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Top 10 Myths about Evolution
Terms in this set (12)
Why is the term "survival of the fittest" a myth?
The world thinks "fitness" is describing physical fitness and predator-prey interactions. They may use it to describe the "cut throat" nature of the business world. What fitness really describes is the measure of reproductive potential relative to a select environment
What is fitness?
measure of reproductive potential relative to a select environment
Why is it hard to quantify what qualities are "fit"?
selective pressures vary; they're interconnected and largely unpredictable making it hard to quantify what is "fit".
Who is Richard Lenski and what did he prove?
He tracked ~74,000 generations of E. coli. He helped support the theory of natural selection by showing that E. Coli undergoes mutations and selective pressures lead to adaptation.
What is the Red Queen hypothesis and what evolutionary myth does it debunk?
Describes predatory-prey interactions. Organisms must constantly adapt/evolve just to stay alive!
It's the idea that they're running in place because they're competition and predators adapt too!
It's an evolutionary stand off, if gazelle gets fast, so does the cheetah.
L. Carroll's explanation of nature in his book says "the red queen has to run faster and faster in order to keep still where she is"
debunks myth of the "ladder of progress"
What my does Richard Lenksi's E. Coli experiment debunk?
The idea that evolution is just a "theory". This is the myth that evolution is not scientific when in fact there is a large body of evidence supporting it.
What's the missing link?
There's not a single missing link but rather a series of transitional species and fossils.
distorts reality of changing fluid nature of evolution
What is the "ladder of progress"? Why is it a myth?
Non‐scientific myth that humans are the goal of evolution
- a.k.a. Ladder of nature/The great chain of being (scala naturae)
Lamarckian evolution produces what pattern (we now know to be a myth)?
The ladder of progress
What do people misunderstand about the phrase "evolution is random"?
Not every ascept of evolution is random. While when a mutation will occur and where is random, there are still predictable patterns of evolution that can be determined based on selective pressures in the environment.
What aspects of evolution is random? Which ones aren't?
Genetic drift and mutation are random
natural selection is not random
What do people mean when they say evolution is immoral?
people sometimes look to nature for social and moral guidance. If nature doesn't care to survive and destroy other species, why should humans? BUT Morality can not be determined from observations of nature!
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