What Am I?

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another_someone

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« Reply #50 on: 11/04/2007 19:46:54 »

So where was the DNA created?


at the beginning of time, they were among the early and most primitive of...whats the word...things!, during their evolution they had the need to infect others for protection from the elements and predators.

at some point they lost the ability to reproduce naturally and had to have their host do it for them.


I am not talking about reproduction - reproduction assumes there is something there to be reproduced - where was it produced first of all.

If the first DNA was naturally produced in the environment, it should still be possible to produce it.

In any case, the problem with reproduction is that the reason why DNA has to exist within a cell in order to reproduce is that it needs to contain all of its building blocks within a confined space in order to put them all together.  If the various building blocks are left just to float free in the sea (or wherever), they will not be able to be constrained close by to build the DNA - so one must have a cell wall in order to contain the processes within the cell (this is apart from protecting those processes from environmental hazards).

The only place where we know DNA is created is within a living cell (not even viruses are capable of manufacturing DNA - they have to use another living organism to manufacture DNA - this is one reason why most biologists would not regard viruses as a living entity).

The trouble is that cells require DNA to instruct them how to build the machinery to create DNA, and DNA requires the cell to get created - very much a chicken and egg situation.


that is true for "the now" but way back in the "long ago" it was not true. the DNA had already affected evolution and as a survival technique had evolved to such an extent that all living cells needed the DNA.


But DNA is not a living entity - DNA does nothing - it is proteins that do most of the work.

As I said, DNA is the the memory that containers the software - you still need the processing units to interpret that software - that is true for computers, and it is true for everything else.

DNA is not an enzyme, and cannot act as an enzyme, and without enzymes (in living organisms) you have no work done.

If you are going to speculate that there might have been some genetic storage mechanism that predates DNA that could simultaneously perform the role of memory storage and enzymatic action (maybe some sophisticated form of prion), that might be possible, but that substance is not, and cannot be, DNA.

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another_someone

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« Reply #51 on: 11/04/2007 19:56:57 »
We have evolved from apes. Why are there still apes and monkeys and chimpanzees and orang-utans still our there today?

Apes covers a wide family of animals, and there is no reason why there should not be a number of members of the same family living at the same time (after all, there are lots of different types of rodents alive today - nobody questions why more than one type of rodents is alive at once, so why should there be any reason to question why there is more than one type of ape or monkey alive).

A species survives if it can find a niche in the environment where it can live.  One would not normally expect two closely related animals sharing the same niche (and even chimpanzees and gorillas are generally not found in the same regions, and where they do exist together with humans, they do tend to become under threat from human incursion, and risk extinction - but where they and humans live in separate environments, there is no competition between them, and they can both survive).

Incidentally, the type of ape that humans originally descended from is no longer alive today - all the apes we see in the world today are modern types.

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #52 on: 11/04/2007 20:40:30 »
We have evolved from apes. Why are there still apes and monkeys and chimpanzees and orang-utans still our there today?

Apes covers a wide family of animals, and there is no reason why there should not be a number of members of the same family living at the same time (after all, there are lots of different types of rodents alive today - nobody questions why more than one type of rodents is alive at once, so why should there be any reason to question why there is more than one type of ape or monkey alive).

A species survives if it can find a niche in the environment where it can live.  One would not normally expect two closely related animals sharing the same niche (and even chimpanzees and gorillas are generally not found in the same regions, and where they do exist together with humans, they do tend to become under threat from human incursion, and risk extinction - but where they and humans live in separate environments, there is no competition between them, and they can both survive).

Incidentally, the type of ape that humans originally descended from is no longer alive today - all the apes we see in the world today are modern types.

Yes, but why is the modern type of apes, not as developed as us? Why are they slower in development and evolution than us? What makes them different? And thanks btw, for your information above [:)]
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« Reply #53 on: 11/04/2007 21:17:58 »
Yes, but why is the modern type of apes, not as developed as us? Why are they slower in development and evolution than us? What makes them different? And thanks btw, for your information above [:)]

What do you mean by 'slower in development'?

Biologically, they develop as fast as we do, but they developed to fit into their niche, not into our niche.

We are increasing finding that other apes (and even other animals) are capable of using tools, and doing many of the things that we thought were uniquely human.

Apes are certainly better at climbing trees, and have more acute senses that humans - so why should they be considered inferior.

What has made humans special is not the human animal, but human society, and the way humans have been able to cooperate in their thousands and even millions.  We have combined the intellect of an ape with the social complexity of an insect.

Until very recently, this allowed humans some advantage, but as human society has become ever more competent, the advantage it has given humans has been enormous, and this is why so many other species of animals are now being threatened with extinction under competition from human society.

