The Selfish Gene PDF Download Free

The Selfish Gene PDF

Features of The Selfish Gene PDF

The Selfish Gene PDF -Richard Dawkins’ brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

In his internationally best-selling, now classic, volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.

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Description of The Selfish Gene PDF

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The Authors

The Selfish Gene PDF

Richard Dawkins, in full Clinton Richard Dawkins, (born March 26, 1941, Nairobi, Kenya), British evolutionary biologist, ethologist, and popular-science writer who emphasized the gene as the driving force of evolution and generated significant controversy with his enthusiastic advocacy of atheism.

Dawkins spent his early childhood in Kenya, where his father was stationed during World War II. The family returned to England in 1949. In 1959 Dawkins entered Balliol College, Oxford, where he received a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1962. He remained at Oxford, earning master’s and doctorate degrees in zoology in 1966 under famed ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen. Dawkins assisted Tinbergen before becoming an assistant professor of zoology (1967–69) at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Oxford to lecture in zoology in 1970.

Dimensions and Characteristics of The Selfish Gene PDF

  • Listening Length 16 hours and 12 minutes
    Author Richard Dawkins
    Narrator Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward Release Date March 29, 2011
    Publisher Audible Studios
    Program Type Audiobook
    Version Unabridged
    Language English
    Identification Number B004U8NB2M
  • Book Name :The Selfish Gene PDF

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Top reviews

Lucas Rugar “This book will completely change the way you see people, animals, and all of their interactions. Dawkins says in this anniversary edition of the book that he regrests naming it The “Selfish” Gene because people go into it believing that the thesis of the book revolves around an inevitability of the most selfish genes, and by asoociation, creatures surviving. But a gene being “selfish” is more about it’s survival, and “selfishness” in a gene does not mean that the being, composed of millions of genes, is “selfish”.

Anwyays, Dawkins is the greatest scientific writer because he is able to break down extremely intricate topics so that the reader can understand. He’s a master of using analogies. For instance; he explains a gene’s relationship to chromosomes by comparing them to pages in a book of a library. Once he makes these abstract-like concepts more digestible, you’re then able to follow along and delve into what it is he really wants to explain about them.

Some parts you might still have to re-read, but even if only 90% of the book sticks, it’s well-worth it.”

Cogitus “My Copy: Oxford Univ. Press: 30th Anniversary Edition (Hardbound)

There is much more to “The Selfish Gene” than is advertised, even in the most glowing of its reviews. In fact, I (not a biologist, but fascinated by evolution ever since “dinosaurs” and the first high school biology course) have been vaguely aware of this book since its initial wave of rave reviews many years ago, but never bothered to read it because as it was advertised its theme(s) always seemed pretty obvious. But something recently piqued my curiosity again, not sure what that was now, and after reading the prefatory material online I finally decided to take a look.

After reading quickly through the first 3 chapters, it became apparent that there was a great deal more underlying the book than was overtly presented, that it was not just an over-extended, over-simplified, over-popularized, metaphorical presentation …. but rather that its metaphorical treatment is painstakingly faithful to an elaborate, closely-reasoned, even rigorous, scientific underpinning. At which point, I stopped reading and began again from the beginning, first the prefatory material, then from page 1, this time more slowly and more carefully, taking care to appreciate and reflect on all the markers of the underlying basis and their implications.

This is a wonderful book, even beautiful in many respects, from its initial beginning (at the “beginning”) with the purely chemical/physics “evolution” of the primordial soup (cast suggestively in the form of biological evolution); to the consequent continuity with the creation of “replicators”, elementary “survival” cells, genes, and the beginnings of life forms; to the important distinction between genes and individuals, as genes and their “survival vehicles” (the first cells and “us”, for example); to the nicely extended notion of “gene” itself, required by underlying scientific reality; to a clear presentation of the conflict between Darwinian and “group” selection and evolution; to the nature of evolution, operating (in distinct ways) in terms of both genes and individuals, aka both genes and “their” survival vehicles, aka both chemical/physics and biological evolution; to genetic kinship and its very special selective and social implications; … ; to the delicious End Notes to the 1st eleven chapters, which provide much supporting and fascinating material.

