reveals about life on earth.
Dillard instinctual living – reason and “passion”
Ehrlich & Ehrlich Genes (hard inheritance) & Culture (soft inheritance)
Humans are “not alone in the capacity to pass along non-genetic information–culture”
chapter iv. The Dominant Animal
acquired traits (soft inheritance) genetic (hard inheritance)
learned behavior instinct
“practiced” “hard wired”
“How do we describe nature?
What do I owe the world and nature?”
2. Ehrlich & Wilson & Diamond – on the enduring complexity of nature.
Humans are organisms and are the products of inheritance, behavior, and culture (nature & nurture)
"When organisms evolve, they also change the environments of other organisms."
"Changing environments change organisms; changing organisms in turn change environments: that's pretty much the central story of life on earth."
"inability to evolve in the face of environmental change."
p. 20, Ehrlich Chapter One.
Language and tools
Development of culture and early humans
Brain evolution (changes in the central nervous system over time)
Mirror neurons: learning & empathic responses
Volume of blood needed for neuromuscular control
Eight qualities of the human brain
Consciousness and the “unconscious” or instinctive – impulsive character
Sympathetic tension in relations between genes & culture–human are dualistic
The dialectical means of examining the world is a basic concept:
Thesis + antithesis = synthesis
We are determined by our genes.
No, we are more influenced by our culture.
Together humans are enriched by both genes and culture working in tandem.
“In summary, as we learn more about the human genome, the notion of ‘genes
for behavior’ must be discounted. For example traits such as normal behaviors
few cases have been found of a specific gene or even many genes that greatly
influence variation in the trait. It is becoming clear that when genes influence
traits, and this applies especially to behaviors, they will do so in a way that is
strongly mediated by the environment.”
“Environmental circumstances during any phase of life may alter the way in
which an individual’s genes function at that time and later.”
The case of the disappearing frogs.
Frog eggs are deposited in water.
In the tadpole (larval) stages free swimming young feed on organisms in the water.
As the initial place of origin whatever nutrients and chemicals are dissolved in the water affect young, developing frogs.
Today, worldwide there is deterioration in frog populations.
The causes of these declines are not certain, but there is indication that a fungus is inhibiting (a form of predation) the survival of frogs.
The Dominant Animal on the web