The God Delusion (2006) & The Selfish Gene (2006) by Richard Dawkins

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    • Feb 07
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    The God Delusion (2006) & The Selfish Gene (2006) by Richard Dawkins

    The God Delusion (2006) & The Selfish Gene (2006) by Richard Dawkins
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    The God Delusion is a non-fiction book by British ethologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

    In the book, Dawkins argues that belief in a supernatural creator qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's observation that "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."

    The God Delusion was ranked #2 on the bestsellers' list in November 2006. In early December 2006, it reached #4 in the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list after nine weeks on the list. As of February 14, 2007, it is listed at #8, after 20 weeks on the list.

    The Selfish Gene is a very popular and somewhat controversial book on evolutionary theory by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. It builds upon the principal theory of George C. Williams's first book Adaptation and Natural Selection. The phrase "selfish gene" in the title of the book was coined by Dawkins as a provocative way of expressing the gene-centric view of evolution, which holds that evolution is best viewed as acting on genes, and that selection at the level of organisms or populations almost never overrides selection on genes. More precisely, an organism is expected to evolve to maximise its inclusive fitness – the number of copies of its genes passed on globally (rather than by a particular individual). As a result, populations will tend towards an evolutionarily stable strategy. The book also coins the term meme, for a unit of human cultural evolution analogous to the gene, suggesting that such "selfish" replication may also model human culture, in a different sense. Memetics has become the subject of many studies since the publication of the book.

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