Study "Evolution / Creationism" Essays 56-110

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East Asia, 1800-1912 Case Study

… To a certain degree people were convinced that their missions were meant to benefit humanity as a whole, even with the fact that they reflected negatively on communities they perceived to be inferior. These people believed that they were not only entitled to persecute other nations, as it was presumably essential for them to do so.

Compassion was rarely felt among Social Darwinists who supported the idea of imperialism. They were more concerned about gathering as many profits as possible and one can actually say that they employed a rational method of thinking in an attempt to justify what it was in their best interest to persecute other nations.

Herbert Spencer, the father of Social Darwinism, simply adapted Darwin's ideas to introduce his own thinking. By providing people with the ability to understand evolution as a tool that emphasized the need to use apparently 'inferior' peoples with the purpose of experiencing progress, he inspired numerous individuals to believe that imperialism was the answer to their problems. Morality was no longer a concept they needed to consider when discussing in regard to imperialism, as they were provided with the rationale required for them to be seen as perfectly normal peoples who took on their 'rights'.

Works cited:

Hawkins, Mike, "Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860-1945: Nature as Model and Nature as Threat," (Cambridge University Press, 13.03.1997)

"The New Imperialism," Retrieved Southern Utah University Website: http://www.suu.edu/faculty/ping/pdf/TheNewImperialism.pdf… [read more]


New Theory -- the Black Research Paper

… Evolution assumes that organisms are driven towards greater complexity -- however, looking at many microbes, we now find that some trend towards decreasing complexity and have a net loss of complexity relative to their ancestors -- also based on environmental pressures (Morris, et.al., 2012). The entire basis of this new theory comes from literally thousands of articles and research ranging from anthropological/sociological interpretations of Darwinism to numerous scientific studies on the topic (Lane, 2010). Other theoretical interpretations that help propel The Black Queen use the idea that rather than evolution being a smooth and linear process, it happens in quick bursts, then is relative stable for a time to allow the organism to adapt to the changes, with a repeat in the cycle. These bursts of creativity, knowledge and change require a set of equilibrium (the valleys between the peaks) -- otherwise, species, ideas and adaptations would occur too rapidly for any organism to maintain survival (Gould, 2007).

What does The Black Queen do for either Darwinian or Punctuated evolutionary theory? Well, currently, interdependence between organism's means that if evolution occurs based on taking on other characteristics (say color, shape of a beak, etc.) then this adaptation will affect the interrelationship between organisms in a particular biome. Interdependence, however, if Black Queen is true, highlights biological diversity, because if rare members are lost, the ecosystem might be in danger, and therefore untenable (Radical, 2012).

REFERENCES

Radical New Theory of Evolution; Could Turn Current Thinking on Its Head. (April 4, 2012).

The Daily Galaxy. Retrieved from: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/04 / radical-new-theory-could-turn-evolutionary-theory-on-its-head.html

Dennett, D. (2005). Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and Me. New York: Touchstone Press.

Futuyma, D. (2005). Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinnaure Associates.

Gould, S.J. (2007). Punctuated Equilibrium. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lane, N. (2010). Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution. New York: Norton.

Morris, J., et.al. (2012). The Black Queen Hypothesis: Evolution of Dependencies through Adaptive Gene Loss. imBio. 3 (2): Retrieved from: http://mbio.asm.org…… [read more]


Seeley, Robin Hadlock. "Intense Natural Selection Caused Essay

… Seeley, Robin Hadlock. "Intense Natural Selection Caused a Rapid Morphological Transition in a Living Marine Snail." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 83.8 (Sep. 15, 1986): 6897-6901.

One of the most controversial issues within the scientific community surrounding evolution is the extent to which rapid evolution is possible. While there is no doubt that there are seismic 'gaps' in the existing fossil record that is available for study, the causation of these apparent 'jumps' in the evolutionary process is not self-evident. To fill in some of these gaps, evolutionary biologists study apparent evidence of evolution within the contemporary animal kingdom. This article is an examination of such a review.

Specifically, the article deals with a snail native to Northern New England known as Littorina obtusata. Researchers observed that the snail's shell shape and shell thickness had apparently altered in a noticeable fashion between the years 1871-1984. Because of the information available from previous research, scientists were able to discern that the shells of the snails that were harvested before 1900 were almost exclusively characterized by high-spierd, thick walls, versus the shells collected of a far more recent duration from 1982-84. These more recently gathered shells were largely characterized by low-spierd, thick walls. In one instance, the snails shells collected in Nahant, Appledore Island, or Isle au Haut prior to 1900 were higher- spierd and thinner than those collected in 1982-1984, showing a deviation of .9 within at most 86 generations, which is highly unusual in terms of the rapidity of morphological change.

The specific controversy the study of the snail was attempting to address was the contention by some evolutionary biologists that the gaps in fossil records are not due to natural selection within a species but are instead due to the…… [read more]


John Dewey When Charles Darwin First Published Essay

… John Dewey

When Charles Darwin first published his On the Origin of Species in 1859 it immediately sparked a scientific and theological controversy with the intellectual world. But Darwin's theory of evolution did more than simply cause disagreements between intellectuals,… [read more]


Fossils Are the Preserved Remains or Traces Essay

… Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of those remains from animals, plants and other organisms from. The fossil record and their placement in geological strata (rock formations containing fossils) is known as the fossil record. The science of paleontology is the study of fossils across geological time -- how they were formed, what the evolutionary relationships were between the different fossils, and most importantly the relationship between organisms across time. Fossils vary in size, of course, based on the organism -- from microscopic to gigantic. Soft tissue is not normally preserved, so it is the bones or marks left behind (footprints or feces) that are typically found. In general, fossils are formed by the replacement of the empty spaces or parts of the organism with minerals or molds. There are several types of this: permineralization fills cavities with minerals from groundwater; authigenic mineralization forms mineral casts around the organism, or expression that compresses material and changes the carbon to rock over time (Pojeta and Springer, 2005).

The theory of evolution was developed out of the work of 19th century botanist and explorer, Charles Darwin and his book On the Origin of Species. Essentially, it is a scientific theory that postulates that organisms change over time based on pressures from the environment that cause genetic mutations within the organism. Over time, these changes are more adapted to a specific environment, more of that organism live longer and reproduce more, thus causing those traits to become even more entrenched in the population. Life then, is part of a gigantic tree in which primitive organisms, over millions and millions of years, evolved into higher beings due to the product of two opposing forces: variation in traits (common or rare) and natural selection (which traits aid survival) (Understanding Evolution).

Classic Darwinian evolution holds that species gradually change over time based on environmental pressures. However, that does not explain the manner in which the fossil record shows leaps in between species. Punctuated evolution (equilibrium), a theory from Stephen J. Gould and others, holds that rather than gradually, evolution gets a "kick start" with certain external or environmental changes (drastic weather, etc.). Instead of gradually over thousands of generations, then, it happens quickly (in genetic terms) over hundreds of generations. This theory, developed with Niles Eldedge proposes that evolution is not gradual, but really the combination of long period of species stability, puntuated by dramtic instances of genetic mutation and species…… [read more]


Modern Human Divergence Term Paper

… ¶ … divergence between humans beings was once commonly considered by scholars to have happened no later than the early Pleistocene, or over 1.5 million years ago. Why did 19th and even late 20th century evolutionary theorists believe in an early divergence of the human species? Why did most scholars after World War 2 believe that Neandertals were our ancestors? In anthropology and paleontology, recent work has focused on evidence that the earliest African modern human fossils and their recent ancestors were from a single human ancestor, poetically named mitochondrial Eve. Since 1988, DNA evidence has come to light that shows that all living humans have a common ancestor only 160,000 years ago while neandertals diverged at least 500,000 years ago. The evidence was revealed in popular magazines such as Newsweek (Tierney 46-52.). Given the popular and widespread access to the evidence why was the molecular genetic evidence for this late divergence considered controversial and unacceptable, even though the same scholars accepted genetic evidence for the late divergence of humans and African apes? How does our recent African origin affect concepts of race and racism? How has the new reports of hybridization between neandertals and non-African populations reignited the debate?

In this author's opinion, what is very startling about this early date not only upsets religious fundamentalists, but it humorously challenges many evolutionists' equally fundamental and orthodox conviction that the human family tree began much earlier., that is, millions of years earlier than actually happened.

Ironically both are based upon a dogma that has been set up and a community's agenda, existence (and usually careers) have been based upon an established orthodoxy whose overthrow will jeopardize an established order. The only difference between the two is that the early evolutionary orthodoxy which overthrew the creationist orthodoxy is now paradoxically in the same position battling the forces of analysis in evolutionary change. In addition, this most recent biological evolution is not propelled as much by an agenda other than the one to gather data. Largely, it has been allowing the data itself to frame the debate and to define the agenda by not defining it at all. It is truly a pursuit of scientific truth via the scientific method at its best.

Traditionally, most scientists support the multiregional hypothesis maintain that Homo sapiens evolved as a series of geographically separate but interbreeding populations stemmed from a worldwide migration of Homo Erectus out of the continent of Africa nearly 2.5 million years ago. More recently uncovered evidence suggests that Neanderthal genomes may have contributed about 4% of non-African heredity (Johanson).

