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LIFE: A GENE-CENTRIC VIEW

February 8, 2008
clipped from www.edge.org
Craig Venter & Richard
Dawkins: A Conversation in Munich
(Moderator: John Brockman)
“Individuals
are not stable things,” he wrote, “they are fleeting.
Chromosomes too are shuffled into oblivion, like hands of cards
soon after they are dealt. But the cards themselves survive the
shuffling. The cards are the genes. The genes are not destroyed
by crossing over, they merely change partners and march on. Of
course they march on. That is their business. They are the replicators
and we are their survival machines. When we have served our purpose,
we are cast aside. But genes are the denizens of geological time:
genes are forever.”
“Notions
like Selfish Genes, memes, and extended phenotypes are powerful
and exciting,” notes computer scientist W. Daniel Hillis. “They
make me think differently. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time
arguing against people who have over interpreted these ideas
They’re
too easily misunderstood as explaining more than they do. So you
see, this Dawkins is a dangerous guy.
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