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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 Notes

Course Code
Jean Jiang Nash

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BIO120 Lecture 12 Oct 27 2010
Intro to Evolutionary Biology
1. introduction to evolution section
2. how evolution is studied
3. evidence for evolution
4. biology and adaptation
An individual does not evolve, but its population does
Scope of question:
Small- answering small tractable questions can help contribute towards solving a big
Large- unlikely to be answered by one experiment; requires multiple lines of evidence
e.g. why did sex evolve?
Type of Question:
How- questions (= proximate questions) involve determining the physiological or genetic
mechanisms responsible for aspects of a trait.
Why- questions
Approaches used:
Observational- describe and quantify. Collecting data, seeing what’s happening
Theoretical- develop models- verbal (how you think the world works), graphical,
Comparative- obtain same data from many species.
Experimental- manipulate a system to address a specific hypothesis; requires an
experimental design and statistical analysis
Important assumptions about evolution verified by scientific study:
Biodiversity and adaptation are therefore products of evolution
Biodiversity- the variety of life on earth the number and kinds of living organisms that
live in a given area. The idea that species also have populations which are genetically
variable. Genetic variation is a part of biodiversity.
Adaptation- has two meanings; state or process.
Any trait that contributes to fitness by making an organism better able to survive
or reproduce in a given environment.
The evolutionary process that leads to the origin and maintenance of such traits.
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