In past millennia, humans were simply not capable of either competing with chimpanzees effectively within their forest niche, nor were we yet able to change the forest into an environment in which we could compete better.  Over recent time, we have started cutting back the forests and turning them into the kind of grassland that humans were originally designed to inhabit, and so are indeed threatening to be the only great ape left on the planet.

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #54 on: 11/04/2007 21:21:21 »
Yes, but why is the modern type of apes, not as developed as us? Why are they slower in development and evolution than us? What makes them different? And thanks btw, for your information above [:)]

What do you mean by 'slower in development'?

Biologically, they develop as fast as we do, but they developed to fit into their niche, not into our niche.

We are increasing finding that other apes (and even other animals) are capable of using tools, and doing many of the things that we thought were uniquely human.

Apes are certainly better at climbing trees, and have more acute senses that humans - so why should they be considered inferior.

What has made humans special is not the human animal, but human society, and the way humans have been able to cooperate in their thousands and even millions.  We have combined the intellect of an ape with the social complexity of an insect.

Until very recently, this allowed humans some advantage, but as human society has become ever more competent, the advantage it has given humans has been enormous, and this is why so many other species of animals are now being threatened with extinction under competition from human society.

In past millennia, humans were simply not capable of either competing with chimpanzees effectively within their forest niche, nor were we yet able to change the forest into an environment in which we could compete better.  Over recent time, we have started cutting back the forests and turning them into the kind of grassland that humans were originally designed to inhabit, and so are indeed threatening to be the only great ape left on the planet.

Hi George again, and thanks again. Apparently 97% of an ape's genes is the same as humans. Does that 3% make such a difference to the way humans have been able to cooperate?
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« Reply #55 on: 11/04/2007 21:49:04 »

Hi George again, and thanks again. Apparently 97% of an ape's genes is the same as humans. Does that 3% make such a difference to the way humans have been able to cooperate?

but that 3 percent, if thats what it is, is so huge. people often cite small percentages..we are only so many percent away from a banana etc but forget that the gulf is massive.

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #56 on: 11/04/2007 21:54:11 »

Hi George again, and thanks again. Apparently 97% of an ape's genes is the same as humans. Does that 3% make such a difference to the way humans have been able to cooperate?

but that 3 percent, if thats what it is, is so huge. people often cite small percentages..we are only so many percent away from a banana etc but forget that the gulf is massive.

True.. I wonder what that 3% of genes contain though?... Also, apparently we're about 50% the same genes as flies.

BTW, I'm a full member with 104 posts in one day! [:P]
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Offline Hadrian

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« Reply #57 on: 11/04/2007 22:00:06 »
Another way to look at it is you are a part of the memory of the one single event the birth of our universe

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« Reply #58 on: 11/04/2007 22:06:57 »
Hi George again, and thanks again. Apparently 97% of an ape's genes is the same as humans. Does that 3% make such a difference to the way humans have been able to cooperate?

97% of an ape is the same as a human (technically, many biologists would say humans are a species of ape).

It has been said that we share 50% of our genes with a banana.

But, looking at an ape, it has two arms, two legs, a heart, and basically all of the same organs as a human (as do almost all mammals).  There are differences in the size of different organs, and differences in their exact shapes, but essentially the underlying design is much the same.

When you get down to a cellular level, again, the underlying cell activity is substantially the same, although the slight differences that do exist can have dramatic differences in outcome.

Although we may have a similar number of genes, they are actually arranged slightly differently, in that humans have one less pair of chromosomes than the other great apes (two of the original chromosomes pairs became fused into one larger chromosome pair, so the same genes might exist, but they are located differently, and so may behave differently).

Even if we look at the functioning of the human brain - most of it is still doing fairly fairly mundane stuff, like learning to walk upright, interpret vision, and smells.  Other apes might have a bit more of their brain dedicated to smell, while humans have a little bit more dedicated to producing complex sounds and processing language (even chimps can process language, and have been taught to communicate using complex grammar by use of a keyboard - although this is not to say that they can use language to the same degree as humans - I don't think we yet have the answer to that).

The differences are very small, but those small differences can sometimes have dramatic differences in outcome.

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #59 on: 11/04/2007 22:09:24 »
Hi George again, and thanks again. Apparently 97% of an ape's genes is the same as humans. Does that 3% make such a difference to the way humans have been able to cooperate?

97% of an ape is the same as a human (technically, many biologists would say humans are a species of ape).

It has been said that we share 50% of our genes with a banana.

But, looking at an ape, it has two arms, two legs, a heart, and basically all of the same organs as a human (as do almost all mammals).  There are differences in the size of different organs, and differences in their exact shapes, but essentially the underlying design is much the same.

