The Red Queen

Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141965452

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 1932

Sex is as fascinating to scientists as it is to the rest of us. A vast pool of knowledge, therefore, has been gleaned from research into the nature of sex, from the contentious problem of why the wasteful reproductive process exists at all, to how individuals choose their mates and what traits they find attractive. This fascinating book explores those findings, and their implications for the sexual behaviour of our own species. It uses the Red Queen from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – who has to run at full speed to stay where she is – as a metaphor for a whole range of sexual behaviours. The book was shortlisted for the 1994 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books. ‘Animals and plants evolved sex to fend off parasitic infection. Now look where it has got us. Men want BMWs, power and money in order to pair-bond with women who are blonde, youthful and narrow-waisted ... a brilliant examination of the scientific debates on the hows and whys of sex and evolution’ Independent.

Genome

The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062253468

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 2123

The genome's been mapped. But what does it mean? Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome raises almost as many questions as it answers. Questions that will profoundly impact the way we think about disease, about longevity, and about free will. Questions that will affect the rest of your life. Genome offers extraordinary insight into the ramifications of this incredible breakthrough. By picking one newly discovered gene from each pair of chromosomes and telling its story, Matt Ridley recounts the history of our species and its ancestors from the dawn of life to the brink of future medicine. From Huntington's disease to cancer, from the applications of gene therapy to the horrors of eugenics, Matt Ridley probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome. It will help you understand what this scientific milestone means for you, for your children, and for humankind.

The Evolution of Everything

How New Ideas Emerge

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062296027

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 4040

The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.

Nature Via Nurture

Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0060006781

Category: Science

Page: 326

View: 1584

Documents the 2001 discovery that there are fewer genes in a human genome than previously thought and considers the argument that nurture elements are also largely responsible for human behavior.

The Evolution of Human Sexuality

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Author: Donald Symons

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199878471

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 7826

Anthropology, Sexual Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Gender and Cultural Studies

The Origins of Virtue

Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780140264456

Category: Science

Page: 295

View: 1464

Suggests a biological basis for the social organization and cooperation shown by the human race, and traces the evolution of society

The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality

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Author: Randy Thornhill,Steven W. Gangestad

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195340981

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 411

View: 8130

Research conducted over the last fifteen years has placed in question many of the traditional conclusions about the evolution of human female sexuality. Women have not lost estrus, as earlier researchers thought, but it is simply concealed, resulting in two functionally distinct sexualitieswith markedly different ends in each phase. At the fertile phase of the cycle, women prefer male traits that may mark superior genetic quality, and at infertile phases, they prefer men willing to invest resources in a mate. Thus, women's peri-ovulatory sexuality functions to obtain a sire ofsuperior genetic quality, and is homologous with estrus in other vertebrates. This model sheds light on male human sexuality as well: men perceive and respond to women's estrus, including by increased mate guarding. Men's response is limited, compared to other vertebrate males, implyingcoevolutionary history of selection on females to conceal estrus from men and selection on men to detect it. Research indicates that women's concealed estrus is an adaptation to copulate conditionally with men other than the pair-bond partner.Women's sexual ornaments-the estrogen-facilitatedfeatures of face and body-are honest signals of individual quality pertaining to future reproductive value.

Why Is Sex Fun?

The Evolution of Human Sexuality

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Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465013074

Category: Science

Page: 300

View: 9707

To us humans the sex lives of many animals seem weird. In fact, by comparison with all the other animals, we are the ones with the weird sex lives. How did that come to be?Just count our bizarre ways. We are the only social species to insist on carrying out sex privately. Stranger yet, we have sex at any time, even when the female can't be fertilized (for example, because she is already pregnant, post-menopausal, or between fertile cycles). A human female doesn't know her precise time of fertility and certainly doesn't advertise it to human males by the striking color changes, smells, and sounds used by other female mammals.Why do we differ so radically in these and other important aspects of our sexuality from our closest ancestor, the apes? Why does the human female, virtually alone among mammals go through menopause? Why does the human male stand out as one of the few mammals to stay (often or usually) with the female he impregnates, to help raise the children that he sired? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large?There is no one better qualified than Jared Diamond—renowned expert in the fields of physiology and evolutionary biology and award-winning author—to explain the evolutionary forces that operated on our ancestors to make us sexually different. With wit and a wealth of fascinating examples, he explains how our sexuality has been as crucial as our large brains and upright posture in our rise to human status.

