lecture01 - BioNB 2210: Lecture 01 Aug. 24, 2011 Lecture...

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BioNB 2210: Lecture 01 Aug. 24, 2011 Lecture 01: Natural Selection and Behavior Professor Paul Sherman Learning Objectives 1. To understand the logic and power of Charles Darwin’s reasoning. 2. To learn that natural selection favors individuals who behave in ways that enhance the spread of their own genetic materials, and to understand why. A. Modern behavioral biology unites three traditions 1. Ethology: The study of behavior under natural conditions (pioneered by Konrad Lorenz, Nikolaas Tinbergen, & Karl von Frisch). 2. Evolutionary Biology: The study of the history of life and adaptation (the “fit” between organisms and environments) (Charles Darwin, David Lack, & George Williams). 3. Ecological Genetics: The study of the genes responsible for ecologically important traits – those promoting behaviors that enhance reproduction (John Haldane, Ronald Fisher, William Hamilton, & Robert Trivers). B. The logical structure of Darwin's reasoning 1. Living organisms could increase their numbers geometrically -- but they don't. (so, there is a “struggle for existence”) 2. Variation exists among individuals in every species. 3. Many such variations can be transmitted from parent to offspring (i.e., inheritance). 4.
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lecture01 - BioNB 2210: Lecture 01 Aug. 24, 2011 Lecture...

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