The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192860927

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 2440

An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit
Posted in Literary Criticism

Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

Author: Ed Sexton

Publisher: Totem Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 80

View: 2069

Richard Dawkins made famous the theory of the 'selfish gene' - inciting one of the most controversial debates in science today. His views on evolution and genetics widely misunderstood, Dawkins has been the target for a barrage of spurious accusations. Yet he has held steadfastly to the belief in the universal objectivity of science, an unfashionable contemporary heir to the Enlightenment ideal.
Posted in Science

The Extended Phenotype

The Long Reach of the Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198788916

Category:

Page: 496

View: 8495

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as theunit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have an influence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals.So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects that manipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extendedphenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences.The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort.Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
Posted in

The Society of Genes

Author: Itai Yanai,Lercher Martin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674425022

Category: Science

Page: 282

View: 6101

Since Dawkins popularized the notion of the selfish gene, the question of how these selfish genes work together to construct an organism remained a mystery. Now, standing atop a wealth of new research, Itai Yanai and Martin Lercher—pioneers in the field of systems biology—provide a vision of how genes cooperate and compete in the struggle for life.
Posted in Science

Invisible Influence

The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior

Author: Jonah Berger

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476759731

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 4287

Jonah Berger, the bestselling author of Contagious, explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat—in his latest New York Times bestseller that is a “rare business book that’s both informative and enough fun to take to the beach” (Fortune.com). If you’re like most people, you think your individual tastes and opinions drive your choices and behaviors. You wear a certain jacket because you liked how it looked. You picked a particular career because you found it interesting. The notion that our choices are driven by our own personal thoughts and opinions is patently obvious. Right? Wrong. Without our realizing it, other people’s behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous. Even strangers have an impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we’re told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same). But social influence doesn’t just lead us to do the same things as others. In some cases we imitate others around us. But in other cases we avoid particular choices or behaviors because other people are doing them. We stop listening to a band because they go mainstream. We skip buying the minivan because we don’t want to look like a soccer mom. By understanding how social influence works, we can decide when to resist and when to embrace it—and learn how we can use this knowledge to exercise more control over our own behavior. In Invisible Influence, Jonah Berger “is consistently entertaining, applying science to real life in surprising ways and explaining research through narrative. His book fascinates because it opens up the moving parts of a mysterious machine, allowing readers to watch them in action” (Publishers Weekly).
Posted in Business & Economics

The Solitary Self

Darwin and the Selfish Gene

Author: Mary Midgley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317488237

Category: Philosophy

Page: 176

View: 3136

Renowned philosopher Mary Midgley explores the nature of our moral constitution to challenge the view that reduces human motivation to self-interest. Midgley argues cogently and convincingly that simple, one-sided accounts of human motives, such as the 'selfish gene' tendency in recent neo-Darwinian thought, may be illuminating but are always unrealistic. Such neatness, she shows, cannot be imposed on human psychology. She returns to Darwin's original writings to show how the reductive individualism which is now presented as Darwinism does not derive from Darwin but from a wider, Hobbesian tradition in Enlightenment thinking. She reveals the selfish gene hypothesis as a cultural accretion that is just not seen in nature. Heroic independence is not a realistic aim for Homo sapiens. We are, as Darwin saw, earthly organisms, framed to interact constantly with one another and with the complex ecosystems of which we are a tiny part. For us, bonds are not just restraints but also lifelines.
Posted in Philosophy

The Selfish Gene Philosophy

Narcissistic Giving

Author: Gerald Alper

Publisher: Academica PressLlc

ISBN: 9781936320257

Category: Psychology

Page: 163

View: 7441

In his latest work Professor Alper explores how his innovative concept of narcissistic giving—that is, the dysfunctional art in which one gives without actually giving­--manifests itself all too often in the social transactions and interactions that compose everyay existence. This sense of grandiosely promising a world of happiness and satisfaction while giving so very little makes narcissistic giving not only an apt description for a pervasive,implicit philosophy of our culture but elevates it to a dynamic theory of dysfunctional psychic energy. This is the first book that shows how evolutionary psychology...the ethos of the selfish gene...gets unconsciously played out in the emotional lives of ordinary people. THE SELFISH GENE PHILOSOPHY examines how narcissistic giving intersects with and illuminates the current conflicts surrounding science and society,psychology and personal fulfillment, and the desire for simplicity in a complex world. Based on decades of clinical experience, this culminating work uses fascinating case studies and classic archetypical films, from Open Water to The King of Comedy, to reveal the inner workings and impact of narcissistic giving on our inner lives and outer world.Alper's prior books have been acclaimed. Jerome David Levin,Ph.D,author of THE CLINTON SYNDROME, acknowledges that “Alper never writes dull books...He has one of the most creative analytic minds of his generation.” Publishers Weekly has praised his books as “brillant,deft...” while Booklist calls them “convincing”.
Posted in Psychology