Broadly speaking, two themes unify the present search for biological Adams and Eves. First, there is an interest in identifying the biological mechanisms by which human diversity was generated, with a particular focus on the role of population extinction as an engine of change as evolutionary bottlenecks become paradigmatic catalysts. Secondly, there is the integration of morphological, behavioral and genetic patterns that investigators have identified among recent groups of people with the… [read more]


Evolutionary Development of the Horse Research Paper

… (McFadden, 1988)

The biological classification of the domestic horse, which is the animal that most people picture when the term 'horse' is used, is as follows: the horse belongs to the Animalia kingdom, the Chordata phylum, the Mammalia class, the Theria subclass, the Eutheria infraclass, the Perissodactyla order, the Equidae family, the Equus genus, the Equus Ferus species, and the Equus ferus caballus sub-species. The evolutionary process of the horse occurs within the categories of the family and the genus. (Hall and Olsen, 2007)

The small horses of the Eocene period, about 20 million years ago, were doggish in appearance with arched backs, short necks, short snouts, short legs, and long tails. The first Equid was Hyracotherium, a small forest animal of the early Eocene. In the early-middle Eocene period, Hyracotherium gradually gave way to the Orohippus, who closely resembled his ancestor with minor changes in the toes and significant changes in the teeth. During the middle Eocene the Epihippis arose from the Orohippus. This animal was also very similar to his most previous ancestor, with a great deal of tooth evolution taking place in this transition. There is a late form of Orohippus called Duchesnehippus, with teeth similar to later Oligocene horses, and it is unclear whether this particular creature is a subgenus or a species of Epihippus. (Simpson, 1961)

Prothero and Shubin (1989) tell readers that the late Eocene period and the early Oligocene period brought about a great deal of change in the horse, due to climate and foliage changes. North America was becoming drier, grasses were beginning to evolve, and forests were shrinking. Horses of this time period developed tougher teeth and longer, stronger legs for running. The species Mesohippus celar… [read more]


Atwood by the Time Essay

… The genetically modified organisms appear and reappear throughout The Year of the Flood, adding continuity and showing how humans are adjusting to their new normal.

In Chapter 8, Toby talks about the Mo'Hair sheep, bred of course for their ability to produce massive amounts of wool. In fact, Toby comments about how thanks to Mo'Hair sheep she lost a valuable source of income selling her own hair. The name Mo'Hair is eerily the same as that of mohair, which is a natural form of wool from a specific breed of goat. The name therefore evokes the sense that the world depicted in The Year of the Flood is not much different from our own. Indeed, readers are aware that genetically modified foods are already being consumed; the leap from modern science to science in The Year of the Flood is not a big one.

By the end of the novel, the genetic modification and hybridization reaches an epic level. Human beings are interfering with the natural process of evolution in ways that are both damaging and irreversible. The extent of the effect reflects one of Adam One's sermons: "We pray that we may not fall into the error of pride by considering ourselves as exceptional, alone in all Creation in having Souls; and that we will not vainly imagine that we are set above all other Life, and may destroy it at our pleasure, and with impunity," (Chapter 10).

Human beings are ingesting the mutant creatures; they are letting them loose and even modifying the bodies of human beings to serve puerile ends. The sermons of Adam One punctuate the new reality, showing how "the fragility of the cosmos" has been revealed (Chapter 76). Well-meaning human beings have no choice but to honor the living creatures that…… [read more]


Charles Darwin Research Paper

… Religion at the time was the popular belief, which was built on the idea that our paths have been pre-ordained by God.

The theory of natural selection is an important part of any business organization. This is an important part of the hiring and promotion process in any organization. Companies utilize the process of natural selection in their hiring process; this is an attempt to obtain the brightest and most competent employees. "The primary concern of Evolutionary psychology is how the selective pressures in our species' past have generated behaviors, adaptations and how these adaptations influence people today"(Bjorklund & Pellegrini). Companies feel pressure to remain successful and to stay ahead of the competitors, and their only way of doing so is to ensure they have the brightest employees. The people who work the hardest and contribute to the most success to the business organization are the ones who get promotes and remain in the organizations.

Survival of the Fittest

The theory of survival of fittest was coined by Darwin, which means the strong will outlive the weak. This is an important part of Corporate America. The individuals who work harder, those that are more productive and those who contribute more to the organization are the ones who get promoted and stay with the organization. Companies seek to promote or to hire employees that will maximize their success; this is the true meaning of the term survival of the fittest in Organizational Psychology. In the world of sales, employees that are not generating adequate sales are usually let go from the organization or repositioned. The Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of the major businesses are usually individuals who have contributed to the business world in significant ways.

Why Darwin

I choose to write about Darwin because I feel like his work and his contributions to the world go beyond psychology. Darwin's contribution to the world includes biology, psychology and today it impacts the business world through industrial and organizational psychology. Today Darwin's theories are utilized in many aspects of our daily lives. His work has evolved to survive in our economy and in the 21st century. Like his theory of evolution, his work continues to evolve making progress two centuries later.

Darwin was a man with strong belief and conviction about his work. He knew his belief would contradict the religious beliefs, which was popular belief at the time. Darwin continued to research the topic of evolution for 18 years before his published his book on Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Every copy of this book was sold out on the first day of its release. Initially scientist did not support these concepts and theories, however in time Darwin was recognized for his hard work and his courage to go against popular beliefs. Even today Darwin's theories are not widely accepted. Religion continues to argue against Darwin's theories so throughout the history of time Darwin's theories and Religious theories have been on opposite sides of a continuum.

Conclusion

Charles… [read more]


Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection Term Paper

… ¶ … Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin

Providing a book review for Charles Darwin's on the Origin of Species is a daunting task. After all, the scientific community widely accepts the notions of natural… [read more]


Memory and Human Adaptation Research Paper

… Psychology

Human Adaptation

Although Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species in the middle of the 19th century, the systematic application of his theory to human behavior did not begin until more than a century later when psychologists and biologists began to generate research that formed the basis of sociobiology, and later evolutionary psychology (Cartwright, 2003). Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection provides an all-encompassing explanation of life, ranging from the origin of life to explaining the creation of new species and the ability of species, as a whole, to adapt to their environments over generations. Darwin's theory of natural selection is based on the understanding that the overall goal of life, in all species, is to survive long enough to ensure the successful propagation of one's genes. By procreating, an individual is able to ensure that a part of them, their genetic material, continues on to the next generation. Natural selection refers to the forces of nature (natural) acting on the aspects that contribute to one's success or failure in meeting this goal (selection) (Cartwright, 2003). In other words, natural selection serves as a process through which the individuals who are most capable of surviving in their given environment will be 'favored' in their ability to pass their genes to the next generation. Over time, this favoring allows the species as a whole to change (or evolve), in a manner that adapts them to their environments. What is most interesting about this process is that evolutionary psychologists have been able to extend this research beyond the adaptation of physical features to the adaptation of behavior, including behavior in human beings. Thus, adaptation applies to human behavior in an evolutionary sense due to the fact that certain behaviors have…… [read more]


So Close and Yet so Far Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Meathead" Hypothesis: Brain Size vs. Complexity

It is shocking how simple the human brain is. As Sapolsky points out, the relative difference between the human and chimp brains is one of the number of neurons (Sapolsky 3-4). While Sapolsky is probably partially right, the truth is more complicated however. This is interesting when posited against research that Cro Magnon Man actually had a bigger average brain size that modern man (Zyga). While this fact might elicit a laugh when horrible standardized test scores are considered the author quotes Ms Zyga for the express purpose of suggesting that there are probably other factors opposed to the number of neurons here. In addition, she points out that some areas of the human brain are more compressible and that mastication and simple robusticity may have been factors (ibid). After all, Sapolsky does not even mention the number of pathways or their complication of connectivity to explain a chimpanzees lack of higher culture, nuance and soul. Indeed as one of the comment respondents on the Physorg.com article site remarks "Kinda like processors becoming smaller and more efficient, if smaller means more intelligence I guess killer whales are more intelligent than humans (ibid)."

However, after castigating Sapolsky with the "meathead" evidence, let's look at his advantages. First of all, he is only examining one factor for us in the article. From a chemical and molecular standpoint, he is actually on to something. It is shocking from a chemical and molecular standpoint at how relatively uncomplicated we are. Good disciples of Darwin that we are, it is almost a commandant or something that we have a right to chemical complexity. Certainly, genetic sequencing issues are the meat and potatoes of classical evolutionary theory and are exactly what we would expect.

It is also fascinating that from a genetic standpoint that we are only 2% different from the chimpanzees. From a spiritual standpoint (yes, Creationists do not have monopoly on such reflections), it is humbling and should give us all reason for pause and humble meditation. In…… [read more]


Ubiquity of Darwinism Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought," by evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr, argues the case that no biologist has been more responsible for changes in the way the 'average person' views the world than Charles Darwin. The article further focuses on the history of natural science and the ideas that Darwin's theories laid to rest. Written as a sort of overview of Darwin's findings and how they affected the perceptions of both scientists and the 'average' human alike, Mayr's article takes a distinct evolutionary, scientific, and educated standpoint.

Mayr asserts that Darwin made major contributions in three areas: evolutionary biology, the philosophy of science, and the modern zeitgeist. Of evolutionary biology, Mayr claims that Darwin contributed four "especially important" concepts: evolution, common descent, evolution as having no discontinuities, and natural selection. Of the philosophy of science, our author purports that Darwinism, by its retroactive nature, has influenced biology, over the past 150 years, to modify its methodology to include not only experimentation but observation, comparison, classification, and testing of competing historical narratives. In other words, findings in this new branch of science -- evolutionary biology -- could not be verified by experimentation, as what was being studied took place in the past. New scientific methods had to be formed in response, and this, Mayr says, is Darwin's great contribution to the philosophy of science.

Darwin's contributions to the third field, "the Darwinian Zeitgeist," are what Mayr hones in on. Darwin rejected all forms of the supernatural, and offered, instead, a simple, justifiable means of understanding the natural world: natural selection. In contrast, his peers -- up until Darwin's time -- had been promoting teleological concepts. Most notably, there existed a belief that there was some teleological force that steered species toward perfection. This was known as the "final cause." In reality, this was a 'non-explanation,' similar to answering the question "Why?" with "Because." Instead, Darwin offered…… [read more]


Dim Forest, Bright Chimps by Christophe Boesch Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Dim Forest, Bright Chimps" by Christophe Boesch & Hedige Boesche-Achermann is a somewhat anecdotal review of the authors' experiences studying chimpanzees that inhabit the rainforest of the Ivory Coast. After an initial recount of an after-the-hunt scene, Boesch & Boesche-Achermann describe the chimpanzee troupe's tool usage, and other behaviors -- such as hunting and social interaction -- often comparing them with Jane Goodall's chimps in Gombe. Written from an evolutionary perspective, the writers ultimately speculate on how their chimps' behavior relates to the evolutionary process of the first humans.

