Not So Selfish

Issue section: 

Having read Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker three times and now indulging in his The Selfish Gene, I feel Viren Swami has got hold of the wrong end of the stick (SR, March).

He makes it seem as if Dawkins was going on about a gene for selfishness. The simple point Dawkins is trying to make is that both change and continuity in the living world have genes as their material basis. He readily concedes that human behaviour could, or even will, change the environment in which we live. This could have an effect on which genes are favoured.

Dawkins leaves ample room for human will and should not be dismissed out of hand.

David Paenson
Frankfurt, Germany