Book Log: Making it to Chapter 11 of The Extended Phenotype

At long last! After reading an exhaustive criticisms on different views on natural selection and Neo-Darwinism, Dawkins is about to elaborate on his Extended Phenotype perspective. (on page 195 of 336)

— updated status from my Goodreads account.

Back in college, I am so interested in evolution. You see, I took Life Sciences as a major and evolution was my favorite subject. In fact, I impressed my professor for attaining the highest score on our long exam just after answering the test for almost 30 minutes- it was a record, you know! Bragging aside, I have realized then the actual beauty of evolution and how it tells its story while rendering cohesiveness to the entire biological world. Evolution played an important role in how I view life– academically at least.

And you know, I am reading The Extended Phenotype for more than a week now. Last time, I decided to reread and start again on Chapter 1 since it is really a hard read. Trust me, reading Chapters 1 to 10 (I will be starting with Chapter 11 na!) is such a long read. Dawkins criticized the current views such as kin selection, group selection, and Lamarckian Evolution. Loads of jargon and it took me a long time to understand some of them.

Studying evolution in college was a revelation; reading TEP is like baptism by fire. I thought I knew much on evolution and I would self-brag and act as if I can explain something biology in an evolution perspective; but I was proven wrong. I realized that there are several different ways of seeing through them and, though Dawkins presented them in a form of criticism, on a certain level, they seem to make sense. However, the contentions and disagreements among biologist, evolutionary biologists to be specific, make things confusing. For the record, Dawkins hasn’t formally offered the Extended Phenotype viewpoint he is advocating; but I think the last 4 chapters will be an easier read.

I hope to finish TEP by the end of next week so I can start reading The Blind Watchmaker. I am so into Dawkins right now and I am expecting to be very smart after this Dawkins phase. LOL.

During the course of working in publishing and online journalism, I often get criticized– by my editors most of the time– for using whilst and amidst. Well, I normally submit to their corrections because the style dictates what should be the output. However, the gossip of pretentiousness that accompanies such usage is kind of uncomfortable because some people readily judge me as “showing off” whenever I use such word. Even my usage of portmanteau is criticized just because they normally don’t use it.

My point is, I agree with you that such “taste” for this kind of words should be left to the writer as it is a part of their aesthetic vision as writers themselves. It is not a way to show-off or whatsoever.

Sentence first

Language peeves can develop when a word or phrase becomes, or seems to become, rapidly popular – ongoing, for example. You begin to notice it everywhere, and you say Enough! And then there are usages people dislike for the opposite reason: they’re no longer popular enough. They have become… old-fashioned.

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