1785 AN OVERVIEW OF EVOLUTION
Associate Professor David Jacobs, Zoology Department, University of Cape Town
This three-lecture course will discuss evolution, superficially a simple scientific theory, but when considered in greater detail, very complex. The first two lectures will introduce evolution and the processes that comprise it. These lectures will explore what evolution is, its causes and the factors that can promote or retard it. It will consider random causes of evolution such as the founder effect and random genetic drift as well as more deterministic causes such as natural and sexual selection. This will be followed by a consideration of the effect that dispersal of organisms from one population to another has on evolution. The final lecture will deal with popular misconceptions about evolution such as ‘survival of the fittest’, the notion that evolution implies improvement and that organisms become ‘better’ with time as well as ‘humans evolved from apes’.
1. ‘Sex is everything’
2. Individual competition and population consequences
3. Evolution: misconceptions and fallacies