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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 3 Discussion Questions

DQ 3.1

Summarize the various kinds of evidence for evolution (i.e., that all living organisms descended from a common ancestor). Give examples for each, beyond those used in this chapter. HINT 3A

DQ 3.2

What observations could refute the hypothesis that an adaptation evolved by natural selection?

DQ 3.3

In what ways is natural selection an imperfect mechanism for adaptation?

DQ 3.4

Explain how natural selection generates “an exceedingly high degree of improbability” (p. 78).

DQ 3.5

Behe (2007) argues that adaptations that require several mutations cannot occur by natural selection acting on random mutations, because the chance that a particular combination of mutations will occur is vanishingly small. (For example, two mutations are required in the PCRT protein of the malaria parasite Plasmodium to give it resistance to chloroquine.) Critique this argument. HINT 3B


Behe M.J. 2007. The edge of evolution: The search for the limits of Darwinism. Free Press, New York.


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