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The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 3 Summary

Matt Ridley
This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Red Queen.
This section contains 678 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 3 begins with a description of the bdelloid rotifer, a microscopic animal that can live in any kind of water, ranging from the extremely salty Dead Sea to the frozen water of the Antarctic. This organism presents a mystery because it apparently gave up sexual reproduction around 40 million years ago. Why? The question remains unanswered. In the previous chapter, George Williams argues that sexual reproduction in the 1906s requires individual organism to forget about their own reproductive success for the benefit of the species. However, we also see that group selection models are not satisfactory explanations of the importance of sexual reproduction. To explain sex, scientists need to find a reason for an individual organism to prefer sexual over asexual reproduction. They need to find a reason that sexual reproduction will benefit an individual organism's genes over another competitor of the same species.

One explanation...

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This section contains 678 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature Study Guide
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The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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