01_Principles_of_Evolution - BI SC 002 LECTURE 1PRINCIPLES...

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BI SC 002 LECTURE 1—PRINCIPLES OF EVOLUTION Draft: October 26, 2010 Within a population (a group of individuals of the same species living in the same area at the same time), there is variation among traits—look around the room and see the differences (eye color, hair color, etc.). Where does this variation come from? It comes from one’s parents. Variation is passed on from generation to generation. The study of how this variation is passed is called genetics . Within a population, there is similarity among traits—again, look around the room and see the similarities (2 eyes, 2 ears, etc.). Where does this similarity come from? It also comes from one’s parents. Similarity is passed on from generation to generation. What determines why there is variability among some traits while similarity among other traits? Well, as a population grows (via reproduction), traits will be passed from parents to offspring— thus, a population will be mixed. However, the population does not exist in a vacuum. There is an environment that the population interacts with. The study of how organisms interact with their environment is called ecology . The environment is not static—it is constantly undergoing change. As a population within an environment interacts with the environment, having certain traits will have a great effect ton whether an individual survives nor not. Those individuals with traits that help them survive will do so and REPRODUCE, making more individuals with those traits; those individuals without those traits die (and thus do NOT reproduce). So, the population shifts to a similarity among those particular traits (ex.—skin color with rickets and skin cancer). The change within a population towards certain traits over time (from generation to generation) is called evolution . Conversely, certain traits will have NO effect on survival and reproduction. So, there will be no shift within the population regarding those traits. Those traits will remain variable. So, where does the variation come from? In the late 1700s/early 1800s, a French scientist by the name of Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, while observing organisms, gave the following explanation: favorable or beneficial bodily changes acquired or developed during one’s lifetime are transmitted to the offspring. Examples of this would be that athletes who develop large muscles will have children with large muscles, or that
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01_Principles_of_Evolution - BI SC 002 LECTURE 1PRINCIPLES...

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