8 NATURAL SELECTION AND PHYLOGENY Background Reading: Pages 446-448 (Ch. 22), 464-470 (Ch. 23) 497- 500 (Ch. 25) of Campbell and Reece (7thed., 2005). The intro-ductory portions of this lab exercise are much longer than most. You should read them carefully before coming to lab. A. Introduction The theory of evolutionis the basis of much of our understanding of the biological diversity we see in the world today, and in the fossil record. In 1859, Charles Darwin published his book, The Origin of Species, which presented the concept of natural selection. The main idea of natural selection is that a populationof organisms will change over time if individuals possessing certain heritable traits have better reproductive success than other individuals. Populations contain a pool of variable phenotypes that have arisen through random mutations and recombination. In certain environmental conditions, specific characteristics enhance the reproductive success and survival of an individual bearing that favourable trait.
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