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Topic: The Selfish Gene

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  The Selfish Gene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The phrase "selfish gene" in the title of the book was coined by Dawkins as a provocative way of expressing the gene-centric view of evolution, which holds that evolution is best viewed as acting on genes, and that selection at the level of organisms or populations almost never overrides selection on genes.
Some biologists have criticised the idea for describing the gene as the unit of selection, but suggest describing the gene as the unit of evolution, on the grounds that selection is a "here and now" event of reproduction and survival, while evolution is the long-term trend of shifting allele frequencies.
The Selfish Gene was first published in 1976 in eleven chapters with a preface by the author and a foreword by Robert Trivers.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Selfish_gene   (1578 words)

 Gene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The genes of eukaryotic organisms often contain non-coding regions called introns which are removed from the messenger RNA in a process known as alternative splicing.
Most genes are expressed in a two-stage process: first, the DNA is transcribed by enzymes known as RNA polymerases to produce an RNA molecule known as messenger RNA (mRNA), and second, the mRNA is translated by specialized cellular machinery known as the ribosome into a polypeptide chain that then folds into a functional protein.
The existence of genes was first suggested by Gregor Mendel, who, in the 1860s, studied inheritance in pea plants and hypothesized a factor that conveys traits from parent to offspring.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Gene   (2777 words)

 the selfish gene - Article and Reference from OnPedia.com
The phrase "selfish gene" in the title of the book was coined by Dawkins as a provocative way of expressing a particular point of view from which to look at the processes of evolution: that of imagining genes (rather than organisms or species) as the primary drivers and beneficiaries of the evolutionary process.
Describing genes with the term "selfish" is not meant to imply that they have actual motives or will—only that their effects can be described as if they do.
Obviously, genes that tend to help the organisms they are in to survive and reproduce also help themselves; so most of the time the gene and the organism share common goals.
www.onpedia.com /encyclopedia/The-Selfish-Gene   (552 words)

 Wikinfo | Gene
But in the primary sense "genes" are material things that parents pass to offspring during reproduction and through which they propagate their biological traits or characteristics.
Because it is through proteins that genes exert their effects, and because gene transcripts (which are a prerequisite for protein synthesis) degrade rapidly, genes are in a sense inactive when they are not actively being transcribed.
In common speech, "gene" is often used to refer to the hereditary cause of a trait, disease or condition--as in "the gene for obesity." A biologist, in contrast, might refer to an allele or a mutation that had been implicated in or correlated with obesity.
www.wikinfo.org /wiki.php?title=gene   (1703 words)

 Selfish gene - EvoWiki   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The selfish gene is a metaphor and hypothesis, initially proposed as a natural law, for a type of gene selection, coined by Richard Dawkins in his book of the same name.
In this perspective genes are considered as operating with behavioural "selfishness" (specifically not the same as conscious or psychological selfishness nor an evolutionary trait itself) and are the fundamental units of selection as well as of inheritance.
Evolution is the consequence of a long fight between rival gene variants or alleles, the more selfish being the more successful by natural selection and so effecting adaptive changes in vehicles that are beneficial to the further transmission of those selfish genes but not necessarily the vehicles themselves.
wiki.cotch.net /index.php/Selfish_gene   (201 words)

 Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene
The world of the selfish gene is one of savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit.
Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to.
Selfish behavior has exactly the opposite effect.'Welfare' is defined as 'chances of survival', even if the effect on actual life and death prospects is so small as to seem negligible.
www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk /dawkins/writings/selfishgene.shtml   (1934 words)

 Book Review: The Selfish Gene
The emergence of DNA and genes is explained clearly in terms of probability in molecular survival.
On the other hand, if a gene promotes suicidal rescues of three endangered siblings, (assuming the rescue is successful) the gene has a 150% chance of propagating itself and, if the gene is really lucky, up to 3 copies of the genes (one in each sibling) will stay in the gene pool.
Let us understand what our selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something no other species has ever aspired to", and if we can succeed at that, we will truly be a superior race.
educ.queensu.ca /~science/main/profdev/books/PDBRCT.htm   (860 words)

 [No title]
Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have a chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.
Such a gene, on average, tends to live on in the bodies of enough individuals saved by the altruist to compensate for the death of the altruist itself.
Genes for having too many children are just not passed on to the next generation in large numbers, beacuse few of the children bearing these genes reach adulthood.
homepage.eircom.net /~odyssey/Quotes/Life/Science/Selfish_Gene.html   (4286 words)

