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dawkins on the selfish gene

Started by kevin, June 05, 2021, 03:05:54 AM

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maritime

Quote from: kevin on June 12, 2021, 12:51:10 PM
Quote from: maritime on June 11, 2021, 07:46:29 AM
Natural selection uses metabolic exchange but does not provide for metabolic capacity.
i dont know what ^^^this means
Quote from: maritime on June 12, 2021, 03:32:22 PM
What I mean is natural selection is spoken of as All in All. What "it" needs "it" provides. The capacity to provide precisely ALL that will ever be needed to accomplish ALL that has been evidenced. On a whim.

No, not a tautology.

Natural selection is at work and has at its disposal (capacity) every necessary ingredient.
As in a race: "on your mark, get set, go", appearing over time, the track, the lanes, the finish line, the contestants, the equipment, beginnings and endings, enduring energy to sustain, renew, revive, refresh. So, a moment in time, all is set in motion with given elements, for the probable and the possible.

life and living: "constant renewal through metabolic exchange"
Natural selection uses metabolic exchange but cannot explain capacity (what is at its disposal).
North Star Polaris Sept 26, 2021 photo by JE

Inertialmass

So what are we saying?  That godless secular biology is cheating if it doesn't first explain each and every little detail about the origin and structure of the Cosmos???


God and religion are not conveyances of Truth or Comfort.  They function as instruments of earthly social control.

kevin

Quote from: maritime on June 13, 2021, 03:42:34 PM
Quote from: kevin on June 12, 2021, 12:51:10 PM
Quote from: maritime on June 11, 2021, 07:46:29 AM
Natural selection uses metabolic exchange but does not provide for metabolic capacity.
i dont know what ^^^this means
Quote from: maritime on June 12, 2021, 03:32:22 PM
What I mean is natural selection is spoken of as All in All. What "it" needs "it" provides. The capacity to provide precisely ALL that will ever be needed to accomplish ALL that has been evidenced. On a whim.

No, not a tautology.

Natural selection is at work and has at its disposal (capacity) every necessary ingredient.
As in a race: "on your mark, get set, go", appearing over time, the track, the lanes, the finish line, the contestants, the equipment, beginnings and endings, enduring energy to sustain, renew, revive, refresh. So, a moment in time, all is set in motion with given elements, for the probable and the possible.

life and living: "constant renewal through metabolic exchange"
Natural selection uses metabolic exchange but cannot explain capacity (what is at its disposal).

thats where cosmologists all fall back on the big bang and start waving their hands. everything since can be explained mechanically.

the actual origin of the universe isnt part of the theory.
dare to know.

kevin

Quote from: 8livesleft on June 13, 2021, 12:48:45 PM
Quote from: kevin on June 13, 2021, 12:41:34 PM
ak was talking about rkbots as being alive.

thats similar to the way dawkins sees the first replicating molecules.

he sidesteps the question of life though, and says its just a ducrionsry argument. i think tbats a fairly profound and radical position, and worth scritiny

Robots need some kind of maker/designer or programmer. So it's very different from what dawkins is saying.

yes. dawkins does not concern himself with the origin of the universe or its natural laws. he takes those as a given, and proposes his replicators as mindless chemicals that developed a stable form in which like or unlike pairs were attracted to each other--like a zipper-- and could unzip and re-attract, and thereby duplicate themselves.

by robots and replicators i was comparing the ability of a robot and of proto-DNA to mimic a life process without a clear decision being necessary as to whether they are alive.
dare to know.

8livesleft

Quote from: kevin on June 13, 2021, 09:43:50 PM
Quote from: 8livesleft on June 13, 2021, 12:48:45 PM
Quote from: kevin on June 13, 2021, 12:41:34 PM
ak was talking about rkbots as being alive.

thats similar to the way dawkins sees the first replicating molecules.

he sidesteps the question of life though, and says its just a ducrionsry argument. i think tbats a fairly profound and radical position, and worth scritiny

Robots need some kind of maker/designer or programmer. So it's very different from what dawkins is saying.

yes. dawkins does not concern himself with the origin of the universe or its natural laws. he takes those as a given, and proposes his replicators as mindless chemicals that developed a stable form in which like or unlike pairs were attracted to each other--like a zipper-- and could unzip and re-attract, and thereby duplicate themselves.

by robots and replicators i was comparing the ability of a robot and of proto-DNA to mimic a life process without a clear decision being necessary as to whether they are alive.

Yes, it's a bit hazy how Dawkins proposes that structures went from simply bonding/consuming to self-replicating. This is the biggest thing.

kevin

yes.

he doesnt have an explanation. we know it can be done once you havea molecule, because DNA and RNA do it all the time.

but hehaz no explanation for how tbey initially formed.

abiogenesis is a messy subject.
dare to know.

maritime

Quote from: kevin on June 13, 2021, 09:37:52 PMthe actual origin of the universe isnt part of the theory.

Well it should be. If you can't explain that, the theory becomes immaterial ||wink|| as it tries to explain metabolic material creating survival machines.

Quotelife and living: "constant renewal through metabolic exchange"
DNA is life and is living in and of itself.
North Star Polaris Sept 26, 2021 photo by JE

kevin

#67
Quote from: maritime on June 14, 2021, 12:32:04 AM
Quote from: kevin on June 13, 2021, 09:37:52 PMthe actual origin of the universe isnt part of the theory.

Well it should be. If you can't explain that, the theory becomes immaterial ||wink|| as it tries to explain metabolic material creating survival machines.

