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BIO318 Lecture 22 (Nov 27).docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Sanja Hinic- Frlog

BIO318 Lecture 22 - Today: some empirical examples of “human sociobiology”. First – key points from last lecture about misunderstandings o Evidence of recent adaptation in humans o Understanding human behavioural adaptations are not lessons for how we ought to behave: - So how should we understand the evolution of human phenotypes o Understanding our behaviour as adaptive is not “genetic determinism” o i.e. not about (i) genes vs. environment (the “two horse race” so often depicted in popular accounts of human behaviours) o but what about (ii) evolution versus culture? o Behavioural strategies that are not related to genetics and could be incredibly flexible - Genes vs. environment (crossed out) o SRY – carried by about half of all humans - SRY o Males does not equal murder o Females could be murderer or murder victims as well - However, o SRY induced developmental switch “has long lasting and often broadly predictable effects on our biology” - Evolution vs. culture o Transmitted culture – over many generations – can create new selection pressures for new adaptations e.g. the cultural change to agriculture and eventually several independent origins of adult lactose tolerance o When dealing with humans, have to keep in mind, even though cultural variation may be adaptive in which some people are still doing the hunter gatherer thing while some are not  Some phenomena are not adaptive though - There are two fields of study: evolutionary psychology and human behavioural ecology o Evolutionary psychology tends to focus on universal traits and focuses on the “environment of evolutionary adaptedness” o Evolutionary psychology assesses adaptation using trait design o Hypotheses lead to specific & novel predications about design features that are amenable to testing o Reverse engin
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