Bio190-Evolution - Darwinian Evolution Themes 1 Darwin...

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Darwinian Evolution - Themes 1. Darwin challenges traditional views of life His ideas will supplant ‘Natural Theology’ & ‘Scale of Nature’ 2. Darwin publishes The Origin of Species in 1859 based on years of research 3. Darwin made two key points in Origin of Species Today’s organisms descended from ancestral species Natural selection provided a mechanism for evolutionary change in populations 4. 1. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) & His Revolution 0. Born in western England, 1809 1. Interested in nature as a boy, but father sent him to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine 2. Left Edinburgh and enrolled at Cambridge University with the intent to become a clergyman (to study the natural world) 0. Studied with botantist John Henslow, who recommended him to Captain Fitzroy of the H.M.S Beagle 1. Graduated in 1831 and sailed with Fitzroy on a 5-year voyage to survey the coast of South America a. The Origin of Species challenged a worldview that had been accepted for centuries 2. The Old Testament —> species were individually designed and did not evolve 3. Plato believed the real world was ideal and perfect (= created) 4. Aristotle believed that all living forms could be arranged on a ladder of increasing complexity (= scala naturae ) 0. By 1700’s, dominant philosophy was natural theology : study of adaptations as evidence of Creator-designed species, each with a purpose 1. Linnaeus developed taxonomy , for naming and grouping species into a hierarchy of ‘predetermined’ complexity 2. Darwin formulated the Concept of Evolution via Natural Selection over a long period of study 0. 1840’s – Darwin developed the major features of his hypothesis of natural selection as the mechanism for evolution 1. 1844 – wrote an essay on the origin of species and natural selection, which was unpublished 2. In 1858 – Alfred Wallace sent Darwin a manuscript containing a similar theory of natural selection! 3. Later that year, both Wallace’s paper and Darwin’s essay were presented to the Linnaean Society of London 4. Darwin quickly finished The Origin of Species and published it the next year (1859)
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a. Field research helped Darwin frame his view of life 5. 2. Brazilian jungles, grasslands of the Argentine pampas, the tundras of the high Andes 3. Collected thousands of specimens of the exotic and diverse flora and fauna of South America 6. Darwin noted that the plants and animals of South America were quite different from those of Europe, but similar over the entire continent 4. Further, South American fossils more closely resembled modern species from that continent than those from Europe 0. The fauna of the Galapagos, 900 km west of South America, especially interested Darwin 5. Most of the animal species on the Galapagos lived nowhere else, but they resembled species living on the South American mainland 6. It seemed that the islands had been colonized by plants and animals from the mainland that had
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course BIOL 190 taught by Professor Kemp during the Fall '07 term at San Diego.

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Bio190-Evolution - Darwinian Evolution Themes 1 Darwin...

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