HUMDEV2703 - Child Development HUMDEV 270 Third Class...

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    Child Development HUMDEV 270 Third Class: Heredity and Environment J. Kevin Nugent  Cinzia Pica
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    Love’s Philosophy The fountains mingle with the river, And the rivers with the ocean; The winds of heaven mix forever, With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine In one another’s being mingle - Why not I with thine? Percy Bysshe Shelley
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    The nature vs. nurture debate  Our genes control the color of our hair, our height, the  size of our feet.  Genes probably influence other more complex traits like  our immunity to certain diseases, our level of agility, and  probably even our predisposition to addiction. A growing number of evolutionary psychologists argue  that many behavioral traits, including  mate preference must surely be influenced by the genes we inherited  from our ancestors -- the result of millions of years of  natural selection.  
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    Q.  What does a peahen want in a mate?   A. Elegant plumage.   Peahens always pick well-endowed suitors  equipped with a set of big, provocative tail  feathers over drab ones.  Biologists see the  evolutionary logic behind it –  healthy birds, with showy feathers, are  likely to father healthy offspring.   What do you want in a mate?  Yet some scientists propose that we all share  instinctive preferences, and that what we  humans find alluring in a mate is rooted in  our evolutionary past.    
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    Is mate choice in the genes? What if you knew that traits you find attractive are  indicators of health and strength? Our ancestors chose mates with these traits,  because they would have been more likely to have  children who thrived and continued their genetic lines  What if you knew that certain physical traits are  "universally" considered beautiful and alluring, and  that these traits have been coveted across cultures  and throughout human history?  Would this help convince you that your taste in a  mate is rooted in basic human instincts honed by  evolution? 
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    Beauty and survival –  a bio-evolutionary viewpoint Beauty  impels actions that help ensure the  survival of our genes  Our extreme sensitivity to beauty as a proxy for  good health is hard-wired, that is, governed by  circuits in the brain shaped by natural selection.  We love to look at smooth skin, thick shiny  hair, curved and symmetrical bodies  because  in the course of evolution people who noticed  these signals and desired their possessors had  more reproductive success.
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