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Lecture 15

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Western University
Biology 1001A
Tom Haffie

Biology 1001 Why Evolution is True October 31, 2012 Hardy Weinberg also assumes random mating with respect to genotype  But mating is often non-random  Inbreeding or inbreeding avoidance  Assortative or disassortative mating If a population begins mating assortatively for a certain trait, but all genotypes have the same fitness, what will happen?  2 alleles, 3 genotypes  Intermediate dominance  Mates assortatively, hetero-hetero, homo-homo  Proportion of heterozygotes will decrease from generation to generation  Takes a population out of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, but not evolution Evolution as a fact & a theory:  What do scientists mean by “a theory”?  What do we mean by “true”?  What is the theory of evolution?  What empirical evidence supports this theory? Evolution is “only a theory”…  Theory in a dictionary sense = “an assumption based on limited knowledge… a conjecture”  Theory in a scientific sense = “a coherent set of testable hypotheses that attempt to explain facts about the natural world”  Atomic theory of matter  Germ theory of infectious disease  Gravitational theory What do scientists mean when we say that something is “true”?  An assertion for which there is so much evidence that it would be perverse to deny it – SJ Gould  Theories ‘graduate’ to fact-hood after repeated testing fails to falsify them  Assertions that cannot possibly be falsified are not scientific What is the theory of evolution? 1. Evolution happens  Change in allele frequencies in a population, between generations  Changes in selective environment: moths  Changes in gene frequency due to random processes 2. Most evolution is gradual  No big macroevolution  Evolution worked by slight changes over a long period of time  There should be a variety of transitional forms found in fossil records Biology 1001 Why Evolution is True October 31, 2012 3. Speciation happens  There are many branches on the tre
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