[Solved] PSY610 Assignment 1 Fall 2020
PSY610 Assignment 1 Fall 2020 Solution:
Cats are taken as pets now more than ever. Considering Comte Georges Du Buffan theory of evolution, explain how domestication of cats as pets is going to affect the characteristics of the cat’s future generation. (10)
An evolutionary perspective of personality and individual differences proposes that our personalities and individual differences have evolved, in part, to provide us with some form of adaptive advantage in the context of survival and reproduction. This perspective is an evolutionary psychology perspective, which in itself is based on biological evolutionary theory. Evolutionary psychology integrates psychological theory with evolutionary biology, in an effort to understand traits, cognition, and behaviors, and how individuals may differ across these in light of achieving their evolutionary goals.
There was no great accord or historical marker to identify the date for us. But biologists and archaeologists have been able to suss out a few key details.
Perhaps not surprising to cat owners, it appears that cats adopted us rather than the other way around. A widely-reported study from 2007 suggests that the ancestors of domestic cats were the Near Eastern wildcats of the Fertile Crescent. Sometime around 10,000 years ago – a time, it should be noted, when sabercats and other Ice Age cats like the cave lion were still alive – some of these cats decided to take up with the human inhabitants of the area.
Humans probably had little to do with the domestication. But by settling down, farming, and storing our food, people created a smorgasbord for rodents that, in turn, enticed cats to wander into our homesteads. The felines proved themselves useful enough that we let the cats settle down with us, and, honestly, who could resist the mewing charm of little kittens?
Our inadvertent partnership with cats changed them just as they changed our daily lives. Biologists have even been able to see this in cat genes. On the surface, the feline that struts around your home doesn’t seem much different from their wild counterparts. (This is part of what makes feral cats such an ecological nightmare – they’re adept hunters of native species that has led countries like Australia from banning outdoor cats.) But get down into the DNA and biologists can see that our favorite pets show at least 13 genetic markers that distinguish domestic breeds from wild ones. Some of these differences are associated with behavior, such as changes in when cats feel fear or how they’re able to learn when provided food as a reward, showing how their brains changed as they came in to settle down with us.
Looking back at our own history, it may seem a little strange that we keep cats so close to us. The very first humans evolved in Africa over six million years ago, and by then there was a wide array of saber-toothed and non-saber- toothed cats on the scene. Some human fossils – such as the skull of one of our australopithecine cousins dubbed SK-54 with two puncture marks matching the tooth width of a leopard – indicate that cats even ate some of our relatives. Coming down from the trees meant that we were entering a world ruled by cats ready to pounce from the grass. We evolved alongside cats, undoubtedly fearful as well as fascinated. For while each cat species differs, they all share elements of the same grace and charm we’ve admired for as long as human memory can trace back. Through our own history we’ve been cat food, stolen their kills, admired them from afar, treated them as gods, and, unfortunately, brought far too many to the brink of extinction. If we truly love cats as much as our culture professes we do, then the best we can do to honor them is let cats continue their 30 million year evolutionary journey into the futThere are different types of the same species. For example, parrots found in
Here are different types of the same species. For example, parrots found in Asia are green whereas, parrots found in Australia are multi-colored and small in size. Explain this difference in the light of evolution and its theories using sound and logical arguments.
Looking at every level of organization in living systems, biologists see the signature of past and present evolution. Darwin dedicated a large portion of his book, On the Origin of Species, to identifying patterns in nature that were consistent with evolution, and since Darwin, our understanding has become clearer and broader. It is a common misunderstanding that evolution includes an explanation of life’s origins. Conversely, some of the theory’s critics believe that it cannot explain the origin of life. The theory does not try to explain the origin of life. The theory of evolution explains how populations change over time and how life diversifies the origin of species. It does not shed light on the beginnings of life including the origins of the first cells, which is how life is defined. The mechanisms of the origin of life on Earth are a particularly difficult problem because it occurred a very long time ago, and presumably it just occurred once. Importantly, biologists believe that the presence of life on Earth precludes the possibility that the events that led to life on Earth can be repeated because the intermediate stages would immediately become food for existing living things.
However, once a mechanism of inheritance was in place in the form of a molecule like DNA either within a cell or pre-cell, these entities would be subject to the principle of natural selection. More effective reproducers would increase in frequency at the expense of inefficient reproducers. So while evolution does not explain the origin of life, it may have something to say about some of the processes operating once pre-living entities acquired certain properties. In a larger sense, evolution is not goal directed. Species do not become
“better” over time; they simply track their changing environment with adaptations that maximize their reproduction in a particular environment at a particular time. Evolution has no goal of making faster, bigger, more complex, or even smarter species, despite the commonness of this kind of language in popular discourse. What characteristics evolve in a species are a function of the variation present and the environment, both of which are constantly changing in a non-directional way. What trait is fit in one environment at one time may well be fatal at some point in the future. This holds equally well for a species of insect as it does the human species.
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