It’s in our DNA
Richard Dawkins and The Selfish Gene
Just last week, we featured another one of Richard Dawkins’ literary works, in honor of the Science March. This week, following another march focusing specifically on climate change and government ineptitude in confronting the global threat, we turn again to Dawkins. This time the book is even more fittingly titled, because it is this trait that has caused the world to take so much time to combat climate change.
The Selfish Gene, originally written in 1976, takes apart the idea of selfishness from an evolutionary biological point of view. But even though the book is thus examining selfishness in a purely scientific light, it isn’t too far of a leap to transfer the information to every-day human interactions and behavior. In other words, what starts off as a scientific text talking about the earliest days of evolution can end up putting the actions of world leaders, great thinkers, and everyday people under the microscope.
But don’t let us spoil it for you; let these key insights from the book get you hooked!
1. Genes originate from compounds that preceded life on Earth and formed stable molecular combinations that built on themselves. Successful replicator molecules could be formed quickly with high fidelity and were stable over a long time.
2. Genes originate from compounds that preceded life on Earth and formed stable molecular combinations that built on themselves. Successful replicator molecules could be formed quickly with high fidelity and were stable over a long time.
3. The most successful, and therefore numerous, genes that code for competitive and aggressive behavior tend to be present in a population in proportions that are stable and provide a higher average return for every member of the population.
4. Genes create a physical impact on the individual carrier, known as a phenotype. That phenotype may extend to include the carrier’s impact on its community, the availability of resources in the environment, and its parasitic relationship, all of which impact the gene.
Have we convinced you yet? Now that it’s the weekend, you have plenty of time to read more!
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