The Nature of Value

How to Invest in the Adaptive Economy

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Author: Nick Gogerty

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231162448

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 7677

The Nature of Value presents a theory of how economic value functions and how it drives growth, starting with tiny sparks of innovation and scaling all the way up to the full scope of the economy. Nick GogertyÕs exploration of value borrows from a wide array of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, physics, sociology, and ethics, but most of all, it examines how evolutionÕs processes can help investors understand the economy and how investors can use this new understanding to improve their allocation decisions. Starting with a look at how innovations can help firms succeed, Gogerty looks at the economic niches in which firms compete and explores how firms can create defensive ÒmoatsÓ to enhance their chances of survival. He shows allocators how to adjust their actions for best performance and returns and what to look for when assessing company management, supporting his arguments with extensive data and years of practitioner experience from scientific, social, and economic disciplines. Intuitive illustrations are used to illuminate central concepts and ideas. GogertyÕs practical takeaways, couched in vivid explanations, will help investors of all backgrounds gain fresh insight into market mechanics.

The Mating Mind

How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature

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Author: Geoffrey Miller

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0307813746

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 1858

At once a pioneering study of evolution and an accessible and lively reading experience, The Mating Mind marks the arrival of a prescient and provocative new science writer. Psychologist Geoffrey Miller offers the most convincing–and radical–explanation for how and why the human mind evolved. Consciousness, morality, creativity, language, and art: these are the traits that make us human. Scientists have traditionally explained these qualities as merely a side effect of surplus brain size, but Miller argues that they were sexual attractors, not side effects. He bases his argument on Darwin’ s theory of sexual selection, which until now has played second fiddle to Darwin’ s theory of natural selection, and draws on ideas and research from a wide range of fields, including psychology, economics, history, and pop culture. Witty, powerfully argued, and continually thought-provoking, The Mating Mind is a landmark in our understanding of our own species.

The Evolution of Desire

Strategies of Human Mating

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Author: David M. Buss,M Buss

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093302

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 9879

If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, argues the prominent psychologist David M. Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first book to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. In this fully revised and updated edition of The Evolution of Desire, Buss has incorporated the explosion of research in the field of human mating since its original 1994 publication, from startling discoveries about the evolutionary advantages of infidelity and physical attractiveness to new findings regarding sexual orientation, the emotion of sexual disgust, and incest avoidance adaptations.

Mastering Your Hidden Self

A Guide to the Huna Way

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Author: Serge Kahili King

Publisher: Quest Books

ISBN: 0835630064

Category: Self-Help

Page: 191

View: 6698

Huna philosophy is about learning to become a conscious cocreator with the Universe. Hawaiian shaman King uses Kahuna healing methods to help us access the hidden energy of life, develop powers of concentration, and make friends with the deepest aspect of our being. Learn how your Higher Self, or aumakua, is contacted in the dream dimension. Get in touch with the Mana, the hidden energy of life. Develop higher powers of concentration by utilizing the tikis, created images of sight, sound, and feeling in meditation. Become aware of your subconscious, an integral part of your being, which impatiently awaits communion with the ego.

Sperm Wars

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Author: Robin Baker

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 1509832262

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 1010

Evolution has programmed men to conquer and monopolise women while women, without even knowing they are doing it, seek the best genetic input on offer from potential sexual partners. Here are the new dramatic facts of life: 10% of children are not fathered by their 'fathers', less than 1% off a man's sperm is capable of fertilising anything - the rest is there to fight off other men's sperm, 'smart' vaginal mucus encourages some sperm but blocks others, and a woman is far more likely to conceive through a casual fling than through sex with her regular partner. Baker employs his trademark formula of describing fictionalised scenes and then explaining the science behind the actions to demonstrate how our everyday behaviour fits into a pattern of evolution. 'Subtle and fascinating ...a provocative intellectual argument.' Washington Post

Sex, Time, and Power

How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution

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Author: Leonard Shlain

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101200391

Category: Social Science

Page: 448

View: 2732

As in the bestselling The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Leonard Shlain’s provocative new book promises to change the way readers view themselves and where they came from. Sex, Time, and Power offers a tantalizing answer to an age-old question: Why did big-brained Homo sapiens suddenly emerge some 150,000 years ago? The key, according to Shlain, is female sexuality. Drawing on an awesome breadth of research, he shows how, long ago, the narrowness of the newly bipedal human female’s pelvis and the increasing size of infants’ heads precipitated a crisis for the species. Natural selection allowed for the adaptation of the human female to this environmental stress by reconfiguring her hormonal cycles, entraining them with the periodicity of the moon. The results, however, did much more than ensure our existence; they imbued women with the concept of time, and gave them control over sex—a power that males sought to reclaim. And the possibility of achieving immortality through heirs drove men to construct patriarchal cultures that went on to dominate so much of human history. From the nature of courtship to the evolution of language, Shlain’s brilliant and wide-ranging exploration stimulates new thinking about very old matters.

