Sunday, June 24, 2012

post one: DARWIN


Throughout my childhood I was taught about the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin. When I saw the name Charles Darwin in the text I thought oh no here is this guy again. I can't read about him again and read the same old thing. To my surprise this book taught me something new about Darwin' theory and got me interested. In the video above it gives a simple summary on what his theory was. This idea is spoken about with the thought of natural selection which is the theory that the things that can adapt to the environment the best are most likely to survive. This is basically saying that people need certain resources to survive and one might have a better trait that allows them to survive. An example of this is giraffe’s long neck. Originally some might have had shorter necks, but these animals couldn't reach the leaves so the ones with the longer necks survived more causing there to be giraffes with longer necks. I thought this all made sense ever since I was little. Then I read this chapter one of Learning and Behavior and found out it can be behaviors too. I never thought about it this way because I didn't understand how behavior could affect one's chances of surviving. Now that I know learning is one of these behaviors it makes sense. If one person learns better than the other they are more likely to survive. Learning to do new things gives someone all new advantages because they are able to do more by knowing more. Evolution is not just based on physical traits, but also behavior and psychological traits.


  1. Being a psychology major I thought that seeing Darwin's name was going to be the same thing you find in every psychology text book. But it was nice to explore different areas in his work. It's very interesting to view survival and evolution in a different way than how it is normally presented.

  2. I think we've all encountered Darwin and his theory of evolution countless times in textbooks and will probably see his name many more times. I personally find the theory of evolution, especially its development, to be fascinating. Darwin witnessed his first real evidence for his developing theory on the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are home to the giant tortoises, a large and predator-less species that just so happens to be one of the most delicious creatures in existence. They were so delicious that it took over thirty years for them to get their Latin name because on all of the expeditions that they were taken as samples, they were all eaten on the voyage back. In Darwin's expeditions to the Galapagos he learned that some of the sailors could identify which of the islands a tortoise was from simply by looking at their shell; they were slightly different between the islands. It was much later that Darwin realized how epic this statement was and how it could prove his theory. Unfortunately, by this time all of the tortoises had been eaten and their shells disposed but he managed to use a species birds (finches I believe) to prove his theory.