Originally published in 1982, The Masterpiece of Nature examines sex as representative of the most important challenge to the modern theory of evolution. The book suggests that sex evolved, not as the result of normal Darwinian processes of natural selection, but through competition between populations or species - a hypothesis elsewhere almost universally discredited. The book also discusses the nature of sex and its consequences for the individual and for the population, as well as various other theories of sex. Since the value of these theories is held to reside wholly in their ability to predict the patterns of sexuality observed in nature, the book seeks to provide an extensive review of the circumstances in which sexuality is attenuated or lost throughout the animal kingdom, and these facts are then used to weigh up the merits of the rival theories. This book will be of interest to researchers in the area of genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgements
1 The Paradox of Sexuality
2. Theories of Sex
3. Parthenogenesis and Vegetative Reproduction in Multicellular Animals
4. A Comparative and Experimental Critique of the Theories
5. Epiphenomena of Sexuality
Glossary of Terms
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