Richard Dawkins Analysis

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Richard Dawkins argues a gene-centric view on evolution supported by the idea of selfishness. Dawkins defines the gene as ‘selfish’ meaning any gene that behaves in such a way as to increase its own survival chances in the gene pool at the expense of its alleles, by definition, tautologously, tend to survive” (Dawkins 36). He belabors the point of DNA and its mutation is the source of change in genes and thusly phenotype. While DNA is an inherited trait which can affect phenotype, epigenetics can also affect phenotype but not by changing the nuclear DNA bur rather by protein and other non-DNA components of cells. DNA is not the only source of variation in evolution in which can be inherited as Dawkins defends, but rather epigenetics is…show more content…
Dawkins says “The true ‘purpose’ of DNA is to survive, no more and no less. The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that is a parasite, or a t best but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA” (Dawkins 45). Dawkins actively says they are useless when it could not have been more wrong. These long stretches that do not code for proteins have important functions in helping gene expression. They have often been thought of ‘junk’ DNA and had not been studied previously. Scientist have recently found importance of introns to complement exons. Introns are to support and help the deficiencies of exons; thus, they indemnify exons. The importance of introns is such that it is in every step of mRNA maturation, from initiation, elongation, termination, polyadenylation, nuclear export, and mRNA stability (Chorev and Carmel 2012). This epigenetic effect of introns occurring in places where exon lack such as areas rich in guanine and cytosine consists with being the maximum level of gene transcription rates. These areas rich in transcription factors can become epigenetically inheritable through a nucleosome replacement with connection to…show more content…
While a mutation in the DNA sequence can result in variation in the genotype so does epigenetic effects such as prions, DNA methylation, RNAi, and many more which do not change the nucleotide sequence of DNA but still affects the genetic variation. Natural selection does act upon mutation in the DNA but the effect of the environment and the epigenetic response to the environment is a faster response in comparison to natural selection. While epigenetic effects are quicker responses to environments natural selection will act on those epigenetic effects and stabilize the population. Dawkins argues that the source of all genetic variation is due the change of nucleotide sequence but it is epigenetics and the mutation of the DNA sequence that leads to genes becoming long-living agents over time (Szyf, 2015
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