The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

In his book, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins argues for the gene as the basic unit of evolution. He claims that organisms are “survival shells” for the “replicators” within us. Replicators, the units that evolve, are genes. They are inherently selfish in that they only care about their own survival and the survival of its copies. As a result, no true altruism exists. Anytime an organism helps another, both sets of genes are benefiting. Dawkins expands his theory to attempt to explain topics like kin altruism, eusociality, group dynamics and culture. He writes for the scientist looking for a new idea and for the layman just looking to learn more by explaining his theory in a way that appeals to all.