What Readers Are Saying
Proposals to reconcile the harsh Darwinian concept of "survival of the fittest" with the generally benevolent social nature of human beings have been the subject of vigorous scientific and philosophical discussion in recent decades. This important question has been addressed indirectly in scientifically conducted studies of intelligent and social animals in the wild. To date, the social behavior of a dozen or so species of social and intelligent animals has been studied, with individual animals physically identified and tracked, and with their reproductive success assessed using molecular genetic techniques. This effort has yielded a plethora of information on these sentient animal species that should be useful to our efforts to understand ourselves.
Most of this information has been interpreted in terms of the genetic concept of "the selfish gene" (pub. Richard Dawkins, 1976), moderated by genetic predisposition for "kin selection" and with socially beneficial tendencies generally classified as "altruism," and with operations of the latter severely constrained by the mathematical model of W.D. Hamilton (pub. 1964). Theoretical/scientific argumentation in this field can be described as technical, speculative, partisan and largely inaccessible to interested nonscientists.
Duncan H. Haynes
Social genes moderate the harsh rules of Darwinian survival
Before I started reading The Social Gene, I had no idea about anything happening in the world of animal interaction. This book offered me information about animal genes, sexual segregation, adoption, support, and many more. This book would be important in the academic world.
I love how the preface began with an introduction of the author. I am also fond of the fact that part one of the chapter began with an explanation of Darwin’s principle. Somehow, it makes a reader still understand even if they have no background of animal interaction. This book is purely phenomenal. It sheds a light in the field of kin selection, and I am grateful I got to read it.
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The Social Gene vs The Selfish Gene
Viewers of animal behavior on television can experience a feast of exciting new information about the social interactions of an amazing range of animal species.
Unfortunately, when it comes to theoretical interpretation, they are left in the dark ages with ideas that are at least half a century out of date and have not shifted in the interim. They have not even caught up with our modern understanding of how genes work. The hypothesis of the selfish gene is a case in point, which proposes that social interactions are governed by the sum of all genes that a potential pair share in common. This is obvious nonsense, but has been unthinking dogma from the time before the double helix was recognized.