When you get down to a cellular level, again, the underlying cell activity is substantially the same, although the slight differences that do exist can have dramatic differences in outcome.

Although we may have a similar number of genes, they are actually arranged slightly differently, in that humans have one less pair of chromosomes than the other great apes (two of the original chromosomes pairs became fused into one larger chromosome pair, so the same genes might exist, but they are located differently, and so may behave differently).

Even if we look at the functioning of the human brain - most of it is still doing fairly fairly mundane stuff, like learning to walk upright, interpret vision, and smells.  Other apes might have a bit more of their brain dedicated to smell, while humans have a little bit more dedicated to producing complex sounds and processing language (even chimps can process language, and have been taught to communicate using complex grammar by use of a keyboard - although this is not to say that they can use language to the same degree as humans - I don't think we yet have the answer to that).

The differences are very small, but those small differences can sometimes have dramatic differences in outcome.

Hey George, thanks for that. Cleared my minds up a bit, because the 97% of genes thing got me confuzzled! Anyway, I've got to go for today. I hope to start the conversation tomorrow again. Thanks for all today =)
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Offline neilep

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« Reply #60 on: 11/04/2007 22:32:01 »
I was wondering exactly what I was? We're made up of billions of cells. Am I just a bunch of cells? Or am I SEAN? Or am I DNA's? Exactly what am I?

You are Sean !!

I'm the one with the identity crisis....I think I'm a sheep !!
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Offline Hadrian

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« Reply #61 on: 11/04/2007 22:43:19 »
I was wondering exactly what I was? We're made up of billions of cells. Am I just a bunch of cells? Or am I SEAN? Or am I DNA's? Exactly what am I?

You are Sean !!

I'm the one with the identity crisis....I think I'm a sheep !!


but you are a sheep..................LOL



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Offline neilep

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« Reply #62 on: 11/04/2007 23:03:38 »
I was wondering exactly what I was? We're made up of billions of cells. Am I just a bunch of cells? Or am I SEAN? Or am I DNA's? Exactly what am I?

You are Sean !!

I'm the one with the identity crisis....I think I'm a sheep !!


but you are a sheep..................LOL




LOL...yes...yes..I am.......!!..baaaa baaaaaa !!!

Hadrian is great
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Offline Seany

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« Reply #63 on: 12/04/2007 00:27:30 »
I was wondering exactly what I was? We're made up of billions of cells. Am I just a bunch of cells? Or am I SEAN? Or am I DNA's? Exactly what am I?

You are Sean !!

I'm the one with the identity crisis....I think I'm a sheep !!


but you are a sheep..................LOL




LOL...yes...yes..I am.......!!..baaaa baaaaaa !!!

Hadrian is great

Haha, Neil, your great [:P]

Loving this site so much at the moment!

And Neil, thanks for identifying me as Sean, unlike some confusing DNAs lol
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Offline Seany

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« Reply #64 on: 12/04/2007 10:21:30 »
Hmm. I had a good night's sleep last night. But I couldn't stop thinking of what I was again, before getting to sleep.

Since I am made up of trillions of DNA's, what does what work? I feel like only one thing, because I have the ability to move my hands, my neck, to see, to taste etc. I feel like the ruler of the cells and DNA. But is this possible? Seeing I AM the DNA?
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« Reply #65 on: 12/04/2007 10:45:35 »
Since I am made up of trillions of DNA's, what does what work? I feel like only one thing, because I have the ability to move my hands, my neck, to see, to taste etc. I feel like the ruler of the cells and DNA. But is this possible? Seeing I AM the DNA?

But this is why I am saying that you are not the DNA - you use the DNA to store blueprints of how to build another you - but it is only the blueprint, not the physical reality.

If I build a motor car, that motor car has a blueprint, but I don't drive the blueprint, I drive the motor car.  I don't even drive the component parts of the motor car (the seat, or the exhaust pipe, or the spark plug), I drive the totality of it, which requires that it be composed of lots of parts that each perform their own function to create the whole.  So too with the human body - you are composed of lots of component parts, but you are the end result of the interelationship between the component parts, but you are not merely one part of you or another, you are all the bits put together.

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #66 on: 12/04/2007 10:49:27 »
Since I am made up of trillions of DNA's, what does what work? I feel like only one thing, because I have the ability to move my hands, my neck, to see, to taste etc. I feel like the ruler of the cells and DNA. But is this possible? Seeing I AM the DNA?

But this is why I am saying that you are not the DNA - you use the DNA to store blueprints of how to build another you - but it is only the blueprint, not the physical reality.

