Identify one Darwinian puzzle not mentioned above, and explain why it’s a Darwinian puzzle.


Just like Panera, I’m offering a You Pick Two for this assignment. There are four options, and you must complete two of them. Any two. See below for details.

Choice 1

Do something creative that’s relevant to this class. Film something, sing something, draw something, write something, rap something, paint something, Photoshop something (Gimp is free and open-source version of Photoshop, BTW), etc. etc. Just make it obviously relevant to this class. You could do almost anything, as long as it’s creative. In the past, I’ve had students who (i) recorded a conversation between them and someone where they debated some topic in evolutionary psychology, (ii) created a 4-frame comic strip, (iii) wrote a short children’s book about EP, (v) created a bunch of memes based on topics in EP. The more time and effort you put into this, the more points you’ll get.

Choice 2

Relate a topic in EP to your personal life. Do your fears align with an adaptationist perspective? Do your moral judgments make sense from the Kurzban and Weeden Model of morality? Maybe you or someone you know well identifies as gay. Does it fit the “tipping point” model? Maybe you’re experiencing pregnancy sickness. Maybe you’re intensely in love right now. Thinking about the last time someone made you angry, does it fit the Recalibration Theory of Anger? These are some examples. Write about one page on your personal experiences with a specific topic in this course. Discuss how it relates to the empirical evidence surrounding the topic. For example, is it consistent with the literature or does it depart? Obviously, only give details you’re comfortable sharing. For what it’s worth, we’ll keep these completely confidential.

Choice 3

Throughout the course, we discussed many Darwinian puzzles and their solutions. A Darwinian puzzle is a name given to a phenomenon that seems to defy the logic of evolution by natural selection because the behavior seems to reduce, rather than increase, the reproductive success of individuals who express it, yet it is relatively common. For example, we discussed suicide, senescence, altruism (e.g., giving to the homeless), and homosexuality. You can’t explain away suicide, senescence, altruism, and homosexuality by appealing to the “it’s atypical” argument because it’s actually fairly common.

Identify one Darwinian puzzle not mentioned above, and explain why it’s a Darwinian puzzle. Also, provide a potential solution to your puzzle. By solution, I mean Darwinian solution. For example, the Darwinian solution to male homosexuality is that genes associated with homosexuality confer fitness benefits in their heterosexual carriers. Your puzzle must apply to humans.


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Identify one Darwinian puzzle not mentioned above and explain why it’s a Darwinian puzzle.


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