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Evolution: The Molecular Landscape

Cold Spring Harbor’s 74th Symposium
The Molecular Landscape
Edited by Bruce Stillman,
David Stewart, and
Jan Witkowski,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Evolution Chapter 1 Discussion Questions

DQ 1.1

Aristotle contrasted two possible mechanisms for reproduction and development: epigenesis and preformation (p. 11). Explain how our modern understanding of development includes elements of both. HINT 1A

DQ 1.2

How did theories of geology help lay the foundations for understanding biological evolution?

DQ 1.3

Compare Thomas Malthus’, Adam Smith’s, and Charles Darwin’s views on the role of competition. (See also Chapter 1 Web Notes for further sources.)

DQ 1.4

Natural selection was not widely recognized as the key mechanism of evolution until well into the 20th century. Summarize the early objections to natural selection and explain how these were resolved.

DQ 1.5

What does mimicry tell us about the evolutionary process? HINT 1B

DQ 1.6

Explain why Mendelian inheritance allows natural selection to act more effectively. Can natural selection be effective with other mechanisms of inheritance? HINT 1C

DQ 1.7

What factors made Drosophila melanogaster such an important model organism? What desirable features does it lack?

DQ 1.8

How was the biometric description of quantitative traits reconciled with Mendelian genetics? HINT 1D

DQ 1.9

Outline how our current knowledge has helped resolve each of the questions listed on pp. 33–34. Which questions remain open? HINT 1E


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