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The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary edition Paperback – Apr 15 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 15 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199291152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199291151
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Robson on June 11 2011
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's a quirk in my personality, but I'm always looking for some great truth, some unifying theory. After all, if the beautiful world around us was not created by a deity (which, as an explanation, explains nothing), but by something as 'seemingly random' as evolution, then surely there must be some great code, some great pattern (essentially a natural order, a natural 'Ten Commandments, if you will) running through everything. We've always heard that 'code' is 'fit', but again, 'fit' in terms of genes doesn't explain much either. I needed a little more, so I cracked open this book thinking it would open my eyes to some genetic truth. I soon found lots of amazing things, but was met with the crude ugly truth about genetics: they are anything but a guide for morality. The 'beautiful pattern' I was seeking was nowhere to be found. We are met with a contradiction, as men and women: the very thing that gives us enjoyment, indulgence' satisfaction of a few evolutionary 'carrots'' is the opposite of what we consider 'good' and 'moral'. Originally I believed our Morality actually stems from resisting our impulses, our genetics, to separate us from lower animals. Dawkins believes that what we consider 'sophisticated society' actually comes from whatever can be sustained in equilibrium; in other words, the reason we can eat meat, but are repulsed by Cannibalism, is mostly due to the fact that, if we were Cannibals, the species would shrink and eventually go extinct. The equilibrium is for us to eat other animals.

It's also frowned upon, in modern society, to kill people. From a Genetic perspective, there's no advantage to killing people, even your rivals.. it wastes energy, and may make other rivals even stronger in rank. Reverse rationalization.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Oliver TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 16 2006
Format: Paperback
Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary theorist and holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is also a best seller author of science books, and quite easy to read. His most recent book is The God Delusion, but previously he wrote mainly about evolution. For example, his prior book is The Ancestors' Tale, a brief history of life on earth.

The Selfish Gene is explains the basics of evolution in simple and readable language. There is a good reason why this book has a 30th Anniversary edition: it is truly a classic, and will be read for many, many years to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T on Jan. 28 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard Dawkins is a scientist of the highest caliber and an excellent writer. While not as interesting as The Ancestor's Tale or Greatest Show on Earth (Selfish Gene is more academic and most of it is over my head), it is a fascinating look into fundamental concepts of Biology. What's more is that this particular edition is worth the additional cost compared to the paperback - the paper is high quality and the binding is anything but cheap (as all books I own which were published by Oxford are). This isn't so much a book as it is an investment for future generations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fascinating look at a gene centered view of evolution. A brilliant insight into the replication of genes from generation to generation. The logical all hangs together.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Darwin saw the results & noticed the pattern. Dawkins explains the mechanism and it's paradoxically simple roots vs it's startling results. Religion is so much easier to believe if we choose to be lazy. The selfish gene is way more interesting if we choose to understand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
High level of interest book, written to be understand by anybody but of course a little biology could help.
I loved.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well this book is good...to an extent! It is not correct, one could say, but it is most certainly not incorrect! Its a fantastic book, if you like slugging through example after example of...well...examples to prove the selfish gene. Author puts in a lot of unnecessary, and completely false, information in here but trying to decipher which is which is the fun part I guess!! ENJOY
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