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The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 29. April 2003

4.8 von 5 Sternen 19 Kundenrezensionen

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Synopsis

A look at the implications of sex and human nature draws on cutting-edge research to detail the evolution of sex in plants and animals and to illustr how it influences our intellect, our choice of mates, and our social structu -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Matt Ridley is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books, including The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves; Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters; and The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. His books have sold more than one million copies in thirty languages worldwide. He writes regularly for The Times (London) and The Wall Street Journal, and is a member of the House of Lords. He lives in England.

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Format: Taschenbuch
This is the book that first demonstrated to me the power of evolutionary psychology to help us understand ourselves. Published a year before Robert Wright's The Moral Animal, which covers much of the same territory, this is to my mind a more sophisticated and more direct exposition. Both books are characterized by a sly wit and an incisive expression, but Ridley meanders less among the relics of Freud and Darwin and is less concerned about whether we're moral or not and more concerned with what's sexy and why. He had a lot of fun with this book and it shows.
The "red queen" is a metaphor for an arms race. In an arms race both sides run as fast and as hard as they can to stay in the same place relatively speaking. In evolution the arms race is between parasite and host or between predator and prey. Both are running as fast as they can just to keep up, because when one gets an advantage, the other finds a counter. The red queen comes from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1871) since that monarch ran as fast as she could but never got anywhere at all. The red queen is also a metaphor for the theory that there is no "progress" in evolution, that "...species do not get better at surviving... Their chances of extinction are random" (p. 64).
Ridley covers a lot of territory here, ranging from sex to the handicap principle to gossip to why our brains are big (to figure out what the other person is up to!). The Red Queen answers the question, "Why is there sex?" Apparently we have sexuality rather than asexuality because of the arms race between microbes and our immune systems. Sex is a way of storing defenses against parasites in the gene pool of the species and then mixing them anew each generation to fool the microbes.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I've owned this book for three and a half years and it still sheds light on re-reading. This book is a survey of how Evolutionary Biology (Sex) affects the human mind. It's starts off slowly with a survey of why sex is necessary i.e. genetic diversity is good. It then explores the ways sex works for the animal kingdom before zeroing in on humanity. Ridley then covers male desires from sex and female desires from sex. It's certainly given me an insight into what people are seeking from relationships at a deeply fundamental level. I'm a layman in this field and find that the book gives great food for thought on human behaviour and concludes by explaining how the great works of literature are the places to look for insight to human nature. This book is an essential for any modern library. You will refer to it again and again.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This is on my list of Books Everyone Should Read, up there with _The_Gift_of_Fear_. Where deBecker explains violence, Ridley explains sex. You might not like what you read, but Ridley has really done his research. I disagree that he is unbiased; Ridley also says he is not unbiased, but he does say he tried hard not to be. In fact, it's the best job of research analysis and synthesis I've seen in a long time. One should never be afraid to face facts, and really, it doesn't say anything that you don't already know - it just makes it more comprehensible.
If you want to see how scientific and rational thought should be done, this is the book for you. Arguments and counterarguments are presented clearly and given equal time. If the behavior of the opposite sex ever confused you or angered you, this is the book for you. There's nothing like understanding to help us get along with each other.
He's a bit idolizing of some of his sources but it doesn't get in the way of what he's saying. It's information dense, but the writing is not at all dry. It was hard for me to put down.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I found this book concerning scientific research on the evolution of sex pretty darn good, but rather complicated. Dont expect light holiday reading, but do expect a congenial informative style, and a smoragasboard of ideas regarding the evolution of a very complex part of biological behaviour, with particular reference to one homo sapien sapien.
Matt Ridley provides a good overview of scientific debate and research regarding the evolution of sex in the myriad species of earth (blue planet, third rock form sun). He melds the tension between inborn/innate characteritics and learning/culture amicably. This 'tension' is a perennial one, being more about definitions and models than absolutes, but one in which a better understanding and complementary framework is gradually gaining consensus. Any scientist worth his salt will realise that the tension between these two complimentary parts of our existance will be continued to be modified, updated, redefined and reviewed with the further gathering of knowledge. There are no absolutes when it comes to such things. Matt Ridley manages to hold and communicate this understanding pretty admirably.
Having read and admired some of his works, I do detect a subtle bias in his discourses, but it is not a bias which is held without evidence, nor one in which the tension between doubt and certainty is absent. He backs up his assertions with empirical evidence, he bases models of the human condition on such evidence, and he allows room for modification and review where necessary. Just the way science should be. He does have his leanings, but he makes it clear where these are, holding these with sobriety.
There are many theories of sex outlined in this book. I won't spoil the fun by detailing them.
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