CGSC 1001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Peppered Moth Evolution, Exaptation, Evolution

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CGSC 1001
Mar 24
Evolution
-a change over time
-evolution occurs in jokes, products and inanimate or abstract objects.
-reproduction of the fitness is most important. Fit means it can survive in environment at hand.
-this works for jokes like this: someone might change it after a certain generation or when they enter
new environment. Ex: joke about stupid poles becomes joke about stupid newfies. Or jokes about
president’s shift depending on who is the president.
-if the joke is retold then it had “reproduced”.
-memes might or might not spread. They are in competition with other memes.
-evolution can also be a creative process in art or AI.
-whales and other sea mammals have descendants that walked on land and then went back to the
water.
Biological evolution
-the environment determines who reproduces.
-natural: natural environment starves some, gives some advantages based on their traits and physical
features.
-sexual: creatures choose to reproduce with those with certain traits or physical features. One example
is the tail for the peacock.
-evolution is not conscious.
-crops that we now eat don’t look anything like their ancestors.
Peppered moth evolution
-uses camouflage to match trees.
-the moths with darker color started to survive more because they could hide within environmne.t So
more dark moths were around.
-when pollution declined more white moths were being seen
Beak of the finch
-evolution was making small incremental change in years.
-depending on the availability of the types of nuts, it slightly changed the shape of beaks.
Evolutionary psychology
-somewhat of a bad reputation because it generates theories without really testing them.
Different kinds of genetic influence
-predetermination: if you have genes for something you will have the phenotype to show it.
-male nipples don’t “cost” us a lot in terms of calories and nutrition. Therefore evolution doesn’t get rid
of it so promptly
-appendix will disappear eventually or will be used for something else
-rock of Gibraltar monkey: females have clitoris and they can have orgasm but its only ever happened in
lab. Sex in nature doesn’t last long enough. Why would evolution give them clitoris? Similar to nipple
situation.
-exaptation: hand has five digits. Every other mammal has bones for 5 digits. Other mammals don’t need
these bones but they come from past ancestors who used them.
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