Suggested Reading

The Solitary Self


I've been inundated by a request for a reading list to accompany New Theory of Evolution. So here's books and freely downloadable audio/visual lectures - all full of wonderful, stimulating ideas.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do,


Mary Midgley's The Solitary Self - Darwin and the Selfish Gene

I love this magnificent book.

And here's a couple of free audio/ visual lectures you can find on iTunes.

How Are We To Think About Human Nature?

Professor Simon Blackburn is here on cracking, sharp form delivering the opening lecture of Duke University's On Being Human series. I must have listened to this lecture twenty times at least, and I still find something new. There's free audio and visual on i-Tunes U.

If you type in RSA on Podcasts, then scroll down you should also find this gem:

Are Genes Us?

Professor Donna Dickenson at the RSA coolly, logically, precisely and irresistibly demolishes the idea that genes control fate. A polished performance.

If you want to call anyone anti-science, she says, then you should start with the people who have patented one in five of the genes on the Human Genome Project and won't let anyone do research to find cheaper drugs or treatments for any of the privatised genes. My rubbish precis does her no justice. Listen and enjoy.

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The young Prince Kropotkin attempting to elude Tsarist secret police by disguising himself as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.

Further inspired reading on the subject of how genes are not fate:

Oren Harman's The Price of Altruism

The Roses' Alas, Poor Darwin essay anthology.

And, of course, Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid: A Factor In Evolution.