• The Genial Gene

  • Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness
  • By: Joan Roughgarden
  • Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-09-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (1 rating)


Are selfishness and individuality - rather than kindness and cooperation - basic to biological nature? Does a "selfish gene" create universial sexual conflict? In The Genial Gene, Joan Roughgarden forcefully rejects these and other ideas that have come to dominate the study of animal evolution.
Building on her brilliant and innovative book Evolution's Rainbow, in which she challenged accepted wisdom about gender identity and sexual orientation, Roughgarden upends the notion of the selfish gene and the theory of sexual selection and develops a compelling and controversial alternative theory called social selection. This scientifically rigorous, model-based challenge to an important tenet of new-Darwinian theory emphasizes cooperation, elucidates the factors that contribute to evolutionary success in a gene pool or animal social system, and vigorously demonstrates that to identify Darwinism with selfishness and individuality misrepresents the facts of life as we now know them.
This book is published by University of California Press.
©2009 The Regents of the University of California (P)2010 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic reviews

"Roughgarden's new theory is likely to end up an important extension to existing thought." (New Scientist)
"This may be the most important book, philosophically speaking, on evolutionary theory in a decade. If Roughgarden is right, males and females evolved as allies, not enemies, and evolutionary theory needs a rethink because competition evolves in a cooperative world, not the other way around." (James Griesemer, President of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 12-05-11

Great for biologists, ecologists, and evolutionary


Joan take a great approach at examining and dismantlement some of the main dogma of evolutionary biological theory. Unlike many people who challenge the accepted norms in biology her arguments are direct, to the point, and backed up with a lot of empirical research which is also explained in the book. Also unlike many, she presents an alternative hypothesis to those theories that she discredits, also back up with empirical studies detailed in the book.

Great book. Looses a little bit in audio format as you cant have diagrams, but a great lessen nonetheless!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Abbie on 28-09-11

Not for audio

There is nothing wrong with the book or the reading, really. This just isn't really one of those books that translates well to audio. At least not for the lay-reader.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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