Gaia Vs Selfish Gene Essay Research Paper

9 September 2017

Gaia Vs. Selfish Gene Essay, Research Paper

Peoples have ever wondered how life evolved on Earth. Richard Dawkins & # 8217 ; book The Selfish Gene and James Lovelock & # 8217 ; s book The Ages of Gaia effort to cast some visible radiation on this argument. Dawkins & # 8217 ; presents a reductionist point of position in that he argues that development takes topographic point wholly through the effects of natural choice on the endurance of selfish cistrons. Lovelock, on the contrary, provides a holistic position of development and argues that the full Earth evolves as a super-organism where the biology controls the abiota. Besides the dissension in the differing scientific positions, the linguistic communication used in both of the books is besides really different. Most of our apprehension of a construct depends, to a certain grade, on the linguistic communication used to depict it. Both Dawkins and Lovelock to a great extent use scientific metaphors in explicating the biological theories presented in their books. However, the metaphors used by Dawkins make the reader think beyond the range of the scientific message of his theory, therefore weakening his statement. While, Lovelock & # 8217 ; s usage of metaphors stimulates scientific logical thinking and therefore beef uping his statement.

John Lovelock in his book The Ages of Gaia presents an statement for a theory regulating the relationship between the Earth & # 8217 ; s biology and its physical environment. Lovelock holistic position of nature combines biological science and geoclimatology as one scientific discipline, which he calls geophysiology, & # 8220 ; the survey of life and inanimate Earth as a individual system ( Lovelock 11 ) . & # 8221 ; Lovelock & # 8217 ; s theory provinces that life is necessary to keep the planet & # 8217 ; s thermodynamic and chemical composing in its current province of homeostasis ( the inclination of a system to keep stableness even with external breaks ) until some external force interrupts it, at which point it will travel to a new stable province. He footings this theory & # 8220 ; Gaia & # 8221 ; , after the Grecian goddess of Earth. The Gaia theory delivers two primary deductions: life beings regulate their planet, and the development of species and their physical milieus are a individual inseparable procedure. The hypothesis points to stable conditions, such as O degrees, C dioxide concentrations and clime, as grounds that populating beings maintain a vital environment.

The Gaia Hypothesis is a metaphor in itself that helps depict the planet as a life being ; a metaphor for the Earth every bit seen as a individual physiological system. Lovelock describes the planetal ecosystem as alive because it behaves like a life being by modulating its temperature and chemical science at a changeless province favorable for life to develop.

Another metaphor used by Lovelock is Daisyworld. Daisyworld is a computer-stimulated theoretical account of an fanciful planet developed by Lovelock to specifically show his Gaia hypothesis. In this theoretical account, Lovelock presents the behaviour of the theoretical planet Daisyworld where the environment consists of a individual entity ( planetal temperature ) , and the biology consists of merely two species: dark daisies that absorb radiation, and hence warming the planet and light daisies that tend to reflect visible radiation, which has a chilling consequence. Like the Earth, Daisyworld maintains a changeless temperature and the conditions for its endurance by following its ain natural procedures. In the yesteryear, when the Sun was non every bit bright as today, dark daisies flourished because they were able to absorb the heat from the sunshine. The dark daisies bit by bit took over most of the planet, increasing the planet & # 8217 ; s clime. When the suns strength increased, the lighter daisies began to boom by reflecting visible radiation and chilling the planet. Therefore, the population of the visible radiation and dark daisies adj

ust themselves of course to maintain the temperature invariable at the optimum degree for daisy growing. In this manner, Daisyworld is a metaphor for a self-acting system, as predicted by Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis.

The Selfish Gene gives a really different position of the development of life. Dawkins presents a reductionist position in his theory that cistrons are the primary manner for natural choice and development. Dawkins looks at the evolutionary procedure, how Deoxyribonucleic acid replicates in organizing human life, and the possibility that there is a societal analogue to genetics where human traits can be culturally transmitted. Dawkins & # 8217 ; book besides delivers two primary deductions: that development takes topographic point wholly through the effects of natural choice and extension of cistrons and that cistrons are selfish, non selfless.

Dawkins provinces that development began in the ancient seas. He uses the metaphor & # 8220 ; aboriginal soup & # 8221 ; to depict the contents of the seas before living things came approximately. In this & # 8220 ; aboriginal soup, & # 8221 ; protein molecules indiscriminately bonded together to organize & # 8220 ; replicators, & # 8221 ; DNA. Dawkins provinces that there was an unconscious battle for endurance amongst the replicators. He so goes on to associate the behaviour of cistrons to human behaviour and personality by presenting the construct of a & # 8220 ; selfish cistron, & # 8221 ; where he defines & # 8220 ; selfish & # 8221 ; as a cistron scheme to guarantee its survive over its rival allelomorphs. His usage of the term & # 8220 ; selfish & # 8221 ; personifies cistrons as an person, capable of doing determinations for its ain good.

In his gap statement, Dawkins provinces, & # 8220 ; we are survival machines-robot vehicles blindly programmed to continue the selfish molecules known as cistrons & # 8221 ; ( Dawkins seven ) . By naming human existences & # 8220 ; survival machines & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; automatons, & # 8221 ; Dawkins implies that we are non in control for our ain actions. Again, his metaphors takes the reader off from his scientific logical thinking and do them believe of a distinguishable person that is drawing the strings of development for its ain good. This statement besides conjures up moral deductions that suggest that we are non in control of our lives and there is no point for our ain being. The point Dawkins wants to do is that metaphorically cistrons do possess a selfish ability. However, Dawkins & # 8217 ; metaphors make it hard to take the selfish cistron theory from its moral deductions.

In decision, Dawkins explains development non in footings of the larger image like that of life things or species development, but alternatively changes the position to the smallest possible unit, the cistron. Lovelock explains development in footings of a larger image ; his Gaia hypothesis provinces that life on Earth controls the physical and chemical conditions of the environment. Both Dawkins and Lovelock use metaphoric linguistic communication to depict the scientific constructs they want to present. These metaphors are cardinal to our apprehension of their thoughts. However, Dawkins usage of metaphors weakens his statement. His cardinal metaphor, & # 8220 ; selfish cistrons, & # 8221 ; makes one imagine a image of a automaton being inside us, who built us entirely for its benefit and has control over our being. Dawkins & # 8217 ; metaphors are first-class in acquiring us to believe, but I believe it turns our ideas in a way Dawkins would non hold wanted, off from the scientific base. On the other manus, Lovelock & # 8217 ; s Gaia theory is able to direct its metaphors towards scientific discipline, and promote farther research. Lovelock & # 8217 ; s book helps his readers and scientists now realize that organisms adapt to environment every bit good as carbon monoxide adapt with the environment.


Dawkins, Richard. & # 8220 ; The Selfish Gene. & # 8221 ; Oxfod University Press, 1989.

Lovelock, James. & # 8220 ; The Ages of Gaia. & # 8221 ; Norton Paperback, 1988.

How to cite Gaia Vs Selfish Gene Essay Research Paper essay

Choose cite format:
Gaia Vs Selfish Gene Essay Research Paper. (2017, Sep 15). Retrieved January 8, 2021, from
A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper