Search found 124 matches

by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:21 pm
Forum: Writing Projects
Topic: Submit Writing Project via email
Replies: 0
Views: 1135

Submit Writing Project via email

Per the schedule, submit your Writing Project to me via email as a PDF file attachment by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 10.
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Grades
Topic: Final Course Grades Available
Replies: 0
Views: 1238

Final Course Grades Available

As of Sept. 14, all grades have been recorded and summed. Your final grade is in the last column in the following spreadsheet.
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Epigenetics bilbiography
Replies: 0
Views: 637

Epigenetics bilbiography

Download this bibliography and all PDFs in a compressed file (http://filos.io/docs/ep.d.zip) Baedke, Jan. "Causal explanation beyond the gene." THEORIA. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 27, no. 2 (2012): 153-174. (http://filos.io/docs/ep.d/baedke-2012.pdf) Abstract: ...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)
Replies: 56
Views: 8302

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Philosophers are giving a lot of attention to epigenetics these days. A search of the Philosopher's Index bears this out. (Access to this link requires either being on campus or being connected via VPN.)
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)
Replies: 56
Views: 8302

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

While skimming the optional reading on inheritance systems, I did a doubletake. That definition of epigenetics was so different from what I was taught I thought the author got mixed up somehow. I get it now that it's part of one kind of classification. What confused me was that I wasn't used to the...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)
Replies: 56
Views: 8302

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

The studies from the documentary showed that the exposure to stress, poisons at the right time of developmental process of one’s grandparents can be pass down to many generations. I was wondering, if these effects can be reversible by exposing the next generation to stress free or non poison enviro...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:26 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Transcendental Meditation and stress hormones
Replies: 0
Views: 631

Transcendental Meditation and stress hormones

Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on adaptive mechanisms: changes in hormone levels and responses to stress after 4 months of practice (Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1997 May;22(4):277-95.) Abstract : Stress has been implicated in both somatic and mental disorders. The mechanisms by whic...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Testing whole foods vs. individual known hazards
Replies: 0
Views: 633

Testing whole foods vs. individual known hazards

Sheldon Krimsky cites the following in support of his view that GMOs have not been shown to be safe: ‘‘Methods have not yet been developed by which whole foods (as compared with single chemical components) can be fully evaluated for safety." Source : An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Asse...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)
Replies: 56
Views: 8302

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

I initially found Moshe Szyf's admission that "[f]or a molecular biologist, anything that didn’t have a clear molecular pathway was not serious science" to be a little startling, as it seems to express the sort of attitude that came in for so much criticism from, e.g., Lloyd and Griesemer....
by ShawnMiller
Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Post-class Posts & Final
Topic: Take-Home Final (due Saturday, Sept. 12 by 7 a.m.)
Replies: 21
Views: 3695

Take-Home Final (due Saturday, Sept. 12 by 7 a.m.)

(A printer-friendly version of this document is available.) Directions : Answer four of the five questions below. Each answer should be about 300-400 words. Answer all parts of each question. The questions are principally about the course readings, rather than lectures or discussions. So stick close...
by ShawnMiller
Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:39 pm
Forum: Take-Home Final Preparation etc.
Topic: Groups can't have more than 4 members
Replies: 0
Views: 661

Groups can't have more than 4 members

Groups can't have more than four members. If there aren't any non-full groups to join, then start a new thread seeking others out.
by ShawnMiller
Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:34 pm
Forum: Take-Home Final Preparation etc.
Topic: Seeking partners for Final
Replies: 11
Views: 1576

Re: Seeking partners for Final

Groups can't be larger than four. If a group is full and you're seeking partners, start a new thread seeking other members.
by ShawnMiller
Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Take-Home Final Preparation etc.
Topic: Google Docs for collaborative writing
Replies: 0
Views: 631

Google Docs for collaborative writing

For anyone interested in working in groups on the Take-Home Final, creating a shared Google Doc is a very convenient way to do collaborative writing. Setting up the document is easy -- see the instructions here or the short how-to video -- and you have access to Google Docs just in virtue of having ...
by ShawnMiller
Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:22 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: The Precautionary Principle in Environmental Science
Replies: 0
Views: 692

The Precautionary Principle in Environmental Science

Just because the precautionary principle has a definition -- namely, the principle that the introduction of a new product or process whose ultimate effects are disputed or unknown should be resisted. It has mainly been used to prohibit the importation of genetically modified organisms and food -- sh...
by ShawnMiller
Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Take-Home Final Preparation etc.
Topic: How to use the forum (please read this)
Replies: 0
Views: 655

How to use the forum (please read this)

Use this forum to prepare for/think through material for the Take-Home Final, and/or to form groups. However, please don't post answers to questions from the final here. As mentioned previously, groups may have no more than four members . Google Docs are effective for collaborative writing. Good luck!
by ShawnMiller
Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Announcements
Topic: New forum for Take-Home Final Preparation
Replies: 0
Views: 1175

New forum for Take-Home Final Preparation

I created a new forum called Take-Home Final Preparation etc. that you can use to help one another think through material and/or find group members with whom to collaborate.
by ShawnMiller
Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Announcements
Topic: Fourth prompt posted (due Sunday, Sept. 6 by 11:59 p.m.)
Replies: 0
Views: 661

Fourth prompt posted (due Sunday, Sept. 6 by 11:59 p.m.)

