Concept/Content play--as a form of behavior / wolf pups
Information caption Animals exhibit a wide range of behaviors. They forage. They defend territory and flee predators. As illustrated by these wolf pups, sometimes they play. They reproduce, at times with spectacular displays. They learn. But perhaps the most striking from an evolutionary perspective is that they sometimes cooperate or help others, even at a cost to themselves. Why? Morality seems to defy the image of natural selection as "selfish," favoring only traits that benefit the individual in a competitive "struggle for existence." Given the importance of morality for human society, this puzzle is a major challenge for science. How do biologists interpret such behavior? How could morality originate in an evolutionary context?
Inquiry caption Scientists are interested in explaining behavior, such as the type exhibited here: why do animals play? Can you name other behaviors that might be addressed scientifically? [Students generate list.] ...Can we include moral behavior on our list? OR What does it mean to include moral behavior on this list?
Target: Orienting to "A Biological Approach to Explaining Morality"
Photographer Bill Forbes
Credit "Photo by Bill Forbes,"
SIZE in pixels [file size] 480x360 [83KB]

© 2008