What are the key premises of Darwin's theory of Natural Selection?
Overproduction of offspring,
variation in traits that benefit of hurt offspring,
heritability of traits
Define Natural Selection, Fitness, and teleology
The beneficial traits will last through generations. The mechanism of evolution.
Fitness: measure of reproductive success, number of offspring that are born and survive to reproduce
teleological: not heading toward a goal; not perfect or unconstrained, etc.
Why reproduce using sex? What are the tradeoffs?
Asexuals (1) can't purge their genomes of harmful mutations, (2) at a greater risk of being wiped out by parasites/pathogens, and (3) have higher levels of sibling competition.
With sex you have variation in offspring also
Disadvantages of sex: only pass off 50% of genes and trouble of courting/finding someone, depend on others
Why are males and females different in many species? Where can we see the largest difference?
Females invest a lot in reproduction, males not so much... usually males have "ornaments" (like a peacock or lion's mane, etc)
It increases the male's chances of passing on their genes--reproducing
Why did we develop bipedalism or desire for sweetness? How can we test this hypothesis? Any data?
Bipedalism allows us to carry things, throw things--purpose of hunting better etc. (Tarahamarro tribe)
sweetness used to be hard to come by, and it gave substance and calories. Also usually means it is safe to eat (not poisonous). Those who can acquire sweetness (Tete) are those who have increased chance of reproduction, fitness, etc.
Corrected misconceptions about evolution:
Only populations evolve, not individuals
Selection is not teleological
Every species carries artifacts from earlier environments (ex. sweetness)
Sexual selection is a special case--individuals do not do things for the "good of the species"
Examples of non-human organisms that engage in homosexual behaviors? What is the biological explanation for these behaviors?
fruit flies, common toad, guppies, rams, dolphins, chinstrap penguin, japanese monkeys.
to reduce tensions, control resources, to help with offspring...
Places we can look for a biological explanation of homosexuality? What data explains the genetic and epigenetic basis of homosexuality?
epigenetic--fraternal twins or non-twin siblings
Evaluate scientific evidence for a biological basis for homosexuality. Why are the answers complex?
Finger length--the 2nd finger relative to the 4th finger. (correlation not causation)
brain imaging... gays most closely resemble women and ice versa
Gays more likely to have older brothers
Ascribed to an antibody effect--y-linked antigens
population attributable factor
--> no gay gene found but it does seem as a result of biological factors.
What's the LDS Church's position on homosexuality? How should members behave?
There is no doctrine on it. Leave it to the scientists, but we must be loving and charitable to all God's children
Use idea of non-overlapping magesteria to partition the key questions regarding homosexuality.
Since we don't know God's standpoint on the issue, we leave it separate from church and science. They have found it to lead from biological factors, but there is no proof. Therefore, we love everyone and wait until revelation on the subject is given.
Why is there so much diversity (Riley Nelson's)
because God loves us.
Carbon makes 4 bonds.
To give us opportunities... and to make more of it!
What are the three types of diversity? Why is this relevant?
Genetic diversity, &
Relevant to classify objects and connect all the pieces even though everything is different
Why are species disappearing?
#1: Habitat destruction
also... invasive species, over-hunted, pollution, and desease
What is the net primary production? What does it teach us about a limited world?
What are the 3 things Gary Snyder suggested were a solution to the cynicism and crises of our day? Wendell Berry?
Snyder= stay together, learn the flowers, go light!
Berry=knowing your place in nature, enjoy it, live it.
What does it mean to be human? How does this understanding help us to live with limited knowledge in a limited world?