Book Synopsis of The Selfish Gene

Topics: Gene, Evolution, Richard Dawkins Pages: 2 (709 words) Published: January 9, 2013
The book The Selfish Gene is about the acts of species and how they can affect what the next generations may act more like. Animals that act altruistically and sacrifice themselves for their own can’t pass on their behaviors. Animals that act selfishly and continue living can pass on their selfish acts. Our genes can tell us to act selfishly; we don’t need to obey though. A gene is defined as a part of a chromosome, the size undefined, in this book. It is described how life might have come along. There were atoms that kept combining with other atoms to create molecules called The Replicators. The replicators would, as the name states, replicate multiple times with possible mistakes and create new things eventually.

The book focuses on selfishness being passed on through the gene and individual animal level rather than the group level. A whole gene is usually not passed down through generations. A miniscule part of a gene/chromosome can be passed down through many generations. The smaller the gene, the more likely it is to passed through many generations. The gene is not exactly a physical piece of DNA, but rather a primeval soup that has replicas all around the world.

In natural selection the fittest survive, and that is usually those who are selfish and don’t sacrifice for the good of the group, however those that are selfless can thrive. Although behavior isn’t exactly passed on through genetics, the acts are observed or some can just be ‘nice’. The genes are protected in ‘survival machines’ that protect them from the outside world. The survival machines carry the genes through generations letting them live on for a long time. An organism is the ‘survival machine’ it mentions in the book. Quotes

1. “A gene is defined as any portion of chromosomal material that potentially lasts for enough generations to serve as a unit of natural selection” (page 50) The reason I choose this quote is because I never thought of a gene lasting for generations. I...
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