The fourth post-class prompt is posted. It is due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. However, I will provide feedback on your answers, so the sooner you post them, the sooner you will get feedback. You all should have received feedback on the third post-class prompt via email; I apologize if the tone felt a li...
by ShawnMiller
Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:50 pm
Forum: Post-class Posts & Final
Topic: Fourth prompt (due Sunday, Sept. 6 by 11:59 p.m.)
Replies: 21
Views: 2565

Fourth prompt (due Sunday, Sept. 6 by 11:59 p.m.)

Answer the following prompt in 300-400 words. Answer all parts of the question . This question is similar to the sort of essay prompt that you will see on the take-home final, so think of it as practice. This is due Sunday, Sept. 6 by 11:59 p.m. However, I will provide feedback on your answers, so t...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:25 pm
Forum: Announcements
Topic: Next week's reading and all deadlines finalized
Replies: 0
Views: 633

Next week's reading and all deadlines finalized

A new announcements: ⋅ The reading for next week (there is only one) has been posted; it is on epigenetics. ⋅ As you will see on the schedule , I have pushed back the due date for the Writing Project from Wednesday to Thursday. ⋅ As is also reflected on the schedule, pl...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:57 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)
Replies: 56
Views: 8302

Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes from Discovery Magazine You must post to the forum twice . Optional ⋅  Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior ⋅  Inheritance Systems from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . See especially, Section 3.3.2 Epigenetic Inherita...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:52 pm
Forum: Videos and Pictures
Topic: Epigenetics: The Ghost In Your Genes (Full Documentary)
Replies: 0
Views: 795

Epigenetics: The Ghost In Your Genes (Full Documentary)

Epigenetics: The Ghost In Your Genes (48 minute documentary)

by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: More on GMOs
Replies: 0
Views: 714

More on GMOs

⋅  An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Assessment ⋅  Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations (article cited as showing GMOs are safe) ⋅  Effects of feeding Bt MON810 maize to sows during first gestation and lactation on ...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Videos and Pictures
Topic: Inner Beauty Contest
Replies: 0
Views: 808

Inner Beauty Contest

innerBeautyContest.jpg
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: On "retouching" photos
Replies: 0
Views: 657

On "retouching" photos

A New Yorker article entitled Pixel Perfect about Pascal Dangin, fashion world photo "retoucher." Select quotes: In the March [2008] issue of Vogue [Pascal] Dangin tweaked a hundred and forty-four images: a hundred and seven advertisements (Estée Lauder, Gucci, Dior, etc.), thirty-six fash...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: War, fertilizers, and corn
Replies: 0
Views: 652

War, fertilizers, and corn

On the relationship between war, fertilizers, and corn.

What's eating American by Michael Pollan
by ShawnMiller
Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Announcements
Topic: Feedback on third post-class prompt
Replies: 0
Views: 636

Feedback on third post-class prompt

I will provide each of you with feedback via email on the third post-class prompt by tomorrow. In the meantime, I recommend reading over each others' answers in that forum to get a sense of what some of the possible answers were. I have pasted two answers below that were particularly good (if your a...
by ShawnMiller
Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

My impression that biological evolution can ALSO be circular has been strengthened by our discussion of cultural evolution. Biological evolution, (through the process of natural selection) is certainly a directional process, it does not necessarily mean that there is a progression from worse traits...
by ShawnMiller
Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

I still think cultural evolution works on slightly different mechanisms than biological evolution. As much as people will say this and that is selected in cultural evolution, a culture is still decided by people more so than environment. I like to think of cultural evolution working with 2 mechanis...
by ShawnMiller
Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Videos and Pictures
Topic: How-To Methods Videos for scientists
Replies: 0
Views: 755

How-To Methods Videos for scientists

Science faces replication difficulties. Sharing Methods videos is one way to address this. It seems that a form of transmission by replication is at work, i.e., a form of social learning that is improved by the genre of instructional videos, which are relatively precise and explicit, especially comp...
by ShawnMiller
Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:19 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

You can even experience culture differences in the united states. The town I was born in was relatively homogenized because it was small. There wasn't much ethnic diversity at all. Now that I am in Davis, I am much happier because of the diversity and it is much easier to be myself because I don't ...
by ShawnMiller
Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:15 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

