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This is an important book that seeks modestly to radically revise the conventional approach to evolutionary theory, by replacing the assumption that most evolutionary change comes from natural selection. Prum argues instead that our null hypothesis--the starting point for making evolutionary hypotheses--should be the notion that "beauty happens," which means that basic evolutionary changes are random variations of ornaments and sexual organs (in sexually reproducing creatures) that are in many cases developed further due to aesthetic preferences by the opposite sex or due to adaptive advantage occurring serendipitously in some cases. So Prum seeks to turn sexual selection into the focus of evolutionary explanations rather than the red headed stepchild of evolutionary theory that it currently is. I strongly agree with this thesis and urge people to give these ideas a shot.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
While the theme of the book was interesting, I kept getting vibes of self-praise. The constant comparison of the author to Darwin got old really fast. Rather than focusing on the author's interesting ideas, the author seemed to try to forcefully get the approval of the listener/reader. On the other hand, the author describes several interesting examples to each of his points.