If I build a motor car, that motor car has a blueprint, but I don't drive the blueprint, I drive the motor car.  I don't even drive the component parts of the motor car (the seat, or the exhaust pipe, or the spark plug), I drive the totality of it, which requires that it be composed of lots of parts that each perform their own function to create the whole.  So too with the human body - you are composed of lots of component parts, but you are the end result of the interelationship between the component parts, but you are not merely one part of you or another, you are all the bits put together.

Yes, I totally understand what you said. But, by saying that, you are saying that the motor car still works without the driver. Does our body therefore, work without the DNA's?
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Offline Seany

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« Reply #67 on: 12/04/2007 14:22:07 »
Ah, I think I am trying to think of it too hard. Maybe if I just think simply, something may just turn up.
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« Reply #68 on: 12/04/2007 15:03:52 »
Yes, I totally understand what you said. But, by saying that, you are saying that the motor car still works without the driver. Does our body therefore, work without the DNA's?

Does a motor car work without a driver?

Some functions of a motor car will work - the engine will keep running.  A motor car cannot drive itself, cannot repair itself, or fill up with fuel on its own, so its ability to function is very limited.

The DNA within a cell is used, amongst other things, to tell a cell to alter what it is doing (i.e. like steering a motor car), and to allow a cell to repair itself.  If the body ceases the ability to utilise the information in the DNA, then the cells will misfunction (crash - although probably more in the sense of a software crash than a car crash), cannot repair themselves, and will quickly die.

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #69 on: 12/04/2007 15:15:54 »
Yes, well the motor car does not function without it's components.

So do we not function AT ALL without our DNA's? Because from our previous comments, Paul I think suggested that the DNA may have started out as some sort of virus, living in the sea, which needed a revolution and decided to come into our body, in which we have become immuned to it now, and have evolved us.

So does that mean, that we would have been living, even if the Dna hadn't come into our body? Although we wouldn't be living in the same way, like a modern human, we may still be living like an ape, but would we still have lived?

This is just all from assuming that a DNA has come into our bodies as a virus-like form. But I don't think that this is the bestest of all theories so far.
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« Reply #70 on: 12/04/2007 16:39:02 »
Because from our previous comments, Paul I think suggested that the DNA may have started out as some sort of virus, living in the sea, which needed a revolution and decided to come into our body, in which we have become immuned to it now, and have evolved us.

So does that mean, that we would have been living, even if the Dna hadn't come into our body? Although we wouldn't be living in the same way, like a modern human, we may still be living like an ape, but would we still have lived?

This is just all from assuming that a DNA has come into our bodies as a virus-like form. But I don't think that this is the bestest of all theories so far.

Not at all.

As we discussed before, there is not that much difference between an ape and a human, so we all need that DNA equally (even a banana needs its DNA).

Even bacteria need their DNA (which is why we also have viruses that only infect bacteria), so for anything to live without DNA, it must be more primitive than a bacteria.  In fact, bacteria also have a little trick that allows them to exchange DNA between themselves by bundling it up into plasmids.  Plasmids allow one bacteria to teach another bacteria how to become resistant to antibiotics (although clearly they have other purposes as well, since they have been around longer than artificial antibiotics have, but they are a way for bacteria, and possibly higher organisms, to exchange DNA information to teach it new tricks in coping with its environment).

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #71 on: 12/04/2007 17:02:26 »
Ah great, that makes it much easier to understand. So.. Can you simply sum up this whole thing? There were various posts suggesting the idea, and I just can't get round the whole thing..
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« Reply #72 on: 12/04/2007 17:59:28 »
You wish me to summarise all 71 posts  [:o] [;D]

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Offline Seany

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« Reply #73 on: 12/04/2007 18:02:43 »
You wish me to summarise all 71 posts  [:o] [;D]

Hmm, pretty much yes. [:D] Or a reasonably, simple, sharp, summary. [:P] Thanks for that! [;)]
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« Reply #74 on: 13/04/2007 11:46:12 »
Hey George! Where is the summary of 73-pages? [:o]
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« Reply #75 on: 14/04/2007 17:49:06 »
Hang on Paul.. a HOST for the Dna? So why does the DNA want to carry on? Again, we are back to square 1. Let's say that we are just ONE Dna? Why does the DNA want to carry on living?
once we die all of our body parts i.e. all the nutrients become part of someone or somthing else so as has been mentioned DNA deffinatly wants to carry on its evolution BUT it is not a living organism just like viruses they are nothing without the host cell. but i guess you could cliam that we become a part of so many other people once we die!!

