For each major theme, you are to select one of two of the prescribe texts (for Nature and Nurture, not Human Sexuality), and complete a reaction paper. Here, you are
to provide either a broad or narrow synopsis of the major themes, and include your own interpretation and opinion. Reaction papers must include support from external
sources, such as peer-reviewed articles.
The Selfish Gene (Dawkins)
In The Selfish Gene, Dr. Richard Dawkins suggests that there is a self-selection for predisposed traits, such that genotypic expression greatly influences most
phenotypic characteristics. With a consideration for the genetic and cellular level, he further suggests that traits that fail are hence the result of natural
selection for survivorship.
In 1967, Dr. E. O. Wilson and Dr. Robert MacArthur proposed the equilibrium theory of island biogeography, which states that the population rates of immigration and
emigration (i.e., speciation and extinction) are the result of two key interactions: 1) size of geographic area, and 2) distance from the original origin. In
Consilience, Dr. Wilson further explores the idea of evolutionary biology from an ecological perspective, and suggests that the behaviors of all interacting species
are a function of co-evolution.
For each reaction paper, you are to consider the conflict between nature and nurture. In particular, you are to entertain the central theme(s) of each medium, consider
a review of the texts, and develop your own argument(s) for or against each idea. In particular, you will need to consider whether these messages are validated by
scientific evidence, and your overall impression of the text. You may wish to take a broad or narrow approach, but the emphasis is on the quality of your content and
not the quantity.
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