what is the Modern Theory of Evolution? What does it …

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03/04/2008 · What is the Modern Theory of Evolution

Gazzaniga’s (1992) position is equivalent to that of Webster (1996); the meta-theory is false due to outmoded theories of biology and lack of scientific stringency, but many observations and the psychodynamic formulations of Human Nature may be true, and deserve the modern scientific and evolutionary foundation Freud was incapable of providing. Badcock (1998) and Nesse & Lloyd (1992) present two, somewhat different, EP/EPP approaches to making these necessary corrections to the theory.


How can the answer be improved?

Evolutionary species concept

Both of these claims are believed, even by other critics, to beunfair analyses of the views of the sociobiologists, and especiallyWilson—for example, Kitcher, one of the strongest critics ofsociobiology, takes Gould and the SSG to task on this point (Kitcher,1985, 22–23). In On Human Nature Wilson describes genes as,essentially, difference makers—he explicitly claims thatdifferences in genes, even for heritable traits, only explain thevariance in traits across a population; they are by no meansindependent causes for any trait in individuals and variation in theenvironment also accounts for part of the variation in any trait(Wilson, 1978, 19). In at least one paper responding to the SSGWilson says that, on the question of the relative contributions to thevariation in human behavior from variation in genes vs. variation inthe environment, his “own views lie closer to theenvironmentalist than the genetic pole” (Wilson, 1976, 183).Wilson also does seem to be trying to support his claim that there aresome human behaviors which are probably highly heritable: he describes avariety of different sorts of evidence that might identify them. This evidence includes cross cultural appearance (e.g. Wilson, 1975,550; Wilson, 1978, 20, 129); plausible homology with other closelyrelated species (especially chimpanzees) (e.g. 1978, 20, 27, 151);early development of the trait in question (e.g. 1975, 551; 1978, 129);differences between individuals that arise without differences in theirdevelopmental environment (e.g. 1978, 128–130); genetic syndromes thatcause behavioral differences (e.g. 1978, 43–45); and twin studies (e.g.1978, 145). Finally, Wilson claims that trying to change humanbehavior from its heritable form usually fails or causes misery(Wilson, 1978, 20)[];hedescribes the failures of certain attempts to change the features ofnormal human behavior by massively changing the social environment,such as the persistence of family ties under slavery (Wilson, 1978,136) and in the Israeli kibbutzim (1978, 134). Of course, whetheror not all of the above is good evidence for his claims is very much upfor debate (Kitcher, 1985; Sociobiology Study Group of Science for thePeople, 1976). It is worth bearing in mind that while Wilson thinks theevidence that some human behaviors are heritable is overwhelming(Wilson, 1978, 19) he does see many of his specific proposedevolutionary explanations as preliminary and speculative rather thanfully formed (for example, Wilson is explicit that his discussion ofhomosexuality is preliminary: 1978, 146). For more discussion of theproblems relating to heritability when studying the evolution of behavior, see section 4.2. below and the entry on .


Introduction to Creative Thinking

EP is a synthesis of modern evolutionary theory, studies of behaviour inspired by evolutionary theory, and cognitive psychology. It proposes an integrative perspective for psychology, and as such, it aspires to become the first real unifying paradigm of psychology (Buss, 1995a, 1995b; La Cerra & Kurzban, 1995). Many will see this as meaning that EP is a new attempt at promoting the ideas of human sociobiology (SB), including the idea of reducing psychology to biology. One of the first problems in presenting any evolutionary perspective to Human Nature is the association to human SB; therefore this needs to be dealt with first (Section II). The basic theoretical principles that constitute EP will then be presented (Section III). Not all theoreticians accept the functional, adaptationist stance of mainstream evolutionary science. Gould and Lewontin’s call for Pluralism (1979, Gould, 1983, 1991, 1993, 1997a, 1997b, 1997c; Lewontin, 1979; Rose, Lewontin & Kamin, 1984) has raised many issues critical to an evolutionary explanation of Human Nature. These controversies must be addressed (Section IV). There exist at, least three, wrongfully perceived paradoxes of EP. These follow from the prejudice that EP is theoretically on a par with SB, and need to be resolved in order to see how EP relates to both evolutionary theory and psychology (Section V). Finally, if EP is to integrate psychology within a theoretical framework that not only enables different areas of psychology to communicate, but also different levels of analysis, from biology to culture, then EP must show an ability to rigorously inform research, stringently discipline theory that is incompatible with empirical findings across sciences, and provide a conceptual level acceptable to most practitioners within the field. It is the aim of Section VI to show this.

Sequencing, forensic analysis and genetic analysis - …

Interestingly, another major area in which biological individualityhas played a large role is in debates over the nature of . That is, many philosophers of biology maintain that species areproperly construed as individuals. Species, often referred to as“units of evolution”—groups of organisms that evolvein a unified way—are nonetheless rarely seen as units ofselection. In Elisabeth Lloyd’s terminology (see theentry on ), this is presumably because species are rarely seen asreplicators/reproducers or vehicles/interactors but are commonly seenas beneficiaries of evolution by natural selection. In addition tosorting out whether species are individuals and what sort of units ofevolution (if any) they might be, there are many-decades’ worthof papers trying to characterize the species concept, whether in termsof interbreeding, phylogeny, morphology, ecology, or some other set ofcharacteristics. Here, as in many other areas of the philosophy ofbiology, there have also been arguments for a pluralisticapproach.