Dawkin's Concept of Life

My vision of life is that everything extends from replicators, which are in practice DNA molecules on this planet. The replicators reach out into the world to influence their own probability of being passed on. Mostly they don't reach further than the individual body in which they sit, but that's a matter of practice, not a matter of principle. The individual organism can be defined as that set of phenotypic products which have a single route of exit of the genes into the future. That's not true of the cuckoo/reed warbler case, but it is true of ordinary animal bodies. So the organism, the individual organism, is a deeply salient unit. It's a unit of selection in the sense that I call a "vehicle".

There are two kinds of unit of selection. The difference is a semantic one. They're both units of selection, but one is the replicator, and what it does is get itself copied. So more and more copies of itself go into the world. The other kind of unit is the vehicle. It doesn't get itself copied. What it does is work to copy the replicators which have come down to it through the generations, and which it's going to pass on to future generations. So we have this individual replicator dichotomy. They're both units of selection, but in different senses. It's important to understand that they are different senses.


Folksonomies: evolution replication life

/technology and computing/hardware/computer/portable computer/laptop (0.465076)
/health and fitness/disease (0.374154)
/law, govt and politics (0.346293)

individual organism (0.904918 (neutral:0.000000)), practice DNA molecules (0.896761 (neutral:0.000000)), individual replicator dichotomy (0.863941 (negative:-0.521681)), deeply salient unit (0.847155 (neutral:0.000000)), cuckoo/reed warbler case (0.845795 (negative:-0.308106)), ordinary animal bodies (0.828387 (neutral:0.000000)), different senses (0.799297 (positive:0.518691)), replicators (0.599955 (negative:-0.336795)), phenotypic products (0.540358 (neutral:0.000000)), Life My vision (0.520477 (neutral:0.000000)), single route (0.496625 (neutral:0.000000)), individual body (0.484479 (negative:-0.288546)), future generations (0.468694 (positive:0.203940)), selection (0.360179 (positive:0.340443)), matter (0.260190 (neutral:0.000000)), world (0.244928 (negative:-0.242129)), vehicle (0.232282 (positive:0.220378)), units (0.217723 (positive:0.283213))

Dawkin:Person (0.773177 (neutral:0.000000))

DNA (0.969193): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Richard Dawkins (0.777471): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago | musicBrainz
Gene (0.747659): dbpedia | freebase
Natural selection (0.743621): dbpedia | freebase
Organism (0.659763): dbpedia | freebase
Life (0.637054): dbpedia | freebase
Unit of selection (0.633759): dbpedia | freebase
Evolution (0.560170): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 This Is My Vision Of "Life"
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Dawkins, Richard (4.30.15), This Is My Vision Of "Life", Retrieved on 2015-05-05
  • Source Material [edge.org]
  • Folksonomies: life semantics