The Selfish Gene Essay

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The Selfish Gene
Author: Richard Dawkins

Book Criticism
•“Genes cannot be selfish or unselfish, any more than atoms can be jealous, elephants abstract or biscuits teleological. This should not need mentioning, but Richard Dawkins's book The Selfish Gene has succeeded in confusing a number of people about it” (Midgley).
•There are many things to disagree with in the book, depending on one’s viewpoint. Some people may interpret the term “selfish gene” in a literal way, believing that Dawkins thinks that genes are actually selfish.
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Author Biases
•Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author.
•1941
•His other books include:

Author’s Biases
•#1: Religious -Strong
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¡Efficient genes are necessary to survive
•Ch 4- “Selection has favored genes that cooperate with others” (Dawkins 47).
¡Cooperative genes are necessary to survive

Reflection/Chapter Summaries
•Ch 5- “Natural selection favours genes that control their survival machines in such a way that they make the best use of their environment” (Dawkins 66).
¡Adaptable genes are favorable
•Ch 6- “What is the selfish gene?... Just as in the primeval soup, it is all replicas of a particular bit of DNA…” (Dawkins 88).
¡Selfish genes are genes that survive through natural selection
•Ch 7- “They express a preference for ‘natural’ methods of population limitation, and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get. It is called starvation” (Dawkins 111).
¡Unable to survive natural existence, one will not survive natural selection
•Ch 8- “Genes are selected for their ability to make the best use of the levers of power at their disposal: they will exploit their power practical opportunities” (Dawkins 137).
¡Genes that make the best use of their surroundings are able to survive
•Ch 9 “Of course, while the child bears half her genes, it bears no genes at all from the gullible step-father. Natural selection would severely penalize such gullibility in males…” (Dawkins 147).
¡Survival machines want their own genes to be passed on so that their children can adapt and survive

Reflection/Chapter Summaries
•Ch 10- “A

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