BIOA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Banana Slug, Fixed Action Pattern, Richard Dawkins

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BIOA02H3 Full Course Notes
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BIOA02H3 Full Course Notes
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General idea: dna seeks to replicate itself. Organisms (such as humans) are simply vehicles for gene replication, which is achieved through reproduction. Species that do not reproduce would cease to exist. Therefore, reproduction is the basic requirement for the continuation of life and diversity at both genetic and species scales. Individuals who do not reproduce drop out of the gene pool - biologically speaking, they contribute nothing to their species. Natural selection operates on the phenotypes of individuals; those individuals with the most successful phenotypes have the most offspring: genotype is linked to phenotype but phenotype is not entirely dependent on phenotype. More offspring = more replication = life win! Fitness is only compared relative to individuals of the same species, and usually in the same population. Despite the definition, we often measure relative fitness in terms of the number of offspring; we don"t usually track them to maturity.

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