Boesch & Boesche-Achermann's article opens mid-scene: a group of chimpanzees noisily rush through the rainforest's undergrowth, meeting and clustering around Brutus, a dominant male, who's clutching a barely-alive, shocked red coleus monkey. Brutus appears to savor the moment, standing silently, then confidently "swaggering" through the group with his favorite females and males close behind. The authors then transition by using the anecdote to introduce the nature of their long-term study: to research chimps' cooperation during hunts, tool use, and later, to compare and contrast their chimps' behaviors with those of their savannah counterparts. All this, the authors say, in hopes that new light be shed on prevailing theories of human evolution. In this vein, of specific interest was their chimps' cooperative behavior during hunting; it is this same behavior many anthropologists hold played a crucial role in social system development of early hominids, some 1.8 million years ago.

The article goes on to report -- within a kind of narrative regarding their subjective experiences studying the chimps -- the authors' most significant findings. First, Boesch & Boesche-Achermann found their chimps were capable of remembering the locations of out-of-sight stones around a panda tree. The chimps could quickly select one of appropriate size and use it to crack open nuts, one of their favorite foods. This ability in spatial representation, Boesch & Boesche-Achermann report, generally compares with that of nine-year-old humans. Second,…… [read more]


Scopes Monkey Trial Essay

… ¶ … Monkey Trial

In the 19th century, Charles Darwin shocked the world with his theory of evolution. Americans reacted particularly harshly by fiercely denying the theory of evolution and clinging to the Bible's creation story. The antagonism against the theory of evolution was so strong that lawmakers outlawed teaching it in public schools. In 1925, the state of Tennessee enacted a bill called the Butler Act. The act expressly forbade any teacher in a public school to teach the theory of evolution, "any theory that denies the story of divine creation as taught by the Bible and to teach instead that man was descended from a lower order of animals," (cited by Linder 2000).

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the Butler Act and agreed to offer legal counsel to any teacher that violated it. A man named George Rappalyea appreciated the offer and also saw an opportunity to bring publicity to his town (Linder 2000). Rappalyea called upon a school teacher named John Scopes to deliberately teach the theory of evolution and directly defy the Butler Act. What I found most interesting about this is that Scopes understood…… [read more]


Homo Sapiens Research Proposal

… Homo Sapiens

The question of the origins of the modern human species, Homo sapiens, has two interconnected facets that require different yet concurrent scientific approaches to achieve more accurate information. The geographical origin of the species and the timeline of the species' spread to other part of the globe constitutes one of the major ways to trace the origin of Homo sapiens. The other avenue of scientific pursuit is in tracing the genetic changes as they occurred in the distant evolutionary past. Both areas of research have inspired contention among experts. This article reviews some of the current pertinent literature pertaining to past, current, and ongoing research in these areas in an attempt to form a better understanding of the origins of Homo sapiens and the science that has led to this conclusion.

Introduction

The current geographical/anthropological arguments currently subscribed to by most scientists for whom this is an area of concern are the Recent Out of Africa hypothesis and the Multiregional Evolution Hypothesis, though there are also several other less accepted theories (Wu 2004). Basically, the argument of the widely held Recent Out of Africa Hypothesis claims suggests that modern man, Homo sapiens, evolved from other Homo precursors in Africa, and that a single population of Homo sapiens left Africa fairly recently in historic/geological terms, and that this population spread around the world and continued to evolve slightly into the observable ethnicities today (Wu 2004). The Recent Out of Africa Hypothesis does not give a complete and consistent answer to the issue of the origin and spread of Homo sapiens, however; aspects of this hypothesis are debated even amongst adherents.

The other major competing theory, the Multiregional Evolution Hypothesis, also believes that at some point the ancestors of modern humans came out of Africa and began to spread, and then developed into the various ethnicities of Homo sapiens independently in several different regions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (Wu 2004). The data used in the field consists mainly of fossil records, which are notoriously incomplete and therefore, despite the amount of knowledge fossils can provide to scientific researchers, unreliable means of ascertaining the true evolution of most creatures, including Homo sapiens. Certain geological information can also be used in dating fossils as well as modeling weather patterns to propose times that migration might have been facilitated or necessitated, which when combined with the fossil record might provide more conclusive evidence (Wu 2004). The information so obtained, however, can be interpreted in many ways, leaving the problem still largely unsolved. This is where the hopeful solution of Homo sapiens sapeiens origins becomes genetic.

Genetic information is useful in several ways when attempting to discern the origin of any species, including Homo sapiens. Because the standard rate of genetic change has been fairly well established, many experts believe that the years when various branches of the Homo sapiens family tree diverged or evolved (Relethford 2008). This information can be used in tandem with the fossil record in an attempt… [read more]


Alfred Russel Wallace Essay

… Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was active in a number of scientific fields, which indicates a wide range of interests and expertise. Wallace is described as an "...English naturalist, evolutionist, geographer, anthropologist, and social critic and theorist" (Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography). He is also often described as an 'outsider' with regard to the formal and accepted scientific community and this is often seen as a reason for his relative anonymity today - despite the fact that he was largely responsible for the idea of natural selection that was to lead to Darwin's theory of evolution. As one critic notes, Alfred Russel Wallace, was, "...the man who independently hit upon the idea of natural selection, and thereby prompted Charles Darwin to go public with his own version of the theory" (Gribbin, 2001).

This raises the question of why he has received so little acclaim after his death and why he is not very well-known today. Part of the answer to this question possibly lies in his biography and the fact that, unlike Darwin, he was not part of the privileged class of the society of the time and did not come from a wealthy background. He came from a family that was relatively poor and he spent much of his younger years learning and practicing various trades; for example, in 1839 he was apprenticed as a watchmaker for a time (Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography). However, these trades allowed him to develop skills that would prove to be useful in his future development as a scientist and naturalist. "... he picked up a number of trades-related skills and knowledge, particularly in drafting and map-making, geometry and trigonometry, building design and construction, mechanics, and agricultural chemistry" (Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography).

The central point that is being made is that Wallace did not enter into the world of science through the ordinary and conventional avenues. This was to result in the fact that he became a scientist who was not tied to the normative and rigid conventions of the time. While to a certain extent this relegated him to the periphery of the formal scientific community, the argument could also be made that this fact made him a much better scientist in that his vision or view of scientific reality was more open-ended and not determined by any slavish adherence to conventional scientific norms. For example, his background and eclectic knowledge led him to develop an interest and expertise in botany, geology, and astronomy.

It was his wide-ranging knowledge of geology and the natural sciences that led him to realize the possibilities of natural selection. Wallace recognized "...how he might go about demonstrating that evolution did in fact take place: by tracing out, over time and space, the geographical/geological records of individual phylogenies" (Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography).

However, while his unconventional brilliance and insight…… [read more]


Punctuated Equilibrium v. Phyletic Gradualism Essay

… Punctuated Equilibrium v. Phyletic Gradualism

One of the biggest debates in the theory of evolution over the past thirty years has been between proponents of phyletic gradualism, who believe that evolution takes place at a fairly even -- though not necessarily smooth -- pace, and those who belong to the school of punctuated equilibrium, whose view is that evolution occurs in fits and starts, with long periods of stasis between evolutionary leaps. Both of these theories use the fossil record as evidence that suggests they are correct, and it is possible that the truth behind evolution contains elements of both phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. Because of the incompleteness of the fossil record, however, the truth about evolution will probably never be known for certain.

There is some disagreement on whether or not Darwin believed in phyletic gradualism. Stephen Jay Gould, one of the two scientists who first theorized the process of punctuated equilibrium in 1972, claims that the theory actually fits with most of Darwin's original theory of evolution, and only "refutes the third and most general meaning of Darwinian gradualism...[a] 'slowness and smoothness (but not constancy) of rate'" (Gould, 27). Gould argues that punctuated equilibrium does not deny the operation of natural selection, which many paleontologists and other scientists take as evidence of gradualism because of the small changes in individuals it causes. Gould claims that this is an incorrect interpretation of natural selection, claiming that "natural selection does not require or imply this degree of geological sloth and smoothness" (Gould, 27). Instead, according to the theory of punctuated equilibrium, natural selection occurs at population fringes, or when populations become separated (Ridley, 599). Small changes in small populations can accumulate rapidly, and cause speciation in a punctuated way, perhaps only taking a few generations to produce a non-interbreeding species separate from its ancestral group.

Until the theory of punctuated equilibrium was postulated, phyletic gradualism was accepted from Darwin's time on as the most likely mechanism by which macroevolution -- large-scale evolution dealing with a population rather than an individual lineage -- occurs. It was believed by Darwin and many others after him that the process of natural selection would cause a slow and gradual change in a population of species, resulting in the formation of new species over long periods of time, with little discernible difference from generation to generation (Ridley, 594). This theory also suggests, in contrast to punctuated equilibrium, that changes generally occur in populations as a whole, rather than merely on the fringes as Gould and others suggest (KVIE, par. 4). The main problem with this theory is that the fossil record does not contain evidence of many intermediary species -- that is, the series species with minute changes that ought to exist between obviously related species with major changes.

The fossil record is the main source of evidence and consternation…… [read more]


Neanderthals Ate Dolphins, Seals, Cave Remains Research Proposal

… Neanderthals Ate Dolphins, Seals, Cave Remains Suggest.

The article by John Roach details the recent findings about Neanderthal dietary habits unearthed in various caves in Gibraltar. According to the researchers who uncovered and examined the artifacts, the remains of dolphin, seals, mussels, and other types of marine life indicate that, contrary to previous assumptions, Neanderthals actually hunted and otherwise exploited the seas for food in much the same way as early Homo Sapiens.

Traditional anthropological and evolutionary theorists had previously believed that one of the reasons Homo Sapiens thrived while Neanderthals became extinct was substantially attributable to their inability to exploit some of the same resources responsible for the success of the early humans who eventually populated the entire planet. If the analyses of the recovered remains prove accurate, anthropologists must come up with alternate explanations for the apparent sudden disappearance of Neanderthals at time when they coexisted with Homo Sapiens as recently as 28,000 years ago.

