The Selfish Gene

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  • Topic: Evolutionary biology, Richard Dawkins, Evolution
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  • Published : October 14, 2012
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The Selfish Gene
Author: Richard Dawkins

Book Criticism
•“Genes cannot be selfish or unselfish, any more than atoms can be jealous, elephants abstract or biscuits teleological. This should not need mentioning, but Richard Dawkins's book The Selfish Gene has succeeded in confusing a number of people about it” (Midgley). •There are many things to disagree with in the book, depending on one’s viewpoint. Some people may     interpret the term “selfish gene” in a

    literal way, believing that Dawkins
    thinks that genes are actually selfish.
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Author Biases
•Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. •1941
•His other books include:

Author’s Biases
•#1: Religious
   -Strong Atheist
   - “he conveys his opinion that evolution is correct without question” (Miletic). #3: Philosophical
-Strongly believes in Science proving evolution
•#2: Educational
   -Education in biology
   Doctorate in Philosophy, Master of Arts
#4: Professional
-Evolutionary biologist, affects writing
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Central Claims
•Natural Selection
¡People survive by natural selfishness, because their genes compete to survive. •Evolution
¡Darwin’s Theory

Book Summary
•The Selfish Gene is a nonfictional book where Dawkins discusses his opinion on natural selection and evolution. He believes that “survival machines” survive due to their genes and their strive to advance numerically in the gene pool.

Reflection/Chapter Summaries
•Ch 1- “Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun, but the full implications of Darwin’s revolution have yet to be widely realized” (Dawkins 1). ¡Evolution is fact

•Ch 2- “ Evolution is something that happens, willy-nilly, in spite of all the efforts of the replicators (and nowadays of the genes) to prevent it happening” (Dawkins 18). ¡Evolution is unstoppable

•Ch 3- “…it means that genes are at least partly responsible for their own...
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