If an award were to be given to the most influential evolutionary scientist since Darwin, the award would most certainly go to Richard Dawkins (I am strictly talking about Dawkins as the evolutionary scientist or perhaps the philosopher of biology). Potential objections may argue that John Maynard Smith, WD Hamilton, Stephen Jay Gould, and highly qualified others should receive it. However, it was with the publication of The Selfish Gene that certifies Dawkins’ merit of this hypothetical award. Why? Dawkins utilized a bit of creativity in science (personifying genes), inspired by Jacque Monad and concentrating on the central unit of selection; the gene, which was inspired by WD Hamilton. In this view, Dawkins elaborately explains the role of the gene in evolution. It is as he states, “Darwin’s Theory.”
Like Darwin, Dawkins was meant with an incredible amount of hostility not only from the expected fundamentalist religious community, but also from the scientific community as well. Many contend that Dawkins is being ‘reductionistic’ or too much of a ‘genetic determinist’. Those critics, it seems, assert a term without taking into account what they actually mean. Further, some reviewers have read the title without conceptualizing what Dawkins’ meant by the term ‘selfish gene’. In fact, Dawkins’ notes (in the video) that he talks more about altruism than selfishness and also states (in the 30th anniversary addition) that he should have titled the book, The Cooperative Gene. In light of the 35th year since the publication of The Selfish Gene, Dawkins’ first book is still controversial for what I believe are misunderstandings of his book. The following is a short video, which entertains Dawkins’ point of the book.