BS110 Evolutionary Theory

BS110 Evolutionary Theory - Evolutionary Theory: Historical...

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Evolutionary Theory: Historical Background and the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection 25 Feb 2008 BS 110
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Progression of thought on the origin of earth and today’s life forms Aristotle (384-322 BC) God put creation into motion by thought/desire Bishop Ussher (1581-1656 AD) Used Genesis to calculate that universe created on Oct 23, 4004 BC 9 a.m. London time (Sir Lightfoot) Linnaeus (1707-1778) Constructed hierarchical naming system to reveal divine order in universe Cuvier (1769-1832) Theory of Catastrophism, fixity of species First to document extinctions (dinosaurs)
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Progression of thought (cont.) Leclerc, Comte Buffon (1707-1788) Speculated that life forms have changed, earth much more than 6000 years old Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) Believed in evolution but had no mechanism Lyell (1797-1875) Hutton’s Theory of Uniformitarianism Same processes occurring now shaped earth in past at same rate, earth very old Lamarck (1744-1829) Theory of Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics Use and disuse, striving
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The key players Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Started training first in medicine, then in divinity 1831-6: voyage of the Beagle Ship’s naturalist Witnessed variation between life of islands, continents, studied fossils, coral reefs, geology Started writing papers, books on return gradually came up with theory of natural selection worked to substantiate it with many studies Member of Anglican upper class By 1842, had written paper on natural selection but didn’t publish it
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Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) Trained as surveyor Went collecting to Amazon in 1848 Collection lost in fire at sea in 1852 1852, starts science writing in UK Collecting in Malay Archipelago, 1854- 1862 In Borneo writes ‘On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species’, 1855 In Halmahera in 1858, writes ‘On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type’, sends to Darwin for comment The key players
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Darwin shocked by Wallace’s essay
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BS110 Evolutionary Theory - Evolutionary Theory: Historical...

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