Y

The Descent of Men

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Author: Steve Jones

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618139309

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 252

View: 5238

Offers current biological research to explore the qualities of maleness, looking at the role of the all-important Y chromosome, as well as social, environmental, behavioral, and cultural factors.

The Myth of Free Will

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Author: Cris Evatt

Publisher: Cafe Conversations

ISBN: 9780970818188

Category: Self-Help

Page: 140

View: 5906

Illuminating, uplifting and lighthearted, the third edition of THE MYTH OF FREE WILL expands on the powerful ideas in the first edition by offering 50 more pages of quotes and short essays on free will. The contents are divided into six chapters: 1) But It Seems So Real! 2) The Myth & Causality 3) The Myth & Morality 4) The Myth & the Brain 5) The Myth & Naturalism 6) The Myth & Me. There is a quiz, eight lessons, illustrations and a glossary. Contributors include Thomas W. Clark, Daniel Wegner, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, William B. Provine, Paul Bloom, Antonio Damasio, Francis Crick, Eric Kandel, Robert Sapolsky, Arnell Dowret, Read Montague, Lee M. Silver, Matt Ridley, Ginger Campbell, V.S. Ramachandran, Douglas Hofstadter, Kurt Vonnegut, Tamler Sommers, Mark Twain and Albert Einstein. Author Susan Blackmore contributes a nice foreword, in which she says we can live without free will, and do better, personally, morally and practically. In all, 50 leading thinkers are represented. The book strives to answer the question, Who is saying we don't have free will and what are their credentials? It's mostly an anthology, definitely not a philosophy text. It was written for a mainstream audience, for people who wonder: Do I have free will? If not, why does it feel like I do? And it was written for people who understand that free will is a myth (the choir) and want to share this understanding with friends who might feel disturbed or intimidated by the subject. Finally, THE MYTH OF FREE WILL presents a fresh, quirky, yet profound treatment of an esoteric topic that's destined to become edgy.

The Selfish Gene

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Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192860927

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 4153

An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit

The Masterpiece of Nature :

The Evolution and Genetics of Sexuality

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Author: Graham Bell

Publisher: CUP Archive

ISBN: 9780856647536

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 635

View: 7205

Eros and Evolution

A Natural Philosophy of Sex

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Author: Richard E. Michod

Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company

ISBN: 9780201407549

Category: Evolution (Biology)

Page: 241

View: 9859

This work explores one of life's great conundrums - why did sex evolve as a way species reproduce? Providing a mix of narrative and science, Richard Michod surveys this topic and presents his own thesis that explains why sex evolved.

Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life

A Psychologist Investigates How Evolution, Cognition, and Complexity are Revolutionizing our View of Human Nature

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Author: Douglas T. Kenrick

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465023428

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 5786

“Kenrick writes like a dream.”—Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biology and Neurology, Stanford University; author of A Primate’s Memoir and Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers What do sex and murder have to do with the meaning of life? Everything. In Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life, social psychologist Douglas Kenrick exposes the selfish animalistic underside of human nature, and shows how it is intimately connected to our greatest and most selfless achievements. Masterfully integrating cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, and complexity theory, this intriguing book paints a comprehensive picture of the principles that govern our lives. As Kenrick divulges, beneath our civilized veneer, human beings are a lot like howling hyenas and barking baboons, with heads full of homicidal tendencies and sexual fantasies. But, in his view, many ingrained, apparently irrational behaviors—such as inclinations to one-night stands, racial prejudices, and conspicuous consumption—ultimately manifest what he calls “Deep Rationality.” Although our heads are full of simple selfish biases that evolved to help our ancestors survive, modern human beings are anything but simple and selfish cavemen. Kenrick argues that simple and selfish mental mechanisms we inherited from our ancestors ultimately give rise to the multifaceted social lives that we humans lead today, and to the most positive features of humanity, including generosity, artistic creativity, love, and familial bonds. And out of those simple mechanisms emerge all the complexities of society, including international conflicts and global economic markets. By exploring the nuance of social psychology and the surprising results of his own research, Kenrick offers a detailed picture of what makes us caring, creative, and complex—that is, fully human. Illuminated with stories from Kenrick’s own colorful experiences -- from his criminally inclined shantytown Irish relatives, his own multiple high school expulsions, broken marriages, and homicidal fantasies, to his eventual success as an evolutionary psychologist and loving father of two boys separated by 26 years -- this book is an exploration of our mental biases and failures, and our mind’s great successes. Idiosyncratic, controversial, and fascinating, Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life uncovers the pitfalls and promise of our biological inheritance.