Analysis and Commentary:

It may very well be that Neanderthals possessed capabilities and intelligence more similar to those of modern humans than previously believed. It is curious that so much intellectual thought is devoted to identifying the supposed differences between modern human beings and the last proto-humans to nearly survive into recorded history. In some ways, it reflects a sort of "anthropomorphism" that presumes something uniquely special about modern humans differentiates us from all other hominids and other animal species. We already know that…… [read more]


Civilization We Live in Is the Result Term Paper

… ¶ … civilization we live in is the result of the constant evolution of the human kind. It represents a process of evolution and change of the human being, of its environment, and of the society he built and helped… [read more]


Neanderthal Homo Sapien Term Paper

… Neanderthal/Homo Sapien

Neanderthals and Homo sapiens: What Really Happened?

Neanderthals were the predecessors of modern Homo sapiens that inhabited Europe and parts of west and central Asia until about 30,000 years ago. An increasing number of researchers believe that the… [read more]


Charles Darwin the Voyage of the Beagle Term Paper

… Voyage of the Beagle

Adventures in the Tierra del Fuego and the Straits of Magellan: the ways in which Darwin appears to be a man of his culture and time and someone with a unique viewpoint about nature and the human race in his chronicles

As the founder of the radical theory of evolution, Charles Darwin is often called a man ahead of his time. His discussion of the different flora and fauna of the places he lived, and his comparative eye on his journeys while on the Beagle are extraordinarily modern in their detail and accuracy: "The central part of Tierra del Fuego, where the clay-slate formation occurs, is most favorable to the growth of trees; on the outer coast the poorer granitic soil, and a situation more exposed to the violent winds, do not allow of their attaining any great size" (Chapter 11). This shows how Darwin immediately observed that different environmental circumstances favored different types of trees.

However, Darwin's chronicles also show how in his racial attitudes, he was a man of his time. He views his own, European civilization as inherently superior to that of civilizations in other hemispheres, and sees the individuals whom he encounters in the "Tierra del Fuego," as chronicled in Chapter 10 the Voyage of the Beagle as less civilized than himself and his fellow Europeans simply because they come from a different culture. From his first encounters, he judges the natives with a moral, rather than a scientific eye, unlike his judgments of plants. "When we came within hail, one of the four natives who were present advanced to receive us, and began to shout most vehemently, wishing to direct us where to land. When we were on shore the party looked rather alarmed, but continued talking and making gestures with great rapidity. It was without exception the most curious and interesting spectacle I ever beheld: I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man: it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal, inasmuch as in man there is a greater power of improvement"(Chapter 10). This passage shows how on one hand, the scientist in Darwin manifests itself, as he regards these so-called savage with wonder, rather than sheer terror like some of his companions. Yet he admits that because of the difference in clothing and language between himself and the natives, he sees their culture as wrong, as a spectacle rather than as having equal value to his own.

What is perhaps most extraordinary, however, about Darwin's immediate reaction to the natives is that he seems to show his evolutionary theory, but in a much less sophisticated manner when discussing people, in the way that he views the natives with European disdain. He sees the human species, much like an animal species, as evolving ever-forward in the march of progressing evolution and adaptation. However, while Darwin might say that the environment favoring giraffes with longer necks is not a moral issue merely… [read more]


Tool Assemblage Term Paper

… ¶ … Assemblage

Stone tools from the time of the Neanderthals, the Middle Paleolithic in Europe, Africa (called the "Middle Stone Age") and the Near East, dating from about 300,000 years to about 40,000 years ago have survived in great… [read more]


Western Civilization Nature of the Universe Term Paper

… Western Civilization

Nature of the Universe

Between 1850 and 1914, scientific thought and discovery became much more pronounced and accepted throughout society. Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" began to be acknowledged as true, and it helped indicate the world took thousands of years to evolve. The nature of the universe came into better understanding as well, as scientists began to discover new planets and stars, and understand that man and the Earth were far less dominant in the vastness of the universe. As scientists discovered the size and scope of the universe, humanity seemed far less important and influential in such a vast universe. In many areas, society became more equal, with classes disappearing and democracy appearing in more areas of Europe.

Science understood that the Earth had evolved and man had evolved. While man stood on the top-most rung of evolution on this planet, it was hard to know if there was life on other planets and what had evolved there. Thus, humanity's place…… [read more]


Thomas Kuhn's Book the Structure of Scientific Revolutions 3rd Edition Term Paper

… Thomas Kuhn's book - the structure of scientific revolutions 3rd edition

Thomas Kuhn's very influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, proposes a model or a pattern for the evolution of science throughout the ages. Kuhn makes use of specific… [read more]


Division Classification Term Paper

… Division/Classification

Bumper stickers are everywhere. In rush hour traffic they stare drivers in the face, and they amuse shoppers on the way back to their cars in the mall parking lot. Bumper stickers are drivers' way of shouting out their psychological attitudes, their favorite jokes, or their political or religious values. However, with all the bumper stickers out there it can be helpful to divide them into different categories. Most bumper stickers fall into one of three main categories: humor, attitude, and importance. To be classified as humorous, a bumper sticker must be about an important subject but at the same time be clever or satirical. For example, "Evolution is Intelligent," "Let Go of My Ears," "Grace Happens," "Yes, I'm Evil But it's a Part of My Charm," and "If you Want Fur, Stop Shaving" are all top humorous bumper stickers. Bumper stickers that boldly declare the driver's attitude toward any given subject can be placed in the Attitude category. The top five examples of attitude bumper stickers include "Yes, I'm evil but its part of my charm," "If you want to wear fur, stop shaving," "You're a Republican, and that's sad," "Caution-Driver is Legally Blonde," and "Come to the Dark Side -- We have cookies!" Importance is the third main category of bumper stickers. A bumper sticker can be classified as important if it relates to pertinent political, scientific, or health-related issues. Some of the top examples of important bumper stickers include: "Evolution Is Intelligent," "You're a Republican, and that's sad," "Grace Happens," "Let go of my ears," and "Caution-Driver is Legally Blonde." The top bumper stickers in these three categories include "Evolution is Intelligent," "Yes, I'm Evil but it's Part of My Charm," and "You're a Republican and that's Sad!" because they exemplify their particular category.

Each of the three bumper sticker classifications has criteria for membership. Humorous bumper stickers must fulfill the following criteria: they must be satirical or paradoxical, and they must also be about a topic that most people are familiar with. A bumper sticker that no one understands cannot be funny; a bumper sticker about a familiar topic that is not witty also cannot be classified as humorous. Second, bumper stickers that reveal the driver's attitude can also be funny but to be classified as attitude bumper stickers, they must also be about topics that overtly reveal the driver's attitude toward a certain subject such as politics or religion. Finally, important bumper stickers can also be funny and can reveal the driver's attitude. However, in order to be placed in the importance category, the bumper sticker must be about a highly relevant topic and not something that is trivial.

Humorous bumper stickers make most people laugh because not only are they witty but they also refer to familiar subjects. For example, the top humorous bumper sticker is "Evolution is Intelligent" because the sticker pokes fun of both evolution and intelligent design, fusing both concepts into one clever slogan. The slogan "Evolution is Intelligent" is… [read more]


Natural Selection Term Paper

… If there is simply no difference between the different genotypes or different genes in their impact on survival or reproduction, then what occurs are random changes of one vs. The other type in a population or a species until eventually one replaces the other (Natural pp). That is an evolutionary change that happens entirely by chance, by random fluctuations, and is called the process of genetic drift (Natural pp). Genetic drift is different from natural selection, which is a more consistent, predictable, dependable change in the proportion of one gene verse another or one genotype verses another, because there is some consistent superiority of one genotype verses another in a certain feature that affects its survival or some feature affecting its reproductive capabilities (Natural pp).

The two types of natural selection are ecological selection and sexual selection (Natural1 pp). Ecological selection arises from the portion of an organism's environment that is not related to direct sexual competition, such as access to food and the presence of predators, while sexual selection arises from the competition for mates between individuals of the same sex (Natural1 pp). This division exists because the effects of sexual selection can produce results that appear counterintuitive from the point-of-view of ecological selection alone (Natural1 pp). For example, peacock tails are both cumbersome and important for courtship displays (Natural1 pp). The genetic variation on which natural selection acts, is now known to arise from random mutations (Natural1 pp).

Work Cited

Evolution and Natural Selection. Retrieved August 10, 2005.

http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/selection/selection.html

Natural1 Selection. Retrieved August 11, 2005 from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

Natural Selection: How Evolution Works. Retrieved August 10, 2005 from:

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/futuyma.html… [read more]


Marcellin Boule Who First Identified Term Paper

… This issue is closely related to the extinction of Neanderthals. According to some scientists, the extinction of Neanderthals was a sudden phenomenon: they were quickly replaced by Homo sapiens in all areas they had populated. On the other hand, several other scientists believe the replacement of Neanderthals was a process that took several thousands of years. We are faced with two different evolutionary models to be described.

The multi-regional model asserts that there was a global evolution "modern H. sapiens because a sufficient level of interbreeding throughout the dispersed population was maintained over this long time period"

. This would obviously mean that replacement was gradual and it bases its theory on the fossil evidence showing that in several geographical areas, the hominid populations were stable over an interval of several thousands of years.

On the other hand, the replacement model suggests that "modern populations result from a recent global migration of mankind from a single locale that replaced any earlier hominids (such as Neandertals) whenever they came in contact"

. According to this theory, contact between more evolved hominids, such as the Homo sapiens, and less evolved ones, such as Neanderthals, would have resulted in a sudden replacement of the latter.

One of the mysteries of science and, especially, of evolutionary theories is related to the missing link in the evolutionary chain. There are scientist groups that believe the Neanderthals represent the missing link that we are all looking for. On the other hand, genetic research and significant anatomical differences come against the belief that the Neanderthals were just a regional variant of modern man.

Bibliography

1. Oard, Michael. Neandertal Man -- the changing picture. February 2003. On the Internet at http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0217neandertal.asp

2. Human Evolution. On the Internet at http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution/HumanEvolution.shtml

3. Foley, Jim. Fossil Hominids: mitochondrial DNA. September 2003. On the Internet at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/mtDNA.html

4. Fox, Maggie. Your forefathers were not Neanderthals. January 2004. On the Internet at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1066168/posts

5. Bloom, John. On Human Origins: A Survey. Christian Scholar's Review. 2005. On the Internet at http://www.cccu.org/resourcecenter/resID.974,parentCatID.245/rc_detail.asp

Oard, Michael. Neandertal Man -- the changing picture. February 2003. On the Internet at http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0217neandertal.asp

Ibid.

