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8.E: Novelty Discussion

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  • What counts as novelty?

    (Note: This is intended as an online Discussion Board homework, it could also be modified for use in a classroom discussion)

    Todd Oakley (an expert in the genetic basis of novel features in evolution) sparked an interesting Twitter and Amazon book review discussion on how to define novelty.

    Please read his blog post linked here and discuss the following questions with your classmates:

    1. How would you define novelty?
    2. Is there a fundamental difference between microevolution and macroevolution?
    3. Do you agree with McShea and Brandon's rule of macroevolution (that complexity and diversity increase unless opposed)? Why or why not?
    4. What does Dr. Oakley mean when he says that novelty happens at the macroevolutionary scale but not at the microevolutionary scale?
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