Home Page Science Frontiers
ONLINE

No. 108: Nov-Dec 1996

Issue Contents





Other pages


Other Interesting Sites


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

Those selfish genes may also be intelligent!

R. Dawkins has proposed that we humans and other organisms are merely lumbering life-support systems for our genes. In this view, genomes are the masters, controlling our evolution and behavior to ensure their own survival and multiplication. In short, our genes are "selfish."

J. Shapiro, at the University of Chicago, has gone a step further and ascribed still another human attribute to genomes.

"Genomes function as true intelligent systems, which can be readjusted when conditions require. We still lack testable theories to explain how this can be done. (Genetica, 84:4, 1991)"

Perhaps we see evidence of this "intelligence" of genes when bacteria and other microorganisms rapidly accommodate to environmental challenges, as in the application of new antibiotics. In this context, read below about the fast-evolving cichlid fishes of Lake Victoria. These fish must have macho genes!

From Science Frontiers #108, NOV-DEC 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987