Explore BrainMass

Evolutionary theory

Do you consider Human Development an important component of the evolution of society?
What stance does the lifespan perspective take on regarding the issue of the course of human development? Do you consider it one or many courses?

Discuss your opinion about nature vs. nurture and stability vs change?

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com June 19, 2018, 6:17 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview

Evolutionary theory, in general, works in more than one manner. Classical evolution holds that species gradual change over time, adapting to their environment through genetic mutation and physical changes that favor those individuals who have the traits most suited for their current situation. Essentially, this means that a bird, for instance, who lives on an island that has more flowers than grains or berries will, overtime, evolve a different beak because the offspring that have longer beaks will be the ones to reproduce and pass on that trait.

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.

Human evolution, through the fossil record thus far, has been gradual, even though there are several missing links to a full genealogical history. Human behavior and development is controversial in terms of evolutionary theory because, essentially, we are the same species as we were 10,000 years ago, roughly when the hunter-gatherers banded together to form cities, domesticated agriculture and animals, and set up rudimentary societies.

How do we know this? Once humans began keeping records (writing) their thoughts were available for future generations to study. We know that there are several human traits that we consider part of humanity that seem universal: love, lust, anger, warfare, jealousy, angst, wonderment - theories of the afterlife, religion, God(s), and even humor and bawdy behavior (from graffiti that has been preserved). Added to this, looking at the 20th century, for instance, one ...

Solution Summary

Evolutionary theory notes