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The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins (Essay Sample)

Anthropology: The greatest show on earth by Richard Dawkin source..
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.
Natural Selection of course, is the concept that Charles Dawin fully expounded on, and is taken into consideration at length in the study of evolution. It is the process wherein organisms that are more adapted to their environment are more likely to survive and successfully reproduce. The concept suggests that favorable traits that are inherited by the succeeding generations make it more likely for organisms to produce more offspring. In addition to that, the favorable heritable traits that bring about such success will become more common in successive generations.
The difference between artificial selection and natural selection is the selecting agent. In Artificial selection, it is man that makes the choices or which traits are favorable and which are non-desirable. In natural selection however, the selection of the favorable and non-favorable is all up to nature. Taking into account the organism, particularly its needs and its relationship with its environment. Aside from the selective agent however, the process of natural selection, and artificial selection are the same.
Intelligent design on the other hand, is the theory that states that life could not have come about by chance, and thus was created and designed by an external, intelligent entity. Intelligent design attempts to explain origin and the existence of life and the universe by claiming that an unidentified intelligent agent created the universe. These claim go against the concepts of natural selection, and ul...
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