Reddit Reddit reviews The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary Edition (Oxford Landmark Science)

We found 14 Reddit comments about The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary Edition (Oxford Landmark Science). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Science & Math
The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary Edition (Oxford Landmark Science)
Oxford University Press, USA
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14 Reddit comments about The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary Edition (Oxford Landmark Science):

u/FoxJitter · 14 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Not OP, just helping out with some formatting (and links!) because I like these suggestions.

> 1) The Magic Of Reality - Richard Dawkins
> 2) The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
> 3)A Brief History Of Time - Stephen Hawking
> 4)The Grand Design - Stephen Hawking
> 4)Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari (Any Book By Daniel Dennet)
> 5)Enlightenment Now - Steven Pinker
> 6)From Eternity Till Here - Sean Caroll (Highly Recommended)
> 7)The Fabric Of Cosmos - Brian Greene (If you have good mathematical understanding try Road To Reality By Roger Penrose)
> 8)Just Six Numbers - Martin Reese (Highly Recommended)

u/distantocean · 10 pointsr/exchristian

That's one of my favorite popular science books, so it's wonderful to hear you're getting so much out of it. It really is a fascinating topic, and it's sad that so many Christians close themselves off to it solely to protect their religious beliefs (though as you discovered, it's good for those religious beliefs that they do).

As a companion to the book you might enjoy the Stated Clearly series of videos, which break down evolution very simply (and they're made by an ex-Christian whose education about evolution was part of his reason for leaving the religion). You might also like Coyne's blog, though these days it's more about his personal views than it is about evolution (but some searching on the site will bring up interesting things he's written on a whole host of religious topics from Adam and Eve to "ground of being" theology). He does also have another book you might like (Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible), though I only read part of it since I was familiar with much of it from his blog.

> If you guys have any other book recommendations along these lines, I'm all ears!

You should definitely read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, if only because it's a classic (and widely misrepresented/misunderstood). A little farther afield, one of my favorite popular science books of all time is The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker, which looks at human language as an evolved ability. Pinker's primary area of academic expertise is child language acquisition, so he's the most in his element in that book.

If you're interested in neuroscience and the brain you could read How the Mind Works (also by Pinker) or The Tell-Tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran, both of which are wide-ranging and accessibly written. I'd also recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow by psychologist Daniel Kahneman. Evolution gets a lot of attention in ex-Christian circles, but books like these are highly underrated as antidotes to Christian indoctrination -- nothing cures magical thinking about the "soul", consciousness and so on as much as learning how the brain and the mind actually work.

If you're interested in more general/philosophical works that touch on similar themes, Douglas R. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach made a huge impression on me (years ago). You might also like The Mind's I by Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett, which is a collection of philosophical essays along with commentaries. Books like these will get you thinking about the true mysteries of life, the universe and everything -- the kind of mysteries that have such sterile and unsatisfying "answers" within Christianity and other mythologies.

Don't worry about the past -- just be happy you're learning about all of this now. You've got plenty of life ahead of you to make up for any lost time. Have fun!

u/fre3k · 9 pointsr/KotakuInAction

>one huge evil being with a bunch of disposable bodies

That being is called a meme. Intersectional social justice is one of the most contagious, and in some senses effective, memes of all time.

If you're interested in reading about such a thing, check out

u/Cepheus · 8 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

I think you have touched on something very important. There is a really good book on this called Facts Can't Speak for Themselves by the nationally known and respected jury consultant Eric Oliver.

His theory is that we are hardwired for story telling and that we have to frame facts that can be conveyed in a narrative manner that touches the stories that people have internally. It is a method for tapping into a type of confirmation bias. Essentially, framing facts in a narrative in such a way that we are preaching to the choir even if they disagree with us. But, you have to listen to discover the song they are singing.

I think if we all learn to listen more to discover the stories that people have internally, it opens a door to communicate with people through story telling to get our points across no matter what it is.

Most people operate in an analysis fact free world and make decisions based on the narratives they have constructed from personal experience. This is a mental shortcut in all of our brains that allow us to survive and not drown in the incredible amounts of data we experience from birth to death. It allows us to survive by deciding what is an immediate issue, like the danger of rattle snake right next to you rather than a lion half a mile away.

Then the use of language is how we survive as a group by relating stories to other people. Those stories propagate and rise in importance in how is is perceived to aid in survival. If we can connect and share experiences, we can move people in our direction.

Two other books worth reading is Dawking, The Selfish Gene and The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille.

u/FINDTHESUN · 6 pointsr/Meditation

no , just open-minded, what about you ?


here's a quick selection of some of the books from my library list. have you seen/read at least 1 of those?? ;-)

How knowledgeable are you ?

u/hga_another · 5 pointsr/KotakuInAction

Errr, why not just label them as sort of mistakes of nature, by definition they won't directly propagate their genes, and most of the ones we talk about won't help propagate genes they share with their relatives.

(Which is one reason a "gay gene" could have survival value; if you want a great introduction to this, read The Selfish Gene, you will understand a lot more about the world afterwords. Also where the meme meme was launched. :-)

Eugenics is entirely unnecessary in a sane society where these people can be ignored, kept in the closet enough to not cause many problems (well, aside from Catholic Church...), or institutionalized if they cause enough problems. The problem is the Left is now using them as shock troopers in World War T, now that they've used up gays having achieved "gay marriage" and gays in favor of Muslims who are dedicated to preventing them from committing suicide by throwing themselves off high buildings, but who are just not very good about it. But if our society was sane, we wouldn't have made a fatal epidemic disease a civil right in the 1980s.

