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Lecture8_handout - BioG1780 Fall 2010 Evolution and...

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Unformatted text preview: BioG1780 Fall 2010 Evolution and Biodiversity Today’s lecturer: Harry Greene Lectures 8: September 13, 2010 1. Introduction to biodiversity: the “tree of life” (TOL) is what evolution explains, as well as central to all of biology. This is the first of 10 lectures in which you will be introduced to the nuts and bolts of life’s diversity— presented in terms of ~100 taxa, with respect to their characteristics and relationships with each other. This information, the basic TOL and its attributes, is central to everything you will learn as a biologist at Cornell as well as your future understanding of the breadth of biological knowledge. The TOL is also profoundly relevant to medicine, environmental conservation, and even how we appreciate nature. 2. How we will learn the TOL and the 10 core taxa: In contrast to traditional approaches, which relied on Linneaus’ 250 year old, only vaguely evolutionary scheme, we will use an indented phylogenetic classification. Insofar as possible given existing knowledge, ours will reflect historical patterns of classification....
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