Assignment<You will be required to submit a 1000 word term paper (approximat

Assignment<
You will be required to submit a 1000 word term paper (approximately 4 pages double-spaced). Your essay should address the selected topic (discussed below) directly and formulate a coherent argument based upon the lessons and the readings. The format should include an introduction, body and conclusion. Guidelines for the essay and its structure will be provided in class.<
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Topic<
Evolution is about the ‘survival of the fittest’, but successful survival strategy often entails group dynamics rather than simple individual superiority over others. On one hand, genes survive into successive generations if an individual organism is successful at passing those genes onto offspring, but survival and mating also requires negotiating social adaptations as well. In other words, humans evolved biologically, but also culturally. <
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Humans and our ancestors developed biological features through adaptation to environmental and reproductive factors, but human success and adaptation also relies heavily on acting as a group. This social aspect of human survival is extremely important today, but how did our social adaptations come to have such an outsized role, when compared to other animals? Or is biology still the major factor that dominates over social aspects of evolution?<
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Discuss the seeming dichotomy between biology and culture and how it relates to human evolution.<
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Approaches<
This question can be answered by a number of approaches. For instance:<
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You might feel that there is one major turning point where human culture becomes very important to our survival. Describing this major transition and how it affected human evolution could be one approach.<
Perhaps you think that there are several stages where culture became increasingly important in human evolution. You could describe this incremental change as another approach.<
Or maybe you think that this dichotomy is not accurate, and that there is a continuum between biology and culture that cannot be so easily separated.<
Research<
You are not required to include any more information beyond what can be found in the textbook, Our Origins. That said, you are welcome to include other information provided it is correctly cited. I prefer the MLA (Modern Language Association) style with parenthetical citations in the text and a bibliography in the end. Please cite ANY quotations or recitations from any published work, even if it is from the textbook. If you are paraphrasing my lectures or the textbook, citations are not necessary. <

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