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ISBN: 0140436316 / ISBN-13: 9780140436310

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

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Darwin's two-volume work on the area of sexual selection across the whole of the animal kingdom.

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  • The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (Penguin Books) – Trade paperback (2004)
    by Professor Charles Darwin, James Moore (Introduction by), Adrian Desmond (Introduction by)

    The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex

    Trade paperback, Penguin Books
    2004
    English
    791 pages

    ISBN: 0140436316
    ISBN-13: 9780140436310

    Applying his controversial theory of evolution to the origins of the human species, Charles Darwin's "The Descent of Man" was the culmination of his life's work. This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited with an introduction by James Moore and Adrian Desmond. In "The Origin of Species", Charles Darwin refused to discuss human evolution, believing the subject too 'surrounded with prejudices'. He had been reworking his notes since the 1830s, but only with trepidation did he finally publish "The Descent of Man" in 1871. The ... Show more

  • 1. Trade paperback, Penguin Books, 2004

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  • 2. Trade paperback, Penguin Books, 2004

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Reviews of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

Overall customer rating: 5.000
JohnL

One of the great books of all time

by JohnL on Mar 27, 2008

Darwin's Descent of Man is one of the great books of all time. If you haven't haven't read it (along with the Origin of Species), you haven't lived! In the first part of the work Darwin explores the evidence for humanity's descent from primate ancestors, and, deeper in time, from the vertebrate lineage. He also deals with questions such as the place of origin of humans (he assumes, correctly, Africa), and whether the human races are sufficiently distinct as to be different species (he dismisses this argument conclusively). The second part of the work is about sexual selection, those aspects of an organism that are not formed by natural selection (competition), but by the preferences of other members of the species in breeding choices. Darwin returns at the end of the book to humans, arguing that many features of humans are a result of sexual selection. Two qualities epitomise this work, firstly the vast erudition of the author and the subtleties of his argument. Secondly the evident affection and compassion with which Darwin viewed all living things. Who can forget, for example, his anecdote of the male dung beetle who appeared ?highly agitated? when his mate was removed, and the female dung-beetle, who when the male was removed, stopped still and refused to move at all!

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