In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins redefines how we think about evolution and ourselves. He argues that genes themselves-not individuals or groups of organisms-are the basic unit of selection in nature. Genes are “selfish” because they strive to replicate and spread throughout the gene pool, regardless of the consequences for other members of their species. This startling idea has profound implications for our understanding not only of life on Earth but also human behavior.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for anyone who wants to learn about Darwinian evolution and the gene-centered view of life. Dawkins provides a clear and concise explanation of how natural selection works, using examples from nature that are easy to understand. He also discusses the implications of his theory for human behavior, offering insights into such topics as religion, aggression, altruism, and love.
- The book is well written and easy to read.
- Dawkins makes a convincing case for his theory of gene selection.
- The Selfish Gene has spawned numerous debates and discussions about its implications, which is a sign of how thought provoking it is.
- It is dense and may be difficult for some to read.
- It does not provide a lot of case studies or examples to help illustrate its points.
- Some readers may find it depressing, as it challenges many deeply held beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.
Learn more about the author
Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and one of the most influential writers on evolution in the world. He was educated at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. After holding academic posts at universities including Berkeley and Oxford, he moved to become the Charles Simonyi Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position that he still holds. He has written extensively on evolution and Darwinism, popular science, theology, philosophy, feminism, and books for children. His book The God Delusion (2006) became an international bestseller, selling more than two million copies in thirty- five languages.
“Dawkins has done it again! With The Selfish Gene, he has written a classic that will continue to be read and debated long after most of today’s pop evolutionary writers are forgotten. In clear, concise prose Dawkins builds on the revolutionary ideas expressed in his first book, The Selfish Cell, developing them into a powerful general theory about how living things have evolved.”
“Provocative . . .”
“A seminal work that has inspired an entirely new way of thinking about evolution.”
“A seminal work that changed the way I think about everything.”