Ibid.

Human Evolution. On the Internet at http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution/HumanEvolution.shtml

Foley, Jim. Fossil Hominids: mitochondrial DNA. September 2003. On the Internet at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/mtDNA.html

Fox, Maggie. Your forefathers were not Neanderthals. January 2004. On the Internet at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1066168/posts

Bloom, John. On Human Origins: A Survey. Christian Scholar's Review. 2005. On the Internet at http://www.cccu.org/resourcecenter/resID.974,parentCatID.245/rc_detail.asp

Ibid.

Ibid.… [read more]


Extinction Punctuated Equilibrium Evolutionists Term Paper

… And once again, the 19 different fossil species they traced revealed textbook cases of punctuated equilibrium... [another scientists named] Collins...recently took the same biologically based approach... Collins and his colleagues also found punctuated equilibrium in the evolution of these snails in California over the past 20 million years." (Kerr, 1995) So it is clear that punctuated equilibrium has good evidence backing it up both in the laboratory and in the field.

Theoretically speaking, punctuated equilibrium has a relatively strong case. First, it explains occasional "gaps" in the fossil record. (It is worth noting that the founders of the theory strongly object to the characterization of this theory as being drawn from "negative proof" of absences in the time line. They say it was actually founded on positive proofs from the fossil record. However, there are segments of the record where nothing seems to change, followed suddenly by massive signs of development. The theory is entirely distinct from saltationism, which is the theory that "New species may arise in single generation through a macromutation. Saltationism rejects Darwin's model of gradual change through generations." (Broyles, 1997) That theory is generally rejected by reputable scientists owing to its practical difficulties (with whom would the "Adam" or "Eve" of a new species mate?). Punctuated equilibrium still holds to the idea of generational change, but suggests that it happens relatively quickly (geologically speaking). periods of change may last from five thousand years to millions of years -- either is short in terms of the history of the earth. Between these times of radical change are periods of "stasis," times when no significant evolution occurs.

Despite the fact that punctuated equilibrium is frequently advertised, as it were, as being contrary to the ideas of Darwin, this is not actually the case; there is room in Darwin's original theory for punctuated equilibrium. In setting this case straight, Douglas Theobald (2003) explains that there are two forms of gradualism -- one which holds merely that changes occur gradually when they occur (even if they only occur at punctuated moments), and the other "phyletic gradualism" which holds that changes happen constantly. Punctuated equilibrium is consistent with the first position, but not with the second. Darwin himself, Theobald explains, was a gradualist, but he was not phyletic. The ideas of punctuated equilibrium are actually verbalized by Darwin, who wrote in Natural Selection: "I must here remark that I do not suppose that the process ever goes on so regularly as is represented in the diagram, though in itself made somewhat irregular, nor that it goes on continuously; it is far more probable that each form remains for long periods unaltered, and then again undergoes modification." (in: Theobald, 2003)

In conclusion, punctuated equilibrium appears to be increasingly proving itself as the most appropriate model for explaining evolution. Even if one is a creationist and does not believe in macro-level evolution, one must amidst that micro-evolution has been proved to exist in a way that can only be explained as punctuated equilibrium.… [read more]


Gould vs. Bethell Darwin's Untimely Term Paper

… Rather, just look at Darwin's first chapter that is devoted, as Gould notes, to 'artificial selection' of favored traits by animal breeders. For here an independent criterion surely operates. The pigeon fancier knows what he wants. The fittest are not defined by their survival. They are, rather, allowed to survive because they possess desired traits. Further: "Survival of the fittest" is not a tautology. "It is also not the only imaginable or reasonable reading of the evolutionary record. It is testable. It had rivals that failed under the weight of contrary evidence and changing attitudes about the nature of life. It has rivals that may succeed, at least in limiting its scope."

Further, adds Gould, the "principle of natural selection depends upon the validity of an analogy with artificial selection. We must be able, like the pigeon fancier, to identify the fittest beforehand, not only by their subsequent survival. But nature is not an animal breeder; no preordained purpose regulates the history of life. In nature, any traits possessed by survivors must be counted as 'more evolved'; in artificial selection, 'superior' traits are defined before breeding even begins."

In terms of the two corollaries, Gould argues that Bethell is looking at evolution only as an alteration in numbers, not as a change in quality. "Nature, however, is not limited by the calculations of theoretical geneticists. In nature, A's 'superiority' over B. will be expressed as differential survival, but it is not defined by it." Gould admits that his defense of Darwin is not radical or revolutionary. The main point is: Certain morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits should be superior a priori as designs for living in new environments. "These traits confer fitness by an engineer's criterion on a good design, not by the empirical fact of their survival and spread. It got colder before the woolly mammoth evolved its shaggy coat." As for the industrial capitalism of Victorian England, responds Gould, "according to Bethell, Darwin's concept of natural selection as a creative force can be no more than an illusion encouraged by the social and political climate of his times. In the throes of Victorian optimism in imperial Britain, change seemed to be inherently progressive; why not equate survival in nature with increasing fitness in the nontautological sense of improved design."

Concludes Gould:

I maintain, perhaps naively, that its (natural selection) current, unabated popularity must have something to do with its success in explaining the admittedly imperfect information we now possess about evolution. I rather suspect that we'll have Charles Darwin to kick around for some time.

(It is interesting to note that Gould's article was written in 1976 and a recent article in Discover Magazine describes how digital organisms that are "breeding" on computers at Michigan State University are proving Darwin's theory of evolution time and time again.)

Reference Cited:

Gould, Jay. Darwin's Untimely Burial. Dispite reports to the contrary, the theory of natural selection remains very much alive. Stephen Jay Gould Archive.

Retrieved 13 February, 2005.…… [read more]


Summary of Darwin's Untimely Burial Term Paper

… ¶ … Darwin's Untimely Burial" by Stephen J. Gould.

The topic concerns Darwin's theories of evolution and natural selection as explicated by Stephen J. Gould in his book, Ever Since Darwin. The specific focus is the fourth chapter, entitled "Darwin's Untimely Burial." In this chapter, Gould responds to arguments and corollaries presented by Tom Bethell, who holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection has disproved itself as a result of a logical error in argument. Gould uses his essay not as much to refute Bethell's claims of faulty logic, but rather to prove that, within Darwin's flawed argument, there remains a core of truth.

Bethell's first argument then entails that Darwin was essentially misled by his own lack of logical reasoning when constructing his theory of natural selection. Specifically, the author draws attention to the inherent tautology of the phrase "survival of the fittest," which basically defines fitness in terms of survival, and furthermore entails that those who survive, survive, which is an empty statement and not scientifically valid.

The transition to Bethell's second argument is achieved by a summary of Darwin's theory relating to pigeon breeding, and how this correlates with natural selection. Gould argues that Darwin's focus is on artificial selection for breeding purposes, according to which "fittest" acquires a different meaning to survival. In terms of breeding the term relates to predetermined, desirable traits, rather than a natural inclination towards strength of constitution.

Bethell's second argument is then that, because there is in nature no independent criterion relating to fitness, any argument for natural selection becomes tautological and scientifically invalid.

Bethell offers two corollaries for his argument. The first relates to the concept and nature of natural selection. The author questions natural selection as a creative force when fitness means only survival, as…… [read more]


Natural Selection First Term Paper

… For example, a bug spray will not kill all ants or roaches. Furthermore, only those ants and roaches that are immune to the spray will survive and reproduce. Their offspring will also possess the resistant genes. The bug spray provided but a short-term solution to an insect problem. In the long run, more effective sprays must be developed. However, the same problem will happen with each subsequent spray development. In fact, the situation worsens because the harsher the chemicals become, the more hardy the ant populations will become. Before long, human beings might not be able to create chemicals that can challenge insect populations, or those chemicals might end up being more harmful or destructive than the insects themselves.

Of course, the human attempt to eradicate disease and eliminate threats to crops is noble. The attempt to control the environment by using these chemicals does provide some short-term benefits. For example, an antibiotic will kill off a virus or bacteria in the body that is causing a severe illness. Without the antibiotic, a bacteria or virus could cause permanent damage to internal organs. In many cases, taking antibiotics is a wise response to an illness. Similarly, a crop infestation might require a forceful use of pesticides in order to save an entire farm.

However, such products should be used judiciously to prevent the creation of super bugs or other resistant species. As the term suggests, natural selection is fully natural; it is an unavoidable, inevitable process. Those species that survive antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides are doing their "job" by reproducing. Unfortunately, many of these species prove harmful to human beings and the environment, especially as they become stronger through natural selection.… [read more]


Transitional Form Archaeopteryx Won't Fly Term Paper

… However, the fully formed nature of certain species coexisting with other supposedly more primitive forms, Gish argues, demonstrates the false nature of the transitional form species hypothesis. The notion of transitional forms reflects the Darwinian concept of "gradualism," or "the view that changes do not occur all at once, and that there are intermediate steps from an earlier stage to the next. ("How to be anti-Darwin, 1998)

Based on the information that I have posted on the external links section, what is Romer's Gap? What would Dr. Gish think of Romer's Gap (could it support or refute his beliefs)?

Originally, Romer's Gap was thought to support anti-Darwinian or creationist science. Romer's Gap was the gap or missing links between the seamless chain of evolution proposed, but not entirely supported, with fossil evidence, by Darwin. Today, it is noted, "there are folks today who still pretend that the fossil record reveals no links, no transitional fossils that demonstrate when and how evolution occurred. But before birds and whales could evolve (we have a fine series of fossils for them) tetra pods had to come into being. Their fossils are now coming to roost in museums too. Now, the "tetra pod's story," has essentially closed Romer's Gap, the website asserts, although Gish rests his argument not so much on a series of evolutionary gaps, but also of the co-existence of many species that were alleged to have evolved in a linear fashion, such as birds and reptiles.

