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The Selfish Gene (30th Anniversary Edition) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages.

This 30th anniversary edition includes a new introduction from the author as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. As relevant and influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of ...
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The Selfish Gene (30th Anniversary Edition)

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Overview

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages.

This 30th anniversary edition includes a new introduction from the author as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. As relevant and influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought.

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 their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work 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.

Revised version of this popular explanation of evolution features two new chapters and endnotes.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1976, a little-known biologist named Richard Dawkins published a book called The Selfish Gene, which presented a stark (some said merciless) version of evolutionary theory. Dawkins's pithy writing style and mastery of telling detail combined to make the book one of the popular and controversial books on evolution ever written. This 30th anniversary version contains a new introduction and the two chapters that Dawkins added to the second edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191574061
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 3/16/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 30
  • Sales rank: 53,114
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, and is a Fellow of New College, Oxford.

His bestselling books include The Extended Phenotype (1982) and its sequel The Blind Watchmaker (1986), River Out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998), A Devil's Chaplain (2004) and The Ancestor's Tale (2004).

He has won many literary and scientific awards, including the 1987 Royal Society of Literature Award, the 1990 Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society, the 1994 Nakayama Prize for Human Science, and the 1997 International Cosmos Prize.

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Table of Contents

1 Why are people? 1
2 The replicators 12
3 Immortal coils 21
4 The gene machine 46
5 Aggression : stability and the selfish machine 66
6 Genesmanship 88
7 Family planning 109
8 Battle of the generations 123
9 Battle of the sexes 140
10 You scratch my back, I'll ride on yours 166
11 Memes : the new replicators 189
12 Nice guys finish first 202
13 The long reach of the gene 234
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2006

    A review from someone who has read the book.

    I thought this necessary to balance out the religious fundamentalist who 'reviewed' this book before me. I'd like to point out that I've actually read this book, as well as creationist and intelligent design books. In 1976, Richard Dawkins revolutionized biology not only by providing a compelling argument for gene-centered evolution (evolution being the only other choice other than us being magically made of dust a few thousand years ago) but by introducing the concept of memes. Whether you agree with him or not, Dawkins' book is well written and deserves to at least be read in its entirety before being baselessly based by Bible-thumping, fundamentalist, reason and logic lacking creationists.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2006

    Excellent & A Word For The Creationist...

    I must acknowledge that this is perhaps one of the finest books I have encountered and read. The structure was very well thought out and written in terms that even an average individual without prior exposure to these studies can understand. As for the poor reviews that 'Christians' are always giving Dawkins and other like minded authors and theorist. Stop wasting everyones time with your babbling reviews of repentence and redemtion and persecution. No one has asked for you to agree with our opinions/theorizations on the evolution of life and frankly we do not waste our time in attempting to persuade you to accept our opinions. A word to the Christian. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. Stop being selective in your Biblical scriptures and finding ways to twist what your Bible says. If you are going to defend your beliefs, stick with your guidelines in your Bible, NOT what you misconstrue.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Baby

    Cries.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Floorboards creak

    With soft footfall.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Jamie

    Sits down quietly and plays video games.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Ella

    Hey there I say in a gentle voice what you playing ?

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    Dawkins is genious. clear as day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2014

    I give it 'Very Good' to acknowledge the writer's clarity in exp

    I give it 'Very Good' to acknowledge the writer's clarity in explaining his level of understanding.
    The book revealed the limitation of the author's belief / religion and it reinforced my belief in God and Creation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2014

    Very good book. It was not exactly what I expected but like all

    Very good book. It was not exactly what I expected but like all Dawkins books it is very well written. He presents a well argued case. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2014

    Great read.

    Want a fresh look at evolution from different angle? View it from the point of view of a selfish gene. Simple but powerful explanations and analogies. We discussed this book in a book club and it stimulated some lively discussion, especially about the "selfish" part. Where does altruism come from? Selfishness??
    Caveats: This is book written for those already interested in evolution or at least have open minds. Some of the science is already obsolete. Author calls aleles, genes. It was written 30 years. Not to be read for technical accuracy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Anonomus

    Wonderful book. I learned a lot.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    In this classic sociobiology text, Dawkins shows how mathematica

    In this classic sociobiology text, Dawkins shows how mathematical analyses can help us understand the evolution of social behaviors in humans and other animals.

