The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene by Richard Dawkins
By suggesting that individual organisms should be viewed as a single coherent unit, working to maximize their own reproductive success, the author explains that as these organisms are "selfish" they have the capacity to effect the body of another animal, so revolutionizing our views of adaptation. Dawkins shows that some such revolution is logically necessary, as genes can be said to have extended phenotypes outside the body in which they sit. Other topics that the book examines include the theory of evolutionary stable strategies, the relationship between Darwinian and Lamarckian theories of general adaptation and the suggestion, first made in "The Selfish Gene", Dawkin's controversial first book, and also recently reopened by molecular biologists under the catchphrase "Selfish DNA", that some of the surplus DNA in eukaryotic genomes may be parasitic. In the final chapter the author returns to the individual organism as a phenomenon that needs explaining in its own right. Dawkin has also written "The Blind Watchmaker".