Evolution 1 - Evolution Unit Today Today The Tree of Life 1...

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9/24/2008 1 Today Evolution Unit: Today: “The Tree of Life”
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9/24/2008 2 Goals for our Evolution Unit: 1. Augment your “evolution literacy” in a review of conceptual tools & principles from Darwin to Dawkins. 2 Apply those tools to an array of human and non 2. Apply those tools to an array of human and non- human cases (including Galapagos organisms), illustrating their explanatory value. 3. Demonstrate the scientific value and “grandeur in this view of life.” (Darwin 1859: 490) 4. Examine selected aspects of history of science in this important (& timely) domain. General Outline for the Unit: I. Evolutionary Theory & Examples a. Descent with modification, homology (v. analogy) b. Natural selection, adaptation Sexual selection exaptation c. Sexual selection, exaptation d. Speciation, cladogenesis e. Phylogeny, cladistics II. Classical genetics (Mendel) III. Population genetics, “new synthesis” Charles Darwin (1809 1873)
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9/24/2008 3 Talk about “apples & oranges”… A classic example! Also 150 years since Darwin’s Big Book
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9/24/2008 4 Remember: there are TWO parts to it… We’ll be asking, WHY?? The prevailing theory: “special creation” (or “chain of being”) All species had supernatural origin during 7 days of creation They have existed in fixed, “immutable” form from creation to present (unless extinct) Species have unchanging “essences” From: Greenwood 1984
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9/24/2008 5 Time Darwin’s “Tree of Life” Darwin’s view: Life as a branching tree New species always come from pre existing species (back to the first) Species can & do change (“morph”) over time From: Darwin 1859 Darwin’s Revolution
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9/24/2008 6 One of our goals: We have a problem of “evolution literacy” today in the USA… Fewer than 50% of US citizens accept evolution as a statement about the history of life. Many don’t know what “evolution” means! Acceptance of evolution as % population Study of Stanford students in 1999 80% said “yes” (shown in blue) Tina Bhargava, Honors Thesis, 1999
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9/24/2008 7 Over 50% of Stanford students in 1999…you know we have a problem! With “literacy” so low in the U.S., People are confused about directional change in living organisms without some kind of “director”… And thus invoke supernatural causes. We think of Darwin as as wizened old scholar…
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9/24/2008 8 Darwin was 22 when the Beagle set sail! All of 26 for his famous observations in Galapagos I.e ., the work of a “20 something” changed the world! He did hesitate till age 50 till age 50 to write his big book… But he was just out of college when: (a) He made key observations; (b) Discovered evolution; (c) This could happen to you!!
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9/24/2008 9 “The book that shook the world” Two key propositions: All living organisms, past and present are past and present, are related by descent;
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Evolution 1 - Evolution Unit Today Today The Tree of Life 1...

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