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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD; MP3 Una edition (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455831646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455831647
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #595,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

`Review from previous edition The sort of popular science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius.' New York Times

This book should be read, can be read, by almost everyone. It describes with great skill a new face of the theory of evolution. W.D. Hamilton, Science

Learned, witty and very well written...Exhilaratingly good. Peter Medawar in The Spectator

The exciting theories and their wide implications are explaned with clarity, wit and enthusiasm. Peter Parker, Sunday Times

Dawkins demonstrates that complex, theoretical or mathematical ideas can be expressed rigorously, in plain English. The book remains an excellent way for those who have not been trained in evolution to understand modern arguments. Trends in Ecology and Evolution

A splendid example of how difficult scientific ideas can be explained by someone who understands them and is willing to take the trouble. The New Yorker

the reader will come away with a clear understanding of kin selection, evolutionary stable strategies, and similar staples of the literature on evolutionary theories of animal behaviour. This is a considerable achievement.' Times Higher Education Supplement

`Buy this book, read it and recommend it to your students...There is still nothing else quite like it. Not only are the new chapters and endnotes worthy additions to the original, but the 1976 text comes up as fresh as a primrose and, in its way, nearly as perfect.' Animal Behaviour

`What is so refreshing about Dawkins is that he has confidence in the scientific method, in the testing of beliefs to destruction, no matter how cherished they may be.' Benjamin Woolley, The Listener

'Scientists give every appearance of being addicts, and science is their vice. That is one reason why progress in science is so rapid. I for one have benefited a great deal from Dawkins's addiction.' David L. Hull, Nature --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Dawkins taught zoology at the University of California at Berkeley and at Oxford University and is now the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position he has held since 1995. Among his previous books are The Ancestor's Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and A Devil's Chaplain. Dawkins lives in Oxford with his wife, the actress and artist Lalla Ward.

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First Sentence
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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5 of 5 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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
An incredibly well written book, filled with interesting asides and kept firmly in the realm of 'non-expert' language. Perhaps the greatest downfall of the book is how perfectly its ideas have been accepted in the thirty years since the first edition was originally published. That is, what seemed revolutionary to some at the time of its original publication don't seem revolutionary, they seem self-evident to anyone with a strong interest in evolutionary biology. As someone born after the original publication, who became interested in the field more than a decade after it created controversy, reading the thirtieth anniversary edition seemed like a rehashing of what I already knew. It went into greater depths than my broad-but-shallow knowledge, but there wasn't anything in here that seemed revolutionary to me. Which just goes to prove how widely accepted Dawkins' once-controversial ideas are now.
For people who, like myself, have a greater than average understanding of the field, it's worth reading, if only as a look back at a point in time when these ideas weren't seen as "common" knowledge.
For someone first dipping their toes into the fascinating field of evolutionary biology, Dawkins' more recent book "The Greatest Show On Earth" will probably be a much better place to start, with this being a book to come back to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Daniel Chesney on May 17 2014
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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By The Rogue Ninja on May 10 2008
Format: Paperback
Prior to reading Dawkins, I had no real experience with evolutionary theories aside from the little bits I'd been exposed to in various psychology courses. Not only have I learned an immense amount from this book, but the author has successfully sparked an interest in further speculations of this nature. Dawkins writes in a thorough and expressive manner, confident in his theories and unafraid to put less sensible (but all too popular) theories in their places. He introduces "memes" as replicating ideas on the same level of biological genes, a notion that fascinated me deeply. This author is a true scientific mind, and a must for anyone interested in evolutionary theory.
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