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Lecture 24

BIOLOGY 1M03 Lecture 24: 24- Evolution and Human Behavior

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Ben Evans

Bio 1M03 March 7, 2016 Evolution and Human Behavior Common Misconceptions - Our ancestors were chimpanzees or other modern apes o False o Chimpanzees and humans are two divergent branches of anthropoid lineage which evolved from a common ancestor - Human evolution represents a ladder, with a series of steps directly leading from an ancestral anthropoid to Homo sapiens o False o Human evolution is marked by many phylogenetic branches, with some dead ends and several different species co-existed - Several human characteristic such as an enlarged brain and upright posture evolved in unison o False o Different characteristics evolved at different times • How does natural selection shape mate preferences? • What do men and women look for in a mate? • Why are male’s preferences different from female preferences? • Brain affects behavior • Natural selection shapes brain size and abilities • Natural selection can shape behavior via the brain Evolution Predicts Mate Preferences - Traits are adaptive and variable - Sexual selection - General trend was that males were broad and females were choosy - Evolution predicts mate preferences - As age progresses fertility decreases - Before fertility engineering and healthcare, they ensures that kids were produced before a certain age - Female limiting factor is resources o Should favor males who can provide resources - Male limiting factor: females o Should favor healthy, fertile females - Women, pregnancy is costly, which makes the females more selective regarding their mates and fewer partners - Males are not selective • How is human culture different from other animals? • Are humans still evolving? What is Culture? - Information acquired by individuals through some form of social learning - Different social norms - Is culture in nonhumans common? o Yes o Seen in different animals, who will pass on lessons to they young o Mothers will invest time in teaching things such as how to hunt, hide etc. - But, humans have regular cumulative culture - Humans are able to refer to the transmission through social learning (face, to face, online) - Culture is broadly, information that humans acquire through limitation, teaching and learning - Culture is a derived trait in humans - Non-genetic transmiss
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