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BBC Radio 4 - In Our Own Image - Evolving Humanity, Human Cultural Evolution Versus Genetic Evolution

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Own Image - Evolving Humanity, Human Cultural Evolution Versus Genetic Evolution | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it
Is human culture stopping us from genetically evolving?
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"Human uniqueness takes many forms: we can communicate complex ideas; we have developed technologies, such as medicine and transport; and we change our environment to suit our biology. But how does human culture affect our biology - our genes?"

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The Circuitry of Uncertainty

The Circuitry of Uncertainty | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

This one's not easy:

Experiment hints at underlying neurochemistry of uncertainty. The experiment was done with rats and is promising because it sheds more (positive) light on the complexity involved in creating uncertainty through philosophy in the classroom.

 

From the article: 

Since the underlying change in confidence was the only thing that changed abruptly at such a moment in their experiment, a simultaneous abrupt change in activity in the brain could -be attributed to the rat’s decision to abandon its old belief. And that’s exactly what the researchers observed. When the rats seemed certain which handle they should pull, activity in the medial prefrontal cortex was relatively stable. But during the crucial moment of the onset of uncertainty, when the rat reverted to pulling both handles, “the activity abruptly and markedly changed and then remained more variable for the duration of the period when the animal sampled both options,” Karpova says. “It’s as if those neurons were the ones searching for the animal’s new model.”

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Evolution & The Tree of Life

Evolution & The Tree of Life | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

Evolution and geneology: a complex process visualized. 

Compare this to the often seen (and wrong) representation of evolution as a linear deterministic process towards perfection.

Limitations (or concessions done) to make this diagram are discussed in the article.

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BBC Knowledge Explainer DNA

BBC Knowledge and Learning is exploring a wide variety of topics from social history to science in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries, and commissioned…
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Easy to understand explanation of what DNA is and how it functions. 

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For Teachers: Using Evolution in the Classroom

For Teachers: Using Evolution in the Classroom | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

Materials on evolution and geneology for use in the classroom

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How Culture Drove Human Evolution: Joseph Henrich

How Culture Drove Human Evolution: Joseph Henrich | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

A Conversation with Joseph Henrich [9.4.12]

JOSEPH HENRICH is an anthropologist and Professor of Psychology and Economics. He is the Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition and Coevolution at University of British Columbia.

 

"Part of my program of research is to convince people that they should stop distinguishing cultural and biological evolution as separate in that way. We want to think of it all as biological evolution."

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