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Is the Dawkins selfish gene meme a crime against humanity?

October 31st, 2013 · No Comments

The Selfish Gene, Social Darwinism, and Human Cooperation

It took me until my 43rd year to read The Selfish Gene, written in 1976 by Richard Dawkins. In many respects, it is a testament to its success that I felt no compelling desire to read it. What I perceived to be its central message had been absorbed into the very fabric of our culture. I thought the message was simply put. To summarize: we are driven to survive by our genes and via competitive and selfish natural selection; we follow our own self-interest in order to survive and procreate; genes that adapt more quickly and better to the competitive world survive at the expense of the others, and so forth. The state of nature is a Hobbesian nightmare of there being “no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” It is survival of the fittest for most, but armed with this knowledge, we could overcome some of these rough edges of life.

Being eulogoized by the Mises Instintute should be a warning that the crypto-Social Darwinist message of Dawkins has succeeded as propaganda and almot entered the unconsciousn of millions. Not much of an achievement, since the implications as violence are daily occurrences, if mostly invisible.

The selfish gene meme is a bubunc of pseudo-scientific legerdemain that is fale on all levels. People do not evolve at all in this fashion.

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