Rachel Townsend's blog

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Thought Capabilities of Homo Sapiens And Other Animal Species

Daniel Dennett's book Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life discusses, in great detail, the ramifications of Darwin's theory of evolution on human life and meaning.  While looking over portions of the book again, I found myself wondering more about some of Dennett's ideas and other species of animals.  On page 369, Dennett writes: "The invasion of human brains by culture, in the form of memes, has created human minds, which alone among animals minds can conceive of things distant and future, and formulate alternative goals." (1)  What interests me here is his complete dismissal of other animals as thinking or having culture.  While Dennett certainly makes great, strong points about human culture, even if I do not necessarily agree with him, he jumps stra
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On Homosexuality

In reading Darwin's On the Origin of Species and discussing the book in class, I have found myself thinking a lot about the evolutionary significance of homosexuality.  I have been struggling not with the existence of homosexuality but instead with its' long history and continuation within our species, for if evolutionary theory is to be accepted, homosexuality, which is not a selective reproductive trait, should not continue to appear in the species.  According to Darwin's theory of evolution, the appearance of homosexuality is not surprising because the basic principle of the theory is based on the randomness of mutation within a species.  Given this, the existence of homosexuality is not surprising at all but, as mentioned before, the fact that it has continued within the population
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