Overall, I have really enjoyed this class. I never took much thought into evolution besides when I learned about it in high school, which seems like such a long time ago! Now though, because of this class, I can truly say I understand evolution on a deeper level. With our lectures we went beyond the surface level of evolution and looked into a lot of the traits that effect evolution and how humans have evolved over the centuries and even past years. It was always very interesting for me every week to learn more about human past and what we derive from. It is crazy to think about all the traits and genes we share with species and to learn about past realtives that have been extinct for many years.
Some of the examples that I found most interesting in this weeks and past lectures regarding environmental traits that are evolving in humans are diseases. Throughout the years there have been many diseases that have taken the lives of humans and it is something that is constantly changing. As mentioned in this weeks lecture, now a day we talk about the concerns of zika virus and Ebola spreading in our communities but that is just this periods concerns. Many years ago people were concerned about consumption, small pox, polio and many other diseases that were taking so many lives but today we have vaccinations that help prevent these viruses. Diseases are constantly changing and new concerns are always arising but as technology grows so does treatment for them. Another interesting trait brought up in this lecture was genetic drift. Genetic drift can be seen within many different traits. Genetic drift could be seen as an environmental trait because of the rate of change it has depending on a small population or large but it can also be defined as a biological trait because it is changes that take place within your genes or more likely a cultural trait. I found the example in our lecture of Amish communities to be most interesting in this case. Every year when visiting my family we drive through an Amish community and I have always wondered why the Amish look so different from surrounding communities when they live in the same area. From the lecture I learned this is because of the small population that is in an Amish community and they only mate within their community.
Another example of evolution regarding biological traits would be mutations. Mutations are something that is always occurring within humans. While we as humans evolve so do the mutations within us. As said in this weeks lecture, mutation effects are slow but overtime they gradually change the genetic composition of populations. As we reproduce so do mutations genes. Mutations can be beneficial to evolution because they can help humans adapt better to certain situations. Without mutations it could make it hard for humans to adapt to new environmental changes that occur or any other dramatic change that happens.