Evolution 1 - Evolution 1: Module 1: Introduction to...

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Evolution 1: Module 1: Introduction to Evolution and Psychology: The theory of evolution is one of the most influential ideas of history of western civilization. It has allowed science to investigate and explain many aspects of the diversity of life. It provided a framework for examining ourselves in the greater context of all living species, both past and present. Guest lecturer: Dr. Martin Daly; Evolutionary Psychologist We will study the relevance of evolutionary biology for psychological science. Biology is the science of life, so psychology is obviously a biological science. ..and the unifying theory of all biology is the theory of evolution. Biological sciences have a shared agenda: their goal is to elucidate the adaptive designs of living things. We are interested in what evolutionary biologists call adaptations: the working parts-the functional systems and subsystems-that animals, including human beings, are made up of. Module 2: Adaptations: Adaptation: an adaptation is some aspect of an organism that’s organized to achieve some specific function. A popular example for illustrating the concept of an adaptation is the vertebrate eye. The eye is a complex device whose function is vision: they enable us to recognize and respond effectively to things around us by detecting and analyzing the light that reflects off those things. The eye consists of the lend which is transparent so that light can enter the eye, and the muscles attached to the lens which adjust its curvature such that it will consistently focus light on the retina, despite the fact that light coming from different distances requires different focal lengths. The retina is sort of like a pixel board of photoexcitatory cells, with nerve connections that enable it to preserve information about the spatially details of the image. The iris has another function. The whole point is to make points about adaptations. Adaptations are complex, integrated things that serve identifiable functions in the life of an animal. The eye is “for” something; all adaptations are “for” something The eye example also illustrates the idea of a hierarchy of adaptations. You can think of the eye as a
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Evolution 1 - Evolution 1: Module 1: Introduction to...

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