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Evolution and baseball caps 
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Isn't evolutionary psychology an attempt to explain behaviours and choices as being rooted in evolutionary history and genetic programming?
They say we can rebel against our "selfish" genes but if this is so we can rebel against other evolutionary "hardwiring" also.
How can evolutionary psychology be explanatory then unless we actually are hardwired and can't rebel against our genes.



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ant, Interbane
Sun May 31, 2015 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
If our default evolutionary setting was disbelief but the species rebelled against its wiring and thesim was selected for survival purposes , whats the reason for rebeling against a rebellion that resulted in a successful survival strategy?

Is it because we experienced a conscious rising moment when evolutionary psychology "explained" the roots of religion and theistic belief (ie - religion is nothing more than a Kumbaya campfire social event to encourage social support and togetherness)

Does a evolutionary psych explanation increase the survival chances of the species? Is that why its being selected now (allegedly, but thats misinformation - church attendance is down, but belief in a higher power is not dissappearing)



Sun May 31, 2015 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Flann wrote:
Isn't evolutionary psychology an attempt to explain behaviours and choices as being rooted in evolutionary history and genetic programming?
They say we can rebel against our "selfish" genes but if this is so we can rebel against other evolutionary "hardwiring" also.
How can evolutionary psychology be explanatory then unless we actually are hardwired and can't rebel against our genes.


The best evolutionary psychology can do is give a partial answer. There is a great deal of our behavior that cannot be reduced beyond the information we've gathered as a species. Our culture, our knowledge, our beliefs. Knowledge often trumps the impulses of our evolutionary heritage. Refraining from sex, applying altruism to our out-groups, avoiding sugar, quelling anger to maintain employment, etc.

Another part of the answer comes from cultural evolution, although the best efforts of science haven't cracked that nut yet. It's still in large part philosophical. This isn't a bad thing since cultural evolution is arguably the most complex field of study in science or philosophy.


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Sun May 31, 2015 7:03 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Just to clarify:
No one said anything about it being a bad thing.



Sun May 31, 2015 7:07 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Interbane wrote:
The best evolutionary psychology can do is give a partial answer. There is a great deal of our behavior that cannot be reduced beyond the information we've gathered as a species. Our culture, our knowledge, our beliefs. Knowledge often trumps the impulses of our evolutionary heritage. Refraining from sex, applying altruism to our out-groups, avoiding sugar, quelling anger to maintain employment, etc.

Another part of the answer comes from cultural evolution, although the best efforts of science haven't cracked that nut yet. It's still in large part philosophical. This isn't a bad thing since cultural evolution is arguably the most complex field of study in science or philosophy.

And yet Interbane, there is a great deal of behavioural and social diversity even among closely related species. Lions are highly social big cats, whereas Leopards are solitary and secretive.
If their genetic makeup is similar why is their behaviour so different? There are behavioural similarities too of course but the social behaviour can hardly be accounted for by genetics.
Animal behaviour is adaptable too. Urban foxes can switch from rural rodents to human food waste in garbage quite easily.



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ant, Interbane
Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:16 am
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Flann wrote:
And yet Interbane, there is a great deal of behavioural and social diversity even among closely related species. Lions are highly social big cats, whereas Leopards are solitary and secretive.


They may be closely related, but they are still genetically different.

Flann wrote:
Animal behaviour is adaptable too. Urban foxes can switch from rural rodents to human food waste in garbage quite easily.


Animals learn too. It's the germ of cultural evolution, where new behaviors arise. There are even simple forms of communication in some animals, passing along learned behavior. Nothing as robust as human language, but you can see the roots of the process.


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Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:58 am
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Quote:
Lions are highly social big cats, whereas Leopards are solitary and secretive.


This was a great comment. I love big cats (and house cats).

Putting aside the topic of this discussion, I had to look this up really fast and want to do more research when time permits.

I suspect leopards take full advantage of their physical traits (camouflage perhaps the most significant) by remaining aloof.

Quote:
The leopard's success in the wild is due to its well camouflaged fur, its opportunistic hunting behavior, broad diet and strength to move heavy carcass into trees, its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest, steppe to arid and montane areas and to run at speeds up to 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph)




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Leopards must compete for food and shelter with other large predators such as tigers, lions, spotted hyenas, striped hyenas, up to 5 species of bear and both African and Asiatic wild dogs. These animals may steal the leopard's kill, devour its young or even kill adult leopards. Leopards co-exist alongside these other large predators by hunting for different types of prey and by avoiding areas frequented by them. Leopards may also retreat up a tree in the face of direct aggression from other large carnivores but leopards have been seen to either kill or prey on competitors such as black-backed jackal, African wild cat and the cubs of lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs.[3]

Resource partitioning occurs where leopards share their range with tigers. Leopards tend to take smaller prey, usually less than 75 kg (165 lb), where tigers are present.[3] In areas where the leopard is sympatric with the tiger, coexistence is reportedly not the general rule, with leopards being few where tigers are numerous



Quote:
Animal behaviour is adaptable too. Urban foxes can switch from rural rodents to human food waste in garbage quite easily
.

The leopard is a hybrid that is very flexible in its environment.

Beautiful animal :)



Last edited by ant on Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Here is an article about four fallacies of "pop evolutionary psychology:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... 012-12-07/



Fallacy 2: We Know, or Can Discover, Why Distinctively Human Traits Evolved
emphasis mine

Quote:
But the comparative method offers little help for Pop EP's aspiration to reveal the adaptive history of the psychological traits—including language and forms of higher cognition—that putatively constitute human nature. Pinker, for example, has argued eloquently that language is an adaptation for verbal communication of infinite combinatorial complexity. He is probably right that language is an adaptation. But discovering why it evolved—what it is an adaptation for—requires identifying the adaptive functions that language served among early language users. To employ the comparative method to answer such questions, we need to compare some human psychological trait with its homologous form in species with whom we share a common ancestor. Here looms the problem. Among extant species, our closest relatives are the chimpanzee and the bonobo, with whom we share a common ancestor that lived approximately six million years ago. But even these, our closest relatives, don't possess forms of the complex psychological traits, such as language, whose evolution Pop EP aspires to explain.



Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:44 pm
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