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Lecture 1

BIOL 2400 Lecture 1: Evolution Framework Class Notes

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University of Guelph
BIOL 2400
Teresa Crease

BIOL*2400 Dr. Crease Winter 2017 Evolution Framework Lecture 1 Why Study Evolution? Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution What is Evolution? Can be defined as a change in gene frequencies through time Can be defined as descent with genetic modification Can be studied at species level: microevolution Can be studied above species level: macroevolution From Latin: evolvere to unrollunfold Evolution as a Framework for Understanding 1. Descent with modification o evolution is about relationships among all of biodiversity some species are more similar because of shared ancestry o more importantly about the path taken 2. Natural Selection o use principles of natural selection as a starting point to generate hypotheses about WHY a particular trait exists o hypothesize that structures and functions we see increase some component of evolutionary fitness Traits can be maladaptive due to: o Evolutionary history o Not enough time for evolution o Prior benefit but now no cost vestigial Evolution is Jury Rigged Contemporary species were not created de novo Evolution is descent with genetic modification sequential accumulation of changes Where you go next depends on where you came from o Form of preexisting traits may dictate developmental path that new forms must follow Jury Rig nautical term meaning to make do with what is available Evolution as a Framework for Understanding Suppose that current biological structure and function is result of past evolution by natural selection
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