Bio Exam Notes Section 4.docx

Legacy drive fulfillment 1 parenting memetic and

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Legacy drive Fulfillment:   1. Parenting-  memetic and genetic legacy can be passed through offspring 2. Religion – potential of creating an everlasting soul 3. Accomplishment Legacy through human accomplishment:  1. Fame/notoriety 2. Prestigious/fulfilling career 3. Consumerism and 'coolness' 4. Volunteering/philanthropy   (6) In ‘The God Delusion’, Richard Dawkins argues that, on balance, it would be good for humanity if we could somehow do away with religion altogether. Yet in BIOL350 we considered, based on evolutionary thinking, that religion is probably here to stay. Briefly describe the main arguments in support of this view. Religion helps with: o Legacy drive
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o Self impermanence  Here to stay: o Large component of cultural norms worldwide o A British university study suggests that people of strong faith can spread religion through a "believers' gene" that is part of their DNA people with strong religious beliefs tend to  have more children and that this, combined with a genetic predisposition to believe, can  explain the expansion of religion.  o Religions are a product of cultural evolution, but religiosity is a product of biological  evolution (7) In BIOL350, we considered two different evolutionary interpretations in accounting for human attraction to conspicuous consumption. Briefly distinguish these two interpretations. Leisure drive and distraction from death: distracts and shows accomplishment Fitness:  represents a signal of our status and attractiveness to potential mates (8) In BIOL350 we considered some ideas for the evolutionary roots of the culture of ‘cool’. Briefly describe these Components of 'looking cool' that are rooted in our  evolutionary instincts : o Sexiness = waist/hip ratio   o B eauty = facial symmetry o W ealth = status (fitness) o I ntelligence (fitness) Fitness Signal : for our ancestors 'coolness' signaled high fitness. C ool nowadays isn't always  truthful, we recognize its a fitness signal so we try to fake it to get more mates. Elitism:  Being cool confirms social status, fulfils legacy drive (9) In BIOL350, we considered an evolutionary hypothesis for why so many women in wealthy countries choose to be childless, despite that childlessness means zero fitness from direct lineage. Briefly describe this hypothesis. Past: o Zero or low lifetime fertility in females has never had historical opportunity to be  significantly selected against   women did not have control of their own fertility, and  men became fathers because they wanted to have sex or to leave a legacy, leaving women with little choice
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o No reason for selection to favour a strong parenting drive or maternal instinct in women,  as women were forced to have children regardless of whether or not they wanted to, so a  strong parenting drive has never been selected for Present: o Females are now in control of their own fertility in wealthy countries due to readily  available birth control, female empowerment and high overall standards of living.
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