work 2 - Biology Learning Skills Center Concepts of...

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Biology Learning Skills Center Concepts of Evolution Handout: Natural Selection Game Pg 1 of 4 © Copyright 2010 by Allen D. MacNeill Biology Learning Skills Center Concepts of Evolution: Analysis, Application, Enrichment, and Review BIOG 1078: Academic Support for BIOG 1078/Evolutionary Biology Allen D. MacNeill, Senior Lecturer A Natural Selection Game Name:______________________________ Date:_______________________________ This game was invented by G. Ledyard Stebbins, a pioneer in evolutionary theory as applied to plants. The purpose of the game is to illustrate the basic principles and some of the general effects of evolution by natural selection. Also, you should gain from it some understanding of the process of evolutionary adaptation, and perhaps some insight into the role of purpose in evolution by natural selection. Natural selection acts at the level of individuals . It is the individual organism that lives or dies, reproduces or fails to reproduce. Populations evolve — the characteristics of the organisms of which they are composed change over time. The physical characteristics of an individual are generally fixed throughout its lifetime, whereas the average characteristics of populations change over time. " Changes in the characteristics of the individuals in a population over time" is one useful definition of evolution (there are others, as we will see). Evolution by natural selection, as first proposed by Charles Darwin, is the result of three processes: 1) Variety: There must be significant differences between the individuals in populations undergoing natural selection. Furthermore, it is generally assumed that these variations are random ( i.e. not purposeful). In this simulation, random variation is modeled by different colored paper dots. For the purposes of this simulation, these are assumed to be different forms of individuals of the same species. 2) Heredity: The variations that exist within the population must be heritable from parents to offspring. Darwin clearly recognized that this was the case, although he did not originally propose a genetic mechanism by which this could occur. In this simulation, inheritance is "perfect" – that is, offspring inherit the exact form of their parents. 3)
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2010 for the course BIOEE 2780 at Cornell.

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work 2 - Biology Learning Skills Center Concepts of...

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