Evolution and Human Social Behaviour
Evolution and Human Social Behaviour 2022-23
Ysgol Gwyddorau Dynol ac Ymddygiadol
Evolutionary biology is rich in important and sometimes controversial (and misunderstood) theories. The modules covers two themes developed from evolutionary biology, relating to forces of social selection. One key theme is human sexual selection and mate choice, in which we consider how humans may have adapted to sexual selection pressures. The second theme concerns problems of altruism, morality, and the structure of human societies. How could a trait like altruism evolve, when it means you sacrifice your own genetic interests for someone else's? In addition to these main themes, we’ll also look at early humans and our evolutionary origins, and the evolution of nonverbal communication systems, especially in the human face. Many of the key readings come from excellent popular accounts, mainly The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, and The Mating Mind, by Geoffrey Miller. We’ll also review in class some classic papers, as well as recent findings. The module covers a lot of different topic areas, and it is the underlying ideas of selection and adaptation that tie them together.
-threshold -Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments. -good -Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material. Will often bring in material from outside the lectures to illustrate understanding. -excellent -Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area. Clarity of argument and expression. Uses material from outside of lectures to illustrate and clarify the arguments made. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.
Mid term Exam