What is the importance of the discovery of Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega?

Both of these discovered species of fossil close the 'gaps' in the tracing of the evolution of early fossil records, thus even if Gish's allegations about the bird-like creature he discusses may be true, the discovery of these tetra pods indicates that some of the other noteworthy gaps in the fossil chain are being closed through archeology.

Works Cited

Gish, Duane T. (2004) "As a Transitional Form Archaeopteryx won't fly." IMPACT No. 195. September 1989, 2004. Institute for Creation Research. http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-195.htm

How to be anti-Darwin." (December 21, 1998) (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1a.html)

"The Evolution of Tetrapods and the Closing of Romer's Gap." (2004) (http://members.aol.com/darwinpage/tetrapods.htm#Tetrapods)… [read more]


Darwinism and Militarism. Darwin' Ideas Term Paper

… It set up strict quotas limiting immigrants from countries believed by eugenicists to have "inferior" stock, particularly Southern Europe and Asia (PBS, 1996). President Coolidge, who signed the bill into law, had stated when he was vice president, "America should… [read more]


Culture of Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis Term Paper

… There are elements of both cultures evident both physically and in the items that they made.



In dispute of Flemming's statement that the two cultures lived side by side and clearly shared tools and culture, but never… [read more]


Neanderthal Man the Debate Term Paper

… For example, Neanderthal remains have been unearthed in burial sites all over Eurasia. The position of the remains demonstrates that the corpses were not simply thrown into the ground. Some graves have stone tools, animal bones and flowers buried in the ground along with the remains. In Uzbekistan, the grave of a young Neanderthal boy was encircled by mountain goat bones, horns and tools.

The fossil evidence shows that Neanderthals had burial rituals. This suggests an awareness of an after life. Each person had an identity that was distinct, whose passing was probably met with a sense of loss.

Adult skeletons with crippling injuries were also unearthed, indicating that Neanderthal ties were strong enough to compel them to care for injured or crippled members of their groups.

Finally, there is a plethora of evidence showing that Neanderthals and early modern humans interacted and behaved in very similar ways. Artifacts from France, for example, show that Neanderthals and early modern humans seem to have used the same caves and both hunted the same kinds of animals for food. Fossil remains of trout and other seafood indicate that both groups practiced fishing. The arrangement of fireplaces in the caves also suggest that Neanderthals smoked their catch for preservation.

Aside from harpoons and other hunting weapons, the caves also yielded engraved art objects. Since the caves were only used as shelter during hunting trips and not as living quarters, some anthropologists believe that carrying that Neanderthals carried small art objects with them even while performing everyday tasks. Carrying such iconography may be akin to a modern human carrying a rosary.

In conclusion, there is a wealth of fossil evidence to suggest that Neanderthal man is a subspecies of modern man, and should therefore be classified as homo sapien neandertalis. Allowing for the effects of a harsh, cold climate, Neanderthal physiology is remarkably similar to that of homo sapien sapiens. Neanderthal hunting tools and practices were similar to those of early modern humans. Neanderthals developed tools and had a capacity for language. They buried their dead, created artwork, had a concept of an afterlife and had a societal structure with strong social ties.

In both their anatomy and behavior, Neanderthal man exhibited many characteristics on which modern man bases its definitions of what it means to be human. When compared according to anatomy, behavior and cultural practices, Neanderthals bear more than a passing affinity to modern man. Hence, they belong in the human family lineage, under homo sapien neandertalis.

DNA Suggests Neanderthal Not a Direct Human Ancestor," The Washington Post, 11 July 1997 sec. A, p1.

Pat Shipman, "Special Report: Rethinking the Family Tree," World Book Online, http://www.aolsvc.worldbook.aol.com/wbol/wbAuth/jsp/wbDisplay.jsp,13 November 2002.

Erik Trinkaus and Pat Shipman. The Neandertals: Changing the Image of Mankind. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), p. 412.

T. Holliday. "Postcranial evidence of cold weather adaptation in European Neanderthals." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 6 December 1998, p 248.

Trinkaus and Shipman, p 144.

Trinkaus and Shipman, p 356.

Trinkaus and Shipman,… [read more]


Substance Abuse and Alcohol Dependency Discussion Chapter

… Alcohol and other drugs are substances that typically go together when it comes to dependency. The latest research indicates that alcoholics are also more likely to abuse drugs than people who have no dependency upon alcohol (Falk 100). This is because both types of substances have similar effects on the mind and body of the user (not all drugs act the same of course, but there are those that can act as depressants, like alcohol, while there are others that can act as uppers). Some combination of the two can also be used, alcohol as a depressant and drugs as an upper, to allow the user to experience a range of feelings. The idea behind this two-way substance abuse is that an individual who is willing to abuse one substance will have less reluctance to abuse another than an individual who is not willing to compromise and abuse any.

When individuals have a co-dependency on both drugs and alcohol, their addiction is likely to be far worse than an individual with a dependency on just one substance (Falk 101). What causes addiction to either substance is still debated among researchers, but there are various theories about why some people develop dependencies and others do not. Genetic theory is one approach to this explanation, while social learning theory is another. Biological, psychological, social, genetic, behavioral, and socio-economic theories all serve to help explain the reasons that drugs and alcohol serve as powerful factors in some people's lives and not in others.

Diagnosing an individual with alcohol or drug dependency is not as easy as one might initially imagine. Some individuals do not like to admit that they have a dependency and thus try to hide it or explain the signs away as having a root cause in some other affliction. Persons who hide their addictions are far less likely to receive a proper diagnosis than those who…… [read more]


How to Properly Treat Alcoholism Research Paper

… Psychology of Alcoholism

There are many that have come to know alcoholism as a disorder that is very physical in nature. Indeed, there is quite often a physical aspect to a person craving alcohol. This physical dependency can become so… [read more]


Religiosity Impact on Adolescent Alcohol Use Thesis

… Adolescent Use of Alcohol



Alcohol use among adolescents is acknowledged as a significant family and societal problem (Yang, Zhiyong, & Schaninger, 2010). Professionals in multiple healthcare fields have warned that adolescent alcohol use can lead to (a)… [read more]


Impact of Drug Therapy Costs Research Proposal

… ¶ … Drug Therapy for Chronic Disease Management of Seniors and Aging in Atlantic Canada

The concern of the research is to understand the link between management of chronic illnesses in seniors and general health care costs, since many chronic… [read more]


Men Off Methadone Maintenance in Connecticut Research Paper

… Men Who Have Successfully Come Off of Methadone Maintenance in Connecticut

Available studies, reports, articles and documents on the issue will be analyzed. Policies that have bearing on the treatment program will also be analyzed (Nguyen, Nguyen, Pham, Vu & Mulvey, 2012). A special questionnaire will be developed to gather information from the participants. The questionnaire will include: items on former drug use details (needle sharing, preference for injections, daily dose and history of drug abuse), items on methadone treatment status (e.g. time of receiving treatment and dose), demographics and sexual practices (e.g. frequency of sex per week, number of sexual partners, and condom use within 12 weeks to the commencement of treatment) (Zhang, Zhang, Shi, McGoogan, Zhang, Zhao & ... Wu, 2014).

The Variables under Study:

Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV

Substance abuse disorders listed under Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [38] will be used to record the substance abuse history of the individual. The aforementioned interview helps one to report the use of different substances of abuse, such as cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine and other substances. Though structured, the interview can also be tailored to enable more precise differentiation of substance abuse by the interviewee (Nguyen et al., 2012).

ii. Fatherhood and Substance Abuse Structured Research Interview

This interview will be used to gather data on historical and current aspects of responsible fathering. This structured interview has in the past been used for the current kind of study in investigating the nature of substance use among men. The interview will be used to gather data on: financial and educational background of the participants; the demographic of the participant's children; and aspects of reproduction (Zhang et al., 2014).

Independent and Dependent Variables Defined (Quantitative) and Concepts (Quantitative)

Eight risk factors of sex dysfunction will be used for the study among the men who came off the methadone. They include: familial status, other substances abused; psychiatric illness; health status; methadone dose; duration of intervention; hormone assays and age (Gomes & Nobre, 2012).

Research Procedures

The cross-sectional study will be done at a Connecticut hospital for 3 months. All participants will be recruited from the hospital's MMT clinic. At any given time the hospital handles more than 500 heroine-dependent persons, the majority of whom are usually men (Zhang et al., 2014; Nguyen et al., 2012). Questionnaires will be administered to gather data from the participants. The questionnaires will include aforementioned items such as: the substance abuse history of the individual (needle sharing, preference for injections, daily dose and history of drug abuse), items on methadone treatment status (e.g. time of receiving treatment and dose), demographics and sexual practices (e.g. frequency of sex per week, number of sexual partners, and condom use within 12 weeks to the commencement of treatment) (Nik Jaafar, Mislan, Abdul Aziz, Baharudin, Ibrahim & Midin, 2013).

Sampling Representative of the Population

The participants will be recruited from the MMT clinic using the following inclusion criteria: should be an adult (over eighteen years old); should be currently under treatment at… [read more]


Legalize Medical Marijuana Essay

… Marijuana

One of the more controversial issues in American politics today is the issue of marijuana legalization. There are many forms that this can take, ranging from decriminalization to medical legalization to recreational legalization. If the recreational debate is focused… [read more]


Dangers of Underage Drinking on Campus Research Paper

… Blog about GWU's Alcohol Policy

Did you know about the policy when you applied/entered the University (Fall 2012)? Do you think it is adequately publicized in the admission and/or orientation materials?

I was only vaguely aware of the GWU alcohol policy when I applied because alcohol and drug policy were of minimal concern to me regarding my priorities in selecting a school. The school's academic reputation, its location, whether it had my major, and success of recent graduates were all of greater concern. While on one hand, I suppose the policies could be better publicized, on the other hand I think few students choose their school based upon written university alcohol policies. Only when on campus does a student really understand the extent to which alcohol policies are or are not vigorously enforced.

Are there any special groups, clubs, or organizations that seem to be targeted for education about, or enforcement of, the alcohol policy?

