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Lecture Notes For Final EVO PSYCH.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

“In general, we expect to see genes acting in a way that promotes the propagation of copies of themselves into future generations (at the expense of alternate alleles), because those that do so will tend to increase in frequency within a population” READ THE INTRODUCTION “THE SELFISH GENE”, NOT THE SELFISH GENE” -gene‟s may be “selfish”, but this doesn‟t mean that people are! -a gene that wants to look out for itself could code for friendship, feelings, etc -parents invest tons for their offspring completely selflessly, but the genes are being selfish by protecting their DNA in the offspring “selfishness” includes mutual cooperation with others BEWARE THE “NATURALISTIC FALLACY”  Tendency to confuse “what is” with “what ought to be”  Assume that just because something exists it therefore is good and right… THIS IS NOT TRUE  Eg Bubonic plague. It exists but doesn‟t mean that we have to like it and we want to do something to decrease its presence. Same thing with any of the behaviours we will talk about in this class.  Evolutionary theory helps to predict and explain what will evolve or has evolved and why, it does not justify it  This fallacy is especially tempting with human behaviour : Will Say Won’t Say Humans are animals Humans are mindless Genes can influence behaviour Each gene “causes” one specific thing Brains (and the behaviours they All behaviour is genetically programed produce) can be products of evolution (learn because we have genes that allow us to) Motivations are about fitness relevant Humans are consciously concerned with concerns (fitness=reps. Success) eg fitness (more natural than that, ie things surviving that taste good are healthy) Decision rules should be (or once were) All behaviour is adaptive adaptive on average eg make decisions based on survival instincts Behaviour X exists, increases inclusive Behaviour X is therefore justified
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