Book Review: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Marx Wang After reading this book review, I hope you can get a sense of what are the topics of biology that Richard Dawkins discusses through his witty wordings and specific examples in nature.
However, before I start talking about the content of this book, I want to confess that I am a guy who is more involved in humanities and social science. The reason that I think it is necessary to mention this point is first, I believe that no matter what your interests are, you can at least learn something and gain some insights through reading this book. As for the other intention of mentioning my interests, this book talks about the idea of “selfish” from a perspective that is kind of different from …show more content…
The fact is that animals in nature are not recklessly breeding offspring all the time. There is this idea of family planning. A wise gene will definitely consider letting the survival machine that it dwells to healthily survive and sustain its function, and further pass the gene to the offspring. Family planning contains similar senses. If there are excessively large amounts of offspring, the parents’ limited energy and the potential lack of food will lead to the early deaths of most of the offspring. As a result, that is why hunger and other factors that lead to deaths are the reasons for the impossibility of endless growth and development. If the species can adjust its birth rate, there will be fewer cases of hunger and deaths. It makes more sense if one knows the birth control policy in China in the past. At the early stages of the country, people tend to bear as many children as they can; yet the following hunger becomes a huge burden to most of the families, especially those in poorer areas. For the sake of increasing productivity and feeding more children, the government later comes up with the decision of family planning. It is beneficial for the fast developing stage of China, because when there are fewer people who share the limited amount of food, there will be more who can be well-fed and contribute completely to
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The reason for this is because the organisms with the least helpful phenotypes will be eaten by predators while the organisms with the better phenotypes will live on to breed, thus shifting the gene pool to go in a certain direction. I am able to move a total of 5 generations forward and each and every time I move the allele frequency will change to favor the superior phenotype, thus representing the
The great Richard Bach once said “Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.” Often people overlook the fact that their conscience is telling them that they are selfish, but it is up to them to fix it. In his novel, The Wednesday wars, Gary Schmidt highlights the dangers of being selfish and self-centered through the changes of Holling Hoodhood.
After the overcrowded issue became unavoidable, Chinese leaders were looking at tables that estimated the future population of China. Even after the one-child policy in 1980 China's population kept growing until getting to its peak in 2030 and began to decrease after that as the children in the one-child policy became elders and not enough people were in the workplace( Doc. A). The one-child policy was expected to
Mao Zedong, one of the most influential leaders in Chinese history, once said that, “Of all the things in the world, people are the most precious.” One of the biggest problems that he faced was the growing population of China. At first, he discouraged birth control, but when the growth rate was growing astronomically, Mao introduced “Late, Long and Few.” When even this was not slowing down the population growth, China implemented a one-child policy. It allowed for the Chinese population to have one child, and was far more harmful than beneficial to China.
When one is confined to society and held captive against their ego, it is imperative that they learn to eulogize their own individuality, and learn to improve themselves. In Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem, Rand uses Equality 7-2521 to communicate the importance of the individual. Equality has always had his own sense of individuality that causes him to stand out and defy the social norms. His individuality allows him to persevere and diverge from collectivist society.
In his book, Population Bomb, he argued “through his life that there is an impending doom containing overpopulation and starvation”(Ehrlich 18). Let the facts show that the world has taken the right path toward sustaining life and sending us towards prosperity. In R. Engelman article “Population and Sustainability: Can We Avoid Limiting the Number of People” Engelman’s key argument was that “slowing the rise in human numbers is essential for the planet--but it doesn't require population control”(Engelman 49). Placing a cap on the population will force consequences as
A good example of selfishness that we can see in this book is when Kemmerich dies. When he dies, the first thing Muller thinks about is taking his boots. “When Kemmerich is dead it will be too late. Therefore
Several people may assume that selfishness is both unhealthy and wrong. A selfish person usually puts his own needs before the needs of other people. Selfish people need to be able to draw the line between when they need to worry about themselves, or when they should be concerned about other people. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in the view of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby, it is evident that the nature of man is showing selfishness through cruelty, greed, and manipulation. Cruelty is just one way that the nature of man shows selfishness.
What China was trying to achieve with the One Child Policy was fix a problem they had caused in the first place, when, Mao Zedong, encouraged having more children to have more future workers, and discouraged the use of birth controls (Intro). The One Child Policy came into place in 1980, effected the ethnicity of Han Chinese and was definitely not one of China’s best ideas. It caused many hardships for the citizens of China. The policy was unnecessary for many of three reasons: the fertility rate was already dropping, there is a huge gender and age imbalance, as well as it is to blame for some of the youth’s social issues. From 1970 to 1979 there was a big reduction in fertility rates in China from 5.8 to 2.7, which was prior to the One
“If civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that people must learn to reject.” -Ayn Rand. To be compassionate and unselfish seems to be a noble and magnanimous pursuit. Altruism is admired, it is beautiful, and it is praised.
For instance, if “people become confident of their children's survival, than childbirth rates will drop.” (Gale, Population Growth, Environmental Encyclopedia) Besides the fact that most believe that developed countries attribute to the population growth the most, which is a misconception. Undeveloped countries are, in fact, the main contributor to the rising population rate. Most families “in poor countries often have five to ten children,” (Gale, Population Growth, Environment Encyclopedia) to insure that they have someone to take care for them in their old age. By aiding undeveloped countries, eventually they will grow to be confident that their children will survive and the numbers will decrease further.
China China is currently a highly developing nation, the technological advantages and novelties of the Chinese impact the whole globe. It population structure is similar to level 3 demographic transition, although the birth rate is decreasing due to the incentive of the government who had implied the one-child policy. The nation is strong and has a large workforce, even though the poverty in rural areas is still quite high the government is constantly fitting the issues with both poverty and overpopulation. The amount of youthful population doesn’t allow to observe a decline in population in China in 2016, although it is predicted that after 2030 the population of China will start to decline unless the one-child policy is cancelled.
I believe that Dawkins was correct that mothers have certain clutch to maximize the amount of viable offspring they can have (117). Reproducing takes time and energy and many factors can impact the mother and the development of that offspring (Dawkins 116,117) (Paul et al. 2010). Evidence has shown that pushing litter size boundaries can lead to a mother lacking the ability to properly care for the all the offspring effectively (Baxter et al. 2013). Dawkins mentions that not having as many offspring as possible is against the “selfish gene” theory (116).