The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.
Big dust up about kin selection. Biologists E.O. Wilson, Martin Nowak, and Corina Tarnita publish a paper attacking kin selection, the idea that the reproductive success of a gene is influenced not only by its effects on its carrier, but also by its effects on related individuals (kin) carrying the same gene. 130 some odd other biologists respond. Richard Dawkins weighs in. Some talking bears offer a summary. [via]
Richard Dawkins, the English biologist and public intellectual well known for his passionate defense of a gene-centered view of biological (organic) evolution, and the introduction and development of the meme-concept and a meme-centered view of social-cultural evolution, to say nothing of his strong stance as an atheist has put out a new book on evolution…
Noted religious thinker Karen Armstrong and noted atheist thinker Richard Dawkins face off - sorta kinda - in the WSJ: We commissioned Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins to respond independently to the question "Where does evolution leave God?" Neither knew what the other would say. Here are the results. Previously.
"We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers." Evolutionary psychologist Andy Thomson analyzes suicide terrorism from the perspective of evolutionary biology. The presentation was part of the Atheist Alliance International convention in D.C. last month.
The night's event featured speakers Daniel C. Dennett, Matt Ridley, Sir John Krebs, Ian McEwan, and -- the man himself -- Richard Dawkins. It was, as you might suspect (based on the title), an event celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Dawkins' seminal work. If you didn't get a chance to attend, you can still read the full transcript or stream/download the audio of it in MP3 format (many thanks to Helena Cronin, founder/director of Darwin@LSE, for hosting the file). Thanks to 3QD for the link.
Creationists argue that the complexity of the human eye could not have arrisen by random Darwinian natural selection, since it "must be perfect to work at all". The Nilsson and Pelger computer experiment refutes this with a method of awesome beauty, showing that a human-quality eye is not just possible under Darwinian evolution, but nigh-inevitable. This is from Do Good By Stealth, chapter 3 of River Out of Eden, which is maybe the greatest thing I've ever read.
The Dawkins FAQ. Interesting Q&A session about evolution, biology, genes, etc with an expert. Dawkins claims no final answer on the "gay gene" or a Darwinian explanation of homosexuality.
Richard Dawkins discusses religion with a Darwinian outlook. RD: Could religion be a recent phenomenon, sprung up since our genes underwent most of their natural selection? Its ubiquity argues against any simple version of this idea. Nevertheless, there is a version of it that I want to advocate. The propensity that was naturally selected in our ancestors was not religion per se. It had some other benefit, and it only incidentally manifests itself today as religious behavior.