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book summery: Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins 2 (Essay Sample)

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Running head: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins (Name) (University) 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 the process of selective breeding wherein humans select organisms with desirable traits and subject them to breeding. This is supposed as a way to preserve an organism`s or several organisms` good traits or to change an otherwise undesirable feature of an organism. Dawkins (2009) provided examples of modern dog breeding. In particular, he offered the example of the ‘Labradoodle`, which is a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. Otherwise, selective breeding can also refer to keeping breeds pure. As such, dogs from one breed are only allowed to mate with dogs from the same breed to avoid contamination. Moreover, cabbages are also set as an example for the use of artificial breeding. Cabbages were genetically maneuvered to give rise to cauliflowers, broccolis and other members from this plant family. On the other hand, natural selection is selective breeding in a natural way. It can also be referred to as breeding in a way in which nature itself chooses the course of the outcome. As a result, it becomes a process of evolution wherein certain traits of organisms become more or less pronounced. Consequently, organisms will display traits that will enable them to survive efficiently in the environment. Dawkins (2009) provided the example of the domestic dog, which was found to be a descendant of the wolves. Dawkins (2009) stipulated that since the wolves started to join humans and became domesticated, they evolved in a way that they became tame. As such, wild instincts started to disappear along with some wolf-like features until eventually, the wolf remained to be a dog. Intelligent design is somewhat parallel to the creationism belief in that it proposes the belief that the evident features of the universe and of living things are due to an intelligent cause and not by natural selection. The intelligent cause is supposed to be God. However the proponents of this proposition avoid specifying the identity of the intelligent cause or ‘intelligent designer`. 2 On page 85, Dawkins states, "…evolutionary scientists are in the position of detectives who come late to the scene of a crime." What does he mean in making this statement? What kinds of evidence does he provide to support how science determines temporal sequence? Be sure to provide examples to illustrate your points. Dawkins (2009, p. 85) depicts "detectives who come late to the scene of a crime" as people who are not able to see the real act or sequence of the crime. However, the detectives are left with traces of evidence at which they can come up with a conclusion as to what had happened at the scene of the crime. The same is true with evolution and people/scientists of today. The crime is equated to the evolution process while the detectives are equated to evolutionary scientists or the general public. We are not able to witness the hotly debated "evolution" process. However, certain evidences are available to give us an idea about what had happened during previous evolutions. Dawkins (2009) provided the use of growth rings, carbon dating and radioactive clocks as ways at which people can identify the age or year an organism has existed. For example, tree rings are very commonly identified as systems of identifying the age of a tree. Such growth rings are also evident in coral reefs, according to Dawkins (2009). These growth rings in coral reefs and trees were also used to identify the dates of earthquakes. Moreover, radio...
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