The Extended Phenotype

The Long Reach of the Gene

Ranked #19 in Evolution, Ranked #19 in Geneticssee more rankings.

People commonly view evolution as a process of competition between individuals—known as “survival of the fittest”—with the individual representing the “unit of selection.” Richard Dawkins offers a controversial reinterpretation of that idea in The Extended Phenotype, now being reissued to coincide with the publication of the second edition of his highly-acclaimed The Selfish Gene. He proposes that we look at evolution as a battle between genes instead of between whole organisms. We can then view changes in phenotypes—the end products of genes, like eye color or leaf shape, which are usually... more

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We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Extended Phenotype from the world's leading experts.

Carl Zimmer I chose this because I think it expresses a really important idea. Richard Dawkins wrote this book not long after The Selfish Gene came out. That was his landmark book, in which he argued for a gene-centric view of evolution.  Genes build bodies. They build traits, which are known as phenotypes, in order to be replicated in the next generation. (Source)

Peter Atkins Shows a highly imaginative approach to understanding the nature of the biosphere. A very clever book. (Source)

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