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The Selfish Gene

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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 of readers to rethink their beliefs about life.In his internationally bestselling, 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.This 30th anniversary edition of Dawkins' fascinating book retains all original material, including the two enlightening chapters added in the second edition. In a new Introduction the author presents his thoughts thirty years after the publication of his first and most famous book, while the inclusion of the two-page original Foreword by brilliant American scientist Robert Trivers shows the enthusiastic reaction of the scientific community at that time. This edition is a celebration of a remarkable exposition of evolutionary thought, a work that has been widely hailed for its stylistic brilliance and deep scientific insights, and that continues to stimulate whole new areas of research today.
©1989 Richard Dawkins (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Kritikerstimmen

"Dawkins first book, The Selfish Gene, was a smash hit.... Best of all, Dawkins laid out this biology - some of it truly subtle - in stunningly lucid prose. (It is, in my view, the best work of popular science ever written.)" (H. Allen Orr, Professor of Biology, University of Rochester, in The New York Review of Books)

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  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

A classic and must read

One of those few books, where there is a before and an after in the way you think about the living works.

  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

The meme about the gene

Even after close to 40 years this books delivers a fascinating and compelling story about the true shapers of history. The suspense is kept throughout the book as every new concept crushes the old or at least puts it into perspective: memes as potential supergenes, genes extending their influence across living creatures and ensembles that should be regarded as single living beings, just to name of few.

The book is full of brilliant ideas but at the same time a proof of the limiations of the human mind: the relative brief span from the publishing date to today are enough to make some apects of the book obsolete: the inability of the human race to foresee the extend of computer development, the complete negation of epigenetics and the absence of black swans in the repeated games.

The book made me sad not to have read it 30 years ago but I enjoyed every page of it. Even made more compelling by the fact that it was read by the author and his (third) wife

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!

Excellent book! Highly recommend for anybody with a scientific mindset and willing to transcend preconceived 'truths' about life and evolution.

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazingly interesting

A mind-blowing book narrated for the best voices, who really knew what to emphasize for the listener's understanding.

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

"40+ years after"

1976, this book appeared. And I knew nearly everything that Richard Dawkins narrated. But hearing it, finding the dense links between the facts that I heard as isolated pieces since school is an experience, that is worth buying and hearing it. When a relative used the term "meme" (as synonym for "viral messages"), I looked for it in wikipedia. I was stunned to see this book mentioned as origin for this word(, too).
The idea of the selfish gene was brilliant 40 years ago. This is a perfect introduction, entertaining and in natural language. It is easy to understand, even without knowledge on genetics. It was revised in the late 1980s and these comments were added and clearly marked. (There were also BBC documentaries in the 1980s starring Richard Dawkins.) My favourite are the parts of the book with the interpretation of the results of the game theory. Neither the book nor the reading or recording could have been better. But I admit, that there were paragraphs, I would have prefered reading instead hearing them.
However, time has passed by. The few technical biological terms used in the book are quite common nowadays. Do not expect to hear any recent news on genetics. The game theory term "Evolutionarily stable strategy" (ESS) indicates a refinement of the Nash equilibrium. I mention this only, because some people might have seen the movie "A beautiful mind" about the mathematician J.F. Nash.
I should have already read this book, when I was 15 or 16 years old, when I discovered the prisoner's dilemma. (It is also explained in the book.) It is also useful on business, that you know the stability analysis of the different behaviour strategies (as they are given in the examples). Cooperative strategies always pay off; and some are better than others.

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
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A classic

If you really want to learn about Evolution without stuyding it, this is the book for you, written exactly for you. It´s fantastic how deep the insight of Dawkins goes. You ever read a Meme? This guy invented the idea - and the Name - of it.

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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A view on life as important as Newtons model of physics

Dawkins reviews and reflects the state of research in biology to give a brief an entertaining view on what Darwins Theory of natural selection is all about

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  • TH
  • 28.09.2018

What a remarkable audiobook!

Not only is Dawkins a superb thinker and writer but also the perfect narrator. It doesn't get much better than this.

  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ein Klassiker unter den Darwinisten

Richard Dawkins‘ wohl wichtiges Werk, welches Ende der 70er Jahre die Erkenntnisse rund um Evolution nach vorne katapultiert hat. Dennoch ist es sehr langatmig, mit zahlreichen repetitiven Vergleichen versetzt und an manchen Stellen zu selbstgerecht.
Wer Interesse an diesem Gebiet hat, muss da wohl durch.

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Absolutely tremendous book. I thought I understood evolution, but this book showed me that I didn't have a clue. Very well reasoned, Dawkins is a master at explaining, starting from very simple premises about replicators and reaching grand conclusions.