Ironically, I think the organizations that are most notorious for allowing heavy drinking in academic settings such as fraternities, sororities, and athletic teams, are often the best poised to educate students and to help create events which are fun and alcohol-free.

Is there any drinking behavior that is strictly prohibited at all functions even if the participants are over 21? What is it?

Fundraisers are strictly prohibited from serving alcohol. There are also a number of other prohibited occurrences; such as serving alcohol outside of specified hours; serving alcohol for free; and serving alcohol by non-GWU school personnel. Security personnel must be present and it is strictly prohibited to have methods of distributing alcohol like punch bowls, which could lead to excessive consumption.

Do you think the policy is adequately enforced? Is the administration, faculty, staff, PD, encouraged to support the policy?

Compared with schools where my friends attend, yes, I do think the policy is adequately enforced. There is more of a commitment to supporting a drug and alcohol-free environment versus other schools where abuse is often tacitly tolerated.

Are students involved in policy formation?

Students must submit requests to serve alcohol at specific functions but they are not necessarily in charge of setting the actual policies and procedures.

If you were in charge of rewriting the policy, what changes would you make?

There are no major changes I would make; the university policies are designed to ensure that there is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and it seems reasonable that underage students would not have a major say in how such a policy was articulated. However, I do think there should be some specifications about what will be done if students are found in violation of the policy. Rather than disciplinary action, I would be…… [read more]


Neurobiology and Abuse Potential of Rohypnol Research Paper

… Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) is a drug in the class of the benzodiazepines (Stahl, 2013). It is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine that is similar to Valium (diazepam). Rohypnol was developed as an aid for sleeping that would not produce significant daytime drowsiness due to its relatively short half-life (Stahl, 2013). It has also found use in psychotherapy to relax patients and to get them to open up, as a pre-medication in surgical procedures to relax people, and to induce anesthesia (Stahl, 2013). The drug is manufactured in Europe and Latin American; however it is not approved for use the United States and Canada.

Like other benzodiazepines the effects of Rohypnol include sedation, reduced anxiety, muscle relaxation, and it helps to prevent convulsions (Stahl, 2013). The sedative effects of Rohypnol effects are approximately 7 to 10 times stronger than those of Valium. Rohypnol's clinical effects begin around 15 to 20 minutes after administration and continue for about four to six hours; however, residual effects have been reported 12 hours or more following administration (Stahl, 2013).

Rohypnol (and all benzodiazepines) act as positive allosteric modulators on the gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)-A receptor (there are three types of GABA receptors, these drugs act primarily on the GABA -- A receptors; Stahl, 2013; Tan, Rudolph, & Luscher, 2011). GABA is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and is prevalent throughout the cerebral cortex and limbic system (Stahl, 2013). Rohypnol is primarily a GABA agonist (Tan et al., 2011). This means that it mediates GABA neurotransmission in the brain and spinal cord by binding to the GABA receptor, and leading to the opening of the chloride channels of neurons which results in the influx of chloride and the hyperpolarization of the cell resulting in release of GABA (Stahl, 2013; Tan et al., 2011). This action decreases the excitability of the neurons producing sedation…… [read more]


Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Military Research Paper

… Substance Abuse of Military Personnel and Veterans and Appropriate Sources of Treatment

Substance abuse is an increasingly serious problem amongst military personnel and veterans. Not all treatment methods are created equal, however. This research will seek to specifically explore and… [read more]


Is There a Heroin Epidemic Research Paper

… Epidemic Heroin Use

If recent news reports are to be believed, heroin is coming back with a vengeance in the United States. While crack and methamphetamine have gotten a lot of the attention in recent years and decades, heroin has always been there. Whether it be in pure street form or in the form of narcotic painkiller pills that are currently rampantly abused, opiates in all the forms are leading to a lot of people becoming addicted, overdosing or even dying. Even when death is not realized for an addict, their lives and often the lives around them are left in shambles. Despite the obviousness and gravity of the overall problem, the solutions to the problem can be elusive because the people stricken by opiate abuse have to want help for any rehabilitation to actually stick.

Analysis

One website and overall source out there that focuses on the heroin epidemic is known as Monitoring the Future. Their self-described mission is to monitor the progress and travails of American youth. To aid in this endeavor, the monitor about 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. The 12th graders have been surveyed for two generations, dating back to 1975. The other two grade levels became part of the survey process in 1991, or about 24 years ago. Overall drug use besides marijuana (which would obviously include heroin) is actually not all that bad over the recent years. There was sky-high spike of nearly forty percent in 1980 but there was a fairly steep fall after that until 1992. There was a rise again from about eighteen percent to about 21 to 200% but there has been a gentle fall since then. This is among the 12th grade group. The percentages of the 8th and 10th graders is lower and has also been tailing off cine it started to be assessed in 1990 (10th graders) and 2002 (8th graders) (MTF, 2015).

When looking at opiates other than heroin, the overall trends are also good, at least based on what is known. Much the same thing can be said about heroin in particular. In looking at the 2014 annual report as it pertains specifically to heroin, heroin use with or without a needle has been flat since roughly 2011. Even so, there was a 2010 spike in 12th graders but it was to a mere 0.7%. In short, overall use of heroin among school-age students is rather low. The "disapproval" rates are extremely high when it comes to heroin. In 1980, about a fifth of students in 12 grade said that they could get heroin "fairly easy" if they wanted to. This spiked to 35% and stayed there roughly from 1992 to 1998. There has since been a gradual but sustained fall in his number. Pill-based opiates have been used much more prevalently as of late but heroin use is mostly flat or falling (MTF, 2015).

When extending the perspective to the nation as a whole rather than just kids in high school,… [read more]


Parents Should Monitor Their Children S Use of Violent Video Games Essay

… Films and Music -- Impacts on Social Norms

The question of how much of an influence music and film has on social norms -- or on society as a whole -- has been explored in the literature for many years. And there is today a great deal of scholarly literature based on the question of the degree of influence (movies, music) that the media has on society. In this paper I will focus more on the influence of music and film on young people, and I have long believed music in particular has had a huge impact on young people. Reviewing and critiquing the scholarly literature for this paper I have found strong support for my thesis, which is that: a) rap music, or hip hop, and especially what they call "gangsta rap," has had an enormous influence on young people, in particular young people of all ethnicities, but seemingly African-Americans in particular; b) and the violence portrayed in film and on TV has influenced young people in a negative way.

Rap / Hip Hop and Aggressive Behaviors

In the Journal of Studies on Alcohol the authors assert precisely what I have been suspecting about young men (and women) who are frequent listeners to hard core rap music (hip hop actually comes under this category as well). Chen and colleagues assert that young people listening to hip hop and rap " ... are more likely to engage in substance abuse and aggression" than other young people who listen to pop music or country and western (Chen, et al., 2006). The authors certainly express ideas and survey results that exactly match my suspicions and my viewpoints after I have listened to some of the more provocative lyrics on these "songs."

Chen references a study conducted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that when young people are exposed (frequently) to music that has violent and substance use themes those young people often become involved with substance abuse and alcohol abuse (p. 3). The study (surveying 1,056 students ages 15 to 25 years) showed that the frequency of "any alcohol use was positively and significantly associated with frequent listening to heavy metal ... punk, rap, R&B, reggae, rock and techno"(Chen, p. 3). But when compared with other music genres, rap was "consistently and positively associated with ... alcohol ... marijuana, club drugs, and aggressive behavior" (Chen, p. 3). The more I delve into the scholarly literature, the more my own suspicions and beliefs about the relationship between hard core music and antisocial behaviors are verified.

Rap Music and Misogyny

Beyond the violent lyrics found in gangster rap, I have also been discouraged and even outraged at the popularity of some rap lyrics which celebrate misogyny -- and how these lyrics advocate violence against women. Just last week I attended a high school football game in an urban environment, and before the game, while the teams were warming up on the field, a loud hip hop tune was playing and… [read more]


Two Part Answer on Drugs Essay

… ¶ … Parents are no exception. In the modern world, many have experimented with drugs with parents being no exception. Especially now that marijuana faces potential legalization across the United States, what was once deemed wrong and illegal for all is now considered acceptable for many. Parents therefore have a choice as to whether or not to come clean with their drug usage to their children and see if it helps or hurts their child's chances of taking drugs or not.

Parents are human first and although it may seem counterproductive in the beginning to admit having taken drugs, (if they took it) it may actually help their children in long run. This is especially true if the parent who took the drug had a negative experience because of taking the drug. This could be being arrested, losing their job, going into addiction, or other negative experiences. At times, the mere idea of seeing the negative outcome of taking drugs could transform a child's curiosity into disdain and disgust for drugs.

Even in the case of marijuana where the parent may have had positive experiences, it is still important to let the child know if the parents has taken marijuana. This is because the parent can then prepare the child for possible reactions the child may face from taking marijuana. Marijuana is legal now in several states even on the recreational level. Therefore, if your child wishes to partake in that drug, that child can do so much like alcohol.

Preparing the child by letting the child become aware of potential side effects or freak-outs, will help the parent avoid any hiccups in the child's awareness of some drugs like marijuana. My mom never took drugs but told me of how dangerous it was and how it affected her relationship negatively with her husband at the time who did take marijuana. This made me painfully scared of participating in taking the drug. However, eventually I got curious and tried it. Since I had no idea of what to expect, I had a freak-out. If…… [read more]


Not as Rough Reaction Paper

… Neanderthal and Modern Human Differences and Similarities

According to Trinkaus, Neanderthals do not deserve their reputation as evolutionary lugs. The name Neanderthal has become a byword for stupidity and boorishness. However, do the Neanderthals deserve this characterization? Examinations of the Neanderthal anatomy do not indicate that Neanderthal anatomy is not any way inferior to modern humans. Neanderthals have been added officially to the human species Homo sapiens, though they are mostly placed in their own subspecies, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

While the Neanderthals are not inferior, there are quite some differences between them and modern humans. Why the Neanderthals evolved 100,000 years ago in Europe and the Near East and why they were replaced by modern man is unknown. Trinkaus postulates that there is some behavioral significance to the anatomical differences between the Neanderthals and other human groups is to find out what the natural selection had to do with this process. The bottom line question is what happened to the Neanderthals themselves.

