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Modularity thinking may very well have had its first emergence with the work of Franz Joseph Gall (1758- 1828) who reasoned that the brain was divided into dozens of distinct capabilities. It is from his work that older universities were divided into different "faculties," such as physics, math, psychology, etc. Harvard's Howard Gardner in 1983 made an attempt to classify such capabilities, but he calls them "intelligences," and his approach is from an educational one rather than a evolutionary biological one. Basic Books, 1983, NY. But the credit for the modern revival of the modularity of the mind approachcan be given American philosopher and psychologist Jerry Fodor (b. 1935) In hisbook, he did not see hundreds of modules, andproposed that there were only a dozen or so.
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | Department of
Evolutionary psychology is the approach of explaining human behavior based on the combination of evolutionary biology, anthropology, cognitive science, and the neurosciences. Evolutionary psychology is not a specific sub field of psychology, such as the study of vision, reasoning, or social behavior. It is a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic within it. "Evolutionary Psychology and the Emotions," by Leda Cosmides & John Tooby, from the new book, M. Lewis, J.M. Haviland-Jones, Editors, NY, Guilford, 2000.
Welcome to the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
I have been a member of the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology since 1986. My research focuses on the evolution and genetics of plants. I've studied the evolution of plant mating systems; explored how basic principles of ecology, evolutionary biology, and systematics should influence conservation decisiions; and developed statistical methods for analyzing genetic diversity in spatially structured populations.
Faculty | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The ability to find the precise locations of these algorithmic modulesor is stillyears away, but the general location of these areas has been culled from brain scans whichlocate neural activity, and from the study of behavioral dysfunctions resulting from braindamage or other malfunctions.
Knowing how these areas work in relation to the environment and the culture in which thehuman organism finds itself are the other areas of research in which evolutionarypsychology shows the greatest promise. These spheres of research aim at configuringbehavior models based on primate studies, hunter-gatherer research, and anthropologicalevidence into the best possible problem-solving probabilities of our ancestral behaviorpatterns. It is from these studies that evolutionary psychologists build behaviorprobabilities into our modern cultures and show us why we do the things we do -- based onbiology.
For me, the reason that evolutionary psychology is important is that, scientists andscholars alike are finally all collaborating together to form a consensus on how the humanbrain, and thus human emotions, have evolved. Once we know how such emotions as prejudice,hate, and anger evolved, we, as humans, can begin to change these negative behaviormechanisms. We do this by being self-aware of, then controlling, the emotions that flowfrom our brain. It is this self-awareness and self-control that makes us human. So youcreationists have nothing to fear from scientists who want to push humankind's creationtimeline back to include our primate cousins. We are separated from the animal within usby our higher consciousness. We have demonstrated that we control our emotions andthus change our external behavior patterns. But we all must acknowledge that we are stillattached by the flesh to our primal past.
From an evolutionary timeline, we don't have much time left before we begin to makedeliberate genetic mutations. There are three periods of evolution. The firstyou are familiar with: Natural Selection. Here, hereditary defects are weededout without human consciousness. The second is Deliberate Manipulation: theelimination of genetic defects through deliberate manipulation of the genes. Thethird: Volitional Evolution: The deliberate mutation of genetic structure throughGene Therapy. (God help us...please study the history of Eugenics)