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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Sunday, May 15, 2005

death of the selfish gene: another fairy tale bites the dust

Whoops, there goes another rubber tree plant.

A central tenet of Reductionist Dawkinsian Darwinism not so central in real world biology after all.

Johnjoe McFadden, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey writing in the Guardian unwittingly proves the old adage everything old is new again:

The new biology is reasserting the primacy of the whole organism - the individual - over the behaviour of isolated genes...

And what about "selfish genes", the concept introduced by the Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins to describe how some genes promote their own proliferation, even at the expense of the host organism? The concept has been hugely influential but has tended to promote a reductionist gene-centric view of biology. This viewpoint has been fiercely criticised by many biologists, such as the late Stephen Jay Gould, who argued that the unit of biology is the individual not her genes. Systems biology is reasserting the primacy of the whole organism - the system - rather than the selfish behaviour of any of its components.

(via Post-Darwinist)

10:19:00 pm