This assignment asks you a series of short questions to help you understand and explore some of the major aspects of microevolution. Read them carefully and provide your best answers. Note that the questions ask for explanations as well as simple answers.
Also note that answers must be in your own words; answers copied from somewhere else will not be accepted.
When we talk about the process of evolution which we can define as a change in the genetic makeup of a population over generations, we note both that 1) evolution happens in populations, not individuals and 2) that the time scale for evolution is generations, not years. There are 4 processes that produce evolutionary change in populations:
Migration (aka gene flow)
For this assignment, write out answers to the questions below IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
1. Assume there is a dominant genetic disorder that has no cure and kills those who have it by the age of ten.
a. Which of the processes above would lead to this disorder becoming less common in a population over time? Explain.
b. Which of the processes above would ensure that the allele for this disorder never disappears, that new cases keep occurring? Explain.
Bacteria are often said to evolve FASTER than humans. What is the main reason why this would be the case? Hint: read the introductory paragraph of this assignment again.
Two individuals are arguing. One says that genetic drift only occurs in small populations while the other insists that genetic drift occurs in all size populations. Which one is correct and why was there this confusion? Explain.
These same two individuals are also arguing about natural selection. One insists that what really matters for natural selection is survival while the other argues that it is reproductive output (number of offspring). Who is correct and why? Explain.