IB31Lecture+outline+3.5+Sp08 - IB 31 Sp 2008 Feb 4 2008...

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IB 31, Sp. 2008 Feb. 4, 2008 Caldwell, Evolution and Natural Selection II 2. In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. The study of biology would never be the same. Darwin first formulated his ideas on natural selection in the late 1830’s as he worked on material collected on his trip as a naturalist aboard H.M.S. Beagle. By the 1840’s, the theory was mature and he spent the next 15 years refining it and collecting additional data. He refused to publish, in part because he knew the furor it would create because of Christian religious views. However, in 1858, a letter arrives from Alfred Russell Wallace that changes everything. a. Darwin comes from a reasonably wealthy family (related to the Wedgewoods) and was the son and grandson of physicians. He started medical training in Edinburgh at the age of 16, but didn’t like it and moved on to Cambridge thinking about a career in the ministry. However, he was also fascinated by geology and natural history and studied with John Henslow, a botanist, and Adam Sedgewich, a geologist. When Darwin was 23, Henslow was unable to serve as a naturalist on H.M.S. Beagle that was scheduled to explore coastal waters around the world. Darwin was recommended for the position and spent nearly 5 years circumnavigating the globe observing geological formations and collecting specimens. While visiting the Galapagos Islands, he is struck by the variation that he sees from island to island in the birds and tortoises. This plants the seeds of curiosity about whether species are immutable and if they are not, how change is affected. By 1844 he has figured it out and writes his first unpublished account of evolution by natural selection (shown to the botanist Hooker and to his wife Emma). He then settles down to document his theory. In fact, some argue that he might never have published his views on evolution had it not been for a letter that arrived at Down House, June 18, 1858.
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