Cover image for Mr. Darwin misread Miss Peacock's mind : a new look at mate selection in light of lessons from nature
Title:
Mr. Darwin misread Miss Peacock's mind : a new look at mate selection in light of lessons from nature
Author:
Jacobs, Merle E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[Place of publication not identified] : Nature Books, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xxii, 248 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780966591613
Format :
Book

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QL761 .J33 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Reviews 1

Choice Review

Jacobs sets out to "correct" Darwin, who was, according to him, given to too much theorizing. (This is some statement about the greatest empirical theoretician of biology, by a minor geneticist whose professional career was largely based on dragonflies and fruit flies.) The book jacket states, "Jacobs contends that the female mind takes its cues from plain, old fashioned home economics! . . . Studies involving birds, fish, and insects are used to show that less convoluted interpretations [meaning Darwin's] based on simple responses to stimuli, may well suffice." Jacobs misconstrues Darwin, implying that he believed in the role of consciousness in animals in general when proposing sexual selection as distinct from natural selection. There is of course more to this book than a popular retelling of the perspective of sexual selection for "good sense" that A.N. Russell favored, a view that considered sexual selection as part of natural selection. Much of the volume is esoterica from the genetics laboratory and anecdotes that suit the author's purpose. This book does not compare to Helen Cronin's excellent popular but highly analytical account The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today (CH, Jan'93). Not for academic libraries. F. S. Szalay; CUNY Hunter College