Brian's Reviews > The Selfish Gene

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 01, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in July, 2008

Dawkins presents the radical but elegant theory that self-replicating genes, not individual organisms, are the unit of evolution. Genes band together into ever-more complex "survival machines" in order to compete for survival. Furthermore, successful genes will selfishly seek their own propagation at the expense of all other genes, and therefore will come to dominate. This brief summary terribly misrepresents the subtle complexity of Dawkins's theory. Suffice to say, he is brilliant and the book utterly readable. Be warned, however, that Dawkins is blunt to the point of arrogance. Anyone who disagrees with his theory can expect to be offended.

I only gave the book four stars because I did not believe it was among the best-written books I have read. Some of it feels a bit like a stream-of-conscience narrative and some sections seem inserted just to step on nay-sayers toes.

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