlayne I've been looking for a book like this! I am really curious to understand relationships in animals, like I've heard of birds that have one life partner and such. I hope this book can expand my knowledge!


Mohammad It's been a long-lasting question for me too. Recently I saw an article in a blog that quoted some parts from this book and then I was lucky to find it in UofC library. The introduction was quite enticing. The main argument is that monogamy is a very rare and hard commitment for human beings as they are not naturally monogamous and it's against their evolutionary inclinations.


message 3: by Charlayne (new) - added it

Charlayne wow. How disheartening! So many societies in the world prescribing something 'unnatrual'. But its important to keep in mind the perspetive of the author and his evidence. There are many people, in particular philosophers, who do not even believe in evolution. I'm looking forward to reading this!


message 4: by Mohammad (last edited Oct 06, 2009 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mohammad I remember the comments philosophers of science and epistemologists have made on the theory of evolution. Most notably I remember Popper's brilliant comments about evolution not being scientific. His argument is that natural selection cannot *predict* (as scientific theories should do) and it can only *explain* in an after-the-fact fashion. In other words, evolutionist sits silent to see what will happen and then comes to the stage and explains whatever happened in accordance with her theory; and the explanations would be the same even if quite the opposite had happened. This seems to me just like religion, by the way, which is ironically, an arch enemy of evolution ;-)

For the same reason, the value of this book, I assume, is not in its evolutionary *explanations*, but in the scientific experiments and the facts and observations it has collected about animals and human beings.


سید حسن Mohammad wrote: "It's been a long-lasting question for me too. Recently I saw an article in a blog that quoted some parts from this book and then I was lucky to find it in UofC library. The introduction was quite e..."
ebook?



Mohammad To Hassan: Not that I'm aware of.


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