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#1
Old 07-17-2009, 07:45 PM
squealpiggy
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Default The Selfish Gene

I'm just reading the endnotes of this fantastic 33 year old book.

Some of the insights of this book are that the primary agents of evolution are replicators and that the genes are the replicators at work when we think of Darwinian evolution. That individual organisms are not the primary agents of evolution, they are merely the vessels by which genes survive and propagate.

Another excellent concept is that of the Extended Phenotype. Dawkins explains that in the same way that bodies are not the genes, they are the effects of genes, so the effects that those bodies have upon their environment are also effects of the genes. Genes do not make organisms. They build proteins. These proteins eventually create cells and multicellular life forms. Bodies are not made out of genes, they are made out of food!

Good examples of the extended phenotype are the dams made by beavers or the houses made by caddis flies.

Great book for those who are interested. For those who aren't, you probably wasted your time reading this post.
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#2
Old 07-17-2009, 07:50 PM
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Whatever. All I know is we're a vessel for our system.

We have always had less control over humanity/fate than we give ourselves credit for........we're at the mercy of our cellular structure.

The Nervous System we have is pre-programmed to stimulus.

All we have is a conscious control motor center in our brain but outside of that, we (Who? Our Brain? Who is We? What are We?) have no control.
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#3
Old 07-17-2009, 07:51 PM
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What are We? We're more like One Man Armies lol.


A big Group of Cells working towards a huge system with Motives?
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#4
Old 07-17-2009, 07:51 PM
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Tread softly, because you tread on my memes.
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#5
Old 07-17-2009, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RunW/Knives View Post
What are We? We're more like One Man Armies lol.


A big Group of Cells working towards a huge system with Motives?
Well the "motive" is the survival of our genes. Though Dawkins points out that for an individual organism reproduction is a poor path to immortality. For example Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror, but it is improbable that she has even one of his specific genes,

With the invention of writing we can achieve immortality (or at least something like it) through our memes. Socrates may have some genes in the human gene pool somewhere. But he certainly has his thoughts and words.

Interesting stuff.
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#6
Old 07-17-2009, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
Well the "motive" is the survival of our genes. Though Dawkins points out that for an individual organism reproduction is a poor path to immortality. For example Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror, but it is improbable that she has even one of his specific genes,

With the invention of writing we can achieve immortality (or at least something like it) through our memes. Socrates may have some genes in the human gene pool somewhere. But he certainly has his thoughts and words.

Interesting stuff.
Makes sense.

I think I'll treat my Genes to some Vietnamese food and beer tonight.
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#7
Old 07-17-2009, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RunW/Knives View Post
Makes sense.

I think I'll treat my Genes to some Vietnamese food and beer tonight.
That's a good plan! My genes have to go to bed now. They have to get up early in the morning.
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#8
Old 07-17-2009, 09:53 PM
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I view replication/reproduction as a necessity for an unevolved, primitive autonomous structure to combat entropy, our scripted method for immortality is by passing on the information necessary to create another structure. of course it doesn't have to be sexual reproduction (although it does include massive advantages) take example asexual reproduction, if you can eliminate random genetic mutations, then the offspring is a exact clone to its parent, pseudo-immortality achieved?

it has also been theorized that life forms have existed that didnt reproduce, of course they have been weeded out by evolution, in that case I think such life forms would have to be atomic in size because they can't last long enough with the increase in entropy to accumulate the complex size we see today.

the hypothesis of extended phenotype makes a lot of sense, in a way, we are the extended phenotype to our true selfs. the physical DNA.

also you have to wonder, amino acids are precursors to protein, and they existed much earlier than the self replicating nucleic acids did.

Last edited by bbos; 07-18-2009 at 01:06 AM..
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#9
Old 07-17-2009, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RunW/Knives View Post
Whatever. All I know is we're a vessel for our system.

We have always had less control over humanity/fate than we give ourselves credit for........we're at the mercy of our cellular structure.

The Nervous System we have is pre-programmed to stimulus.

All we have is a conscious control motor center in our brain but outside of that, we (Who? Our Brain? Who is We? What are We?) have no control.
its amazing how little control we have even of oursevles, we are only limited to skeletal muscles and the outer most layer of our brain, even mental thoughts we have little manipulation over. but its designed that way for a reason, imagine if you had to take manual responsibility over the development/maintainance of your body, it'd be horrendous.

I persume consciousness and selfaware arose out of completely RANDOM changes by chance on a molecular scale in response to a demand to the necessity of the macroscopic world. of course, that random instability is the engine behind evolution
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
I'm just reading the endnotes of this fantastic 33 year old book.

Some of the insights of this book are that the primary agents of evolution are replicators and that the genes are the replicators at work when we think of Darwinian evolution. That individual organisms are not the primary agents of evolution, they are merely the vessels by which genes survive and propagate.

Another excellent concept is that of the Extended Phenotype. Dawkins explains that in the same way that bodies are not the genes, they are the effects of genes, so the effects that those bodies have upon their environment are also effects of the genes. Genes do not make organisms. They build proteins. These proteins eventually create cells and multicellular life forms. Bodies are not made out of genes, they are made out of food!

Good examples of the extended phenotype are the dams made by beavers or the houses made by caddis flies.

Great book for those who are interested. For those who aren't, you probably wasted your time reading this post.
Brian Dawkins
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