    Dawkins uses game theory to show how differing strategies can come to coexist in populations. He does this with strategies of physical aggression, mating and infant-care strategies.

    He writes about the evolution of altruistic behaviors—i.e., behaviors that promote the survival of others while reducing the chances of survival of the altruistic individual. Here the analysis is based on the understanding that natural selection operates at the level of genes rather than organisms.

    In the process of natural selection, random mutations create alleles (versions) of genes that create different varieties of a feature (e.g. different eye colors, or different levels of aggression). The alleles that endow the organism with characteristics that best serve to reproduce that allele become increasingly common in the population.

    By reducing the likelihood of survival, altruism reduces the likelihood of reproduction of individual organisms. However, an allele that creates an altruistic behavior could become common if that behavior benefited enough other individuals who also carried that allele. Altruistic acts toward closer relatives are more likely to be of benefit to an allele because closer relatives are more likely to also have that allele.

    All of this makes for fascinating reading. However, Dawkins takes three shortcuts that can lead the reader to misunderstand the process of natural selection.

    He refers to gene alleles as “genes.” Secondly, for much of the book he writes at the level of the individual organism rather than the allele. Finally, in order to make it easier to evaluate how specific strategies impact the allele’s frequency, he writes as if genes—and animals—are beings that consciously strategize with self-reproducing goals in mind.

    These shortcuts don't compromise his analyses of specific strategies. However, he almost never restates his arguments in scientifically objective, allele-centered terms. As a result, the reader may create an incorrect mental model of natural selection in which human-like genes—and the individuals they control—are locked in a dog eat dog competition for dominance.

    Dawkins himself seems to have succumbed to this misconception. On page 2 he writes: “I shall argue that the predominant quality to be expected in a successful gene is ruthless selfishness. This gene selfishness will usually give rise to selfish behavior.”

    Gene alleles don’t have attitudes to other alleles of the same gene, they simply code for characteristics—only a fraction of which have anything to do with social behavior. Is an allele for light hair in Northern Europe “selfish”?

    The alleles that become frequent in a population are the ones that code for characteristics that enhance their reproduction. Most mutations produce alleles that reduce the viability of the organism and hence of the allele. If one wanted to attribute a quality to alleles that become prevalent it would be “lucky,” or “effective,” not “selfish.”

    That said, reading “The Selfish Gene” was a pleasurable, at times even enlightening, experience for this reviewer. I strongly recommend this book, especially if you don’t already have a background in game theory or in the theory of kin selection.

    Just be careful to step around the pitfalls that Dawkins falls into.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Some parts are tough, but overall amazing read

    It can get complicatedat times, and fairly technical. But stick with it.the insights offered are incredible. This reqlly os alandmark, must-read book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Wow

    Deep ideas. Provoking!

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    The Selfish Gene "meets" Death by Black Hole

    "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins, like "Death by Black Hole" by Neil Degrasse Tyson, is another example of fine scholarship. Although these 2 insightful books cover different subject matter, I found something astutely interesting illustrated in each book.

    On page 23 of the paperback version of "The Selfish Gene," Dr. Dawkins writes, "...when you were first conceived you were just a single cell, ... This cell divided into two, ... Successive divisions took the number of cells up to 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on into the billions."

    On page 284 of the paperback version of "Death by Black Hole," Dr. Tyson writes regarding being devoured by a black hole, "That's the gory moment when you body snaps into two segments, breaking apart at your midsection. Upon falling further, ... so forth, bifurcating your body into an ever-increasing number of parts: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc."

    The point of these 2 references is to illustrate how science, revealed through sound scholarship, presents cogent patterns in the architect's esoteric fabric of our existence to those who seek a higher understanding of life. These revelations are esoteric only because there are relatively few who "seek" this higher understanding when considering the whole of humanity.

    "The Selfish Gene" is filled with insightful, scientific, and relevant information. Therefore, I highly recommend the book to the general public, and especially to the intellectual.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2006

    Excellent book

    A must read for everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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