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Introduction to Evolution (BIL 107)

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."

-- Theodosius Dobzhansky

But before we begin, a quick poll.

Is it a trick question with a trick answer?
(no, not really.)

An informal poll: Which is the most highly evolved species?

  • EVOLUTION is defined as change over time.
  • ORGANIC EVOLUTION is the genetic (and phenotypic) change of living organisms over time.

    We are the products of our ancestors' choices.

    Another poll, this one with three parts.

    Now the big question...why?

    Common Misconceptions About Evolution

    There are those who actively seek to discredit the idea of evolution by distorting or misrepresenting the mechanisms and theories presented by scientists.

    But sometimes there are just simple misunderstandings. Here are just a few.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Evolution is "only a theory".

  • MISCONCEPTION: Evolution describes the origin of life on earth.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Evolutionary theory implies that life evolved, and is evolving, by chance.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Evolution is progress: evolving organisms are getting better.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Individual organisms evolve during their lifetimes.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Evolution always occurs gradually, over very long periods of time.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Our species is no longer evolving.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Because evolution is slow, humans cannot influence it.

    Here are some more common misconceptions about evolution.

    So join me on a 14-week tour of the Marvels of Evolution.

    You won't see the world the same way when we're through.