Read by the author and a lady which narration is perfect for this book, seminal work
Excellent book for the casual nerd to the university student.
I like that Dawkins came in and added updated content in 2011.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
Okay, The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins is a complete analysis of gene theory; meaning the basis by which traits are passed from parents to offspring through gene transmission. Genes are located on chromosomes and consist of DNA. Who you are is dependant upon what your DNA physically makes you into. They are passed from parent to offspring through reproduction. In the analysis Prof. Dawkins attempts to determine how the gene manifests itself into everyday life. Note merely human life but all life. Now, I rarely find myself out of agreement with Prof. Dawkins conclusions and he may very well have the true answer here but even after reading this study I am not so sure he has persuaded me as to his thinking on the universal working of genes and compatibility with the Darwinian process.
The attempted persuasion here is that the gene has a universal scheme by which it functions. The book is filled with statistical analysis attempting to persuade. Not so fast though. Prof. Dawkins seems to contend genes have a path they follow, as if they were subject to specific process, a prescribed roadmap. His process is well thought out but there may be more of a catch- as-catch-can effect to gene interaction of Darwinian development rather than statistic practicalities. Perhaps at the gene level variances occur without any relevance to real world factors. It is conceivable genes have no particular communication to the actual world. Then once manifested, their effects move into the world and create living things, by happenstance, not statistical certainty.
This is a brilliant work, but it did not convince me as to its veracity. Anyhow, I found this a very difficult read. Laborious. Too much repeated explanation of Dawkins and other scientist’s statistical analysis. (This book is a little unique as it was republished and Dawkins, uses the republication to comment on his original thoughts – right and wrong conclusions.) Dawkins reliance on statistical analysis is specious: that stuff that tells us how the stock market will work or who will win the next election. Now if you are a biologist or a statistician this would be a very good work to have in your bailiwick of knowledge. But if you just want to know the results of other’s studies, this work may be too data specific to be an enjoyable read or listen.
Prepare to expand your understanding of everything, ever, at a blistering speed...this is the one, absolutely crucial book for any creature with the capacity to understand language to indulge in. So far, that means you...
I learned all about the ways game theory is used to arrive at a comprehensive theory of the immortal replicator! For those who live to learn, this is a great audio book!
The Selfish Gene was a highly accessible and fascinating introduction to genetics. Each concept was explained concisely and simply enough that people with little prior experience on the subject (i.e. myself) could understand it, but did so without ever giving the impression that the subject matter was being dumbed-down.
I would strongly recommend reading the unabridged version. Dawkin's footnotes were probably the best part of the book. They brought the text up to date, elaborated on subjects, and gave interesting anecdotes and back stories--all in a conversational tone that made the book far more engaging. In fact, the reason I gave the book four out of five stars is that I would have preferred if the whole book were done in the style of the footnotes; I thought the narration and writing style in these sections was much better than the rest of the text.
This is a great book for anyone interested in being introduced to the subject of genetics.
Growing up I didn't have the opportunity to go to university to pursue and study science. To make up for this I love reading about science, and in particular science authors such as Dawkins. Books on science can end up too full of insider speak and their message is lost on laymen such as myself. They can also go the other way, too simplistic to properly educate the reader.
Dawkins has done an excellent job of discussing the selfish gene and it's impact on evolution. It was the kind of book you don’t want to put down. I followed his arguments through out and understood the nuances he was conveying. I never felt that Dawkins was talking down to me on high, but instead walking me through his understanding of evolution and how DNA behaves.
Because of this I came away with a better understanding of what genes seem to be doing and their role in evolution. We in the general public are given the idea that genes are blueprints and they determine if our eyes are blue or we get cancer. This book enlightened me to a more complex view of DNA and its relationship to us, the biological container.
I also enjoyed the dual narration. This version is an updated one and Dawkins interjects with many updates during the reading. It was like hearing a presentation by two good presenters who knew when to interject into each others conversation.
Thank you Mr Dawkins.
Taking notes may be necessary to truly understand the content. I will go and buy the extended phenotype this time in writing. ^^ Because I'm really interested in understanding deeply this vast theory. I've found it fascinating.
my first time really listening to an audio book all the way through. they executed it well... I think it is more so the content that got mundane for me, but I'm about to listen to another audiobook, so we'll see how that goes.