Saturday, March 4, 2017

Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene": Audiobook Review

Book Review: Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins | TechieTonics
"The immortal replicator"
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, if he or she had some patience for biology and some curiosity about genetics in detail. It rewards the careful listener, and while not a light read, it is accessible and stimulating.

What did you like best about this story?
The eleventh chapter on memes is exciting. Perhaps the best-known of the sections, although I am not sure Dawkins back in the mid-70s anticipated this via the Internet.

Which scene was your favorite?
I liked discussions, embryonic given their later expansion into The God Delusion, of snippets of how religious beliefs were found erroneous or risible. Agree or not, this is memorable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The fact that we lack any grand purpose other than to serve as vehicles for the immortal replicator. While Schopenhauer was never cited, this force that drives us to reproduce despite the consequences and drain on our resources and time is a sobering perspective.

Any additional comments?
The alternation of Dawkins' genial donnish tones and his partner Leila Ward's spry delivery is a great way to keep readers alert. They serve to discuss the material, with its updates for this 2011 presentation, and to show what has and has not changed in the subject since 1976. 

(Audible 11/2/16.)

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