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Notes on video lecture:
Asking the Right Questions
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
obscures, survival, other, anthropomorphism, familial, Huxley, bad , stake, violence, heart, solve, UNESCO, intercourse, causation, kills, traumatic, human, intelligent, sway, Tinbergen
e.g. are dolphins happy and content when free to jump in the water?
this is a          question, since we have no way of knowing if dolphins are happy in the same way as humans are happy
we can, however, measure things like            rate
cows are known to have higher heart rates when around certain            cows
whether or not this means they are happy around those cows or when not around those cows cannot be determined and asking questions of this sort may be worthwhile but moves you out of the area of science
example: dog and possum
possum on leash, leash around           , can't get to food, so: possum walks around stake and gets to food
dog on leash, leash around stake, dog can't get food, but he doesn't move back around stake and doesn't get the food
we ask: why is possum more                        than the dog?
bad question
question is value-laden
it makes an assumption about an animal being able to solve a certain problem and its intelligence
projects human characteristics onto the animals, e.g. it assumes that animals are intelligent in the same way humans are
asking anthropomorphic questions often                  other questions that may be more rewarding
the better question is simply: why can the possum            the problem and the dog cannot?
asking questions in this way, they can be tested experimentally, e.g. we could do the same experiment with tree kangaroos and regular kangaroos
example: spider
sexually cannibalistic behavior of some spiders in which the female            the male after                       
interpreting this as revengeful is anthropomorphic
when it makes sense to compare            characteristics with animal characteristics
children who are exposed to highly                    events are often disturbed psychologically and abnormal neurological processes later in life
disruptions of the                  bonding process upsets regulation in the developing brain
elephants that are traumatized as babies, e.g. seeing their parents killed and being taken to a new environment at a young age, are pre-disposed to                 
in this case, it is not unreasonable to generalize what we know about humans to other species
you can have different answers to the same questions
Julian              (1887-1975)
English evolutionary biologist
proponent of natural selection
founding member of the World Wildlife Fund
first Director of             
his father was Thomas Huxley, "Darwin's bulldog"
Thomas Huxley's famous 1860 debate with Samuel Wilberforce was a key moment in the wider acceptance of evolution
                  's four questions
question: During mating season, male bower birds creates an intricate nest for the female, decorated with small flowers or even bits of colored plastic. Bowers have nothing to do with raising chicks, however, they are used only for he courting process. Male birds maintain their bowers all year long, but why do they increase building activity on their bowers in the springtime?
daylight increase may trigger changes in hormones
2. adaptive value
in order to attract females
3. evolution
became more and more complex as more intricate as those who could build more intricate bowers were favored to reproduce
4. development
males learn from their parents
ultimate questions
evolutionary, historical explanations
"why" questions
proximate questions
explanations which focus on immediate causes such as underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms
"how" questions
example: why do spiny stick insects          when they hang from branches of trees
it mimics winds moving the branch
do the animals detect wind pressure?
what is the                  value of this
determine whether moving animals are more difficult to see
Sometimes people suggest that a particular explanation represents an alternative view when it, in fact, answers a different type of question, i.e. an explanation to a proximate question doesn't provide an alternative to an explanation of an ultimate question, i.e. how and why questions
Asking the Right Questions