We kick off our story with a bang—the Big Bang that started it all. Tracking the sensual, explosive beginnings of the universe through the birth of our livable planet to the first upright steps taken by our very distant ancestor, the opening chapter explores the regenerative focus of our world. It's a light-hearted and entertaining romp revealing the elementary mechanics of natural and sexual selection, introducing the key players in the early drama of evolution—from the kitchen cockroach and bug-eyed mammals to a beguiling character called Super Guppy.

We learn that natural selection can explain, over huge expanses of time, the formation of complex organs such as eyes—or even the length of a particularly flashy male instrument. But as we will see in the chapters that follow, evolution can do much more than explain anatomy. It can also help us understand the intimate psychological calculations of today's sophisticated men and women.