BB 3140 Notes for Chapters 11 and 12

BB 3140 Notes for Chapters 11 and 12 - BB 3140 Notes for...

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BB 3140 Notes for Chapters 11 and 12 Natural selection is the process that accounts for adaptation in evolution. Adaptations, loosely speaking, are character states that enhance survival or reproductive success, relative to alternative character states (most commonly the ancestral character states) Examples: Fig. 11.1 snake jaws. A straightforward example of a complex adaptation Fig. 11.2 pseudocopulatory orchids Fig. 11.3 sexual suicide in spiders. Benefits reproductive success but NOT males who are eaten. Fig. 11.4 weaver ants—complex nest-building behavior involving workers Benefits the reproductive success of the colony’s queen, not the workers or the larvae Adaptations are complex and have the appearance of design However, evolutionary biology does not include the idea of “intelligent design”, that an unknown intelligence designed complex adaptations. Instead, evolution is a scientific theory that relies on the idea that organisms that are more fit replace those that are less fit. Evolution is not teleological (direct towards a goal such as improvement or perfection) Teleological statement: “Birds have wings because they need to fly” Non-teleological statement: “Birds can fly because they have wings” Evolution relies on the idea that living things follow an algorithm—a series of instructions encoded in DNA, that controls biological processes. Definition of Natural Selection:
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This note was uploaded on 09/01/2010 for the course BB 10294 taught by Professor Politz during the Spring '10 term at WPI.

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BB 3140 Notes for Chapters 11 and 12 - BB 3140 Notes for...

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