This week’s lecture started off unexpected. Professor Bloom spent the first twenty minutes or so talking about evolution. He compared it with creationism and showed why it was the more logical explanation for how we came to be. He basically just reiterated points that I had learned in biology last year so it wasn’t that helpful. I got more interested in the lecture when the professor talked about how evolution relates to psychology and our understanding of the brain.
Evolution is relevant because it shows us what is innate and what is not. It also shows us the diversity and differences in our minds. Most of all, “Looking at something from the
perspective of design often leads to interesting insights about its current nature”(Bloom). My favorite part of the evolution discussion was when Professor Bloom segued to the topic of rationality.
I always saw rationality as pure logic and never questioned evolution’s role. The brain’s natural tendency of incest avoidance is a perfect example of how evolution affected our brains. Beyond that, Professor Bloom talked about the many biases in our brain. The one I found the most applicable to day to day life was confirmation bias. In simple terms, our brain looks for things that confirm the opinions we already have. We are more likely to seek out sources or people with viewpoints that line up with ours. That’s why you rarely see hardcore Republicans watching MSNBC and hardcore Democrats watching Fox News. Our brain wants to tune out things that we don’t agree with.
Overall, this lecture had a few highlights but it was not one of my favorites. I found myself getting bored at times but I’m looking forward to next week’s course on emotion. Sorry for the short post, I did not take many notes because I felt a bit uninspired.
“The Mind and Evolution.” The Corpus Callosum. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.