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Mayr's distinction of evolutionary causation

Ultimate causation (why a phenotype was naturally selected or "why it exists") vs

Proximate causation (what is immediately responsible for a phenotype, or "how it works")


Tinbergens 4 levels of analysis?

Ultimate Explanation ("Why")
-adaptive function (adaptation)
-phylogeny (evolutionary history)

Proximate explanation ("How")
-Mechanism (causation)
-Ontogeny (development)



Neo-Darwinism, also called the modern evolutionary synthesis, generally denotes the integration of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, Gregor Mendel's theory of genetics as the basis for biological inheritance, and mathematical population genetics.


What is the assumption made in Tinbergens levels of analyses?

that genes contain developmental information.

-Good model for thinking about exclusively about how genes reproduce themselves, not how development (individual differences) arise.


Gottilieb’s Probablistic Epigensis model

attempts to describe how development works in most cases, as a bidirectional interaction between nature and nature arising from each other and interacting to create different outcomes in development.


Baby math critique

How can one make such an ambiguous claim that babies have numerical concepts from the time of birth, Could just be a sensitivity to expectation, no empirical way to prove one way or the other.


Molecular Phonology

using molecular technology to estimate species descent


Genetic drift

process in which allele frequencies within a population change by chance alone as a result of sampling error from generation to generation. Genetic drift is a random process that can lead to large changes in populations over a short period of time.”

explains how you have alternate variations in same genome (mutations).
-happens at a roughly constant rate at the population level


AMH (anatomically modern humans) defining features

-greater brain size-volume (1300-1400cc)
-Meat eating (maybe)
-learning niche- humans born into social culture at young age- easily shaped (extra uterine year)
-extended childhood


What epoch do evolutionary psychologist claim our Brain is evolved for? What epoch do we live in?

they view our brain as adapted for the Pleistocene epoch, just before the holocene epoch- the one we live in today.

-Argued that we now recently live in the Anthropocene epoch, one where we effect global climate change


When did the homosapiens split from Africa?

Around 60000 years ago, those who left Africa became the other races, and those who stayed are Africans from Africa


How much Neanderthal DNA do the homospaiens have?

0% those who stayed in Africa, 2.5% those who left


How much Denisoyan DNA do Melanesian people have?



Who discovered the interbreeding of neanderthals and homosapiens?

Pääbo using molecular clock estimation, (watch ted talk)


Niche construction

is the process by which an organism alters its own (or another species') local environment. ... Examples of niche construction include the building of nests and burrows by animals, and the creation of shade, influencing of wind speed, and alternation of nutrient cycling by plants.