The Red Queen by Matt Ridley
Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

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Synopsis

Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture -- including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.

 

About Matt Ridley

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Matt Ridley is the author of several award-winning books, including Genome, The Agile Gene, and The Red Queen, which have sold more than 800,000 copies in twenty-seven languages worldwide. He lives in England.
 
Published January 1, 2003 by Harper Perennial. 416 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, History. Non-fiction

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Turning to animals, Ridley describes mating patterns with an eye as to whether mates are selected for health and vigor, or for esthetics.

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Publishers Weekly

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Why do we have sex? One of the main biological reasons, contends Ridley, is to combat disease. By constantly combining and recombining genes every generation, people ``keep their genes one step ahead

Jan 03 1994 | Read Full Review of The Red Queen: Sex and the Ev...

Publishers Weekly

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Ridley, a London-based science writer and a former editor of the Economist , argues that men are polygamous for the obvious reason that whichever gender has to spend the most time and energy creating and rearing offspring tends to avoid extra mating.

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Publishers Weekly

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Why do we have sex? One of the main biological reasons, contends Ridley, is to combat disease. By constantly combining and recombining genes every generation, people ``keep their genes one step ahead

Jan 03 1994 | Read Full Review of The Red Queen: Sex and the Ev...

The Independent

Women are not promiscuous by nature but, if paired with a low status male, are inclined to adultery with a genetically superior male provided it does not break their existing arrangement.

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