NBB 201 – First Day

NBB 201 – First Day - 20:20 NBB 201 First...

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Adaptation and Evolutionary Processes 20:20 NBB 201 – First Day 1/24/12 What are brains for? 1) Sense the environment 2) Integrate sensory information from different modalities 3) Decide on a course of action (or inaction) 4) Formulate a motor plan 5) Enact a motor plan Adaptation and Evolutionary Processes Levels of Explanation Genetic Cellular/molecular Systems Individual In groups In population Much of what explains human/primate behavior has its origins in the behavior of other taxonomic groups sometimes its easier to look at a simpler model for understanding similar behaviors Intro to Evolutionary Theory Charles Darwin
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Tried to account for diversity on Earth (within species and for the number of species in general) British naturalist, geologist, collector Explorer: went on 5-year voyage on HMS Beagle Europe South America, returned via Tahiti and Australia Detailed observation and collection of plants, animals and rocks Classical Greek Philosophers (600-450 BC): Continuity of nature, all species related by descent adaptation; descent with modification (change over time) See relationships between species Middle Ages: Judeo-Christian notions of permanence of species; Great Chain of Being Forms resemble one another but are static 18 th Century: Questioning idea that species are fixed, unchanging idea that mysterious force is driving increasing complexity; descent from common ancestor Lamarck (1809): First complete theory of evolution; simple complex organisms Many people (not just Darwin) helped develop evolutionary theory Darwinian influences Erasmus Darwin (grandfather): published on common ancestry of all animal species Charles Lyell (geologist): principle of uniformitarianism (gradual transformation of Earth’s surface through natural forces) Earth is MUCH older than Biblical thought of 6000 years (thought millions) Gave Darwin the time frame he needed to say that species evolved over time
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Thomas Malthus (Economist): notion that populations outgrow their food supply Competition for resources There is no self-imposed check on population growth Darwin’s contribution: synthesized all these previous ideas and created a mechanism to explain how species change through time and for one form to slowly produce another form =>
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course NBB 201 taught by Professor Rilling during the Spring '08 term at Emory.

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NBB 201 – First Day - 20:20 NBB 201 First...

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