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The Red Queen

26 Mar 2011


Ridley does a great summary of a lot of modern evolutionary theory. He takes special care to discuss the Red Queen effect, namely that certain genes become more desirable the rarer they are, and thus wax and wane in popularity over time. This part was new to me. Certain tidbits, such as humans and cows sharing the same 8 variations of a particular gene, are pretty incredible.

He can be a little wordy. There’s not much else to say. Other parts of the book are re-treading old ground that I’ve covered in other evolution books, but the Red Queen effect? Ton of bricks, sir. Ton of bricks. It has profound implications for my understanding of human intelligence, going all the way back to Hawkin’s On Intelligence.

But those understandings are too long for a book review, unfortunately.