History of evolutionary thought
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History of Evolutionary Thought. Why is there a diversity of life?. Plato (427-347 B.C.). Real World  Ideal Perceived World  Imperfect via Senses **No need for evolution because organisms are already perfect. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.).

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History of Evolutionary Thought

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History of Evolutionary Thought

Why is there a diversity of life?

Plato(427-347 B.C.)

  • Real World  Ideal

  • Perceived World  Imperfect via Senses

  • **No need for evolution because organisms are already perfect.

Aristotle(384-322 B.C.)

  • Scala Naturae  All life organized on a scale, or ladder, of increasing complexity.

  • Organisms are fixed at each “rung”.

  • No evolution of species.

Old Testament

  • Judeo-Christian culture

  • Species individually designed and permanent

  • No evolution of organisms

1700 A.D. Europe

  • Natural Theology

  • Adaptations or organisms  evidence organisms were created with purpose.

  • Taxonomy  Reveal steps of scale of life created by God.

    • Linnaeus  System we use today

      • K, P, C, O, F, G, S

Georges Cuvier (1769-1832)

  • Paleontology – study of fossils in France.

  • Documented changes in organisms present in each rock layer.

  • **Catastrophism – boundary layers caused by local catastrophe and repopulated by organisms migrating in.

James Hutton (1726-1797)

  • **Gradualism – geological features are cummulative products of slow, but continuous processes

  • Canyons formed by rivers cutting through rocks as observed daily.

Charles Lyell (1797-1875)

  • **Uniformitarianism – Geological processes, such as erosion, sediment deposition, volcanoes, earthquakes, have not changed throughout Earth’s history.

Hutton + Lyell to Biology

  • 1) Geological change results from slow, continuous actions rather than sudden events and therefore, the Earth must be very old (older than 6000 years as proposed by theologians)

  • 2) Very slow and subtle processes persisting over a long period of time can cause substantial change.

End of 1700’s

  • Many naturalists suggested that life had evolved along with the evolution of Earth.

Jean Baptiste de Lamark(1744-1829)

  • Invertebrate Collection in Paris

  • Saw many lines of descent of older to younger fossils leading to modern

  • Species move up the ladders to greater complexity

Lamark (cont.)

  • Evolution was driven by an innate tendency toward perfection.

  • Evolution responded to organisms needs.

  • Mechanism of Evolution:

    • 1) Use and disuse – those parts used extensively to cope with environment enlarged and those not used reduced in size.

    • 2) Passing on of Acquired Traits

      • Traits one develops in one’s lifetime – read, music

Lamark (cont.)

  • Nice theory…No evidence that Acquired Traits can be passed on.

    • Biceps of Blacksmith, removed tails of mice

  • Deserves a lot of credit:

    • Evolution best explanation for both fossil record and current diversity of life

    • Recognition of great age of Earth

    • Adaptation to Environment as product of Evolution

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

  • 1) The occurrence of Evolution (Descent with Change) – Unity of life related by descent from some common prototype.

  • 2) Mechanism is Natural Selection

Natural Selection

  • 1) Species produce more offspring than can survive

  • 2) Struggle for survival- limited environmental resources

  • 3) Variation within a species – no two humans (except identical twins) alike.

  • 4) Those best suited for the environment are selected by nature to produce more offspring.

Darwin (cont.)

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