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humanNature.otl - Biology and Human Nature 1. Human Origins...

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Biology and Human Nature 1. Human Origins 1. Brief history 1. 99% in common with apes 2. Move from trees to grassland 1. Upright posture, free hands, hunting 2. All before development of large brain! 3. 2 million years ago: Homo Habilis 1. Larger brain and chipped rock tools 4. Homo erectus: 1.6 million years ago 5. Homo sapiens 500,000 years ago 1. Agriculture: 10,0000 years ago 2. Darwin 1. Stressed similarities 2. We also have differences! 3. Our brain: 1. Unfolds the history of evolution 2. At base: shared with most animals 1. controls basic function 3. Midbrain 1. Hormones and emotional life 4. Outer layer 1. Perceptual, cognitive, and communicative processes 2. Chimps can communicate basically, but not near our level 1. Language had gradual evolution 4. Self-awareness 1. Rudimentary in some animals 1. Eg elephant/chimp will rub spot off head 2. We have much more developed 1. Can imagine distant possibilities 2. Can focus on goals beyond present needs 3. Construct symbolic worlds through language and arts 5. Social Order 1. Insects and animals have complex ones 1. More ability for learning and individuality up genetic tree 2. We have ability to do so much more 1. Can transmit info via writing, media, and education 6. Intellectual power and creativity 1. We far surpass any other animals 2. Can rationally react against impulses 2. Sociobioogy and Cultual evolution 1. Sociobiology 1. Origins of altruistic behavior 1. Eg worker ants are infertile, yet die for colony 2. Edward O. Wilson: protect close relatives, some of genes passed on 3. Dawkins: The Selfish Gene 1. Only due to genetics 2. Taboo against incest 1. More diversity == stronger genetically 3. Criticism 1. Rarely mention cultural evolution 2. Wilson's genetic kinship coefficients can't explain cultural phenomenon 1. No room for freedom in his analysis
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2. Even inherit our value systems 3. Reductionism 1. Mind: Epiphenomenon o fthe neural machinery 4. Conflict model 5. Advocate of "Scientific Materialism" 2. Cultural vs Biological Evolution 1. Former: more significant today 1. Culture replaces mutations and recombination as variability's source 1. To some extent deliberate and directional 2. Selection occurs through social experience and reinforcement 3. Transmission of info: through language, memory, education, and social institutions 4. All this allows it to be more deliberate and rapid 2. Evolutionary epistemology 1. Karl Popper 1. Theories compete until the best one wins out 2. No logic in forming hypothesis, but in testing them 2. Very limited link between science and evolution 1. Some by luck (penicillin), others by directed research 3. The status of the mind 1. mind: 100 billion neurons 2. Left and right 1. Left: analytic 2. Right: imaginative and holistic 3. Physical and chemical alterations 1. Electrical stimulation can evoke memories 2. Drugs can alter mood and behavior 4. How to piece it all togehter? 5. 1) Dualism
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humanNature.otl - Biology and Human Nature 1. Human Origins...

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