PSYCO104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Eusociality, Morning Sickness, Omnivore
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November 5 2014
TL - 11
Features are not passed on between generations. Rather,
genes that give
rise to features are passed on.
Your genetics can be passed on by ensuring that others
survive and reproduce.
An individuals actions on the reproductive
success of genetic relatives, weighted by genetic
If we only consider classical fitness, some animal behavior
unusual (e.g., eusocial insects, turkey wingman behavior).
In the case of eusocial insects (termites, bees), although
the workers are
sterile, the queen carries 100% of their genetic material.
is advantageus to the workers to participate and work for
In other social structures, often a small cost to self can
result in a
return on that investment later on, in the form of 'favour
when not related
Characteristics that are with
adaptations, but do not solve an adaptive
For example, Bellybuttons do not serve any specific
purpose, yet everyone
Is language an adaptation or a by-product?
It is a point of debate as to whether language
grammatical communication) solves any particular
adaptave problems, or
is simply a by-product of our ability for higher-order
cognation interacting with our ability to communicate.
Animal communication solves many
problems of survival. Animal communication
is usually agrammatical. Does grammar,
which is one of the defining features of
language, offer any additional adaptive
value, or merely a by-product of other
processes interacting with our
Example: 4 cards [3, 8, Red, Orange]
Which cards need to be flipped to test the rule
of "If a card has an even
number, then the other side is red" ? A: 8 and
Co-opted function is the idea that some behaviors
in logic and reason) are loose applications of our
ability to solve
much more specialized problems (e.g., cheater
Co-opted functions are not by-products as they do
provide some sort of survival/reproduction value. However,
they are also
likely not the result of specialization to deal with
prolonged,persistent selective pressures.