Dawkins: Summary And Analysis

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DNA is the focus of this chapter in The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. To introduce the matter at hand, Dawkins began by commenting on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Dawkins states that this theory makes sense because at the beginning of all life was a mere “pool” of atoms, and from this pool of atoms came the origins of all living things today. Dawkins goes on to describe how chemical reactions occurred from these atoms to form molecules which had the potential to create and maintain stability. Those atoms that created the most stable of molecules began the origins of natural selection. Scientists have been trying to create an environment similar to that of which created the beginning of life. They have discovered when combining…show more content…
He makes the statement that only one replicator was necessary. This is, for obvious reasons, because once you have one replicator, it can easily make copies of itself. Dawkins hypothesizes that pieces of the replicator had an affinity for like molecules. It would then be easy for these molecules to mimic each other’s design. These molecules could then separate and continue to build up similar molecules. However, similar to these replication process found within our own bodies, there may have been mistakes made. This is the basis for evolution. Like today, mistakes may have led to an unstable molecule, which, in turn, would have been wiped out quickly in the evolutionary process. On the other hand, there may have been a mistake made which improved the replicating process or created a bigger, more stable molecule. These mistakes led to a diverse pool of molecules. Dawkins states that all molecules were not created equal. Some molecules would have been better and more efficient than other. He gives the example of one type of molecule being able to copy faster, but the other molecule would “live” longer. Therefore, he concludes, the molecule that could copy faster would have more replications of itself within the pool. Dawkins follows up with another example about molecules with similar copying rates and longevity, however, one molecule made more mistakes than the other. Therefore, the one with less mistakes would have more copies of

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