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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

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SESSION 5: How Did Humans Evolve? Is Evolution Still Happening?

Explore Part D: The Brain and Culture

As scientists have studied the evolution of the brain, they've explored the relationship between the brain and culture. To learn more about these connections, read the interview "Evolution of the Mind" with Steven Pinker, MIT Professor and author of How the Mind Works. Think about these questions as you read:


How does our human brain influence the way we participate in the "evolutionary arms race" described by Pinker?


How could Darwinian natural selection have affected the internal rewiring of the brain during evolution?


What three kinds of human intelligence evolved that put modern humans at an advantage?


What is the significance of language for human evolution?


What are "memes" and what role do they play in human evolution today?

Is human intelligence an evolutionary fluke or is intelligent life an inevitable result of evolution? Explore the Web activity, Is Intelligent Life Inevitable? Explain why you think it is or is not an inevitable result of evolution.



Facilitator Note 1


Next: Explain Part A: Origins of Humans

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