The controversy between cultural and biological evolution has me stumped. When discussing situations in which culture and biology mix, why do people become fixated on whether the cultural or the biological components are more or less significant than the other? It really doesn't matter, does it? Ho...
by ShawnMiller
Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

I found it extremely interesting that the video stated that the cultural evolution of using fire to cook food resulted in biological changes such as changes in teeth and intestinal structures. Cooking also likely freed up a lot of time since we could consume more calorically dense foods rather than...
by ShawnMiller
Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:15 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

As we discussed in class, one of Sober’s arguments against memetics is that it is of little value because it lacks quantitative predictive power. In other words, memetics theories of cultural evolution are not useful because they can’t explain what makes one idea more attractive/culturally fit than...
by ShawnMiller
Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:05 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

Sober writes, "Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman show how the cultural process can overwhelm the biological one"; Reading this, I wasn't sure what Sober means why "cultural process overwhelm biological one". The specific case this quote refers to is that of women in 19th century Italy ...
by ShawnMiller
Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:56 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

Sober states that "A social scientist will explain incest avoidance by describing the spread of a custom; the evolutionary biologist goes deeper by showing us why the behaviour evolved." Perhaps I'm not reading closely enough, but I cannot find any examples of this in his essay. Sober is ...
by ShawnMiller
Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Re: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

I do not consider cultural evolution to be as much as an important factor as say others have attempted to argue. Dawkin's idea of memes where ideas are impressed upon a person similar to genes does not really resonate with me. I agree more with the traditional arguments that biology holds a deeper ...
by ShawnMiller
Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:14 pm
Forum: Writing Projects
Topic: "Elements of Style" by William Strunk
Replies: 0
Views: 624

"Elements of Style" by William Strunk

This version of William Strunk's "Elements of Style" is in the public domain. The second section -- pages 7-14 -- contains probably all the guidance on grammar that you will ever need.
by ShawnMiller
Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Announcements
Topic: Third post-class prompt has been posted
Replies: 0
Views: 543

Third post-class prompt has been posted

The third post-class prompt has been posted. It is due Monday, Aug. 31 by noon.
by ShawnMiller
Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Post-class Posts & Final
Topic: Third prompt (due Monday, Aug. 31 by noon)
Replies: 24
Views: 2868

Third prompt (due Monday, Aug. 31 by noon)

Answer the following question in 300-400 words. This question is similar to the sort of essay prompt that you will see on the take-home final, so think of it as practice. This is due Monday, Aug. 31 by noon. Your post will not appear until sometime Tuesday. Elliott Sober writes: There is a vague ide...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:55 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 26: Models of Cultural Evolution (required)
Replies: 28
Views: 5695

Re: Aug. 26: Models of Cultural Evolution

This is kind of off topic, but the kamikaze example as an instance of altruism is annoyingly naive. If you trace the series of causes in the logic of "ancient warrior mentality" in the "dying honorably for your country" sort of way, it is undoubtedly not altruistic. The reason t...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:52 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 26: Models of Cultural Evolution (required)
Replies: 28
Views: 5695

Re: Aug. 26: Models of Cultural Evolution (required)

So the example of having a larger family follow off from Darwin's theory for evolution regarding fitness than smaller family has been used in this article as well as the other article with TIm Lewens. Also if I am understanding the graph correctly on page 26 it shows a trend through time that famil...
by ShawnMiller
Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)
Replies: 35
Views: 5498

Aug. 31: No reading, open thread (required)

Please post a question or comment as it relates to any aspect of cultural evolution discussed in class or otherwise. If you are stumped or feel you have nothing to say, try finding an article online that addresses cultural evolution broadly construed and analyze that. Or you can detail some particul...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:23 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 24 and 25: Cultural Evolution (required)
Replies: 51
Views: 7835

Re: Aug. 24 and 25: Cultural Evolution (required)

One aspect of this piece with which i took issue was the idea that not all ideas are "replicators," and thus not all ideas are memes. It doesn't seem realistic that all ideas fall into a replicator/non-replicator binary. It seems much more likely that all ideas have the potential to propa...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 24 and 25: Cultural Evolution (required)
Replies: 51
Views: 7835

Re: Aug. 24 and 25: Cultural Evolution

One distinction Lewen makes between memetics and cultural evolutionary theory is that the proposed rules in cultural evolutionary theory “are not merely conjectured, but given experimental support,” (22). This made me curious as to what sort of experiments are employed to research cultural evolutio...
by ShawnMiller
Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Readings
Topic: Aug. 24 and 25: Cultural Evolution (required)
Replies: 51
Views: 7835

Re: Aug. 24 and 25: Cultural Evolution (required)

dianalee wrote:Culture traits do not copies themselves like genes do.

Do genes really copy themselves, as Lewens asserts? It seems that proteins copy genes, or the environment in which genes exist copy genes. The autonomy attributed to genes seems implausible to me.

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