That isn't the way it is — it is in fact the selfish gene, which means that we expect, and see, individual organisms behaving for the good of their genes, which may mean altruistic behavior at the level of the individual organism.
Given that natural selection for selfish genes in that sense tends to favor cooperation, we then have to admit that there are some genes that do no such thing, and work against the interests of the rest of the genome, and these are the things that Matt was talking about, the true selfish DNA.
Selfish DNA, in the sense of Orgel and Crick, and Doolittle and Sapienza is DNA which works at the expense of the rest of the genome.
www.edge.org /3rd_culture/selfish06/selfish06_index.html   (12658 words)

 The Selfish Gene
Genes and Environment Over the last 25 years, the twin ideologies of reductionism and biological determinism have been dominant in all branches of biology.
It claims, for example, that the behaviour of human beings is determined by the genes possessed by individuals and leads to the conclusion that all human society is governed by the sum of the behaviour of all the individuals in that society.
In this view, the replicator of life is the gene; thus the organism is simply the vehicle for the genes ("survival machines—robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes"…"they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots").
www.marxist.com /science/selfishgene.html   (10858 words)

 The Selfish Gene
This "selfish gene", possessing a certain selfish emotional nature, acts as an independent entity fighting to ensure its replication in future generations, maximizing its number of descendents (2).
Dawkins' gene is a personified entity, seemingly to the extent that it is an independent being to an extent.
Capable of selfish and altruistic behavior, the gene "reaches" outside of the human body to interact with its environment (3).
serendip.brynmawr.edu /biology/b103/f03/web2/mhope.html   (943 words)

 PhpWiki - Un Selfish Gene
I think the gene is in some respects a microcosm of what we are and selfishness, is hard-coded (in our genes), otherwise the genetic code, which is IMHO, more important than we are would have a much higher replication failure rate, which is it's prime directive.
Scientists eager to uncover genes for heart disease, autism, schizophrenia, homosexuality, criminality or even genius are finding that their quarry is far more nebulous than they imagined.
Genes are those units of heredity that wrinkled Mendel's peas and are responsible for making your eyes blue, green or brown.
www.pnews.org /news/index.php/UnSelfishGene   (3136 words)

 Richard Dawkins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dawkins coined the term meme (analogous to the gene) to describe how Darwinian principles might be extended to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena, which spawned the theory of memetics.
Memetics, gene selection, and sociobiology have been criticised as being overly-reductionist by such thinkers as the philosopher Mary Midgley, with whom Dawkins has debated since the late 1970s.
In The Selfish Gene, Dawkins briefly introduced the concept of exponential population growth, with the example of Latin America which, at the time the book was written, had a population which doubled every forty years.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Richard_Dawkins   (3541 words)

 Lecture on Dawkins, The Selfish Gene   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The Application of the Selfish Gene Hypothesis to Scientific Data Dawkins is particularly strong when he sticks to the scientific work of demonstrating the explanatory power of his hypothesis in the face of known evidence.
To use one of Dawkins's favorite analogies, if the genes are like rowers in a boat, they may all be fiercely competing for places, fame, continuity, or whatever, but the first characteristic they all have to display is the ability to row together obeying the rhythm set by the (no sexual pun intended) cox.
Remember that 'survival value' here does not mean value for a gene in a gene pool, but value for a meme in a meme pool.
www.mala.bc.ca /~mcneil/lec/lecdawkins.htm   (4434 words)

 Lecture on Dawkins, The Selfish Gene   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
There are times, however, when the speculation seems at times to become empty or circular, when, that is, the argument goes something like this: all animal behaviour is caused by selfish genes which program the animals like robots; here is some apparently unselfish behaviour; therefore there must be some individual selfish gene at work.
To use one of Dawkins's favorite analogies, if the genes are like rowers in a boat, they may all be fiercely competing for places, fame, continuity, sexual activity, or whatever, but the first characteristic they all have to display is the ability to row together obeying the rhythm set by their cox.
Genes are the primary policy makers; brains are the executives.
www.mala.bc.ca /~johnstoi/introser/dawkins.htm   (4717 words)

 The Selfish Gene | genesoc.com   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The basic idea is that genes try to maximize their reproductive ability (they aren't sentient, their 'trying' is natural selection).
Because genes are only interested in self survival, they are, in essence, selfish.
However, humans (among other animals) have the ability to reduce the selfish tendencies of genes through altruistic practices, which generally end up helping the overall reproduction of the species in the end.
www.genesoc.com /node/78   (524 words)

 The Selfish Gene (1976)
And, in spite of the repeated cautions that he does not believe genes have motives, the framing metaphors do make it sound as if we are simply the slaves of our DNA – mere robots blindly acting to propagate a set of genes.
The popular image of the gene probably owes more to this book, or what are arguably misreadings of it, than to any other recent writing.
It is still controversial whether they are misreadings, of course, though some of the early denunciations of 'The Selfish Gene' as endorsing selfishness as a way of life now seem more products of their time than the book itself.
genome.wellcome.ac.uk /doc_WTD021054.html   (575 words)