“The Selfish Gene” goes on to clarify not only its expressed subject, the nature and genesis of Selfishness and Altruism, but to make clear the error, scope, and source of various (idealistic, and often political) arguments and ideas centered around group selection fallacies, including the genesis of (ill-conceived) “group-beneficial”, cooperative “functions” vs. (individual) evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS) and kinship. It also sheds light on many other commonly-posed questions, among them: the fundamental “reason” for the 50:50 sex ratio (despite the number of different breeding strategies observed for male competitors); the driving source of the natural variability upon which (continuing) evolution depends; the variety and shadings of competing “strategies”, which can be both conceived and advantageous, clustered around a given regard (partly on account of environmental inconstancy), one incidental, unintended but important, implication of which is that this is itself an evolutionary driving source of the natural variability upon which (continuing) evolution operates; …. and NOT so commonly posed: that “In its long journey down the generations therefore, an [ANY] average gene will spend approximately half its time sitting in male bodies, and the other half sitting in female bodies”, and thus genes will generally contribute positively to both sexes, sometimes in very different ways, and that, indeed, many “purely male / purely female” effects pass (unexpressed) through many bodies of the opposite sex; and much, much more.

Beautifully written and packed with wonderful insights, “The Selfish Gene” is not only well-worth the read, but will amply reward the reader in proportion to the thoughtfulness and reflection with which they read it. In fact, there is so much food for thought in the story-lines and examples (e.g., the fig, “lichenization”, and organelle endosymbiosis) provided in “The Selfish Gene”, that one must often stop and consider, at length and at leisure, the questions which it provokes or which Dawkins rhetorically poses.

I will, however, amend Dawkins’ wonderful characterization of “us” (Preface to the First Edition, p. xxi): “We are survival machines — robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment. Though I have known it for years, I never seem to get fully used to it.” …… by grafting it to my own previous synopsis, with the result:

“We are Conditioned-Reaction Engines [built on Basic Senses + Unconditioned Reflexes (among them innate Kantian “Categories”, instincts, emotions, etc.)] built as Gene-Survival “Machines” [genetically “programmed” to serve the “interests” of our genes] = Pavlo-Kantian Conditioned-Reaction, Darwin-Dawkins Gene-Survival Automatons.”

Mick Boyce “It is a metaphor that many people, including some scientists, have mistaken for a theory. To be a scientific theory, a theory must make testable predictions, and the idea of “selfish genes” makes no testable predictions. It is empty as a theory. For further explanation of this, see Professor Denis Noble’s work, including his book “Dance to the Tune of Life”. Noble was a thesis advisor for Dawkins, and Noble was the first scientist to mathematically model the human heart on a computer (tubes and punchcards, this was WAY back in the day, folks!). Noble’s work led to the pacemaker. Noble and Dawkins have had an ongoing disagreement about evolution.
Evolutionary theory has moved on since Dawkins wrote this book, but Dawkins has not budged. Nevertheless, I recommend Dawkins book because he is a very good writer and this is a great introduction to the science of DNA and evolution. But don’t believe for a moment that Dawkins has the final word! Move on to Denis Noble and Robert Trivers. Trivers is a fascinating guy – most of the ideas in The Selfish Gene are originally his, and his paper on altruism and evolution is freely available and a real stunner.”

TRR Sailboat “This book thoroughly convinced me of its central claim–that genes, not organisms, are the self-replicating entities upon which natural selection acts. The evidence the book presents (for evolution) is overwhelming, and left me with the uncomfortable feeling that there is little room left for supernatural explanations.

Animal behaviors, both on an individual level and on a species level, are analyzed in terms of what happens to the genes “for” those behaviors, and various predictions are made that turn out to be correct. For example, a population of purely altruistic individuals is not “evolutionarily stable” because a mutant gene for selfishness will spread like wildfire, and vice versa: a population of purely selfish individuals is vulnerable to mutant genes for cooperation. Therefore some “stable” ratio must exist, where any increase in either selfishness or altruism gets punished by natural selection.

Overall it’s pretty readable but I found the mathematics surrounding the relatedness of insects to be very difficult, although the explanation for the existence of sterile worker ants is fascinating.”



Reference: Wikipedia

The Selfish Gene PDF

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