Evidence for Evolution

Evidence for Evolution - Evidence for Evolution Reading:...

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Evidence for Evolution Reading: Freeman, Chapter 23, 26
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The Fact of Evolution evolution -the progressive change of organisms as they descend from ancestral species-is a FACT. By now, the evidence for it is overwhelming and ubiquitous. The existence of evolution was proposed in the late 1700’s and early 1800s by several scientists including Compte de Buffon and Erasmus Darwin This idea remained controversial for a long time, partially because it ran contrary to contemporary religious ideas and partially because no mechanism for evolution was known.
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Natural Selection as the Mechanism of Evolution: Scientific understanding of evolution came out of its infancy in 1859, when theories of evolution by natural selection by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace became widely known. We now know of other mechanisms of evolution, including genetic drift and mutation , but natural selection is the only mechanism capable of producing adaptation. Natural Selection was not immediately accepted -it took until the1930s for Darwin’s ideas to be synthesized with a modern understanding of genetics for widespread acceptance.
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Intellectual stepping-stones to developing a theory of evolution Linneus and Taxonomy Malthus and the Principle of Population Lyell and Uniformitarianism Lamarck and the fist comprehensive theory of evolution The Voyage of the Beagle Wallace and Darwin
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Linneus and Taxonomy Carolus Linnaeus was a sixteenth-century Swedish physician and Botanist. He founded the science of taxonomy , the branch of biology concerned with naming and classifying living things. He developed the two part system of binomial nomenclature we use today. His genera were clustered into increasingly broader categories; families, classes, phyla, and kingdoms…although he did not believe in evolution by descent, this pattern does provide a framework for thinking about evolution from a common ancestor.
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Malthus Thomas Malthus, an eighteenth century economist, published “An Essay on the Principle of Population” in 1798. This document had profound implications. Simply stated: people tend to have more children than can possibly survive, and human populations have historically been kept in check by famine, starvation, and disease. Darwin read this essay and was strongly influenced: he noted that every species has more offspring than can be expected to survive.
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How Old is the Earth? From a scientific standpoint, the age of the Earth was essentially unknown until the 19th century. Early ideas varied greatly, some cultures, such as classical Hindu society, thought of the Earth as incredibly old. Christian theology limited the age of the Earth to a few thousand years, because of the biblical account of creation as lasting seven days, and the geneologies included in the book of numbers. .
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2009 for the course CHEM 112 taught by Professor Jursich during the Spring '08 term at Ill. Chicago.

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Evidence for Evolution - Evidence for Evolution Reading:...

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