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Lecture 2

ANT211H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: The Selfish Gene, Genetic Drift, Umbilical Cord


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT211H5
Professor
Sherry Fukuzawa
Lecture
2

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ANT 211H: LECTURE OUTLINES
LECTURE 2: GENETIC & ENVIRONMENTAL SEX DETERMINATION & WHY SEX?
Darwinian Paradigm
- Variation between individuals leads to competition for reproductive opportunities
- Certain individuals will be more successful reproductively than others
- Traits are passed on from parents to offspring and therefore have generational repercussions
NATURAL SELECTION
- Mechanism that causes evolution
- Where animals vary, and where those variations are at least partly inherited, the less successful
varieties will be eliminated, and the more successful will become relatively numerous
REPRODUCTIVE ADVANTAGE
- A successful organisms traits must be passed on to descendents
- Those descendents must reach maturity and reproduce
SOCIOBIOLOGY
Examines sexual behaviours from the ideas of Darwinian natural selection
- The study of behavior based on darwinian paradigm
- Basis in population genetics and evolutionary theory
- All behaviours in human species are extrapolated from the evolutionary theory of natural selection
Natural selection allows us to answer to “Why” questions of human behavior.
4 EXPLANATIONS TO ANSWER “Why” IN BIOLOGY
1. Proximate causation
Concerns the direct mechanisms that bring something about
Structural description
2. Ultimate causation
Adaptive explaination of a behaviourreproductive advantage (ex. trying to attract mats)
Concerns adaptive significance
Causation on a generational time scale
3. Ontogeny
- explains behaviour as a consequence of a particular period of time during the life span
Development within an individual’s life span
4. Phylogeny
- deals with evolution but differs from ultimate causation because doesn’t look specifically at
reproduction it looks at the evolutionary origin of the behaviour
- ex. male birds sing in the spring because they learned the song from their genetic fathers
Evolutionary progression by which the behavior has been formed out of the pre-existing
organization
Darwin’s Theory:
“Survival of the Fittest”
- Competition between same sex for reproductive success
- Survival is relevant only in the service of reproduction
- Being “FIT” in biology means reproductive success
GENETIC FITNESS
Reproductive success
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