Feathers are a miracle of nature. The
culmination of evolution's design process, infinitely more varied than hair of
scales. They also perform many more functions than any skin on any other
animal. They are also unique to birds. Bird's ability to fly, thanks to the
feather and some nifty adaptations to their skeletal structure, has given them
a unique place in the history of human culture.
" We are removed from the rest of the natural world in
that we can infer the future and examine the past. Yet history has shown us
that even the most advanced scientific thinking occurs within a framework of
human culture. So why not examine ourselves from different frameworks?
we discover when we look at fashion in terms of sexual selection, or birds of
paradise as cultural models? What can we learn about nature and ourselves by
reversing our point of view?"