An Appetite for Wonder

The Making of a Scientist

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062225812

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 1886

With the 2006 publication of The God Delusion, the name Richard Dawkins became a byword for ruthless skepticism and "brilliant, impassioned, articulate, impolite" debate (San Francisco Chronicle). his first memoir offers a more personal view. His first book, The Selfish Gene, caused a seismic shift in the study of biology by proffering the gene-centered view of evolution. It was also in this book that Dawkins coined the term meme, a unit of cultural evolution, which has itself become a mainstay in contemporary culture. In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight. Arriving at Oxford in 1959, when undergraduates "left Elvis behind" for Bach or the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dawkins began to study zoology and was introduced to some of the university's legendary mentors as well as its tutorial system. It's to this unique educational system that Dawkins credits his awakening, as it invited young people to become scholars by encouraging them to pose rigorous questions and scour the library for the latest research rather than textbook "teaching to" any kind of test. His career as a fellow and lecturer at Oxford took an unexpected turn when, in 1973, a serious strike in Britain caused prolonged electricity cuts, and he was forced to pause his computer-based research. Provoked by the then widespread misunderstanding of natural selection known as "group selection" and inspired by the work of William Hamilton, Robert Trivers, and John Maynard Smith, he began to write a book he called, jokingly, "my bestseller." It was, of course, The Selfish Gene. Here, for the first time, is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist, and the story of how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the twentieth century.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Blind Watchmaker

Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393315707

Category: Science

Page: 358

View: 3599

Clarifies the seemingly implausible aspects of Darwin's theory, drawing on the famous watch comparison argued by William Paley, the eighteenth-century theologian
Posted in Science

The Extended Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198788782

Category: Science

Page: 560

View: 5982

The Selfish Gene is a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. In it Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for the replication of genes. The book provoked widespread and heated debate, which in part led Dawkins to write The Extended Phenotype, in which he gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection, as well as contributing his own development of this insight. For the first time, The Extended Selfish Gene brings these two books together, by including two key chapters from The Extended Phenotype. These chapters provide Dawkins's detailed and powerful response to two issues raised by critics of The Selfish Gene: the accusations of genetic determinism (the idea that our behaviour is entirely determined by our genes), and of "adaptationism" (that all traits are indiscriminately perceived to be adaptations resulting from natural selection). While written in particular for the biology community, Dawkins's clarity of expression allows these chapters to be accessible to all who are seriously engaged with the gene's eye view and its implications. The imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant Selfish Gene not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as significant as on the day it was published. Along with the two extra chapters, The Extended Selfish Gene includes a new epilogue to The Selfish Gene from the author which highlights the relevance of the gene's eye view to evolutionary biology today.
Posted in Science

The Selfish Gene

Author: Nicola Davis

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1351351621

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 8430

Richard Dawkins provides excellent examples of his reasoning and interpretation skills in The Selfish Gene. His 1976 book is not a work of original research, but instead a careful explanation of evolution, combined with an argument for a particular interpretation of several aspects of evolution. Since Dawkins is building on other researchers' work and writing for a general audience, the central elements of good reasoning are vital to his book: producing a clear argument and presenting a persuasive case; organising an argument and supporting its conclusions. In doing this, Dawkins also employs the crucial skill of interpretation: understanding what evidence means; clarifying terms; questioning definitions; giving clear definitions on which to build arguments. The strength of his reasoning and interpretative skills played a key part in the widespread acceptance of his argument for a gene-centred interpretation of natural selection and evolution - and in its history as a bestselling classic of science writing.
Posted in

Why We Do it

Rethinking Sex and the Selfish Gene

Author: Niles Eldredge

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393050820

Category: Science

Page: 269

View: 5328

An evolutionary biologist argues against the belief that sexual behavior is governed by genes, identifying an intricate interplay among humans that involves day-to-day survival, reproduction, and learned cultural factors.
Posted in Science