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/news

Why thank you! If you're interested in the way that species develop altruism, I recommend the book The Selfish Gene. It's a dense read, but it's totally mind blowing.

It breaks down how our genes are kind of the "real" creatures of the Earth, and how we are more or less just convenient vehicles for them. For the most part, we have the genes we have because those genes created bodies that were good at surviving and reproducing. The bodies aren't actually important, apart from how well they replicate the genes.

That's how genes that ultimately lead a body to sacrifice itself for other bodies succeed - as long as the bodies that were saved contain more copies of the genes than the body that was sacrificed, then it's a net win for them.

And even though it's enormously complicated, it has been observed that the math holds up. When animals have to make difficult decisions about saving and nurturing themselves vs their young, their behavior tends to favor saving their genes, regardless of which bodies contain them. Which is exactly what we would expect if human bodies were merely the vehicles that our genes use to spread themselves all over the world.

u/Khiv_ · 4 pointsr/biology

The other commenters have already explained this very well, but I'm going to try putting it in my own words anyway.

There are two things to talk about: sex and gender. Sex is the biological aspect while gender is the behavioral aspect. But wait, can't behavior have a biological influence? Everything points out that yes, it can, but it can also have environmental influences such as culture.

So how did sex arise? Some animals have only one sex, and some are even able to make babies with themselves. The reason some animals evolved away from this suggests an advantage to having multiple sexes in multiple people. The multiple people part is easy, genetic variability. If you only make sex with yourself, you're going to have very little change in your genes, and any new hazard, like viruses and changes in temperature could wipe your genome out.

What about different sexes? In this case, it is all about specialization. Having someone specialize in nurturing and someone specialize in proliferating might have given advantage to our predecessors. This specialization starts in our germ cells, with one producing small, motile, and ever proliferating spermatozoan and the other producing large, immobile, once in a lifetime eggs. Males make millions of spermatozoan during most of their lifetime while females make eggs only in an early age.

Now, what does that have to do with gender? It is possible that the different costs on the different types of sex cells could have led animals to behave differently. The female invests a lot on a single egg, so maybe she needs to be really picky about whom she mates with; the male can just throw his stuff around. It would also be dangerous if males started mating with males instead of females. That would be just wasted energy that could have been used in effective reproduction.

Note that this behavior isn't always observed in animals. The ultimate goal is gene survival, and there are many factors that help genes survive. Maybe a male fish will find that having a male lover while procreating with a female will cause this lover to protect his offspring for some reason. This would reinforce the behavior of keeping male lovers in this species.

Now, to humans. What makes humans complex is the hypothesis that we have this consciouness that can govern our lower impulses and perhaps even act against them. This area is still growing, and there are many theories. One could say that gene influence is still what matters most. Maybe by choosing not to have children and instead focusing on my career, I am helping my genes survive through other people (all humans have some similar genes, and if my career helps the world, it also helps my genes). On the other hand, I could argue that there is something in humans that really allows them to outrule their survival insticts, or that there are new powerful forces such as culture that can govern our actions more than our genes and our own will together.

So, is there such a thing as gender? Yes, but in humans it could go much beyond simple inherited "instincts". I recommend you read the chapter on sex of this book and maybe take a look at the selfish gene.

u/ajswdf · 3 pointsr/financialindependence

I don't know what you're specifically interested in, but here of a couple books I liked:

Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown. He's a semi-famous magician/mentalist in the UK, and this book has a ton of really interesting stuff in it like hypnosis and memory hacks. The only issue is the NLP stuff, which is pseudo-science, but the rest is good.

100 Deadly Skills was interesting, although I'm not sure how useful it is.

The Selfish Gene is a more famous book than those two, but if you're interested in evolution at all it's an awesome book.

I'm not much of a science fiction reader, but I really liked the Foundation Series. Also most Michael Crichton books are good, although in particular I liked Sphere, Jurassic Park and the Lost World, Congo, Timeline, and Prey.

u/Baeocystin · 3 pointsr/askscience

If you haven't yet read them, Dawkin's The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype are excellent overviews of the unexpected intricacies of the operation of evolution, with the target audience of the educated layperson. 40 and 30 years old, respectively, but still hold up. Well worth your time if you're interested in such things!

u/rasfert · 1 pointr/atheism

Wow! The eloquence and complexity of your counter-argument leaves me blindsided!
Without sarcasm or satire, I strongly recommend you read (and if you haven't done so, you're doing a poor job of being an atheist) The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. It will illuminate the answer that I gave (perhaps more than "Nope. It isn't") to this question.

u/AgentBif · 0 pointsr/LifeProTips

There's a huge amount of evidence for altruism.

Seems like you need to educate yourself a bit more before you go about flippantly tossing out such wide sweeping declarations about the nature of reality.

Good book for you to read: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Amazing work that helped revolutionize the modern view of Biology. This will likely turn your understanding of the nature of behavior inside out and will hopefully give you a new appreciation for the miracle that is humanity.