Selfish Gene Question Set 1

Selfish Gene Question Set 1 - Answers to Selfish Gene...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Answers to Selfish Gene Question Set 1 Chapter 2: The replicators. 1. In physical systems, what does "survival of the stable" mean? What sorts of things don't survive? Darwin stated that a stable thing may be a unique collection of atoms, which last just long enough to be worth naming, or a class of entities, which come into existence at a sufficiently high rate to deserve a collective name like rain drops. He also says that when molecules come together in a chemical reaction they can become more or less stable, and they can become very large. One of his examples of things that don’t survive would be large organic molecules because nowadays they would not last long enough to be noticed. Despite their combination to make a larger molecule, they would be quickly absorbed and broken down by other living creatures or bacteria. Hydrogen atoms in the sun are one example of what survived. Hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium atoms that are more stable, which makes them better suited to survive. Other examples that Darwin gives of things that survived are rocks, the Matterhorn, ocean waves, and galaxies. 2. How does a "replicator" change the nature of stability? A molecule, named "the replicator" was formed in the prebiotic soup by the chance combination of atoms to make a stable molecule which also had the ability to make copies of itself. It is proable that that the post-replicator world was not very abundant in any particular type of molecule. However, because that replicator had the ability to copy itself, those copies may have rapildly spread throughout the prebiotic soup causing a decrease in the number of smaller, building block molecules and other larger molecules that relied on the building blocks to combine. Therefore, the replicator and its copies brought a stability to the world. 3. Why is imperfect replication a necessity for improving a replicator's ability? How is this paradoxical? Imperfect replication is necessary in order to have different molecules. Different molecules will have different lifespans, different characteristics, and different rates of replication. This will allow for natural selection. By allowing natural selection it will improve future molecules. This is paradaxical because nothing wants to evolve. It happens despite all the efforts by the replicators to prevent it from happening. If we had no imperfect replication then there would be no improvements in future generations. 4. How does competition among replicators change the picture? Since replicators were competing (and didn't even know it) there were favored verieties and less favored verieties. This struggle lead the less favored verieties to become less favored due to the rising number of thier more favored competitor. This lead to some of the less favored to become extincted. They replicated in a fashion to where if there was a mis-copying that resulted in a "higher level of stability", or a way to reduce the stability of competitors, was preserved and multiplied. The ways of increasing and decreasing
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 9

Selfish Gene Question Set 1 - Answers to Selfish Gene...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online