bild 3 lecture 1

bild 3 lecture 1 - Biology 3 Notes Christopher Wills 3268...

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Christopher Wills 3268 Muir Biology, [email protected] Scope of the course: The underlying theme of this course (and indeed of the entire science of biology) is evolution. Evolution is the process that has given rise to the great diversity of living things on our planet, and that has led to complex behaviors and to the complex interactions between species that make up diverse ecosystems. To understand life’s diversity, and to understand the threats that confront our planet at the present time, it is necessary to understand the evolutionary mechanisms by which that diversity arose. During the course we will examine: 1) The mechanisms underlying evolution, including mutation, the many different types of natural selection, and other processes that bring about changes and subdivisions of gene pools. We will probe the structure of Mendelian populations, in order to understand how such processes as speciation have taken place. 2) The history of life, including its origins and the traces that life has left in the fossil record. 3) The diversity of life. What were the origins of the major groups of animals and plants, and what were the selective pressures that caused them to evolve? What do the genes of different organisms tell us about their evolution? 4) Complex behaviors and how they evolved. What is the origin of our behaviors, and how much are they shaped by our genes and by our environment? 5) Complex ecosystems (interacting groups of animals and plants) and how they evolved. 6) The future of our species and of life on our planet. Darwin and the Origin of Species: Before Charles Darwin (1809-1882), there were many ideas about the history of the Earth, the biological world, and how its diversity arose. These ideas have since been shown to be incorrect or only partly true. Ancient
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2008 for the course BILD BILD 3 taught by Professor Woodruff during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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bild 3 lecture 1 - Biology 3 Notes Christopher Wills 3268...

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