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Lecture IV: Evidence of Evolution. By Dr. Rick Woodward. Evidence of Evolution. Today’s Agenda -Journal Question: a. What type of electronic device do you own? b. What is it used for? c. Did this electronic device exist ten years ago? d. What is Moore’s Law?

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Lecture IV: Evidence of Evolution

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Lecture IV: Evidence of Evolution

By Dr. Rick Woodward

Evidence of Evolution

Today’s Agenda

-Journal Question:

a. What type of electronic device do you own?

b. What is it used for?

c. Did this electronic device exist ten years ago?

d. What is Moore’s Law?

e. What is Artificial Intelligence?

f. What does the term “Evolution” mean?

*1. Lecture IV: Evidence of Evolution & Genetics and Living Forever –Slide 65

The iPhone

A. Currently there are 90 million iPhones

Source: Wired Magazine March 2011

What have you learned so far from my class?

1. Organelles of the Cell

2. Genetics: DNA & The Structure of a Chromosome.

3. Telomeres & Telomerase.

4. Nanotechnology.

5. Putting it all together: Man versus Machine 2045.

6. Darwin’s Definition of Evolution: Descent with Modification .

7. Applying to Colleges “Accreditation”

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

A. Computer technology advances continue to increase exponentially.

B. Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors you can put on a microchip doubles about every two years.

C. Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine (Computer) -1871

-First fully automatic calculating machine

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

D. Colossus Computer

(The world’s first programmable digital computer: 1943) -Helped the British crack German codes during WWII (Ten Colossi were used by the end of the war)

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

E. UNIVAC 1 (Compact) Used to tabulate the U.S. Census 1950’s

(1) The UNIVAC 1 had only 1,000 words of memory, each word containing 12 decimal digits, and each digit being 7 binary bits.

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

F. Apple II: Was one of the first massively popular personal computers.

(1) What was I doing?? ComputerTutor Camp at Stanford University.

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

G. Power Mac G4: The first personal computer to deliver more than 1 billion floating-point operations per second.

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

H. We have gone from Electromechanical to Relays to Vacuum Tubes to Transistors to Integrated Circuits

(1) Do you recall nanotechnology?

(2) This is the evolution of technology.

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

I. Nvidia Tesla (GPU & PC)

J. It is believed that by the mid 2020’s the engineering of the human brain will be complete.

H. Artificial Intelligence combined with genetics and nanotechnology will be on the forefront of biotechnology.

Exponential Growth (Evolution) in Computing Power

K. Given the vast increases in computing power, the quantity of artificial intelligence created will be about a billion times the sum of all human intelligence that exists today.

(1) Refer back to Watson (an artificial intelligence computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language) on Jeopardy (2011). This computer did the work of 28,000 computers. Watson was not connected to the Internet during the game.


A. Hypothesis about the future of life on Earth as it relates to advances in technology.

B. Singularity University hosted by NASA

C. The term singularity is borrowed from astrophysics: It refers to a point in space-time. For example, inside a black hole –where the rules of ordinary physics do not apply.


Combining advances in Technology with Genetics

A. It is well known that one cause of physical degeneration associated with aging involves telomeres, which are segments of DNA found at the tips of chromosomes.

Combining Advances in Technology with Genetics

B. Every time a cell divides (mitosis), its telomeres get shorter, and once a cell runs out of telomeres, it can reproduce anymore and it dies.

Combining Advances in Technology with Genetics

C. There is an enzyme that called telomerase that reverses the aging process.

Combining Advances in Technology with Genetics

D. “Ground Breaking Study: Scientists Reverse Aging in Mice, with Telomerase”

-Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School performed the study (November 2010) –last year!

(After receiving the gene that activated telomerase, however, the treated mice showed surprising signs of rejuvenation after just one month.)

The Harvard Study 2010

A. Biologist administered telomerase to a group of mice suffering from age-related degeneration.

B. All of the mice had atrophied organs and testes, and small brains, among other challenges. The mice were the equivalent of 80-year-old humans, and the researchers said they were about to pass away.

C. The damage went away!

D. The mice didn’t just get better, they got younger.

Activating Telomerase

1. Recall the lecture on stress and how chronic stress plays a role in decreasing telomere length.

2. Ways to increase telomerase were to do community work (helping others)

3. Other natural substances such as resveratrol, gingko and silymarin may also activate telomeres.

What happens when you combine biology, genetics, nanotechnology and computer technology?

Super Intelligent Immortal Cyborgs whose intelligence surpasses the intellectual capacity of humankind.

Damn You Sharktopus

February 23, 2011 (Wednesday)

Today’s Real Agenda:

-Journal Questions

a. What is an ecotone?

b. What does acclimation mean?

*1. Lecture IV: Evidence of Evolution.

(Slide 44)

-Follow along with your packet.

