Introduction160-page4 - insects alone There are 260,000...

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Introduction - 4 Evolution as the Guiding theme of Biology Evolution is the core of biology. Life has the capacity to change genetically from generation to generation – to evolve. The processes of evolution are fundamental to life on earth. The natural genetic variation found among members of a species provides for the capacity of organisms to respond to changing environmental conditions from generation to generation. Those who have characteristics, or adaptations, more favorable in the environment will reproduce more offspring that those with less successful characteristics. Camouflage Adaptations These statements, first presented by Charles Darwin and Albert Wallace in the mid-1800s are fundamental to all that we do in biology and our understanding of life. Diversity and unity are the two faces of life on earth. Biologists have described more than 1.5 million different kinds of organisms, including more than 750,000
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Unformatted text preview: insects alone. There are 260,000 plants and 50,000 vertebrates (the animals with which we are most comfortable). There may be millions of additional organisms not yet described by humans We shall spend some time this term looking at the mechanisms of evolution, as well as seeing the results of evolution as we study the structure and functioning of cells. How Biologists Ask Questions Before we leave our introduction, we need to mention how biologists look at the world around them. Each of us is curious about any number of things. Often when we are curious we ask questions to try and find out whatever it is that we are curious about. Biologists try and find answers to their questions about living things by using the scientific method of problem solving, or some variant of this method, to study the processes of life....
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