Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

After my first reading of Richard Dawkins in August, I was inspired to read some of his work that originally made him famous. Dawkins, the famed evolutionary biologist, first published The Selfish Gene 30 years ago. Despite being around for multiple decades and selling millions of copies, I had never heard of this book until recently. It appears that I did a real good job of ignoring everything related to the field of biology. I have always been fascinated by physical science but have related biological sciences to the memorization of the steps of the Krebs cycle from 10th grade. I wish Mr. Lipke would have been able to spend more time inspiring me on the wonders of biology because this book truly blew my mind.

Even though I know next to nothing about biology (I’ve read some elementary readings on evolution), I was able to comprehend Dawkins from page 1 to 250. Dawkins suggests that evolution shouldn’t be looked at from the level of species. It isn’t necessarily best to describe how humans evolved. Instead, it would be more accurate to describe how genes evolved. Our bodies (or the body of any species for that matter) simply serve as the machine genes use to replicate itself. Genes are just like King Henry the VIII: they want as many heirs as possible. Genes that are good at replicating outlast those that don’t…hence survival of the fittest.

My little blurb does not serve this book justice. This book seriously changed how I look at our world around us, and I’m excited to read some more of Dawkins’ books. The theory of evolution is truly beautiful and sheds such lucidity on how things came to be…at least much more than Genesis (and not the Phil Collins’ band) does so.

Completed early October

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