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: A lifetime's keen observation of the physical world has led Alexander Skutch to ask deeply philosophical questions about the nature of "nature." In this thought-provoking study, he turns his attention to the problem of how "quality"--beauty, goodness, morality--has arisen in a process of evolution that appears to favor sheer "quantity." Skutch draws his examples from the natural wonders he knows best--birds, butterflies, and flowers. He shows how each uses beauty to attract mates or pollinators and repel or hide from predators--all instances where quality serves the goal of increasing the quantity of a species. More than this, Skutch offers intriguing evidence that animals may possess an aesthetic sense and consciously choose beautiful objects, just as humans do. These views, running counter to prevailing mechanistic explanations of natural processes, offer food for thought to both specialists and the general public. It is Skutch's deeply held conviction that naturalists should try to discover and make widely known whatever is "fair and heartening" in nature, in contrast to the apparent randomness and violence of Darwinian natural selection.