405 pages, no illustrations
Promotes an interesting new theory from the study of evolution which makes use of the Red Queen's predicament in the Alice Through the Looking Glass story by Lewis Carroll. Life can be seen as a perpetual evolutionary race that pits every animal or plant against its rivals and rewards the winners with only a short respite. Ridley explores this theory and relates it to many aspects of our own sexuality, arriving at some surprising conclusions.
- Human nature
- the enigma
- the power of parasites
- genetic mutiny and gender
- the peacock's tale
- polygamy and the nature of men
- monogamy and the nature of women
- sexing the mind
- the uses of beauty
- the intellectual chess game
- the self-domesticated ape
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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.