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Chapter 2. The Development of Evolutionary Theory. Evolution?. Brian Malow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohvh47vTp34&feature=related. Introduction to the Subject of Evolution. Evolution is the most fundamental of all biological processes, but one of the most misunderstood.

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chapter 2

Chapter 2

The Development of Evolutionary Theory

evolution
Evolution?
  • Brian Malow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohvh47vTp34&feature=related
introduction to the subject of evolution
Introduction to the Subject of Evolution
  • Evolution is the most fundamental of all biological processes, but one of the most misunderstood.
  • Humans evolved from a species that lived some 6-8 million years ago (mya), not monkeys or chimpanzees.
slide4

Evolution takes time; hence, the appearance of a new species is rarely witnessed (microevolutionary changes occur, however: see Chapt. 1)

  • The subject of evolution is controversial, especially in the U.S. because of conflicting spiritual teachings
evolution is a theory
Evolution Is a Theory
  • The theory has been tested and subjected to verification through accumulated evidence (and has not been disproved)
  • The theory of evolution has been supported by a mounting body of genetic evidence.
  • The theory has stood the test of time.
  • The theory continues to grow.
a brief history of evolutionary thought
A Brief History of Evolutionary Thought
  • Evolutionary principles were developed in western Europe, made possible by scientific thinking dating to the 16th century.
  • Western science, however, borrowed ideas from Arab, Indian, and Chinese cultures where notions of biological evolution had already developed.
  • It was the theory that was new.
natural selection
Natural Selection
  • Natural selection in the theory of evolution refers to genetic change or changes in the frequencies of certain traits in populations due to differential reproductive success between individuals.
  • The most critical mechanism of evolutionary change, first explained by Charles Darwin
  • Same conclusions were independently reached by Alfred Russel Wallace.
  • A predominant feature of European worldview was, however, that all forms of nature never changed….
fixity of species
Fixity of Species
  • The notion that species, once created, can never change.
  • An idea opposed to theories of biological evolution.
  • To challenge the idea was to challenge the perfection of God’s design.
the scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution
  • Came with the discovery of the New World, introducing new ideas and challenging fundamental views about the planet.
  • Exposure to new plants and animals increased awareness of biological diversity.
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EVOLUTIONTHE INSPIRATIONSJOHN RAY 1627-1705

  • John Ray, a minister educated at Cambridge University, developed the concept of species.
  • He recognized that groups of plants and animals could be differentiated from other groups by their ability to mate with one another and produce offspring.
  • He placed such groups of reproductively isolated organisms into a single category, which he called the species.
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EVOLUTIONTHE INSPIRATIONSCAROLUS LINNAEUS 1707-1778

  • Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist who developed a method of classifying plants and animals.
  • In SystemaNaturae, first published in 1735, he standardized Ray’s use of genus and species terminology and established the system of binomial nomenclature.
  • He added two more categories: class and order.
  • Linnaeus’ four-level system became the basis for taxonomy.
slide13

EVOLUTIONTHE INSPIRATIONSERASMUS DARWIN1731-1802

  • Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather
  • Physician, poet, and leading member of an intellectual community in England
  • In a poem, expressed the view that life had originated in the seas and all species descended from a common ancestor.
  • Charles read his grandfather’s writings, but how much he was influenced by them is unknown.
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EVOLUTIONTHE INSPIRATIONSJEAN-BAPTISTE LAMARCK 1744-1829

  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck developed a theory to explain the evolutionary process, known as the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
  • An example is the giraffe: having stripped the leaves from the lower branches of a tree, the animal tries to reach leaves on upper branches.
  • The neck becomes slightly longer.
  • The longer neck is passed on to offspring.

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