Culture & control of human evolution - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Culture & control of human evolution

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  1. Culture & control of human evolution

  2. Cultural evolution Relative rates of evolution Biological evolution

  3. Cultural transmission in Japanese macaques -potato washing -grain sorting

  4. Tool use in chimpanzees

  5. Sociobiology Sociobiology: the systematic study of the biological bases of social behavior ie. using evolutionary theory as a foundation for the study of social behavior EO Wilson

  6. Sociobiology Application of sociobiology to mate choice Male mating decisions predict: -competitive & aggressive, promiscuous, less nurturing to children, attracted to fertile females Female mating decisions predict: -less competitive, more nurturing to children, attracted to resource-rich males

  7. Social Darwinism Social Darwinism: social & cultural differences in human societies arise through processes of natural selection, similar to those that account for biological differences among populations & species Herbert Spencer

  8. Social Darwinism Appealing to those in ‘superior’ social positions Assumes society operates through same laws as biology False assumption! No evidence that what is in biology, is or ought to be in society JD Rockefeller

  9. Eugenics Eugenics: humanity can be improved by altering human genotypes or their frequencies ie. evolution of human traits by natural selection could be substituted by evolution through social selection Positive eugenics - increase frequency of beneficial genes Negative eugenics - decrease frequency of deleterious genes

  10. Eugenics Positive eugenics - increase frequency of beneficial genes Sperm banks Genetic engineering Parthenogenesis Cloning

  11. Eugenics Negative eugenics - decrease frequency of deleterious genes 2 - 2.5% of children born in the US are markedly defective - mentally or physically Two reasons for prevalence of deleterious genes 1 although deleterious in homozygous condition, may produce hybrid vigor in heterozygous 2 frequency of deleterious genes is now high because natural selection has been artificially reduced

  12. Biological vs cultural maturity Biological efficiency decreases post-reproductive age of 20-30 Cultural efficiency increases then or later Cro-Magnon man

  13. Human population projected to reach 12 billion by 2050

  14. Humans evolve, but also know that they evolve -what is the goal? -can we choose the direction of human evolution with certainty that this direction is what is best for our descendents?

  15. Humans are graduating from being mere subjects of evolution to coauthors We have the destiny of ourselves and many other organisms in our hands

  16. Obligatory Darwin quote There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, … from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. Darwin 1859