Sunday, 13 March 2011

Richard Dawkins’ View of the Genetic Code Is Badly Outdated

Richard Dawkins needs to learn new facts in his old age. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Richard Dawkins has often, for instance in his books The Blind Watchmaker (1986) and The Greatest Show On Earth (2009), claimed that all organisms on Earth - save one or two minor exceptions – share the same genetic code. Dawkins believes that this is proof that all living beings have evolved from a common ancestor.

There is one serious defect in this claim: it is not true.

On Charles Darwin’s birthday (12th February) Richard Dawkins took part in a panel discussion on the origin of life. In passing, J. Craig Venter disclosed that the genetic code is not universal and that the Darwinian tree of life does not even exist.

Researchers have found no less than 17 different genetic codes in creatures living on our planet.

In practice, this means that Darwinian evolution cannot explain how life developed and why it is so varied.


The Science Network: The Great Debate - What is Life? Panel discussion (12 February 2011).

Elzanowski, Andrzej (Anjay) and Jim Ostell The Genetic Codes. National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Venter vs. Dawkins on the Tree of Life -- and Another Dawkins Whopper 9 March 2011.