Intro to evolutionary biology: Chap 1 Coyne
1. Intro to evolution
Multiple factors for certain questions in evolutionary biology. Why/how questions
2. How evolution is studied
Approaches: observational, theoretical(modes, mathematical), comparative(same
data from diff species), experimental(manipulative test of a theory).
Assumptions about evolution:
-speciation, common ancestor, gradual evolution, change results from natural
Biodiversity: variety of life on earth, number and kinds in a given area. (not just
species diversity, also genetic diversity)
Adaptations: two definitions. A) noun- any trait that contributes to fitness by
making an organism better able to survive or reproduce in a given environment.
B)verb- evolutionary process that leads to the origin and maintenance of such
1)Macroevolution- evolutionary history. Relationships between organisms, tree of
life. Common ancestor, through study of phylogenies. Allows for classification to
reflect evolutionary history aka taxonomy& systematics. People here look at
genomes, morphology and paleonotology.
2)Microeconomics- mechanisms of evolution, natural selection.
3. Evidence for evolution
4. Theory for evolution
- Unifying concept of biology
- Affects other areas of knowledge
- Keystone of western thought
- theodosuis dobzhanksy- nothing else makes sense except in the light of
evolution. Studied fruit fly. Modern evolutionary synthesis, merging of
mendelian and mathematical ideas.
5. Biodiversity and adaptation