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Issues in Evolutionary Theory
Transcript of Issues in Evolutionary Theory
How has your thinking about evolution changed?
Let's talk about sex!
How is it that genetic recombination helps to drive some aspects of evolution and yet those organisms which reproduce retaining the same genetic material are successful?
"Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the Light of Evolution" ~Dobzhansky
Adaptations that have occurred due to the organism feeling the pressure from the environment to be most fit for the environment.
'...often evolution is such a profoundly slow process that we are unaware of the changes going on around us...'
A behavioral adaptation is something an animal does - how it acts - usually in response to some type of external stimulus such as a change in diet.
Physical adaptations include physical traits that increase the survival rate in a population. These could include stronger legs to help a giraffe run faster, sharper teeth to help a lion catch prey, more effective kidneys to help a wildebeest survive dehydration in the dry season, or more productive gonads to produce more gametes.
Physical adaptations are modifications made to something structural such as body parts (wings, legs, webbed toes) while behavioral adaptations are modifications in actions (swimming, flying, hibernating).
What would you say in an elevator?
What has changed about your thinking about evolution?
Sexual or asexual reproduction?
Which is the path to success?
Hardy-Weinberg Simulation-How are populations affected by bottlenecks?
Evolution brings clarity to all facets of biology, including anatomy, genetics, zoology, botany, conservation, medicine, epidemiology, cellular biology, microbiology, virology....
Oxford Press(2013). Sickle cell disease, malaria and human evolution, Oxford Presents. Retrieved from
The whole theory of evolution first came about because Darwin started trying to make sense of concepts in biology.
Among first clues from the giant sloth skeletons found in South America which were similar to the current sloths, but much larger.
Lab of Ornithology(2012, October 12). Birds of Paradise Project Introduction, (youtube video) Cornell University.
Marsicana (2008) Giraffe Running in Botswana (youtube video)
Prezi (2015) Stock Photo
Prezi (2015)Stock Photo
Sexual reproduction allows for a very important mixing of the genes to occur. It is important that genes mix. This ensures that the next generation is never the same as the previous and because it is never the same, the new generation is more likely to be able to survive in a constantly changing environment.
...sexual reproduction involves the union of eggs and sperm from one male and one female to produce genetically unique offspring.
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All individuals can produce offspring, unlike sexual reproduction where only the females can (Webster, 2000). This allows for high productivity rates...
If the environment is not changing rapidly, then reproducing the same genetic make-up that is currently successful will create successful offspring.
Taylor, B.(2010, April 21).Paramecium Dividing (youtube).
...even just one generation of bottleneck can have such a drastic impact on genetic diversity that even in some of the extreme cases, it could cause an entire population to be lost altogether!
Increasing population size from 50 to 200 individuals seemed to help the gene frequencies remain stable
changes in their environment can lead to a genetic bottleneck and cause issues with genetic diversity of the organism
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