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Give two examples of the explanatory nature of evolution.

1) microevolution within Galapagos finch populations
2) Industrial Revolution and pepper moths
3) Panda thumbs


What is evolution and how does it occur?

Period of noted change within a population over a period of time. This process occurs when selective pressure is applied and encourages traits important to survival and reproduction.


In a biological sense, do individuals evolve? Why or why not?

Evolution acts on a population and multiple generations not individuals


Compare and contrast microevolution and macroevolution and explain relationship

Microevolution is a change in frequency of characteristics within a species. Macroevolution is a drastic change in characteristics that results in a population so different that it constitutes a new species.


Describe the relationship between evolution and adaptation. By what main mechanism does adaptive evolution occur?

Adaptation is the ability to survive and reproduce within an environment. Evolution results in populations with increased adaptation. Adaptive evolution occurs through natural selection which is based on differential reproductive success.


Was Darwin the first person to argue that evolution occurs? Explain.

Darwin was not the first to propose evolution. Ecologists like Lamarck proposed "transmutation" of spontaneously generated entities into more complex organisms back in 1809. Darwin formulated theories that explained and supported evolution.


What is natural selection, and how does it relate to evolution?

Natural selection acts on genetic variation within individuals of a population and leads to differential reproductive success. Evolution occurs as natural selection creates a large change in frequency of inheritable characteristics.


What is meant by the phrase differential reproductive success?

Differential reproductive success implies that not all organisms within a species will have the same ability to reproduce. Decreased number of offspring results in less influence on the population's gene pool and decreased ability to pass on inherited characteristics.


Describe the process of evolution by means of natural selection.

Natural selection alters the reproductive success of an individual and decreases genetic variation.


Describe Darwin's theory of natural selection in terms of a few simple observations and a few simple inferences.

1) A population has the potential to grow exponentially but are actually stable.
2) Individuals compete for resources
3) Individuals vary due to inherited traits

1) Individuals with well adapted characteristics are likely to have more offspring and pass on those qualities.
2) Differential success produces change within a population with higher frequency of favorable traits.