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J. Arvid Agren’s book The Gene’s Eye View of Evolution (Oxford University Press, 2021), is a highly praised scholarly account of the concept of selfish genes, which Richard Dawkins made hugely popular in 1976. Dawkins himself calls Agren’s book “the most thorough reading of the relevant literature that I have ever encountered…he gets it right.” But what does this mean? In this nearly two hour conversation, I take a deep dive with Agren into the history and current status of the selfish gene concept. You might be surprised by how much we agree upon and how much the concept of selfish genes has been scaled down, compared to its original pretensions. 

Published On: October 10, 2022

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is president of Prosocial World and SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, through Prosocial World and in his own research and writing.  A complete archive of his work is available at www.David SloanWilson.world. His most recent books include his first novel, Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III, and a memoir, A Life Informed by Evolution.

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