Adaptive Evolution is driven by natural selection. Natural selection is not "survival of the fittest," but rather "reproduction of the fittest." Evolution can occur at many different speeds based on the strength of the selection driving it. These types of selection can result in directional, stabilizing, and disruptive outcomes. They can be driven by frequency-dependent selection and sexual selection, in addition to more standard types of ...more
Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)Professor Wai Chee Dimock begins her discussion of The Sound and the Fury by presenting Faulkner's main sources for the novel, including Act V, Scene 5 of Macbeth and theories of mental deficiency elaborated by John Locke and Henry Goddard. Her main focus is on the experimental subjectivity of the novel's first section which is narrated by Benjy Compson, a mentally retarded 33 year old who is compl...more
Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)Professor Wai Chee Dimock continues her discussion of The Sound and the Fury by juxtaposing Quentin's stream-of-consciousness to his brother Benjy's narrative subjectivity. Professor Dimock argues that Faulkner uses stylistic parallels between the two sections to communicate "kinship" and "variation" between the two narrators. In her readings, she focuses on their relationship with the black charac...more
Genomic conflict arises when the interests of various genomic elements, such as chromosomes and cytoplasmic organelles, are not aligned. These conflicts arise in two situations: either when one unit is contained within another, as a mitochondrion is contained within a cell, or when inheritance is asymmetrical. Genomic conflict can thus occur within a cell, within an organism, or between two organisms, such as a mother and developing fetus....more
Genetics controls evolution. There are four major genetic systems, which are combinations of sexual/asexual and haploid/diploid. In all genetic systems, adaptive genetic change tends to start out slow, accelerate in the middle, and occur slowly at the end. Asexual haploids can change the fastest, while sexual diploids usually change the slowest. Gene frequencies in large populations only change if the population undergoes selection.
May 5, 2010) Robert Sapolsky explores behavioral patterns of human reproduction. He focuses on proximal and distal motivations, orgasm and fertility facilitation, non-reproductive sex, hormonal and cerebral sexual functions, and the differences and similarities between humans and animals in various physiological realms.
(May 7, 2010) Robert Sapolsky delivers the second part of his two-part lecture on sexual behavior. He discusses how this behavior has evolved into the intricate and complex system that exists today.
(May 10, 2010) Robert Sapolsky completes his talk on sexual behavior in humans as well as other species, focusing on characteristics that create attractiveness. He then switches subject and talks about human aggression and how this has evolved and developed in different cultures.
What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can't we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art...more
This lecture examines Book Four's depiction of Adam and Eve and the sexual politics of life in Eden. Seventeenth-century political theory, particularly the work of Thomas Hobbes, is considered with a focus on then-contemporary theories of the structure and government of the first human societies. Critical perspectives on what have variously been proposed as sexist and feminist elements of Milton's Eden are surveyed. Milton's struggle with ...more
This second lecture on the Fall traces Milton's use of the word wander, in all of its forms, across the poem. The transformation of wander from its pre-fallen sense to its more nefarious incarnation following the transgression is examined closely. The wider literary context of the concept of wandering, with particular emphasis placed on its importance to the romance genre, is briefly discussed. The reductive forces of Book Nine -- particul...more
The description of human sexual hierarchy in Book Four of Paradise Lost is contrasted with the depiction of angelic hierarchy in Book Five. Both the Archangel Raphael's and Satan's accounts and theories of creation are examined. The poem's complex and vacillating endorsement of arbitrary decree, on the one hand, and egalitarian self-determination, on the other, is probed. The nature of matter and physical being in Heaven and Eden are explo...more