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Chapter 3: Evolution, Heredity, and Behaviour
evolution is not a theory of creationism, it’s a theory of how animals have
come to be the way they are
evolution goes against religion because it says lifeforms change, while
religion says God created everything the way it is
certain tendencies lead to higher reproductive success and get passed on
ADAPTIVE SIGNIFICANCE: effectiveness of behaviour in aiding organisms
to adjust to changing environmental conditions
ULTIMATE CAUSES: evolutionary conditions that have slowly shaped the
behaviour of a species over generations (ex. we still find things attractive from
“caveman days)
PROXIMATE CAUSES: immediate environmental conditions and events that
affect behaviour
EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY: studies how an organism’s evolutionary
history contributes to reproduction and survival during its lifetime
CULTURE: sum of socially transmitted knowledge, customs, and behaviours
to particular group of people
1831: Darwin and Captain Robert Fitz Ras traveled to aboard HMS Beagle,
collecting specimens of species to be sent back to England
after returning home, Darwin was interested in artificial selection – can
artificial selection happen in nature?
NATURAL SELECTION: favourable traits are selected for, produce more offspring, get
passed on
Natural selection depends on
1. Variation of physical and behavioural traits (genotypes and phenotypes)
2. Competition for food and mates – no competition means fitness doesn’t
Basic: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution:
1. Communities of world are dynamic, constantly changing.
2. Evolution is gradual, changes arise through slow and steady environmental
3. All organisms descended from a single common ancestor. Over time, different
species evolved, each adapted to its environment.
4. Natural selection not only causes changes during changing environments, it
also prevents change during static environmental conditions (i.e. already best-
fitted for environment, no more evolution)
sexual reproduction favours variability and competition, therefore majority of
species reproduce sexually
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