Unit 3 - NSM 1000 Study Guide Bergeron Spring 2008 UNIT 3...

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NSM 1000 Study Guide Bergeron Spring 2008 UNIT 3 EVOLUTION AND CREATIONISM
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NSM 1000 Study Guide Bergeron Spring 2008 As you have seen in the case of continental drift, the outsider (Wegener) turned out to have been correct after all, and the scientific community was wrong. The general public had no position one way or the other on continental drift. We now will turn to some conflicts between science and the non-scientific general population. First we need some knowledge about evolution , so we will look at that topic first. We will present an outline of evolution to accompany your readings, but we will not yet present evidence for evolution. That evidence will come later, since the point of the creationists is that there is no evidence for evolution. Reading Assignments Required Reading: 1. (Text) Hazen and Trefil, Science Matters . Chapter 17, Evolution, p.243-259. If your background in biology is weak, or you need a review, read Chapters 15 (The Ladder of Life) and 16 (The Code of Life), first! EVOLUTION The word “evolution” is used by biologists in several fundamentally different ways, and it is very important that you keep these differences clear. 1. “Evolution” can be used to refer to specific observations (direct or indirect), measurements and experiments that show that the genetics of organisms have changed over time. Remember our definition of “fact”? These observed and measured changes are the facts of evolution, and there are millions of them. 2. These millions of facts may be summarized in a relatively short summary statement, called the definition of evolution. Scientists call this the Law of Evolution . Although the Law of Evolution is not completely quantitative, it still fits the concept of natural law. The biological community has accepted evolution as fact since Darwin’s publication of The Origin of Species (1859). The American public has always been uneasy about evolution. We now need an explanation of how evolution “works”. What is the mechanism for evolution, and how firmly established is it? The modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution tells us how those facts came to be. Please note: it’s not “just a theory”— people who use that phrase do not understand that in science, a theory is as good as something gets! A theory is a powerful, well- verified and tested explanation of a set of facts that is also predictive and that can be falsified. A theory is not just a guess or hypothesis! Review page 2 of Science and Creationism. What we now must do is expand on each of these three concepts at length. Before embarking on that task, you need to be comfortable with one more very important idea: the concept of a species .
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NSM 1000 Study Guide Bergeron Spring 2008 Biologists use several different definitions of species, depending on the context. Part of the reason for this apparent confusion is the difficulty of applying breeding criteria to certain groups of organisms (fossils, e.g.). For us during this semester, here’s our very important
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course SCI CRN 361 taught by Professor Loribergeron during the Spring '08 term at New England College.

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Unit 3 - NSM 1000 Study Guide Bergeron Spring 2008 UNIT 3...

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