Biology survival of the sickest final


For each of the four Big Ideas listed below, identify an example from Survival of the Sickest that illustrates that idea. Justify your choice with 3-5 well-written sentences. Denote the page(s) from the book where you found each example.

  1. Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Evolution is a change in the genetic makeup of a population over time, with natural selection as its major driving mechanism. Darwin’s theory, which is supported by evidence from many scientific disciplines, states that inheritable variations occur in individuals in a population. Due to competition for limited resources, individuals with more favorable genetic variations are more likely to survive and produce more offspring, thus passing traits to future generations. A diverse gene pool is vital for the survival of species because environmental conditions change. The process of evolution explains the diversity and unity of life, but an explanation about the origin of life is less clear. In addition to the process of natural selection, naturally occurring catastrophic and human-induced events as well as random environmental changes can result in alteration in the gene pools of populations. Scientific evidence supports that speciation and extinction have occurred throughout Earth’s history and that life continues to evolve within a changing environment, thus explaining the diversity of life.

  1. Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis. Cells and organisms must exchange matter with the environment. Organisms respond to changes in their environment at the molecular, cellular, physiological, and behavioral levels. Living systems require energy and matter to maintain order, grow, and reproduce. Organisms employ various strategies to capture, use, and store energy and other vital resources. Energy deficiencies are not only detrimental to individual organisms but they can cause disruptions at the population and ecosystem levels. Homeostatic mechanisms that are conserved or divergent across related organisms reflect either continuity due to common ancestry or evolutionary change in response to distinct selective pressures.
  1. Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to live processes. Genetic information provides for continuity of life, and, in most cases, this information is passed from parent to offspring via DNA. Non heritable information transmission influences behavior within and between cells, organisms, and populations. These behaviors are directed by underlying genetic information, and responses to information are vital to natural selection and evolution. Genetic information is a repository of instructions necessary for the survival, growth, and reproduction of the organism. Genetic variation can be advantageous for the long-term survival and evolution of a species.
  1. Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. All biological systems comprise parts that interact with one another. These interactions result in characteristics and emergent properties not found in the individual parts alone. All biological systems from the molecular level to the ecosystem level exhibit properties of biocomplexity and diversity. These two properties provide robustness to biological systems, enabling greater resiliency and flexibility to tolerate and respond to changes in the environment. Nothing in our world exists in isolation and even things such as disease and the evolution of disease are more complex than most realize.

Part 2- Reflection

Answer/Complete the following

  1. The author hopes that you will come away from this book with an appreciation of three things:
  1. Life is in a constant state of creation
  2. Nothing in our world exists in isolation
  3. Our relationship with disease is often much more complex than we previously realized.

For your response:

Reflect on those three things- did you come away with an appreciation for them? Explain why or why not.

Please add one of your own takeaways from the novel and briefly explain why

Was there a particular aspect or part of the book that resonated with you? What was it and why?

  1. “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

How did the book support this quote by Theodosius Dobzhansky a noted evolutionary biologist? Make sure you are specific and cite evidence in your response.

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