Cutter_Lecture_01 - EEB318: Office:ESC2052...

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EEB 318: Principles of Evolution
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Professor Asher Cutter Office: ESC 2052 Office hours: Wed 2 3pm Email: [email protected] Subject line must have: EEB318
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Professor Stephen Wright Office: ESC 2053 Office hours: Wed 2 3pm Email: [email protected] Subject line must have: EEB318
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Teaching Assistant: Alethea Wang Office: ESC 2087 Office hours: Tues 12 1pm Email: [email protected] Subject line must have: EEB318
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Course website on Blackboard http://portal.utoronto.ca Login using UTOR ID Syllabus has exam info 2 midterms (1hr, multiple choice) Final exam (2hrs, mc + short answer) Textbook at UT Bookstore is “Evolution” by Douglas Futuyma Readings for each class in “Course Details” Some required readings are original scientific papers Lectures will be posted AFTER class Do not request them prior to class … I will say “No”
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The History of Evolutionary Thought
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What is evolution ? Heritable change over time Resemblance between parents and offspring Difference in phenotype (morphology, behavior, development, gene expression, protein activity) …due to… Difference in genotype (DNA sequence) Across generations Evolution is the central unifying concept in biology “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” T. Dobzhansky (1973)
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The natural world explained (before Darwin) Plato/Aristotle…Bible/Quran Immutable essences: species have fixed properties Great Chain of Being from inanimate to omnipotent Biologists aimed to “catalog” the natural world Describe the patterns in nature Carolus Linnaeus, Georges Cuvier (hierarchical nomenclature for living and fossil creatures) Led to doubt about immutability
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Material observations of the world indicated change from the past Geology Fossils of extinct forms Charles Lyell Earth is very old Uniformitarianism (1830, Charles Lyell): the same physical processes that act today, acted in the past Erosion, volcanic activity, uplifting
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