Study Guide for Final EVO 301 SP 2019


Of the following, four will emerge on the final exam – and you’ll be asked to complete three of these during the final exam period. Your encouraged to write drafts ahead of time and bring your work to Glenn or to one of the TAs to get feedback before the exam.

  1. Describe the ideas of “natural selection,” “adaptation,” “genetic fitness,” and “reproductive success.” In your essay, address how these concepts are inter-related. Finally, address what these concepts imply about understanding evolution at level of genes or of individual organisms (compared with evolution at the level of a species).
  2. Glass, Wilson, and Geher (2012) provide evidence that evolution training is hard to obtain in modern higher education. Provide a summary of their reasoning along with a summary of their data.
  3. Describe the specific idea of “Evolutionary Psychology” – including how it conceptualizes behavioral patterns. In your answer, be sure to address the metaphor of the “selfish gene.”
  4. In the first chapter of Evolutionary Psychology 101 (Geher, 2014), the case is made that the concept of “species” is often misunderstood and misrepresented when it comes to evolutionary studies. Describe the reasoning presented therein. In your answer, explain why the case is made that the term “species” should be used excessively sparingly in writing in this field.
  5. Natalia Reagan gave our esteemed Darwin Day lecture. Describe the basic gist of the content of her talk. Next, describe two specific phenomena that she described as well as how these phenomena can be understood in terms of evolutionary principles.
  6. Jason Lewis’ work related to understanding the origins of human tool use. Discuss the main research question that his team worked on as well as their main findings. Finally, address what their findings suggest about the timing of the origins of human tool use.
  7. Describe the general point of how the architecture in Wooster Hall is designed for special “solar events.” Next, discuss how such solar events relate to our evolved psychology.
  8. Mike Frederick talked about “life history strategy.” Describe this basic idea. Next, address how this idea can be applied to humans to understanding various approaches that people take in dealing with their social worlds.
  9. Melanie Shoup-Knox discussed human voice from an evolutionary perspective. Describe the primary gist of her talk, including her findings. Make sure to discuss details associated with both male and female voices.
  10. Cesar Rebellon used an evolutionary perspective to understand human risk taking. Discuss the basic methodology of his research. Next, discuss the sex-differentiated patterns of results that he found in his research, along with how such results can be understood from an evolutionary perspective.
  11. Katie Gruskin talks about modern education from an evolutionary mismatch perspective. Describe the basic points of her argument. Next, describe, in brief, the methods and results of her study. Finally, address how she uses an evolutionary perspective to shed light on her findings.
  12. A few of the readings address evolutionary studies (EvoS) as a truly interdisciplinary endeavor. Explain what “interdisciplinary” means in this context – along with some of the evidence provided in the readings that speak to the idea of EvoS as being particularly interdisciplinary. Finally, take all this information into account in commenting about the future of evolution in higher education.
  13. Describe the idea of “evolutionary mismatch.” In your answer, discuss some specific feature of human life that we can consider as “mismatched.” Explain this phenomenon in evolutionary terms. Finally, discuss how this concept of evolutionary mismatch can help us lead richer lives.
  14. One class period, we engaged in a crayon-based activity that was developed by Tyler Rhodes, a renowned illustrator. Briefly describe the nature of this activity as well as the basic evolutionary concept that this activity was designed to explicate. Next, name and describe two specific evolutionary concepts that emerged during this activity. In your answer, elaborate on how this activity illuminated these particular concepts.