The Selfish Gene Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Dawkins, is there a genetic reason to favor one child over others?

2. According to the relatedness calculations in the book, is a child more closely related to a sibling or an uncle?

3. In Dawkins' game theory analysis of a colony of birds and ticks, what were grudger birds?

4. What does PI stand for?

5. What does Trivers look at breeding as?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Hamilton's explanation of how herds are formed?

2. What factors does Dawkins mention that affect the human birthrate and population?

3. According to Dawkins, what selfish behavior might birds that have fewer eggs because of overpopulation exhibit?

4. Explain the conflict between Wynne-Edwards and Dawkins over territory behavior.

5. What is the result of Dawkins' game theory analysis of male and female sexual and childrearing behaviors?

6. Why, from the standpoint of the selfish gene, is it more beneficial to save five siblings than five cousins?

7. What does Dawkins substitute for survival of a species?

8. What possible explanation for viruses does Dawkins give?

9. What is the cuckoo's adaptation to care for its eggs?

10. What two possible explanations for the behavior of the baby swallow observed by the Spanish researchers does Dawkins present?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the concept of relatedness in Dawkins' book.

1) What is the relationship between relatedness and altruism? What is its relationship to selfishness?

2) How does Dawkins calculate relatedness mathematically? What does this math represent?

3) How does Dawkins' treatment of relatedness differ from most people's cultural ideas of being related? What is the relationship between relatedness and genes?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss population controls in Dawkins' book.

1) Compare Dawkins' views on human population to his views on population in animal species. How are the two different?

2) How does Dawkins disagree with Wynne-Edwards over population controls in animal species?

3) How does population control contribute to individual and species survival?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role of game theory in Dawkins' book.

1) What is game theory? How does it allow scientists to look at systems in the natural world?

2) Why does Dawkins use game theory to support his arguments about the selfish gene? How convincing is the support that Dawkins provides using game theory?

3) What are the limitations of game theory in analyzing natural systems?

(see the answer keys)

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