Final examination essay

Submitted by William F. Zimmerman on Tuesday, 4/26/2011, at 9:52 AM

Biology 14           FINAL  ESSAY  ASSIGNMENT


Due: May 10 between 8:30AM and 12 noon (deadline) at the Biology Department Office (entrance to it is to right of entrance to Merrill, then straight ahead).


If you can complete your essay before this due date please send it to me by email attached file. It will be a rushed job for me to read these essays and get the grades in on time, so an earlier submission (again, by attached file) will be appreciated. 



Based on the ideas developed in this course and their application to human history and culture in the last section of the course (Humans: Biocultural evolution and history) write an essay 10 typewritten, double spaced pages on what you think the human mind was designed for. You may emphasize some aspects of this subject more than others—for example male and female relationships/ mating strategies (sections c, d and e), or social intelligence, self awareness and self deceit (sections h, k), or the evolution of moral systems, laws and religion (section i) or evolutionary aesthetics  (section j). However, be sure to include at least some consideration ---even if brief---of the following articles listed below. I list them because I think that among all the assigned readings in this last section of the course, they are particularly important. You will find that most of these particular readings apply to many aspects of the general topic. You might even consider reading these articles first (if you have not already), and then decide what you will emphasize in your essay.

Last Chapter of G&Z text

Smuts, The evolutionary origins of patriarchy, ER

Martin, The egg and the sperm: how science constructed a romance based on… ER

Tavris, Misreading the gender gap…class handout


Humphrey, The social function of intellect

Hartung, Deceiving down: conjectures on the management of subordinate status

Trivers, his lecture on deceit and self deception, which will include the major points in his book

      chapter, Deceit and self deception, on ER, and of his forthcoming book (October).

Alexander, 1979, Darwinism and Human Affairs, Chapter 4, Evolution, Laws and Justice, ER

Alexander, Biology and the moral paradoxes, ER (read slowly, says quite a lot in few words)

Hartung. Love thy neighbor: the evolution of in-group morality, ER (this and the previous two

    writings by Richard Alexander are rather closely interconnected)


Dutton, Aesthetic Universals, ER.

Dutton, Has Conceptual Art Jumped The Shark Tank? NYTimes Op-ed, Oct. 2009, ER.

Miller, Aesthetic fitness: How sexual selection shaped artistic virtuosity as a fitness indicator

Essay 2

Due Date: 
Thu, 03/24/2011 - 07:30
File 2011 Essay 2.docx13.28 KB

Problem Set 2

Due Date: 
Thu, 03/10/2011 - 06:30
Microsoft Office document icon 11ps2.doc50 KB