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« Reply #76 on: 14/04/2007 18:12:17 »
Erm, I don't see where you are going at. The nutrients becoming part of someone or something else.. That bit [:D]
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« Reply #77 on: 14/04/2007 21:07:20 »
Food chain starts all over again.. deteriorating soils except we are generally sealed in a casket These days although some caskets are simple wooden boxes that deteriorate quickly. some can be made from titanium and are gaurateed to stay safe from elements forever!!!!
but otherwise what goes into the earth comes back round to the food chain and life goes on..

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« Reply #78 on: 14/04/2007 21:29:27 »
Yes.. But DNA's don't do they? It's just the sheer matter of reproduction..
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« Reply #79 on: 15/04/2007 00:46:38 »
I have no idea I imagine Dna is only reproduced as you said through reproduction.. but me really does not know!

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« Reply #80 on: 15/04/2007 01:02:44 »
once we die all of our body parts i.e. all the nutrients become part of someone or somthing else so as has been mentioned DNA deffinatly wants to carry on its evolution BUT it is not a living organism just like viruses they are nothing without the host cell. but i guess you could cliam that we become a part of so many other people once we die!!

It really depends on what you mean when you say we become part of so many other people?

What is "we"?

Out atoms are spread all over the place.  Most of the organism that initially consume our bodies will be bacteria and maggots etc.  Ofcourse, then other things will consume the bacteria and maggots, and some of those atoms will end up going back into some people somewhere.

DNA is just another set of atoms that will be spread around.

Where you start looking at information, rather than atoms, then you can look at the genes and the memes - and they will be passed on to other people while we are still alive, but will normally outlive the death of our bodies.

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« Reply #81 on: 01/06/2007 21:51:13 »
Finding apost by Colleen, reminded me of this topic. So i thought i would revive it somewhat.

Well, unbeknown to me. Richard Dawkins, had written a book way back in 1976 called the selfish gene. Here is a quote from the book.

Quote


Was there to be any end to the gradual improvement in the techniques and artifices used by the replicators to ensure their own continuation in the world? There would be plenty of time for their improvement. What weird engines of self-preservation would the millennia bring forth? Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? They did not die out, for they are the past masters of the survival arts. But do not look for them floating loose in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago. Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind;and their preservation is the ultimate rational for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes,and we are their survival machines.


and

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What is the selfish gene? It is not just one single physical bit of DNA. Just as in the primeval soup, it is all replicas of a particular bit of DNA, distributed throughout the world. If we allow ourselves the licence of talking about genes as if they had conscious aims, always reassuring ourselves that we could translate our sloppy language back into respectable terms if we wanted to, we can ask the question, what is a single selfish gene trying to do? It is trying to get more numerous in the gene pool. Basically it does this by helping to Program the bodies in which it finds itself to survive and to reproduce. But now we are emphasizing that 'it' is a distributed agency, existing in many different individuals at once. The key point of this chapter is that a gene might be able to assist replicas of itself that are sitting in other bodies. If so, this would appear as individual altruism but it would be brought about by gene selfishness. it still seems rather implausible.

Are there any plausible ways in which genes might 'recognize' their copies in other individuals.' ? The answer is yes. It is easy to show that close relatives--kin--have a greater than average chance of sharing genes. It has long been clear that this is why altruism by parents towards their young is so common.

To save the life of a relative who is soon going to die of old age has less of an impact on the gene pool of the future than to save the life of an equally close relative who has the bulk of his life ahead of him.

...individuals can be thought of as life-insurance underwriters. An individual can be expected to invest or risk a certain proportion of his own assets in the life of another individual. He takes into account his relatedness to the other individual, and also whether the individual is a 'good risk' in terms of his life expectancy compared with the insurer's own. Strictly we should say 'reproduction expectancy' rather than 'life expectancy', or to be even more strict, 'general capacity to benefit own genes in the future expectancy'.

Although the parent/child relationship is no closer genetically than the brother/sister relationship, its certainty is greater. It is normally possible to be much more certain who your children are than who your brothers are. And you can be more certain still who you yourself are!

One sometimes hears it said that kin selection is all very well as a theory, but there are few examples of its working in practice. This criticism can only be made by someone who does not understand what kin selection means. The truth is that all examples of child protection and parental care, and all associated bodily organs, milk secreting glands, kangaroo pouches, and so on, are examples of the working in nature of the kin-selection principle. The critics are of course familiar with the widespread existence of parental care, but they fail to understand that parental care is no less an example of kin selection than brother/sister altruism.


what do you think? Genius or what?

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Offline dkv

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What Am I?
« Reply #82 on: 18/09/2007 11:29:38 »
You are instance of Life Experience.
Without experience you are as good as dead.