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In terms of the long-term evolution of species, what really matters about an individual's life span?
How many years they live
How many surviving offspring they are able to have
How many predators they fend off
All of the above
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What is the outcome of a random mutation causing a new trait?
Bad; the trait causes problems
Good or bad, depending on whether the trait is adaptive (helpful) or not
It does not matter, because it will be eliminated
The new trait will increase in the population
1. Think about it like this, if I like for 100 years or 80 years does it make a difference for my progeny? No, at least not as far as genetics. Same goes for how many predators I fend off. The only thing that matters as far as long-term evolution is whether or not I can reproduce
2. Natural selection is the process by which nature select for traits that are better adapted to survival in the environment (fitter, ie having the ability to survive until sexual maturity) Or in other word, the undesirable traits are selected against ie flies with white body may be killed by predator since it's highly visible. in this case natural selection select against white body in flies.
Random mutation that gives rise to a change in phenotype or trait, for example, missense or nonsense mutation, there would be new trait in the population. Note: mutation doesn't result in new trait all the time. Sometimes it gives rise to just different trait that already exist in the gene pool, like changing from black eyes to blue eyes.
In the case that there's new trait as a result of random mutation, natural selection would act on this particular trait.
For example, assume that at first the only colour the whole fly population has is white. Then there is random mutation in gene coding for some pigment, resulting in a few of the fly having black body, which is better adapted to the environment since the flies would be harder to detect by predators. Thus fly with black body will have a higher chance of survival and reproduction, and it will reproduce more and pass down the gene for black body to the next generation. After a few generation, there would be higher percentage of black flies in the population.
In this case, random mutation gives rise to new trait, which is black body, which is selected for by natural selection.
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