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Chapter 1

Coyne Chapter 1

Course Code
Jean Jiang Nash

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Chapter 1: What is Evolution?
Six components of the evolutionary process
-speciation or splitting
-common ancestry or single ancestral species
-natural selection; does not yield perfection - only improvements over what came before
-nonselective mechanisms; processes other then natural selection which can cause
evolutionary changes
scientific theory: a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or
causes of something known or observed
for a theory to be considered scientific, it must be testable and make verifiable
natural selection is the suggested mechanism for evolution
Predictions of the components of the evolutionary process
Since there are fossil remains of ancients life, we should be able to see species
changing over time “descent with modification(adaptation)
In fossil records see one line of descent dividing in two or more. And find new species
in the wild
“missing links” or “transformational forms” should occur in layers of rock that date to
the time when the groups are supposed to have diverged
Expect that species show genetic variation for many traits
Imperfect adaptation; mark of evolution not conscious design
See natural selection acting in the wild
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