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The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (Essay Sample)


The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins: what is the significance of the topic to its contents?

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The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins: what is the significance of the topic to its contents?
The Selfish Gene is an evolutionary book that develops the principal theory in the book Adaptation and Natural Selection by George Williams. The author of the book uses the term selfish gene to show gene-centered view of evolution as many oppose in the view of organism and group. The topic of the book reflects a runaway metaphor. From the definition that Dawkins gives, selfish genes are a genetic entity, which is close in deserving its life. The author refers to genes as immortal which in terms may be a reflection of a selfish gene that will never want to die.
The author refers to the survival machines, represented by the individual organisms, as selfish genes. According to the description given in the book, selfish and altruism may mean the unconscious purposive behavior. This means that the action of a gene is exclusively automatic. The author also describes selfish as a behavior, which increases the possibility of survival of genes within an individual at the expense of the other. This means that the behavior has a role in triggering the survival of a gene.
Understanding the essence of some, behaviors require considerations of some biological aspects. This may help in explaining the selfishness of the genes as expressed by Dawkins. In the text, the author also highlights three properties that are common to all replicators: longevity, copying-fidelity and fecundity. The properties help in understanding the survival of the replicators as life depends on them. Likewise, the author acknowledges that replicators are unconscious and blind to predictions. They act automatically to reflect the prevailing conditions within the environment. Under normal circumstances, replicators have the ability of changing or mutating which can cause variations. Variations are the fundamental reason for natural selection, which leads to evolution.
Description of selfish genes in the text is not an implication that the genes follow any motives but an automation of effects that favor their existence. The book suggests that the genes generated are ones, which act on the consequences that serve their own interest. This is a view, which explains altruism where people have to sacrifice their life with the aim of protecting the lives of other people: acting within the interest of their own genes. Ideally, selfish, when used to genes means the quality of coping through the natural selection process. This reveals the rhetoric of t...
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