I have read Dawkin's works and i enjoyed them. But i had not heard of gene centered evolution before so i began looking into it. Well, i guess i suck at research because i couldn't find any sources that explained it very well. All sources i did find required the reader to be a master of biology in order to understand.

So i was wondering if someone could give me a good basic outline of the theory or link me to a place for such a thing.

I do understand the bare bare basics of it though, but i have a question that i'd also request an answer too, How can a gene, something that is non-sentient, compete and work toward continued existence? I know that living things are made of the things, but they are much more complex, to the point where they have an ability and desire to reproduce and compete.

I apologize if i seem like an idiot, when it comes to biology I am one.

Tags: allele, centered, evolution, gene, selfish, the

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Hi Daniel,

It sounds like you want to know how it all works. 

The Cell

Abiogenesis is the study of the origin of life, so maybe that could be a good starting point for you. 

Epigenetics explains how genes can be switched on and off, or the degree genes work.

But you are asking, how do genes actually know what to do? I don't think genes actually do anything. In my mind right now, I'm thinking genes are a set of instruction that are read by the cell. Ribosomes are the ones that do most of the work in the cell. But why do ribosome's do what they do? 

I can't agree with gene centred evolution, mainly because most of our genes are permanently turned off or never turned on. For gene centred evolution to be explained, we would have to know which genes are actually used in making the neurons that are used in making decisions. Geneticists are doing work right now, trying to find out which genes are used for thinking. They are doing in an indirect way though. They are trying to find out common genetic traits in patients with mental health problems, like bipolar, schizophrenia and ADHD. 

 

"How can a gene, something that is non-sentient, compete and work toward continued existence? I know that living things are made of the things, but they are much more complex, to the point where they have an ability and desire to reproduce and compete"

I blame Dawkins for this misinterpretation. He sometimes makes poor choices when employing "Figure of Speech" type literary devices. No "desire" ...competition of course, is part of evolution, "ability" is from consequence, not intention or desire of any kind.

Daniel, a good search term here is "unit of selection".  Wikipedia covers the broad outlines of the debate, and gives some context for Dawkin's arguments.  It's a complicated and specialist debate, so you are not alone.

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