Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Genes, philosophy: genes are the bearers of genetic information. Philosophically interesting is the discussion about which properties are genetically inherited and on which level genes are effective or on what level their distribution is influenced. See also evolution, Darwinism, selection, gene identity.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Gould I 88ff
Richard Dawkins Thesis: Genes are the relevant units of selection.
- - -
Gould II 171
Dawkins Thesis: Dawkins argues that the bodies are only temporary abodes of the genes, the real bearers of evolution.
Dawkins writes as a strict Darwinist.
Gould II 172
Dawkins: Question: If the DNA is self-referring, why does it not create millions of copies of itself? That finally displace everything else? What is hindering it?
- - -
Dawkins I 50
Gene/Dawkins: Genes live much longer than their bearers.
A gene can be understood as a unity that survives a multitude of successive individual bodies.
I 62
Def Gene/Dawkins: in the sense of the title this book it is more complicated than Cistron. There is no generally accepted definition for gene.
I would like to use the definition of G.C. Williams:
Def Gene/Williams: any piece of chromosome material that potentially survives so many generations that it can serve as a unit for selection.
I 63
Inheritance/copying accuracy/Dawkins: "Longevity in the form of copies". VIII 64 The shorter a genetic unit, the longer it will probably live.
I 71
Dawkins Thesis: small genetic units can survive in identical form, individuals, groups and species cannot.
Gene/Dawkins: does not age! For it, the probability of dying at the age of one million years is not greater than at a hundred years.
I 73
Order/Dawkins: The cards themselves survive the shuffling.
Selection/Dawkins: If genes always mixed, the selection would be impossible in general.
I 74
Gene/Container/DawkinsVsGould: successful genes are good designers of survival machines. For example, creatures with long legs can flee better from predators.
What are the characteristics that immediately characterize a gene as good or bad?
I 75
Gene/Dawkins: Independent and free as they may be on their journey through the generations, they are very inhibited in the control of embryonic development.
There is no one gene that is responsible for developing a single body part.
I 86
Gene/Dawkins: there is a "gene for copying errors, (mutators)." It follows the selfish purpose of causing errors in other genes.
Similarly, a "gene for propagation" manipulates all others for its selfish purposes.
I 91
Body/cell/human/Dawkins: I prefer to imagine the body as a colony of genes, and the cell as a convenient work unit for the chemical industry of the genes.
I 112
Altruism/gene/Dawkins: a "gene for altruism" controls the development of the nervous system in such a way that it is very likely to behave selflessly.
For example, some bees pull their own larvae from the hive if they are infected.
I 115
The survival of the genes can also be promoted by seemingly altruistic behavior!
I 154
Gene/Dawkins: Thesis: The gene may be able to help the copies of its own in other bodies.
I 155
E.g.: Albino gene in humans. We must, however, revoke our language somewhat: they do not actually "want" to survive or help other Albino genes.
But if it were to move its bodies purely by chance to behave towards other albinos in a more selfless way, the consequence would be that it would be more numerous in the gene pool.
For this, the gene must have two functions:
1) To produce light skin color ((s) Recognizability)
2) The tendency to altruism against other fair-skinned bodies.
Such a gene with two effects could be very successful.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Da I
R. Dawkins
Das egoistische Gen, Hamburg 1996

M. St. Dawkins
Die Entdeckung des tierischen Bewusstseins Hamburg 1993

Gd I
Stephen Jay Gould
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Stephen Jay Gould
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Stephen Jay Gould
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Stephen Jay Gould
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

Gd I
Stephen Jay Gould
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

M. St. Dawkins
Die Entdeckung des tierischen Bewusstseins Hamburg 1993

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-04-24