[ExI] The Selfish Gene

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Tue Dec 11 04:37:05 UTC 2007

At 05:08 PM 12/10/2007, citta437  wrote:

>"The Rev Dr Walter Houston, the chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford,
>and a fellow in theology, said: "Religious belief is not just related
>to a person's constitution; it's related to society, tradition,
>character - everything's involved. Having a gene that could do all that
>seems pretty unlikely to me."
>There is no religious gene.

Consider the source.

>Religious meme evolved as a side effect of
>the selfish gene. Richard Dawkins coined the term meme similar to a
>gene that can mutate or get infected by society's traditions. Read his
>book "The Selfish Gene."
>Rocks and minerals cannot react as living things do for survival in a
>changing environment. Humans inherited this gene during evolution. This
>sense of "self" or instinct for survival is called the "Selfish Gene."

"Selfish gene" is a metaphor. I know Dawkins slightly (he has quoted 
me) and read this book back in the late 70 or early 80s.  I think I 
read Eric Drexler's copy.

I think you should try for a deeper level of understanding of this 
background material.

Best wishes,

Keith Henson 

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