The Selfish Gene is a very popular and somewhat controversial book on evolutionary theory by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. The phrase "selfish gene" in the title of the book was coined by Dawkins as a provocative way of expressing the gene-centric view of evolution, which holds that evolution is best viewed as acting on genes, and that selection at the level of organisms or populations almost never overrides selection on genes. More precisely, an organism is expected to evolve to maximise its inclusive fitness—the number of copies of its genes passed on globally (rather than by a particular individual). As a result, populations will tend towards an evolutionarily stable strategy. The book also coins the term meme, for a unit of human cultural evolution analogous to the gene, suggesting that such "selfish" replication may also model human culture, in a different sense. Memetics has become the subject of many studies since the publication of the book.
In April 2005, BLU, the UK's Business Link University which no longer exists hired Fifty Lessons to produce a series of video stories for them to which I (David Gurteen) was invited to contribute. This is one of those stories.
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