The Selfish Genius

How Richard Dawkins Rewrote Darwin's Legacy

Author: Fern Elsdon-Baker

Publisher: Totem Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 282

View: 7529

Richard Dawkins' brand of evolutionary theory - which says that natural selection acts at the level of genes, not organisms or species - now seems to dominate our understanding of what Darwinism is all about. His shoot-from-the-hip style of communicating science has also fuelled a growing but unproductive feud between science and religion. But does Dawkins give us the full picture? Does disagreeing with him necessarily make you anti-Darwin, or anti-science? Fern Elsdon-Baker explores the historical, philosophical and scientific arguments that are beginning to show the cracks in Dawkins' thinking. Published in the year that celebrates the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species", "The Selfish Genius" argues that Dawkins' way of seeing evolution - and indeed the world - is far from the only one possible, and that his popular image as the guardian of Darwinism in fact does it a disservice."
Posted in Science

Climbing Mount Improbable

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393070522

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 5127

A brilliant book celebrating improbability as the engine that drives life, by the acclaimed author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. The human eye is so complex and works so precisely that surely, one might believe, its current shape and function must be the product of design. How could such an intricate object have come about by chance? Tackling this subject—in writing that the New York Times called "a masterpiece"—Richard Dawkins builds a carefully reasoned and lovingly illustrated argument for evolutionary adaptation as the mechanism for life on earth. The metaphor of Mount Improbable represents the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" complexity of living things. Dawkins skillfully guides the reader on a breathtaking journey through the mountain's passes and up its many peaks to demonstrate that following the improbable path to perfection takes time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins's eloquent descriptions of extraordinary adaptations such as the teeming populations of figs, the intricate silken world of spiders, and the evolution of wings on the bodies of flightless animals. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time. Climbing Mount Improbable is a book of great impact and skill, written by the most prominent Darwinian of our age.
Posted in Science

Science in the Soul

Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0399592245

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 2580

A "defense of science and clear thinking [in a] career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time"--Amazon.com.
Posted in Science

The Meme Machine

Author: Susan Blackmore

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191574619

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6281

Humans are extraordinary creatures, with the unique ability among animals to imitate and so copy from one another ideas, habits, skills, behaviours, inventions, songs, and stories. These are all memes, a term first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Memes, like genes, are replicators, and this enthralling book is an investigation of whether this link between genes and memes can lead to important discoveries about the nature of the inner self. Confronting the deepest questions about our inner selves, with all our emotions, memories, beliefs, and decisions, Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case for the theory that the inner self is merely an illusion created by the memes for the sake of replication.
Posted in Science

The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198788606

Category: Science

Page: 496

View: 7925

With a new epilogue to the 40th anniversary edition.
Posted in Science

What Darwin Got Wrong

Author: Jerry Fodor,Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847651909

Category: Science

Page: 262

View: 6376

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, a distinguished philosopher and scientist working in tandem, reveal major flaws at the heart of Darwinian evolutionary theory. They do not deny Darwin's status as an outstanding scientist but question the inferences he drew from his observations. Combining the results of cutting-edge work in experimental biology with crystal-clear philosophical argument they mount a devastating critique of the central tenets of Darwin's account of the origin of species. The logic underlying natural selection is the survival of the fittest under changing environmental pressure. This logic, they argue, is mistaken. They back up the claim with evidence of what actually happens in nature. This is a rare achievement - the short book that is likely to make a great deal of difference to a very large subject. What Darwin Got Wrong will be controversial. The authors' arguments will reverberate through the scientific world. At the very least they will transform the debate about evolution.
Posted in Science

The Music of Life

Biology beyond genes

Author: Denis Noble

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578809

Category: Science

Page: 176

View: 645

What is Life? Decades of research have resulted in the full mapping of the human genome - three billion pairs of code whose functions are only now being understood. The gene's eye view of life, advocated by evolutionary biology, sees living bodies as mere vehicles for the replication of the genetic codes. But for a physiologist, working with the living organism, the view is a very different one. Denis Noble is a world renowned physiologist, and sets out an alternative view to the question - one that becomes deeply significant in terms of the living, breathing organism. The genome is not life itself. Noble argues that far from genes building organisms, they should be seen as prisoners of the organism. The view of life presented in this little, modern, post-genome project reflection on the nature of life, is that of the systems biologist: to understand what life is, we must view it at a variety of different levels, all interacting with each other in a complex web. It is that emergent web, full of feedback between levels, from the gene to the wider environment, that is life. It is a kind of music. Including stories from Noble's own research experience, his work on the heartbeat, musical metaphors, and elements of linguistics and Chinese culture, this very personal and at times deeply lyrical book sets out the systems biology view of life.
Posted in Science