Evolution and Social Sciences Seminar

Monday, March 4, 2019 12:00pm

Bond Life Sciences Center, Rm 572

Charles Roseman, U of I

The Evolution and Social Sciences Seminar presents, Charles Roseman, associate professor, University of Illinois, School of Integrative Biology, "The Morphology of Mind: Reconciling Evolutionary Psychology and Evolutionary Genetics," Monday, March 4, Room 572, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Abstract: Evolutionary psychology, evolutionary developmental biology, and evolutionary genetics use an overlapping set of concepts to explain the origins and diversification of different aspects of organisms. The notion that constellations of traits can be quasi-independent, or modular, is fundamental to all these ways of understanding the living world. Using examples drawn from the study of morphology and animal behavior, I evaluate evolutionary psychological claims about the number of modules that make up our cognitive faculties and the mode and tempo of their evolution. While many of its assumptions are untenable, evolutionary psychology is correct in that some degree of modularity is required for the evolution of complex features such as cognition. I then sketch an outline of another approach to understanding the special case of human evolution that rescues a version of the modularity concept and includes evolutionary processes beyond natural selection.