What is "Evolution"?

Fact: current life forms differ from those of previous times,
          and are descended from them.
    Evolution is descent with modification.
                  ["Descent" in genealogical sense]

Fact: current life forms are extremely variable,
          both within and among species.
    Evolution accounts for variation among living organisms.
                  [Variation occurs in time and space]

What is the "Theory of Evolution"?
      Explanation of observed patterns of temporal & spatial variation
            in terms of biological and physical processes.
     Theory: an organized set of facts, principles, & hypotheses;
            not a "guess", not "just a theory"

What is Evolutionary Genetics?
        Understanding the genetic basis of variation
1900 ~ 1953: analysis of phenotypes to infer nature of genotypes
> 1953: analysis of molecular nature of genes
         > 2000: analysis of organization & function of genomes

Course themes:

   Quantification & interpretation of organismal genetic variation
            phenotypes, chromosomes, proteins, RFLPs, DNA sequences, DNA micro-satellites, genomes, etc. 
      Laboratory exercises introduce analytical methods.

     Population Genetics models changes in allele frequencies variation:
            Single-locus models of short-term, small-scale change within species (micro-evolution)

     Evolutionary Genetics analyzes multi-locus variation among species (macro-evolution)
            Multi-locus / Genomic models of large-scale organization & long-term modification

     Molecular Biology provides DNA data for analysis of evolution
            Systematics provides evolutionary genealogies to explain organismal differences
            Genomics characterizes gene content of species & organisms
                    Proteomics analyzes expression patterns in complete gene systems
                    Bioinformatics provides computational methods for extraction of data

     Th. Dobzhansky (1900 - 1975):
         "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."  

All text material © 2022 by Steven M. Carr