BIOL202 - Lectures 12 -15

BIOL202 - Lectures 12 -15 - LECTURE 12: PRE-DARWINIAN VIEWS...

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LECTURE 12: PRE-DARWINIAN VIEWS ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES Creationism: predominant view until 1859 - all species created in one short interval of time, about 6000 years ago, by some higher being, a Creator - all organisms designed by Creator to “fit” perfectly into their assigned habitat and lifestyle e.g., quote from W. Swainson’s 1835 zoology textbook, Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals “It appears that various tribes of organized beings were originally placed by the Creator in certain regions, for which they are by their nature peculiarly adapted” - species are immutable (i.e., unchangeable) - all organisms exist to serve man
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Fossil organisms with no apparent living representatives on Earth - a challenge to te creationist view? All life was supposedly created in perfect form by a Supreme Being. So how could any forms of life fail, i.e., go extinct? Crassygyrinus, a fossil vertebrate from Scotland French paleontologist, Georges Cuvier's (1769-1832) theory of catastrophism: During the Earth’s history, periodic catastrophes including giant mudslides, floods, earthquakes, etc. buried and destroy whole groups of organisms, i.e., all representatives of certain species, causing the extinction of whole species.
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Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) and his Theory of Transformism French zoologist - one of first to seriously challenge idea that species are "immutable" Example of gradual change in an invertebrate, observed by Lamarck: 1809- publishes Philosophie Zoologique in which he proposes: “After a long succession of generations. ..individuals, originally belonging to one species, become at length transformed into a new species distinct from the first .” Lamarck's theory of transformism: 1. Very simple, microscopic organisms are continuously being "spontaneously generated" out of bits of inanimate material (dust, dirt, etc.) through "electrical action" and "heat" “Nature, by means of heat, light, electricity, and mosture, forms direct or spontaneous generations at that extremity of each kingdom of living bodies, where the simplest of these bodies are found.” 2. Some simple organisms are gradually transformed into other,
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more complex types of organisms, and then to an even more complex type of organisms, etc. from Lamarck’s Philosophie Zoologique 3. All organisms strive for increased complexity ; pinnacle of complexity: humans. Only organisms attain higher states. “[Man] assuredly presents the type of the highest perfection that nature could attain; hence the more an animal organization approaches that of man, the more perfect it is.” follows Aristotle’s concept of “Scala Naturae” :
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How & why did transformation of organisms into "higher", more complex, perfect forms occur? Mechanism
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BIOL202 - Lectures 12 -15 - LECTURE 12: PRE-DARWINIAN VIEWS...

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