Evolution is the process of change in all forms of life over generations; evolutionary biology is the study of how evolution occurs. Behavior is as a tool in the struggle for survival and reproduction. Charles Darwin in his ‘The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection’ (1859) was the first who formulated the hypothesis that species evolved as a result of the struggle for life, i.e. as a result of natural selection, where the fittest had an advantage.
Beginner. This course is an introduction to evolution and essential to the understanding of behavior, its development, and evolution.
by Roger Abrantes, Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology and Ethology.
For this course, you’ll get the text of the book especially edited as four lessons, each with a quiz.
Course content and structure
- Evolution; history of the theory of evolution; the theory of Evolution by natural selection.
- Variation; adaptation.
- Sexual selection.
- The algorithm of natural selection; evolution has no goal.
- The evolution of the eye.
- Phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium.
- Animals and taxonomy.
- The origin of life.
- Species and speciation. Darwin on species and speciation.
- The evolution of humans.
- Natural selection.
Although not mandatory, we recommend that you supplement your readings with:
- Darwin, C. (1859) On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. 1st ed.
- Dawkins, R. (2006) The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press, USA.
- McFarland, D. (1982) The Oxford Companion to Animal Behaviour. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- McFarland, D. (1998) Animal Behaviour. Benjamin Cummings. 3rd ed.
Online Studying and Tutoring
Watch the movie(s) and read the book(s). Join the course forum where you can read our tutors’ answers to questions previously posed by your colleagues. If you have a new question, do not hesitate in posting it.
The course forum is solely for academic questions. For administrative matters or difficulties accessing the functionality of the site, please submit a ticket.
Once you’re ready for it, take the quizzes. You may take a quiz as many times as you like. We recommend you re-take quizzes once a year as a self-imposed quality control.