How can a “thumbs up” sign help us remember five processes that impact evolution? The story of the Five Fingers of Evolution gives us a clever way of understanding change in gene pools over time.
In his talk, Paul Andersen explains the five causes of microevolution. Research one example for each cause in the human population.
Use the following population simulator to simulate microevolution:
Run the simulation using the default settings. Note the change in gene frequencies due to chance. Reset the simulation and increase the population size to 200. Run the simulation again and note the change in gene frequencies due to chance. Reset the simulation and increase the population size to 1000. Run the simulation again and note the change in gene frequencies due to chance. How does the size of a population affect the gene frequencies over time?
Use the simulator to study the effects of migration, mutation rate and bottlenecks on gene frequencies over time.
Learn more about evolution from the following resources.
What is microevolution? http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evoscales_02
PBS – Evolution resources for teachers and students http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/
Biology in Motion Evolution Lab http://www.biologyinmotion.com/evol/index.html
Examples of Natural Selection – Paul Andersen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7EhExhXOPQ&feature=plcp
To learn more about Paul Andersen, visit his website.