Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.

September 14, 2010

This quote from Richard Dawkins famous book “The Selfish Gene”  is of course highly controversial (at least for non-biologists), but still it highlights two very important ideas: The first one is the fact that we are born to replicate because in a way we are the “slave” of our genes. Genes determine for a surprisingly great amount the kind of person we are. The second and even more interesting fact of life which is included within this quote is the potential our (human) genes offer to us. Via the formation of the brain our genes enable us to reflect our actions and judge our and the decisions of others. They render the potential to us to act in ways that are seemingly contradictory in some situations. They enable use to think in a sustainable way and make future plans. Humans can have intentions. So maybe genes are both: the key and the chains. Being social has brought us to where we are now. Being social seems to be beneficial in evolution. Ooops… genes seem to selfish indeed.

In the following weeks I want to shed some light on the great world of genes. I want to demonstrate that no great clusters of “brain” genes or “attractivity” genes exist, but that genes can be arranged in rather abstract subgroups. Some of the biggest and therefore (probably) important groups I`m planning to present here. I will especially concentrate on the proteins these genes code for. I will start out with protein kinases.

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