Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Extended Phenotype

  1. Jul 26, 2016 #1
    Hello Friends! Can we say internet is the extended phenotype in Dawkins sense for human with developed rational centre in brain.Human can even create time scenarios.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2016 #2
    Bird nest is indicated by Dawkins as the extended phenotype(as I understood).Human has a devolved rational centre in the brain.Now how is our extended phenotype.We imagine very vast and can create even tine scenarios.
  4. Jul 26, 2016 #3

    Fervent Freyja

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes, both building and using computers could technically be considered phenotypes because they are behaviors. The internet and computer are both behavior products of an organism, so that qualifies too. See, this is why I dislike terms like 'natural selection' and 'phenotype', people can misuse it and it does nothing but bring about confusion. We can't get the best definitions or understand something when we can apply the same term wherever it fits best.

    Tell me, the pencil laying in front of me is a phenotype, can you tell me if is charcoal or graphite? What is the brand and current length of it? The ultimate question we can ask here: what isn't a phenotype?

    Edit 2: You know, that gasoline in your car can be considered a phenotype as well. Partly, because they are a product of an organism, dead bodies do qualify here. And also, it is a product of human behavior, through processing petroleum from its raw form. Where does it end? What answers can you find thinking so broadly?
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  5. Jul 26, 2016 #4
    Thank you Fervent Freyja!
    Human has language and can imagine immensely and keeps going unbounded.So we can think something like common phenotype?
    This line of thought seem merging with other fields if psychology , philosophy and Physics Will resume after careful thinking.
    I want to explore it on purely scientific grounds anyway.
    My thinking is limited due to no knowledge of biology .Thanks! Will come back.
  6. Jul 26, 2016 #5

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In graduate school I ran into:
    So, what is not a phenotype? If you care to define: large parts of the geology and atmosphere of Earth are the results(direct or indirect) of biological processes, e.g., Gaia hypothesis. Then you get an answer like: almost nothing on Earth except some geological processes falls outside the phenotype definition. I think this an interesting artifact of human intelligence. The phenotype idea, overextended, is definitely a panchreston that does not really provide tremendous insight. (my opinion). @Fervent Freyja is right on with the idea of 'what is not a phenotype'. I am not sure of any useful meaning when phenotype gets applied everywhere.

    Concepts from the Gaia hypothesis have had application in determining tests (biological markers) to locate extraterrestrial life, as well.
    This article discusses 'oxygen may not be a reliable biomarker' among other interesting things:

    ...more of a Philosophy discussion than a Biological one. PF does not fly well on Philosophy. So if posters take off philosophically with this thread it will likely get locked.
  7. Jul 26, 2016 #6
    Thanks jim McNamara! Will study the links and discuss.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted