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Evolution2 - Evolution#2 3 History of Evolution Darwin...

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DESCENT W/ MODIFICATION: A DARWINIAN VIEW OF LIFE 1859: Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection drew cohesive picture by connecting the dots among what once seemed a bewildering array of unrelated observations focused biologists’ attention on the great diversity of organisms—their origins, relationships, similarities, differences, geographic distribution, adaptations to surrounding environments presented 2 main points o evidence that many species of organisms presently inhabiting Earth are descendants of ancestral species that were diff from the modern species o mechanism for this evolutionary process = natural selection pop can change over generations if individ’s that possess certain heritable traits leave more offspring than other individ’s result is evolutionary adaptation = an accumulation of inherited characteristics that enhance organisms’ ability to survive and reproduce in specific env’s Evolution a change over time in the genetic composition of a pop eventually a pop may accumulate enough change that it constitutes a new species (life-form) the gradual appearance of all of biodiversity, from the earliest microbes to the enormous variety of organisms alive today The Darwinian revolution challenged traditional views of a young Earth inhabited by unchanging species resistance to the idea of evolution o deep-rooted traditional belief: Earth only a few 000 years old, populated by forms of life that had been created at the beginning & remained unchanged ever since o Aristotle (384-322BC) viewed species as fixed/unchanging life-forms could be arranged on a ladder/scale of inc complexity = scala naturae each life-form, permanent & perfect, had its allotted rung on this ladder o Old Testament 1700s, scientists interpreted the superb adaptations of organisms to their env’s as evidence that the Creator had designed each species for a particular purpose Carolus Linnaeus (1701-1778) o physician & botanist who sought to classify life’s diversity “for the greater glory of God” o founder of taxonomy = branch of bio concerned w/ naming & classifying organisms
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o developed binomial system of naming organisms o in contrast to scala naturae , classification was nested, grouping similar species into increasingly general categories o to him, the observation of similar species did not imply evolutionary kinship, but rather the pattern of
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