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Evolution: A Course for Educators #
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교육자를 위한 Evolution. Coursera 강의.

Week One: Darwin's First Great Idea - The Tree of Life #

Introduction to the Course #

Evolution: What It Is and Why It's Important #

What questions does evolutionary science try to answer?

  • What are the unit of nature? - Species, groups of species, individual organisms, and associations/assemblages of species or individuals.
  • What has been the history of life? - Relationships of these units over time
  • How and why have the properties - genotypes and phenotypes - of units changed over time?

Darwin's two great ideas

  • Descent with modification
  • Adaptation via natural selection

Why is the Tree of Life important?

  • Make predictions

How evoution saves lives and promotes societal well-being

  • PCR polymerase came from Yellostone national park

Charles Darwin's Evidence for Evolution #

5년간의 닫혀진(close), 그칠새없는(incessant), 강박적인(obessive) 항해가 있었기에 가능

Three patterns

  1. The replacement of extinct species by modern ones (armadillos, giant sloths)
  2. The geographic replacement of one species by another over large portions of the South American continent (rheas)
  3. Micro-version of the same geographic replacement patterns on different islands in a chain (mockingbirds and tortoises)

Species, Speciation, and the Tree of Life #

So what is a species?

  • Populations (or groups of populations) that can be told apart by their characters (phenotypic or genetic)
  • Populations (or gorups of populations) that can be told apart and do NOT interbreed with one another

How species arise?

  • Allopatric speciation: Barrier happen, and speciation
  • Peripheral allopatric isolation: Already barrier, long distance dispersal event and isolation

Three main mechanisms causing genetic and phenotypic differentiation in isolated populations

  1. Genetic drift: leads to fixation of genetic changes randomly in small populations
  2. Natural selection: fixes genetic/phenotypic changes
  3. Sexual selection: Through differential mate choice, fixes genetic/phenotypic changes

The goal of phylogenetic analysis is to discover monophyletic ("natural") groups

Phylogenetic relationships as a series of 3-taxon statements

  • Synapomorphy: shared derived character
  • Autapomorphy: drived (restricted to single taxon)
  • Symplesiomorphy: shared primitive character
  • Homoplasy: multiple origin of a character

Optimality criteria and the TOL: philosophical parsimony

  • Most methods based on minimizing total branch length of tree (methodological parsimony)
  • Maximum parsimony: minimum number of steps
  • Distance analysis: shortest tree length for given distance measure
  • Maximum likelihood: most likely tree based on a given model of sequence evolution

Thinking about Evolution: A Systematist's Perspective #

Building the Tree of Life #

Teaching Evolutionary Science #

What are the "evolution basics" that we need to teach our students

AAAS Atlas for Science Literacy

  • NSDL Science Literacy Maps
  • Research on Student Learning: Biological Evolution, Natural Selection

Student Misconceptions about Evolution

  • "Adaptation" is not intentional

Uncovering Student Ideas in Science

Week Two: Darwin's second Great Idea - Adaption via Natural Selection #

Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection #

Natural selection

  • Principle of variation: within population there is variation
  • Principle of heridity: offsprint resemble parents more than unrelated individuals
  • Principle of selection: some are more successful at surviving and reproducing in an given environment

Similarity in traits arising from shared genotypes

$$ V_P = V_G + V_E $$

$$ h^2 = \frac{V_G}{V_G + V_E} $$

h is heritability, if it is high, there is a selective power?

Components of selection

  1. zygotes -> adults: viability selection (major)
  2. adults -> parent: sexual selection
  3. parents -> gamets: fecundity selection, gametic selection
  4. gametes -> zygotes: compatability selection


  1. Directional
  2. Stabilizing
  3. Diversifying

Positive selection: Selection that spreads an allele with positive effects on fitness

Purifying selection: Negative or stabilizing selection that eliminates deleterious mutations

Co-Evolution #

Basic Processes of Evolution #

A Visit to the Ornithology Collections #

Pear-Graded Assignment: Evidence for Evolution #

Teaching With the Next Generation Science Standards #

Building Phylogenetic Trees #

Incoming Links #

Related Articles #

Suggested Pages #