(Click through for full sized version and for the red button caption.) via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Of course, as we discussed on the Selfish Gene post, even if we are acting completely altruistically at a conscious level, our impulse to do so is broadly tied up with evolutionary survival advantages.
I don't usually read old science books. After a decade or so, I find that their content tends to have too much dated material. But 'The Selfish Gene' keeps coming up in conversations, not just because its author, Richard Dawkins, is the world's most famous atheist, but also because of its core message, that genes are … Continue reading ‘The Selfish Gene’: Classic science worth checking out
In this episode, a question that haunted Charles Darwin: if natural selection boils down to survival of the fittest, how do you explain why one creature might stick its neck out for another? The standard view of evolution is that living things are shaped by cold-hearted competition. And there is no doubt that today\'s plants … Continue reading Evolution and altruism
PZ Myers has posted his views on David Dobb's Aeon article: That’s the peril of a historically successful, productive research program. We get locked in to a model; there is the appeal of being able to use solid, established protocols to gather lots of publishable data, and to keep on doing it over and over. … Continue reading Biologists continue to debate genes versus gene expression
David Dobbs mucks up evolution, part II « Why Evolution Is True. The second part of Jerry Coyne's response to David Dobb's Aeon piece on the problems with the selfish gene metaphor. Be sure to read Dobb's extended response in the comment section. Maybe I'm misreading, but Dobb's appears to be backpedaling significantly from the … Continue reading David Dobbs mucks up evolution, part II « Why Evolution Is True
At any rate, Dobb’s goal is several fold. First, he wants to claim that the metaphor of the selfish gene is wrong. Second, he wants to show that it’s wrong because new understanding of gene regulation—how genes turn on and off during development—render the selfish gene metaphor passé. Finally, he claims that a new theory, … Continue reading David Dobbs mucks up evolution, part I « Why Evolution Is True
The grasshopper, he noted, sports long legs and wings, walks low and slow, and dines discreetly in solitude. The locust scurries hurriedly and hoggishly on short, crooked legs and joins hungrily with others to form swarms that darken the sky and descend to chew the farmer’s fields bare. Related, yes, just as grasshoppers and crickets … Continue reading Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest – David Dobbs – Aeon