Gendou's Reviews > The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

The Red Queen by Matt Ridley
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it was amazing
bookshelves: biology, non-fiction

I learned a lot from this book.
The thesis is that much of human intelligence is a result of a sex-selection arms race.
As a background, we are asked basic questions like, "why sex"?
Ridley does a good job quantifying this question and providing an honest, if uncertain answer.
The short answer is, the perpetual arms races with viruses and parasites makes sex worth the cost.
That cost can be as large as the Peacock's tail feathers, or the giant human brain.
In the case of the human brain, the battle of the sexes has resulted in an organ that is also directly useful for survival.
Language and logic, according to Ridley, are byproducts of a brain suited for outwitting the opposite sex.
There is much ado about cuckoldry, cheating, harems, etc.
All this is actually quite disturbing, even for a dispassionate scientist like myself.
But Ridley does a commendable job of disclaiming any moral interpretation of the science.
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Reading Progress

May 14, 2012 – Shelved
June 1, 2012 – Started Reading
June 8, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 18, 2012 – Shelved as: biology
June 18, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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