L567 lecture 1

L567 lecture 1 - L567 Lecture L567 Evolutionary Ecology...

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L567 Lecture L567 Evolution ary Ecology Lecture 1. Taken mainly from Michael Ruse (The Darwinian Revolution. Chicago Univ. Press) and Ernst Mayr (One Long Argument. Harvard Univ. Press). 1. The focus of the course is on the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of evolution by natural selection and genetic drift. 2. Exploration of the basic models in population genetics, quantitative genetics and evolutionary game theory, with the hope of showing the interface between the approaches and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Emphasis on Ecology. 3. Format is lecture/discussion, with some work in groups. 4. Grading is based on two exams (100pts each), plus several problem sets (about 10pts each). 1
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L567 Lecture Quiz If natural selection is the “survival of the fittest” (as Herbert Spencer suggests), then we must ask Who survives? A. ________________________ Then we must ask, who are the most fit? A. __________________ Then we must conclude that natural selection is the survival of the A. ___________________________________ As such, natural selection is a meaningless tautology*. See optional reading Peters (1976) from course web page. From Peters (American Naturalist, 1976): “In this essay, I argue that the “theory of evolution” does not make predictions, so far as ecology is concerned, but instead is a logical formula which can only be used to classify empiricisms…” “The essence of the argument is that these “theories” are actually tautologies and, as such, cannot make empirically testable predictions.”
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L567 lecture 1 - L567 Lecture L567 Evolutionary Ecology...

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