The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

| February 6, 2014

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The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins 1.) Describe artificial selection, natural selection, intelligent design and how each concept differs from the others. Be sure to provide examples to illustrate your points. Artificial selection is when human intervention is used in plant or animal reproduction. This involves the modification of a species through the use of human technologies to make certain that desirable traits will be represented throughout successive generations. This is also known as selective breeding, wherein the genotypes of organisms are examined and manipulated in an effort to produce offspring that carry the desirable traits found in their parent organisms. Dawkins makes the point that with techniques such as the domestication of wild animals and horticulture, humans posses the capability to alter the shape as well as the behavior of wild plants and animals at a fast pace. Dawkins had stated that “Breeders are almost like modelers with endlessly malleable clay, or like sculptors wielding chisels, carving dogs or horses, or cows or cabbages, to their whim.” (Dawkins, 2009. p.28) Dawkins expounds on this concept by giving the example of the wild cabbage, known as Brassica oleracea. According to him, this non-descript plant has been able to turn into a variety of different vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, romescu, and other forms of domesticated cabbage through the techniques of selective breeding and horticulture.
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