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Chapter 12 for PSYB65

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ted Petit

PSYB65: HUMANS, HUMAN BRAINS, AND EVOLUTION (CHP12) MODULE 12.1, EVOLUTION OF HUMANS [1] Darwin - 1859: published On the Origin of Species, depicting his evol.y thry - all living creatures have been, and still are subj. to selection - allow us to comprehend speciation - provides impt insights into behavr's that have been subj'ed to selection P's - ex. mating preferences in birds - fundamentally changed understanding of biology, society [2] Applying principles of evolution to human behavr - v.controversial rs'rch - disagreemts centred around: - mechnnism of evol'n - placemt of specific thing/aspect w/in time-frame - but pretty much no doubt when it comes to notion that humans have been, and still are subj. to evoly. forces - great deal of acceptance [3] EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY [D] = psyl approach that attempts to apply principles of evol'n (adaptation & selection) to human behavr. - has not achieved signif. lvl of acceptance, which is largely related to - relative newness - difficults that are present whenever new thry challenges accepted soc & scientific views - humans have difficulty applying principles of evol'n to ourselves - b/c don't like to think that we are like animals, subj. of nature EVOLY. VIEW ON BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR - provides impt insights into - how our envirnmt has impacted dvpmt of our species - specific demands & subseq. adaptatiosn that evolved. to deal w/ challenges of envirnmt EVO. PSY - provides us with ways by which we can combine - human behavr - history of humans .... to gain signif. insight as to what it means to be human, and what it doesn't [3] WHAT IS THE PERSPECTIVE THAT THIS CHAPTER TAKES ON? - humans - are animals - like animals, our brains and behavr's been shaped by principles of evol'n WHERE WE ARE GOING - this module - dvpmt of evo. thry - evol'n of human brains - inferences we're entitled to (make, not make) about basis of evol'n of human species p380 EVOLUTIONARY THEORY [1] DISCOVERY OF EVOL. THRY - gen. credited to - Charles Darwin - Alfred Russell Wallace - dvped this thry indep'ly - Darwin presented it to Linnean Society of London, July 1 1858 [2] DARWIN'S JOURNEY ON H.M.S BEAGLE, December 1831 - 5-yr voyage, on which he - became curious of - understnading how species arose - how geographical isolation on islands prod'ed various features in what he infered to be the same species WALLACE'S JOURNEY - for period of 11 yrs, -explored >- Amazon river basin >- pts of Indonesia - became curious of - relationships b/ween geogrpahy of partic. loc & its effect son particular characteristics of species that lived in that niche (home) - wrote essay On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from Original Type - sent this to Darwin for commenting - this essay - confirmed Darw'ins thries of evol'n - urged him to publish On the Origin of Species,1859 [3] Darwin and Wallace - took into acc't impt ideas form other ppl's works, and this allowed them to prod. thry of evol'n 1. Linneaus - classification of orgsms based on structure - observed that related species had commonalities wrt structure - supports thry of evol'n (though Linneaus knew not at his time) 2. Lyell and Smith - geologists - their work supported idea that earth much older than was thought before Smith - studied fossils - observed - some animal species exhibited v.little change - but when change did occur, it occurred in predictable manner in strata of earth - s.t. more primitive forms of that species are in more older strata of earth - others now extinct Lyell - studied geological processes - ex. erosion, volcanism - his work - argued that amt of time needed for these events suggests that earth much older than prev. anticipated - suggested idea that processes that shaped earth continually occurring - ie. they are active, and cont. will prod. changes to earth in future 3. Malthus - philosopher - suggested that - popns exponentially grow until they exceed their food supply - this results in struggle for existence >- contrib. impt for idea of Survival of the fittest in evo. thry p381 HISTORICAL THEORY OF EVOL'N [1] - 3 terms summarize historical thry of evol'n 1. [D] VARIATION = diff's in morphology, a characteristic present in all individuals 2. [D] INHERITANCE = passing diff's in morphology from one gen. to next 3. [D] DIFFERENTIAL REPRODUCTION = orgsms best suited for envirnmt will show enhanced survival & reprod. at greater rate than those LESS suited to envirnmt - all individuals vary - this results in dif'fs in morphology, which can be passed from one gen. to next - individual diff's in morphology result in variations when it comes to success in envirnmt, and success in envirnmt determined by - survival - reprod'ion (ex) - every human varies in height (variation) - our height ssim. to that of parents (inheritance) - if envirnmt suddenly altered s.t. all short individuals have greater difficulty surviving, then taller ppl.. - will have an advantage - should have easier time surviving longer to prod. larger # of offspring (differential reprodion) - over time, this situation will result in more tall ppl (prediction by evo. thry) [2] Darwin - suggested that mchsm underlying evoly. changes is NATURAL SELECTION [D] = this form of selection (by nature) has two req. - traits that give orgsm a reprodie advantage will lead to these traits become more common in popn - that all individuals are unique [D] ADAPTATION = sys. of prop's or mchsm influenced by nat. selection b/c it helped solve specific adaptive prob. posed by any of/some of the following envirnmtl aspects - physical - chemical - dvpmtl - ecological - demographic - soc. - informational - what is req. for trait to be adaptation? - must be inherited from one gen. to next - b/c animals adapted to specific envirnmts, diff. envirnmts could lead to selectio nof diff. traits - this often occurs in geographically distinct popns of related species - nat. selection is continually occurring, b/c - envirnmt not static - variation never truly is absent => this suggests that even existing and new species are being influenced by this process [3] - natural selection itself cannot take into acc't all phys. and behavl. traits that impact a gene's success (ie. survival)
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