Survival of the Beautiful

Art, Science, and Evolution
Product Number: EB00637812
Released: Feb 23, 2016
Business Term: 52 Circ / 730 Day
ISBN: #9781608193738
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
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Description

"The peacock's tail," said Charles Darwin, "makes me sick." That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetics than the practical. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty-and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.Sexual selection may explain why animals desire, but it says very little about what they desire. Why will a bowerbird literally murder another bird to decorate its bower with the victim's blue feathers? Why do butterfly wings boast such brilliantly varied patterns? The beauty of nature is not arbitrary, even if random mutation has played a role in evolution. What can we learn from the amazing range of animal aesthetic behavior-about animals, and about ourselves? Readers who enjoyed the bestsellers The Art Instinct and The Mind's Eye will find Survival of the Beautiful an equally stimulating and profound exploration of art, science, and the creative impulse.

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Author(s): David Rothenberg
Original Publish Date: Nov 01, 2011

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