The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene

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People commonly view evolution as a process of competition between individuals--known as "survival of the fittest"--with the individual representing the "unit of selection." Richard Dawkins offers a controversial reinterpretation of that idea in The Extended Phenotype, now being reissued to coincide with the publication of the second edition of his highly-acclaimed The Selfish Gene. He proposes that we look at evolution as a battle between genes instead of between whole organisms. We can then view Nanges in ...
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The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene

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Overview


People commonly view evolution as a process of competition between individuals--known as "survival of the fittest"--with the individual representing the "unit of selection." Richard Dawkins offers a controversial reinterpretation of that idea in The Extended Phenotype, now being reissued to coincide with the publication of the second edition of his highly-acclaimed The Selfish Gene. He proposes that we look at evolution as a battle between genes instead of between whole organisms. We can then view Nanges in phenotypes--the end products of genes, like eye color or leaf shape, which are usually considered to increase the fitness of an individual--as serving the evolutionary interests of genes.
Dawkins makes a convincing case that considering one's body, personality, and environment as a field of combat in a kind of "arms race" between genes fighting to express themselves on a strand of DNA can clarify and extend the idea of survival of the fittest. This influential and controversial book illuminates the complex world of genetics in an engaging, lively manner.

"This entertaining and thought-provoking book...is an excellent illustration of why the study of evolution is in such an exciting ferment these days."--Christopher Wills, Science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198576099
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/31/1984
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Dawkins

About the Author:
Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of New College and Lecturer in Animal Behavior at Oxford University. He is the author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 Necker Cubes and Buffaloes 1
2 Genetic Determinism and Gene Selectionism 9
3 Constraints on Perfection 30
4 Arms Races and Manipulation 55
5 The Active Germ-Line Replicator 81
6 Organisms, Groups and Memes: Replicators or Vehicles? 97
7 Selfish Wasp or Selfish Strategy? 118
8 Outlaws and Modifiers 133
9 Selfish DNA, Jumping Genes, and a Lamarckian Scare 156
10 An Agony in Five Fits 179
11 The Genetical Evolution of Animal Artefacts 195
12 Host Phenotypes of Parasite Genes 209
13 Action at a Distance 228
14 Rediscovering the Organism 250
Afterword 265
References 269
Further Reading 286
Glossary 290
Author Index 303
Subject Index 307
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Intended for the professional/science educated reader

    This excellent book assumes a more advanced knowledge of biology than his other books so do not expect an easy read if you are a general reader. But for those with the necessary background this book is well worth the time to study carefully.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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