Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene


Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene

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Neurobiologist Dr Divya Raj tells how Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene changed our understanding of evolution. Does his theory still hold up today?

“We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.”

In his most famous work, The Selfish Gene (1976), Richard Dawkins presented a radically new take on the theory of evolution. He argued that the struggle for survival is not one between members of a species in which the individual with the best adapted genetic profile survives, but a battle between genes. The book made a wider audience familiar with fundamental questions about life on earth. But not everyone bought the argument. Humanists and religious people were deeply troubled by the suggestion that human behavior is driven by selfish genes. Fellow scientists objected that people do many things for which, as far as we know, there is no gene, such as sports and other cultural activities.

Neurobiologist Dr Divya Raj (UU) traces the influence of Dawkins’s theory on science and popular imagination. Does his work still hold up today?


Date & time
Tuesday September 10 2019 (20:00-21:30)
No registration is needed. But seats are limited and first come, first served.
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About this series

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