Instinct (was: Re: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 21:11:04 MDT

>> > Do you agree that these instincts are built into their
>> > brains by DNA?

Here's an f'r instance:

< Even in matters of behavior, the program can be astonishingly precise. A
favorite laboratory animal, the microscopic roundworm known as C. elegans,
can be found in soils around the world, peacefully eating bacteria. Some C.
elegans colonies are very social and all dine together. In others, solitary
feeding is the rule. Biologists at the University of California in San
Francisco recently discovered that both social and solitary feeding in the
worm are controlled by the same gene. In the 215th word of the gene, the
solitary feeders have the letters G-T-T, the social feeders T-T-T. Just as
in computer programs, a single letter can make all the difference. >

(from a baby-talk piece,

but it's a cool example)

Damien Broderick

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