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The Evolution of Beauty - How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us-logo

The Evolution of Beauty - How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us

Richard O. Prum

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences-what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"-create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum-reviving Darwin's own views-thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons-for the mere pleasure of it-is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences-what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"-create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum-reviving Darwin's own views-thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons-for the mere pleasure of it-is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.
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Description:

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences-what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"-create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum-reviving Darwin's own views-thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons-for the mere pleasure of it-is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Dan Woren

Length:

13h 41m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:21


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

04:36


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

06:02


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

05:00


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

04:57


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

04:03


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

04:38


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

05:43


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

03:00


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

04:32


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

04:51


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

05:26


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

05:31


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

04:49


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

05:58


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

05:37


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

05:04


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

04:57


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

05:00


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

05:03


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

05:13


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

06:25


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

05:58


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

05:42


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

04:55


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

05:04


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

05:31


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

04:54


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

04:59


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

05:27


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

04:15


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

05:11


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

05:45


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

05:48


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

06:07


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

05:40


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

04:23


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

06:40


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

04:18


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

05:32


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

05:01


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

05:17


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

05:44


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

05:28


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

04:45


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

05:24


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

05:02


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

04:52


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

05:29


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

05:48


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

05:28


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

04:33


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

04:13


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

05:21


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

04:50


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

05:58


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

05:27


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

02:54


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

04:18


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

05:09


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

06:18


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

05:37


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

05:18


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

04:16


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

05:19


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

05:47


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

05:10


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

05:32


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

04:19


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

06:09


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

05:02


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

05:26


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

05:06


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

05:52


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

05:27


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

04:19


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

04:47


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

04:27


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

05:27


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

05:29


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

04:31


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

05:31


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

05:13


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

04:03


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

05:06


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

05:01


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

04:47


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

04:58


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

05:20


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

05:50


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

05:00


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

05:40


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

05:40


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

04:24


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

05:10


Chapter 96
Chapter 96

05:28


Chapter 97
Chapter 97

06:24


Chapter 98
Chapter 98

06:00


Chapter 99
Chapter 99

05:05


Chapter 100
Chapter 100

04:22


Chapter 101
Chapter 101

05:20


Chapter 102
Chapter 102

05:14


Chapter 103
Chapter 103

06:10


Chapter 104
Chapter 104

03:50


Chapter 105
Chapter 105

05:59


Chapter 106
Chapter 106

05:48


Chapter 107
Chapter 107

05:47


Chapter 108
Chapter 108

05:20


Chapter 109
Chapter 109

05:08


Chapter 110
Chapter 110

05:05


Chapter 111
Chapter 111

05:56


Chapter 112
Chapter 112

05:07


Chapter 113
Chapter 113

05:09


Chapter 114
Chapter 114

05:16


Chapter 115
Chapter 115

05:32


Chapter 116
Chapter 116

03:45


Chapter 117
Chapter 117

05:35


Chapter 118
Chapter 118

05:53


Chapter 119
Chapter 119

05:24


Chapter 120
Chapter 120

05:35


Chapter 121
Chapter 121

03:50


Chapter 122
Chapter 122

05:37


Chapter 123
Chapter 123

05:33


Chapter 124
Chapter 124

05:54


Chapter 125
Chapter 125

05:14


Chapter 126
Chapter 126

04:45


Chapter 127
Chapter 127

04:12


Chapter 128
Chapter 128

05:10


Chapter 129
Chapter 129

05:28


Chapter 130
Chapter 130

06:36


Chapter 131
Chapter 131

04:11


Chapter 132
Chapter 132

05:46


Chapter 133
Chapter 133

05:38


Chapter 134
Chapter 134

04:54


Chapter 135
Chapter 135

03:42


Chapter 136
Chapter 136

06:34


Chapter 137
Chapter 137

05:37


Chapter 138
Chapter 138

04:55


Chapter 139
Chapter 139

05:10


Chapter 140
Chapter 140

06:42


Chapter 141
Chapter 141

04:44


Chapter 142
Chapter 142

04:38


Chapter 143
Chapter 143

05:38


Chapter 144
Chapter 144

06:41


Chapter 145
Chapter 145

06:11


Chapter 146
Chapter 146

05:07


Chapter 147
Chapter 147

05:30


Chapter 148
Chapter 148

05:27


Chapter 149
Chapter 149

05:31


Chapter 150
Chapter 150

06:01


Chapter 151
Chapter 151

05:11


Chapter 152
Chapter 152

05:00


Chapter 153
Chapter 153

05:38


Chapter 154
Chapter 154

04:04


Chapter 155
Chapter 155

06:02


Chapter 156
Chapter 156

05:02


Chapter 157
Chapter 157

04:36


Chapter 158
Chapter 158

05:22


Chapter 159
Chapter 159

00:39