A glimpse of The Dawn of the Deed
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of John A. Long's The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex (University of Chicago Press, 2012). The preview consists of chapter 8, "At the Dawn of Archaic Sex," in which Long asks, "So when and why did organisms first start reproducing by sex?" and answers with the first eukaryotes "1.78 to 1.68 billion years ago," and because sexual populations "can adapt more readily to changes in environment .. [and] are less prone to accumulation of deleterious mutations in their genes."
The reviewer for Publishers Weekly writes, "Combining thoughtful science with sheer fun, this book is impossible to put down. . . . The book is far from prurient, even though it's intriguing to hypothesize how 70-ton dinosaurs might have copulated. Long provides great insight into the process of science and makes the compelling case that understanding the history of sexual congress offers incontrovertible documentation of the evolutionary process." John A. Long is vice president of research and collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.