 Amazon.com: The Selfish Gene (Popular Science): Books: Richard Dawkins   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The 'selfish gene' is simply a gene that does not aid others at its own expense.
Such genes would be better able to reproduce and spread through the gene pool than those that did sacrifice themselves for others, and therefore completely dominate the gene pools of all species as a result of billions of years of evolutionary pressure.
Thus, the genes are not instruments of the organism, but rather the reverse.
www.amazon.com /Selfish-Gene-Popular-Science/dp/0192860925   (2979 words)

 Amazon.frĀ : The Selfish Gene: Livres: Richard Dawkins,Rochard Dawkins   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature.
The other new chapter, entitled "The Long Reach of the Gene," which reflects the arguments presented in Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype, clarifies the startling view that genes may reach outside the bodies in which they dwell and manipulate other individuals and even the world at large.
In this revised edition of his bestselling book The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins demonstrates how cooperation can evolve even in a basically selfish world.Contains two new chapters and a wealth of remarkable new insights into the biological world.
www.amazon.fr /Selfish-Gene-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0192860925   (569 words)

 purevolume™ | The Selfish Gene
We are a rock band and, of course, we are out to change the world.
The Selfish Gene hasn't posted a blog yet.
The Selfish Gene hasn't posted any shows yet.
www.purevolume.com /theselfishgene   (124 words)

 the selfish gene music: home of the Madison, WI rock band
Come on out and show your support for the Selfish Gene this Sunday night in St. Paul, MN at the Minnesota Music Cafe.
The Selfish Gene will be in the studio throughout September working on a full length (?) follow-up to Self-Defeating Human Beings.
The Selfish Gene ranks #1 - "the fact that their live show sounds even better than this diverse collection of songs is eclipsed only by the fact that they perform it to films like Koyaanisqatsi."
www.theselfishgene.com /index.htm   (247 words)

 Secular Web Kiosk and Bookstore
Inheriting the mantle of revolutionary biologist from Darwin, Watson, and Crick, Richard Dawkins forced an enormous change in the way we see ourselves and the world with the publication of The Selfish Gene.
Suppose, instead of thinking about organisms using genes to reproduce themselves, as we had since Mendel's work was rediscovered, we turn it around and imagine that "our" genes build and maintain us in order to make more genes.
That simple reversal seems to answer many puzzlers which had stumped scientists for years, and we haven't thought of evolution in the same way since.
www.secweb.org /bookstore/bookdetail.asp?BookID=606   (96 words)

 Amazon.co.uk: The Selfish Gene: Books: Richard Dawkins   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
Dawkins goes on to define a gene, which turns out to be quite an important step (I thought I knew what the word meant already, but I was wrong), and relates how genes have indirect control over what he calls 'gene machines', i.e.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the way that Dawkins draws on game theory to assess mathematically the most sensible way for a gene machine to act.
In particular, the sections on 'the Prisoner's Dilemma' (a specific game theory scenario which crops up all over the place in nature) are, to me at least, a radical new way of thinking of many problems in (human) life, and how we should approach them.
www.amazon.co.uk /Selfish-Gene-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0192860925   (1094 words)

 The selfish commercial gene
Genes are not passive toy modules which can be blithely slotted into very different organisms free from unintended effects.
Evolution is thought to have occurred lately in the main by transposons, groups of genes leaping across by various mechanisms into phylogenetically remote organisms.
But the gene jockeys claim they can, godlike, foresee the evolutionary results of their artificial transposings of human genes into sheep, bovine genes into tomatoes, etc. This is extreme, deluded arrogance; for the theologically inclined, I commend one chapter: Genesis:3.
www.psrast.org /selfshgen.htm   (3552 words)

 Research: Selfish Gene   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The theory of gene selection was introduced in mid 70s by Richard Dawkins in his most famous book, The Selfish Gene, and subsequently developed in The Extended Phenotype.
In these works, Dawkins argues that genes, and genes alone, are the units of selection (replicators in his terminology) while organisms are simple vehicles, the packaging for replicators.
With the Selfish Gene Algorithm (SG), we propose to apply the shift of paradigm brought by the selfish gene theory to the field of Evolutionary Computation.
www.cad.polito.it /research/sg.html   (575 words)

 Amazon.ca: Selfish Gene: Books: Richard Dawkins   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The main idea in the book is to change the perspective of evolution: it is genes that use bodies and organisms to reach their goals of reproduction.
Much of the book is devoted to showing how evolution can in fact explain altruism, agression, aging, cooperation, sexual relations, etc. He spends a lot of time debunking the theory that animals act a certain way "for the good of the species".
His argument is that animals have no want, it is the genes that want more of themselves available.
www.amazon.ca /Selfish-Gene-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0192860925   (1435 words)

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