Evolution

Evolution - Biology 111, Principles of Biology Lecture...

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Biology 111, Principles of Biology Lecture Outlines Evolution Evolution is a theory developed in the 1850's by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace to explain both the vast DIVERSITY of organisms (living and extinct), and the SIMILARITY between groups of organisms. The general theory of evolution proposes that all living things are ultimately derived from a single common ancestor. The differences that are apparent between organisms are the result of a slow gradual process of accumulation of slight changes from an original form (the common ancestor). The similarities between organisms are explained by their common ancestry. The more similar two organisms, the more recently they share a common ancestor. Because an overwhelming body of evidence supports the concept of evolution it has become a unifying principle of biology. Other explanations have been proposed: "Special Creation"/"Intelligent Design": A GOD or GODS/intelligent designer(s) created all of the organisms and placed them on the earth as part of a grand master plan Require the invocation of supernatural powers, and therefore does not fall under the category of science Creation/intelligent design theories are not subject to hypothesis formation and testing Remember that the three basic tenets of science are that: 1. All events are the result of NATURAL CAUSES (governed by certain NATURAL LAWS) 2. Natural laws are UNIFORM in space and time 3. All humans perceive natural events in basically the same way (COMMON PERCEPTION) " Spontaneous Generation": New forms of life spontaneously appear from existing matter. Maggots would spontaneously appear from rotting meat, mice and rats would spontaneously appear out of piles of trash and debris, without any obvious involvement of parents. Unlike special creation, spontaneous generation was a scientific explanation that was subject to experimentation and hypothesis testing. The theory was proven to be false (by Louis Pasteur) through careful experimentation and observation. By the early 1800's, a number of fossils had been discovered and characterized. A few observations became clear from the fossil record.
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1. Certain organisms had become extinct. 2. Certain organisms that currently existed were not represented in the fossil
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Evolution - Biology 111, Principles of Biology Lecture...

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