Parasites, desiderata lists and the paradox of the organism

  title={Parasites, desiderata lists and the paradox of the organism},
  author={Richard Dawkins},
  pages={S63 - S73}
  • R. Dawkins
  • Published 1 June 1990
  • Biology
  • Parasitology
Eavesdrop morning coffee at any major centre of evolutionary theory today, and you will find ‘parasite’ to be one of the commonest words in the language. Parasites are touted as prime movers in the evolution of sex, promising the final solution to that problem of problems, the puzzle that led G. C. Williams to proclaim in 1975 ‘a kind of crisis’ at hand in evolutionary biology (Hamilton, 1980; Tooby, 1982; Seger & Hamilton, 1988). Parasites seem to offer a plausible justification for the… 

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