Everything about the Neanderthals with reference to strength including the muscles ligaments and bones indicates strength and the ability to generate and deal with stress. The bones themselves are modified to have more bone and less marrow to deal with these heavier stresses. Even the hands show identifiable crests to indicate where the muscle attaches to the hands. On modern human hand bones there are none, indicating that the attaching muscles were not as strong or robust. All of this is valid also for the lower limbs (Trinkaus 140-141).

The reasons for the extinction of the Neanderthals are one of three possibilities including environmental, interbreeding with modern humans and violent conflict. Given the possibility of intergroup conflict, any evidence of trauma is dealt with problematically by archaeologists and anthropologists. Certainly, it is also possible that all of the above possibly true in some way and may have been happening globally at the same time.…… [read more]


Hunting the First Hominid Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Shipman is Wrong

The author has some problems with Shipman's analysis. Certainly, she is right in the fact that humans are very narcissistic and want to know where they come from. It lets us know what makes us tick and helps us psychologically to sort out who we are.

She is certainly right when she says that the more primitive sciences such as paleontology that more dependent upon the unaided human eye and human brain say more about this than more high tech approaches, although tech is sometime helpful and necessary, especially with regard to dating remains and to reading the chemical evidence of "molecular clocks." Also, with certainty this "missing link" of an ancestor is certainly from Africa because our closest living relatives (chimpanzees and gorillas) and therefore all early hominids will also be African. Also, the consensus (upon which this author agrees) is that the first hominid was not a human and did not possess all of the characteristics that we consider human.

So what would the first hominid look like? This is of course where the consensus breaks down completely. Much of this analysis is really the anthropological equivalent of Monday morning quarterbacking after the Sunday Super Bowl game. As Shipman notes, the first species in any new lineage is usually readily apparent only ex post facto.

Some of the differences between apes and humans however are non-issues. Many of the scholars agrees on a number of issues. Research is not clear when the line became bipedal. Certainly, the first in the line was an ape, but not one of the living great apes such as the gorilla or the chimpanzee due to the 5 million years needed to evolve in isolation before arriving at their modern forms. In addition, once the line became bipedal, they became hominids with small brains and body size akin to that of ape. Also, Shipman contends that sexual dimorphism started to be exhibited in ways not related to reproduction. Enamel thickness in teeth is also an issue. Apes have thin enamel in the chimp and gorilla lineages (not the orangutan, but they…… [read more]


Neanderthals Grew Fast, but Sexual Maturity Research Proposal

… ¶ … Neanderthals Grew Fast, but Sexual Maturity Came

Late; National Geographic News, September 8, 2008. By Kate Ravilious. Traditional beliefs about Neanderthals held that our closest known relative died out because they were inadequately equipped to survive and intellectually inferior to modern humans. In many ways, those beliefs are central to the presumed qualitative superiority of human beings to all other forms of animal life, both in the distant past and on earth today. However, recent findings suggest that Neanderthals were much closer to human intellect as evidenced by their cooperative hunting and tool-making abilities.

Even the current understanding of the factors responsible for their ultimate demise closely parallels issues in human physiology, in particular, medical complications that still affect childbirth among modern humans.

Unlike so-called "lower" animals, Neanderthals apparently reached sexual maturity relatively late in their chronological development, even later than modern human beings. Like modern humans, brain growth among Neanderthal infants proceeded rapidly after birth, necessitated by the physical difficulties of birthing in conjunction with a more fully-formed brain and correspondingly larger cranium. The researchers determined that the anatomical differences in the facial structure of Neanderthals necessitated greater brain growth rates in the first few years after birth in order to compensate for the additional birthing difficulties posed by differences in their anatomical facial structure in relation to the geometry of the birth canal to ensure live births.

One of the main factors that contributes to the fact that human infants are born intellectually undeveloped is that…… [read more]


Concept of Economic Darwinism Theory Term Paper

… ¶ … Economic Darwinism Theory

Economic Darwinism

Definition of the concept: Many economic terms flood our everyday academic life. Economic Darwinism is one of them and relates to the way individuals (and managers in our case) behave on the market place. Why is this important? Because the behavior of managers influence the activity of the company they ran, so from a particular perspective we can say that it influences the competition, the rivalry among competitors, and also to a certain extent the goods made available to end-consumers. Economic Darwinism implies two different aspects: selection - in case of behaviors leading to different results, people tend to replace the behavior with the lowest performances with an arbitrary behavior, and mutation - when a particular behavior has a positive aspect, then the individual has little incentives to pass to an arbitrary behavior.

Example of the concept

When considering different investments, for example, managers have different business alternatives which must be analyzed in order to convey the best alternative that will meet the objectives of the investment project. The analysis is based on different criterions, each criterion receiving a…… [read more]


Hairy Ape by David Auburn Term Paper

… Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill

Analyze how Yank's anguish/anxiety, in "The Hairy Ape" by Eugene O'Neill, is philosophical and universal.

References specific to working and upper class life during America's Guided Age, like expensive transit upon ocean liners, illegally unionizing socialist workers like the Wobblies (I.W.W), and the extreme disparities between the rich and the poor belie the fact that the central protagonist's Yank's anxiety about his lack of social mobility is not limited to his day and age. The central, anguished image of the play is that of a man who is intensely powerful and physical and who is ultimately overcome by his primate ancestor. Ironically, Yank has admired this universal ancestor in the zoo as a fellow captive out of his true state of nature, as Yank was in prison.

Discuss how the play emphasizes Darwinism and Reverse Darwinism.

Yank begins the play as a fireman and coal worker on a Transatlantic Ocean Liner. He physically dominates the men around him, who obey his requests for drink without question. However, Yank is physically rather than socially and intellectually superior in manner -- he dominates them through implied violence, not because they admire him. This is Darwinian survival of the fittest, but only the fittest physically, not mentally or spiritually -- thus is also a kind of a reverse Darwinism when this fact is enacted upon the stage.

In the first scene, even…… [read more]


Homo Erectus Term Paper

… Long Foreground: Species Timeline, p.4) Most anthropologists using conventional dating techniques believe that Homo erectus originated in Africa and soon after migrated to these other continents because, geographically, the land masses of the earth were connected in areas that they are not connected today. "In 1984, a nearly complete fossil skeleton of an adolescent Homo erectus boy was found near Lake Turkana in Kenya. The fossil is about 1,600,000 years old. The skeleton indicated that he had died at about 11 or 12 years of age. The fossil is the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever found." (Mann, 2005) "This boy stood more than 5 feet tall when he died, and would have exceeded 6 feet -- had he lived to maturity. His cranial capacity was 880 cc and his body stature (tall, thin, long arms and legs) are typical of humans adapted to open, tropical environments." ("Homo Erectus," 2005)

But although the fossil and environmental evidence is convincing regarding the "Multi-regional" hypothesis, it is not conclusive. Some anthropologists think that the earliest Homo erectus fossils from Africa should be called by another name, Homo ergaster. These anthropologists point out that these earlier African fossils have thinner skull bones than those of later Homo erectus fossils found in Asia. They believe that Homo ergaster migrated out of Africa to Asia and that Homo erectus developed from this earlier species. But there is a great statistical unlikelihood of such an evolutionary development occurring in parallel over wide areas. (Long Foreground: Species Timeline, p.1)

Still, merely because it is statistically unlikely does not mean the theory called the "Out of Africa" model is impossible. Scholars who advocate this theory believe "that that it was not a gradual worldwide change that led to the evolutionary transformation of populations of Homo erectus, but a speciation event in a single population in Africa, which then spread throughout the Old World and replaced established populations. Allan Wilson advanced the theory in 1987 and said that genetic evidence suggested that all modern humans evolved from a single female that lived in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago. This is also known as the "Mitochondrial Eve Hypothesis," as biological or genetic data supports this thesis more than fossil and environmental evidence. ("Homo Erectus," 2005)

Anthropologists even disagree on the fate of Homo erectus. Some think that as Homo erectus was an ancestor of modern human beings, it gradually faded into genealogical history. Others think the species became rapidly extinct. (Mann, 2005) And until another great fossil find occurs, or another significant advance in the dating of fossil and archeological evidence, the debate is likely to continue within the scientific community.

Works Cited

"Homo Erectus." (2005) Geocites Palaeoanthropology web site. Herectus. Retrieved 16 Mary 2005 at http://www.geocities.com/palaeoanthropology/Herectus.html

'Long Foreground: Species Timeline." Retrieved 16 Mary 2005 at http://www.wsu.edu: 8001/vwsu/gened/learn-modules/top_longfor/timeline/h-sapiens/h-sapiens-a.html

Mann, Alan E. (2005) "Homo erectus." World Book Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. Herectus. Retrieved 16 Mary…… [read more]


Probability -- Subjective, Relative Frequency Term Paper

… ("Fitness," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2003) Darwin's theory of natural selection provided an explanation of all three of these features of the biological realm without adverting to some mysterious designing entity, thus making it valid on a level of subjective probability, as well as was relatively probable, given the fossil records and environmental variations of the same observed species.

Karl Popper's Propensity Interpretation of the 20th century aimed to solve the problem how to assign probability to the outcome of an individual experiment with an indeterminate outcome, such as experiment designed to prove the existence of ESP delineated above. "While the Classical and the Frequency Interpretations try to reduce the notion of probability to other, already known concepts, the Propensity Interpretation identifies probability with a new quantity, called 'propensity', expressing the measure of the 'probabilistic causal tendency' of the system to behave in a certain way." (Propensity, 2001)

Works Cited

Bartha, R. (2004) "Probability." Retrieved 5 November 2004 at http://hps.elte.hu/seminar/2001/October/Szabo/angol011008/node5.html

"Fitness." (2003) Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 5 November 2004 at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fitness / 'Propensity." (2001) Retrieved 5 November 2004 at http://hps.elte.hu/seminar/2001/October/Szabo/angol011008/node5.html

'Subjective Probability." (2001) Retrieved 5 November 2004 at http://hps.elte.hu/seminar/2001/October/Szabo/angol011008/node5.html… [read more]

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