Richard Dawkins The Selfish Genes

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Unit 2 Nick Juby The University of Oklahoma Richard Dawkins wrote The Selfish Gene in 1976 and it still resonates to this day throughout the scientific community. The main theme of the book built upon the studies in natural selection and evolution. Dawkins used selfish gene as a term to describe his gene-centered view of evolution. In The Selfish Gene, Dawkins flat out states that “We are born selfish”. Dawkins did not imply that genes are actually driven by motives or they have no foresight and do not plan ahead but that they act in a way that can be described as “selfish”. The “selfish gene” principle states that humans are simply “gene machines”, programmed to propagate our genes as far as we can. Natural selection ensures that the unsuccessful people do not get to spread their genes. Genes strive to replicate themselves, as if they are consciously planning how best this could be achieved. Dawkins basic premise was that all genes are in competition with each other to reproduce themselves for the next generation. Dawkins got into some very controversial territory with The Selfish Gene, as the topic of sociobiology is controversial in and of itself. For every article there is supporting sociobiology, there is another denouncing it. Peter Lawler describes sociobiology as “the belief that human beings have real natures and natural purposes, but natures and purposes that are fully intelligible through evolution and not really different from those of the other animals” (Lawler, 2003, para. 2). When you really look into sociobiology, you can see how Dawkins came to some of his conclusions and where the influences of Edward O. Wilson came into play. Susanna Jones does an excellent job showing how Wilson’s t... ... middle of paper ... ...s, teachers who are indifferent to their profession, and teachers whose only concern is maintaining discipline and nothing else, while fostering the imagination of children is often extremely neglected. As Kozol points out, schools are predominately funded by property tax. While the tax rate are the same for counties and in cities like Chicago and New York, Kozol showed that the rich counties and areas of major cities, where the land and housing is valued more, receive more money from the taxes on the land and housing to fund the taxpayer funded public schools in their counties or cities. That in turn gives a good reputation to schools in that county which greatly enhances the market value of housing and reputation of the area as a whole. All of that means that the tax base for that counties schools will then increase as the value of the housing and land increases.
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