2. Finish up you Biome Projects (5 min.) and present on Friday.

3. Homework: Complete Study Guide questions 1 – 25 for Exam I

4. Exam I: Tuesday (3/1): Study Guide and Composition Books due.

The Theory of Evolution

A. Evolution means change over time or descent with modification.

Earth Evolution Timeline

Theory of Evolution

B. Evidence of evolution:

1. Fossil Evidence

2. Comparative Anatomy

3. Embryology & Biochemistry

4. Genetic Evidence

5. Direct Observation

1. Fossil Evidence of Evolution

A. Bones, parts of an organism or an entire organism can be preserved or petrified.

B. Sometimes a mold or cast of an organism is left in rock.

1. Fossil Evidence of Evolution

C. Some organisms were fossilized when they became trapped and quickly frozen in ice or enclosed in amber.

D. Any such trace of an organism that lived long ago is called a fossil.

Fossils - preserved evidence of previously living things

1. Fossil Evidence Continued:

E. Fossils in the lower layers of sedimentary rock are older than those formed in the upper layers (superposition).

F. Often the layers of rock can be dated by the types of fossils they contain.

1. Fossil Evidence Continued:

G. The types of fossil organisms change from one layer to the next. Thus, we can conclude that life forms became more complex over time.

Fossil Evidence Continued:

H. The fossil record as a whole indicates that organisms have changed over time; they have evolved.

Mastodon --) Wooly Mammoths --) Elephant

A fossil whale with hind legs

2. Comparative Anatomy Evidence

A. The study of structures from different organisms is called comparative anatomy.

B. Humans, Cats, Whales and Bats share similar structures.

Similarity among the limb bones of organisms that use them for different purposes

2. Comparative Anatomy Evidence

C. Homologous Parts:

(1) Modified anatomical structures among different groups are called homologous. They are often similar in structure and either have the same or a different function.

(2) Example: Homologous bones in forelimbs.

Homology - similarity caused by common ancestry

2. Comparative Anatomy Continued:

D. Vestigial Structures are structures that have no function in the living organism, but may have been used in ancestors.

2. Comparative Anatomy Continued:

E. Examples of Vestigial Structures: Caecum of a horse, Caecum of a human.

-Larger in the horse; used for digesting tough, fibrous plant material.

3. Embryology & Biochemistry

A. Scientists compare and contrasts embryos, which are the early stages of developing plants and animals.

3. Embryology & Biochemistry

B. Comparative embryology shows a number of relationships not obvious in the fully grown organism

3. Embryology & Biochemistry

C. Example: While looking under a microscope at a pig and human embryo, they both look very similar at this stage of development.

Evidence for evolution from comparative embryology

Early embryos of diverse groups share many features. As development proceeds, embryonic forms diverge and become more similar to adults of their own species (von Baer’s law)

3. Embryology and Biochemical Comparisons

D. Biochemical comparisons show the structure of hemoglobin (sequence of amino acids) in a chimpanzee strongly resembles the structure of human hemoglobin. –Studies in amino acid sequencing.

Biochemical Comparisons

E. More similar DNA = More recent common ancestor.

F. Compare DNA or Amino Acid Sequences.

4. Genetic Evidence

A. The mutation and duplication of existing alleles can give rise to new alleles or genes, and thus to new proteins.

4. Genetic Evidence

B. In addition, meiosis and fertilization reshuffle alleles.

C. With any breeding group, or population of organisms, there is a constant change over time.

  • Sources of Natural Variation

  • Mutation

  • Meiosis I crossing over

  • Meiosis I independent assortment

  • Random fertilization

  • Changes in chromosome structure

4. Genetic Evidence

D. When the most desired traits are selectively bred and passed down to the offspring, this is called selective breeding or artificial selection. (i.e. barley, wheat)

4. Genetic Evidence

E. Farmers, horticulturists, pet breeders, and scientists still use selective breeding to improve domestic plant and animal varieties (i.e. beef)

Artificial selection has produced different, true-breeding varieties of “fancy” pigeons from a single ancestral form

The evolutionary process is sped up through Artificial Selection

4. Genetic Evidence

F. Examination of DNA

1. Analyze the base sequences of DNA in genes of one kind of organism.

4. Genetic Evidence

2. i.e. Comparisons of DNA nitrogen based sequences show that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to gorillas or other apes.

4. Genetic Evidence

Comparison of DNA sequences confirm that evolutionary histories suggested by fossils and anatomy;

i.e. Chimps and Humans share 99% DNA with only a 1% variation

5. Direct Observation

A. Rapid Evolution (Each bacterial colony consists of millions of cells)

1. The reaction of bacteria to penicillin often results in rapid evolutionary change.

2. When penicillin is added to bacteria in a culture dish, a clear zone forms indicating death of the bacteria in that zone.

5. Direct Observation

3. Those few bacteria with a gene for penicillin resistance will survive and go on to reproduce (thus, the group of bacteria has evolved)

4. The organisms that continue to live and reproduce after the change in the environment are adapted to the new environment.

5. Direct Observation

B. Evolution causes health problems

1. Penicillin-resistant bacteria create a serious health problem.

2. Bacteria cause many diseases in humans and animals.

5. Direct Observation

3. On the average, each bacterium in a colony will divide (replicate) every 20 minutes, thus creating an exponential number of bacteria

4. Antibacterial drugs are called antibiotics.

Homework Questions

1. What is the definition of evolution?

2. Describe the five types of evidence that support the theory of evolution.

3. What is a fossil?

4. Where are older fossils found in sedimentary rock?

5. What do homologous structures refer to?

a. Give an example:

6. What do vestigial structures refer to?

a. Give an example:

7. What is an embryo?

8. Why do scientists look at embryos when discussing the theory of evolution?

9. What significant biochemical comparisons support the theory of evolution?

10. What does selective breeding (artificial selection) refer to?

a. Give some examples:

11. Give an example through direct observation that supports the theory of evolution.

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