lecture1 - BioNB 221 Lecture 1 Aug 29 2008 Lecture 1 Course...

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BioNB 221: Lecture 1 Aug. 29, 2008 Page 1 Lecture 1: Course Introduction and Levels of Selection Professor Robert Raguso I. Introduction to the course Introduce the teaching assistants Short history of BioNB221 Benefits of multiple lecturers presenting cutting edge topics Logic of modules in the syllabus, beginning with tool box lectures II. Levels of Selection; the first tool in the kit 1. Introduction to Selfish Genes The central idea of today's lecture: we can better understand how the behavior and other traits of animals (and plants) have evolved if we shift from thinking about the survival and reproduction of organisms to thinking about the survival and reproduction of genes . 2. Why should we shift our focus from organisms to genes? Why adopt a "gene-centered" view of the natural world? Because not all traits of animals and plants evolved through natural selection to promote the survival and reproduction of the organisms bearing these traits,
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