Thursday, March 16, 2006


It's all in the genes

The Times: Richard Dawkins looks back at the extraordinary 30-year history of his first book, The Selfish Gene:

"It is sobering to realise that I have lived nearly half my life with The Selfish Gene - for better, for worse. Over the years, as each subsequent book has appeared, publishers have sent me on tour to promote it. Audiences respond to the new book with gratifying enthusiasm, applaud politely and ask intelligent questions. Then they line up to buy, and have me sign . . . The Selfish Gene. That is a bit of an exaggeration. Some do buy the new book and, for the rest, my wife consoles me by arguing that people who newly discover an author will naturally tend to go back to his first book: having read The Selfish Gene, surely they'll work their way through to the latest and (to its fond parent) favourite baby?

I would mind more if I could claim that The Selfish Gene had become severely outmoded and superseded. Unfortunately (from one point of view) I cannot."

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