The Importance of Evolution in Biology "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." -- Theodosius Dobzhansky Evolution has been called the cornerstone of biology, and for good reasons. It is possible to do research in biology with little or no knowledge of evolution. Most biologists do. But, without evolution biology becomes a disparate set of fields. Evolutionary explanations pervade all fields in biology and brings them together under one theoretical umbrella. We know from microevolutionary theory that natural selection should optimize the existing genetic variation in a population to maximize reproductive success. This provides a framework for interpreting a variety of biological traits and their relative importance. For example, a signal intended to attract a mate could be intercepted by predators. Natural selection has caused a trade- off between attracting mates and getting preyed upon. If you assume something other than reproductive success is optimized, many things in biology would make little sense. Without the
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.