Simple Sea Sponges Were Earth’s First Animals – Sea sponges appeared on our planet about 640 million years ago, much earlier than any other animal
Any analysis of behavior in any species and any setting must adhere to these principals.
1.Evidence-Based – Evolutionary biology is ruled by few logical principles, each of which has repeatedly withstood rigorous empirical and observational testing and challenges. These principles are the basis for modern medicine and organic chemistry and biological sciences.
2. Scalability – The rules, and “laws” of evolutionary biology apply to all levels of resolution, be it at the micro-cellular level of DNA or the physiology of the body and morphology.
3. New methods merely allow more rapid collection or better analysis of data; they do not affect the fundamental evolutionary principles.
4. The only mandatory attribute of the evolutionary processes is a change in genetic allele frequencies.
5. All new things in evolution starts as a single mutation arising in a single individual at a single time point.
6. Evolution is Mainly Unproductive – Mutations create equivalence more often than improvement, and functionlessness more often than functionality.
7. The fate of mutations that do not affect reproductive fitness is determined by chance and random genetic drift; that of mutations that do affect reproductive fitness by the combination of selection and random genetic drift.
8. Evolution occurs at the species population level; individuals do not evolve. An individual can only make an evolutionary contribution by producing offspring or dying childless.
9. The efficacy of selection depends on the effective population size, an historical construct that is different from the census population size, which is a snapshot of the present.
10. “Descent with Modification” – Evolution cannot create something out of nothing; there is no true novelty in evolution.
11. No Such Thing as Progress – Evolution does not give rise to “intelligently designed” perfection. From an engineering point of view, most products of evolution work in a manner that is suboptimal.
12. Humans are Not Exceptional – Homo sapiens does not occupy a privileged position in the grand evolutionary scheme.
Modern humans and Neanderthals diverged 550,000-765,000 years ago.
prominent scientific journals have published evidence of genetic shifts in humans over the last 10,000 years — apparently in response humankind’s transition to agriculture.
“…information about rewards is being sent to the visual cortex to indicate which stimuli have been associated with rewards…reward-only trials were found to strengthen the cue-reward associations…rewards can be associated with stimuli over longer time scales than previously thought… a reward signal is being sent to the visual cortex via dopamine,”