Quotelife and living: "constant renewal through metabolic exchange"
DNA is life and is living in and of itself.

i dont think one should expect a sociobiologist to add cosmology into his theories of biology.

evolution is a theory that tries to explain how living things change into stable configurations, especially in response to changing environmental conditions. some biologists like dawkins also reason that the same pricesses are responsible for changing chemicals from sort-of non-living to sort-of living.

but theres nothing in biology that explains the fusuon reactions in the sun, or why the iron in our haemoglobin originated in long ago super nova explosions. i can explain how a house is built starting with a load of bricks without knowing where the bricks came from.

in my opinion, its when scientists step out of their areas of expertise that they are as stupid as anyone else. dawkins especially makes me cringe when he starts in on religion, because he is clueless about his own biases in the subject.

dare to know.

kevin

chapter3 iscalled immortal coils. dawkins describes the chromosome and how it is made upof sequences ofnucleotides. a string ofnucleotides is whathecalls a gene. he goes on to describe meiosis, crossing over, mutation, and the rest of the thingsthatmix up thegenes so that every spermoreggcell (in a sexual organism) is unique.

one interesting argumenthe makes forhis view ofthegenebeing theunit of selectionhasto do with asexually reproducing female stick insects. he says, if it were individuals who were the units of selection, then traits of the individual would be what would be passedon. he uses the example of the insect losing a leg.

whatever happens to that individual as a result of losing a leg--good or bad-- has no effect on the genetics of what the stick insect passes on to its offspring. the offspring will all be identical to what they would have been had the legs all been present. the unit being selected on was not an individual insect with a missing leg, it was the genotype of the insect that started out with all its legs. the stick insect reproduces without mating, so all its nucleic acids make up one complete supergene, passed on intact.

an inreresting argument for his position tbat the genes tbemselves--pieces of the chromosomes-- are what is being acted on by natural selection, not the organism tbat contains many different genes in acobtainercalledthe individual.
dare to know.

maritime

Right, an evolutionary biologist, zoologist and ethologist, Dawkins references the prevailing theory, the big bang, and works from "ever since soon after". Okay.

chapter 2
"Replicators began not merely to exist but to construct for themselves containers, vehicles for their continued existence."

Reminiscent of something that I can't think of at the moment.  ||think||

I'm just starting chapter 3.
North Star Polaris Sept 26, 2021 photo by JE

8livesleft

#70
Boy 3 is a long a&& chapter.

He talks about sexual reproduction vs asexual and mentions the superiority of asexual because it faithfully reproduces 100% of the gene set of that species.

I guess for simple things yes it's preferable but for complex organisms like mammals, gene mixing is clearly superior since it's about adaptability - the bigger the gene pool, the bigger the toolbox.

But of course constant mixing would subject the genes to a lot of potential mutation, termination but that's only for the remaining 1% of the genes. The rest of the 99% are probably intact and will be passed on.

Dawkins is also reiterating the genes as the masters and the bodies, their vessels.

AgnosticDamien

#71
So does he answer whether humans are selfish ?

8livesleft

Quote from: AgnosticDamien on June 16, 2021, 06:09:11 PM
So does he answer whether humans are selfish or not? I just got that from reading the title of the book. Does this ancient white-haired wrinkly fart with one foot in his grave attempt to answer this question?

Humans and other living things are more like vessels or carriers of the basic, seemingly immortal units called genes - the way he sees it.

I guess sort of like how a country is comprised of the people but it's the people that are selfish.

maritime

I'm not feeling it, the excitement of gene belief as proposed by Dawkins. As impersonal as can be  (like a gene), yet so in love with the thoughts he thinks (as if he is actually a person and not just a survival machine).

I finished chapter 3 and will go on to chapter 4. I took the time to re-read E Schrodinger's What is Life? to be reminded how inordinate (?) life is at the atomic level.
North Star Polaris Sept 26, 2021 photo by JE

kevin

consciousness is an interesting question.
dare to know.

kevin

im out of the truck for a week and i forgot to bring the copy of dawkins home with me. ive read the chapter and i will catch up immediately i get back in.
dare to know.

AgnosticDamien

What do you do with the truck? Is it deliveries?

kevin

#77
i pick up and deliver boxes of sand to oil wells being fracced.

dare to know.

maritime

Started chapter 6. Not sure how to even talk about the ideas Dawkins puts forth--yet.
Generally, behavior oriented studies, competition, rivalry, kinship, survival, via sparked generative life given time (generous and elaborate definitions of time, used to explain "advances", but not truly known). Cellular level Gene Pool awareness writ large via organic machinery, deaf and dumb until recent times, playing around or dead serious.
North Star Polaris Sept 26, 2021 photo by JE

8livesleft

Chapters 5 & 6 were eye openers.

His take on altruism and the instinct to bear just the right amount of offspring were interesting.

I always thought that animals bore young depending on the what the environment can provide but apparently there's another mechanism: crowding.

On a personal note, being the youngest and having siblings with multiple kids was one of the reasons why I initially didn't want kids of my own. The noise, mess, overall chaos was just too much. I wonder how much of that was instinctive...

For Altruism, he doesn't see the difference between direct children, nephews/nieces and even siblings but of course we also look at the time and effort invested in raising our own kids plus that bond that develops. For everyone else, it all depends on the options available (assuming we're equally capable in the first place), family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, then youth first.

AgnosticDamien

#80
If it wasn't for contraception / condoms I wonder how many kids on average couples would have  ||think||

kevin

been away and have just finished chapter 4, the gene machine.

dawkins faces up to a difficult question in his model of mechanistic forces generating adaptive behaviour, which is consciouness. his arguments about selfish genes are often phrased as if tbey were thinking things, making decisions. he is careful to point out tbat he doez so only as a literary convenience.

but complex organisms do make decisions on how to behave based in consciousness. dawkins venturez that consciousness may have evolvedin part due the complex brain developing the capacity to simulate the results of actions, which he can call imagination.

ive never thought of this befkre, and to me, consciousness is one of the great unsolved mystrties of biology.
dare to know.