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The Ant and the Peacock
Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today
by Helena Cronin
About The Book
The “ant” and the “peacock” stand for two puzzles in Darwinism — altruism and sexual selection. How can natural selection favor those, such as the worker ant, that renounce tooth and claw in favor of the public-spirited ways of the commune? And how can “peacocks” — flamboyant, ornamental and apparently useless — be tolerated by the grimly economical Darwinian reaper? Helena Cronin has a deep understanding of today’s answers to these riddles and their roots in the nineteenth century; the analysis is new and exciting and the explanations lucid and compelling.
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Updated June 30, 2018